Taylor, Nancy Arvine Cole - Civil War Widow Pension

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Originally submitted to the ECHGS newsletter by Diana C. Frymyer & reprinted here with the permission of ECHGS

Nancy E. Arvin Cole Taylor's Civil War Widow's Pension Information #1086008

(This is only part of the information.  The rest will be posted as soon as possible)

On this day of January, 1928, at Richmond in the county of Madison, State of Kentucky. W.W. Anderson, an inspector of the pensions, personally appeared Nancy E. Taylor, who, being by me first duly sworn to answer truly all interrogatories propounded to her during this special examination of aforesaid claim for pension and says: "I was 74 years old the 28th day of last September. Occupation: general house-work. Address: Winston, Kentucky. I am the claimant in the above cited pension claim. I claim pension as the remarried widow of the soldier Alexander Cole, who served during the Civil War in Company "C" 47th Kentucky Infantry, his captain was John Wilson. My means of knowledge is what I heard from my said husband, that he served his time out. No, he never applied for pension that I know of.

My parents were Thomas G. Arvin and Nancy Fowler Arvin. I have no brothers or sisters living. I was born and raised on Buck Creek in Estill County, and lived there the biggest part of my life.

I lived with my parents on Buck Creek up to the time I married Alexander Cole, who was my first husband.  We were married at my parent's home by Rev. Eliiah Gabbard on Oct 12, 1871, when I was 17 years old.  The license was gotten at Irvine. We were never divorced or separated. We had six children, all but the two oldest are living, as follows: Nancy Jane, wife of John Warner, Hargett, Ky., Nathaniel Cole, Cottonsburg Ky., Lena, wife of Joshua McIntosh, Pinola, Ky.

I was mistaken, only three of my children by my first husband are living, and three are dead. Matilda Ann Cole b. 1872 married Jacob Tuggle, William T. Cole b. 1874 never married, and Emily Frances Cole b. 1879 d. 1924 married Hiram Horn.

My said husband died Oct 22, he lived 12 years and ten days after our marriage. He died on Buck Creek, Estill County, Ky., where we lived. Thomas Plowman and his wife, Nancy, who was a sister of the soldier went to his burying. They lived on Doe Creek in Estill County, Ky.

After the soldier died I continued to live on the same farm on Buck Creek till the year before I married my second husband John Taylor, when I moved on the Cockrell farm on the river in Estill County, Ky., in Estill County, Ky., in the adjoining neighborhood. I moved back on Buck Creek before I married Taylor. We were married by magistrate Stephen Vaughn at his house on Millers Creek in Estill County, Ky. The license was gotten at Irvine, Ky. We were married 28 years ago the 30th of last June.

Q. Are any witnesses living who were at your marriage to Taylor?
A. Yes, two of my nieces, Nancy Elizabeth, wife of Frank Roberson of Noland, Estill County, Ky., and Claudia Lunsford, wife of Jesse Lunsford, South Irvine, Ky. I had three children by John Taylor, all living as follows: Carrie wife of William Chamberlain, Baldwin, Kentucky. Two sons, Christopher and Clarence Taylor live with me. No, John Taylor never served in the U.S, Army or Navy.

Q. Were you and John Taylor ever divorced?
A. No, sir.

Q. How long were you and John Taylor separated?
A. He would go off and stay for six and eight months at a time, sometimes a year, just whenever the notion struck him he was gone.

Q. Where would he go?
A. Down among his people where he was raised near Wisemantown, Estill County, Kentucky, three or four miles from our home.

Q. Did he ever go out of the state or county when he would leave you?
A. No, never out of the state or county.

Q. Did you always know where he was when he would leave you?
A. No, but we would hear of him being around his people. He was weak minded and people told me that he had been taking those spells of running off all of his life. He has a sister, Elizabeth, wife of Walter Cox, Wisemantown, Ky. He had no brother, there were just two of them. He went off to hunt us a place to move to and had been gone from home ten months when he took sick and went to his sister's where he died on December 28th., a little over two years ago (1925) and is buried at Wisemantown, Ky. His sister and her husband were present when he died and his sister's boys waited on him while he was down sick. I was sick and could not go to him.

Q. Where have you lived since John Taylor died?
A. In the neighborhood of Winston, Estill Co., Ky., until the last day of last August a year ago, we moved to Madison Co., Ky., near Waco, and last February we moved to Mr. Pieratt's place on Crutcher pike 5 miles from Richmond on Route No. 4. I expect that we will move back to Winston in the next two or three days. No, I have not remarried since the death of John Taylor. No, I have never been married more than the two times stated above.

Q. Give the family of your husband the soldier?
A. His parents were William and Matilda Cole. He has one brother and three sisters living as follows: William Cole, lives near Nicholasville, Ky. Nancy, wife of Thomas Ploughman, Ravenna, Ky., Barbara, widow of Bob Peters, Ravenna, Ky., Emily, wife of Harrison Young, South Irvine, Ky.

Q. Can you name any comrades of your husband the soldier?
A. Nobody but Thomas Ploughman, they were in the same regiment.

Q. Give the personal description of your husband the soldier?
A. If he had lived till the 26th day of March coming, he would be 94 years old, according to the way he always gave me his age. He was going on 26 years old when we were married as well as I remembered. Height: medium, generally weighed about 160 pounds. Complexion, dark; eyes brown; hair black.

Q. Any marks or scars?
A. He had some marks on his face from smallpox. I think he had the smallpox after he came out of the army. He said he had measles while in the army that hurt him worse than anything he ever had, and that it left him hoarse a long time. He had gotten over his hoarseness before I knew him.

Q. Who can you name besides Ploughman who has personal knowledge that your said husband served in the army?
A. His oldest sister, Tom Ploughman's wife knows it, she was older than he.

Q. When did you first file an application for pension?
A. A year ago March as well as I remember.

Q. Who is Milton H. Smith of Pebworth, Ky.?
A. He came to our house one time. I never saw him but the one time in my life.

Q. When was that?
A. It was the last of September or first of October, the same year my son Christopher Taylor married, he married 11 years ago last June.

Q. What was Milton H. Smith's business at your home?
A. Old Mrs. Baker, an old widow, she's dead now, brought him to my house. She said he was going to get her a pension and that he was the man to work at a pension for me. He wrote a great long piece on a paper and took it off. No, he never read it to me. No, I don't know what he wrote. I am mistaken about him taking off. He gave the paper to me and told me to take it to a magistrate. I took it to Elias Brewer and he sent it off. No, Elias Brewer never read it to me, he just asked me if I had that statement written and I told him that man wrote it.

Q. I show you the paper prepared by Milton H. Smith and executed by Elias Brewer which shows that your mark was made to that paper in the presence of Laura Metcalf and Fairzina Brewer, who are they?
A. Laura Metcalf is the daughter and Fairzina Brewer the wife of Elias Brewer. That man Smith had me pay him $2.50 for writing that paper. I have now heard you read that paper. I never knew what was in that paper.

Q. Is it a fact that in October, 1916, your husband John Taylor had abandoned you and been gone five years.
A. He was not at home, but had not been gone more than a month or two. I remember that he went off in corn hoeing time. He went off to get some groceries and never came back till along that winter. I did not know exactly where he was, but I could have found him if I had hunted for him. I never made any such statement as that shown me, and I did not know that such a statement was in the paper that Smith prepared and told me to take to Mr. Brewer to send off.

Q. Who is E.P. Estes of Leighton, KY?
A. He was a merchant and postmaster at Leighton, Ky. I traded with him and got my mail there, but I have no recollection of ever getting him to write the letter shown to me or any other letter for me.

Q. In the paper prepared by Smith mention is made of your filing a prior claim for pension under the act of June 27, 1890, through William Henderson of Station Camp, Ky., please explain?
A. Henderson claimed to be a pension agent and he sent me word that he would get me a pension, and he had me to go over there to see him. I don't recollect that he fixed up any papers, but sometime afterwards he sent me some papers and said my claim was killed, and others who looked at the papers said they had not been filed. If Henderson ever filed a claim for me I do not know it. No I have never received, applied for, nor have title to compensation through the Bureau of War Risk Insurance on account of the service of anyone in the world war.

Q. State what contracts you have made with any persons for the prosecution of your pension claim and whether same were written or verbal?
A. None that I know of.

Q. State what payments have been made by you or at your instance in connection with the prosecution of your claim, to whom paid and all the circumstances connected therewith?
A. None

I have heard you read and explain my rights. I waive right to be present or represented by attorney during the taking of testimony in my claim.

Lexington, Kentucky
January 21, 1928

The Commissioner of Pensions:
Herewith are returned the report all papers in claim, W.O. 1086008, Nancy E. Taylor, former widow of Alexander Cole, Company "C" 47th Kentucky Infantry. Address: Winston, Kentucky.

This claim was referred for special examination to determine the facts as to the claimant's marital history; whether she lived with Taylor continuously from their marriage until his death; whether there was a divorce from Taylor, particularly whether he was the plaintiff; ascertain history of application filed in 1916; was there an effort at that time to prolcure a fraudulent claim. If there was an extended separation from Taylor did claimant live in the marital relation with another during separation. Did Taylor have military service. Make inquiry into the matter of identification of the husband with the man who rendered service of which claim is based. Claimant was served with the usual notice and her rights explained. She waived right to be present or represented by attorney during the taking of testimony in her claim.

In letter of reference it is stated that in the application filed in 1916 claimant alleged that Taylor had deserted her 15 years previous. I find that in said declaration claimant is made to say, by the writer, "I have not lived with him (Taylor) for the last five, 5, years." Even that shortened period, however, is incorrect. It developed that Taylor was feeble-minded and frequently left home on one pretext or another, remaining away for several months at a time, his longest period of absence being about a year. At the time of the declaration of 1916 was made the claimant alleges it was ascertained that he never left the county but lived among his relatives.

Widow Division
W.C. 1086,008
Alexander Cole
C-47th KY INF

February 14, 1928
Mrs. Nancy E. Taylor
Winston, Kentucky


Your claim for pension as the remarried widow of the above named soldier under the Act of May 1, 1920, filed March 15, 1926, has been allowed. Your claim for remarried widow's pension under the Act of September 8, 1916, filed October 23, 1916, was rejected on the ground that at the date of filing you were the wife of John Taylor who was then alive and whom you had not been divorced.

Respectfully Winfield Scott,


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