Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Fifth American Civil War Blogpost Challenge :: William M. Lashbrook, Iowa

Copyright 2015, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Bill West of the blog, West in New England, has issued the Fifth American Civil War Blogpost Challenge.  Read all about it here.

I have participated in several of Bill's prior challenges, so I had to do a bit of digging before I could come up with another "ancestor" to write about.  This time, I decided to write about one of Man's distant cousins, William M. Lashbrook (exact relationship:  William is Man's first cousin 3 times removed.)

William M. Lashbrook was born about 1843 possibly in New York state to Richard Lashbrook Jr. and his bride, Betsy (possibe maiden name of Mitchell).  Census reports support the birth state of New York, but, his death certificate states he was born in Illinois. From studying other family members in the census and other records, it is my opinion that William was born in New York State.

William is found enumerated with his parents in McHenry County Illinois on the 1850 and the 1860 census. Sometime after the 1860 U.S. census enumerations, Richard and Betsy moved the family to Iowa, where Richard disappears from available records.  Research and affidavits found in other research tell us Richard Jr. died about 1862.

William is enumerated with his mother on the 1870 (Bremer County Iowa) and 1880 (Floyd County Iowa) U.S. census reports.  (By 1880 his mother had remarried and was now  known as Betsey Leamon. She would marry at least one more time after Mr. Leamon, whew, I have been chasing marriages all over Iowa and Illinois.)

On August 16, 1870 William married Lucy Wright at Butler County Iowa.  William and Lucy had two daughters, Rosa Isabella and Hattie M.  Rosa died at the age of 9, cause: accidental drowning.  Hattie married twice, had three sons that I am aware of and died in 1954 in Cook County Illinois, being laid to rest at the Naperville Cemetery, Naperville, DuPage County, Illinois.

A sad note I found in a newspaper, and no, I have no idea why the girls were at the poor house. According to the January 21, 1876 issue of the Cedar Falls Gazette, Cedar Falls, Black Hawk County, Iowa, William's daughters were admitted to the Black Hawk County Poor House:
"Rosa and Hattie Lashbrook admitted Oct. 29; discharged Nov. 28, 1875."
Rosa would have been about 4 years old, and Hattie a very small infant.  

Sometime between 1870 and 1880 Lucy and William were probably divorced.  Lucy married again, a man by the name of William E. Cook.  No divorce or marriage records have been found - - yet.  Lucy is enumerated on the 1880 U.S. Census of Black Hawk County Iowa as the wife of William E. Cook.

Perhaps the most life changing activities William partook of between 1860 and 1880 were those of his participation in the 8th Iowa Calvary. Examination of records available to us we find that William enlisted in Company G, Iowa 8th Cavalry Regiment on 20 Jul 1863. Mustered out on 31 Mar 1864. Transferred to on 31 Mar 1864 .Mustered out on 05 Dec 1864. Transferred to Company G, Iowa 8th Cavalry Regiment on 05 Dec 1864. Mustered out on 01 Jun 1865 at Louisville, KY.

William applied for a pension as an invalid.  The packet I received from the National Archives was about 30 pages. Several years ago, I "extracted" some of what I deemed to be the most important facts from those 30 pages.  Here is the "boiled down" version.


William made several sworn statements in attempts to receive pensions (which he did receive, see certificate # 99683, above,  awarded for "injury to abodomen"), they read:

Dated January 20, 1867, his place of residence is Waverly, Bremer County, Iowa..  That while in said service, and in the line of his duty at Johnsonville, in the State of Tennessee, on the 15th of January 1864, he incurred the following wound or disability, to wit: his company was ordered on a forced reconnoitre from Johnsonville Tenn. To Big Sandy district about 20 miles this was made between 9 A.M. and 2 P.M. of same day and while on this march I was ruptured on right groin by being thrown forward on my saddle.  I remained with company doing duty on part of this time till middle of October 1864 when I went to Hospital (Cumberland Hospital) at Washville, Tenn. And Browns Hospital at Louisville, KY from which I was discharged.

Dated April 28, 1879, his place of residence is Waverly, Bremer County, Iowa.

Dated December 8, 1887, his place of residence was Lake View, Cook County, Illinois.

Dated September 9, 1889, aged 49 years, of #1904 Ashland Ave., Chicago. Illinois, William states and swears to the following:

"I am the claimant in the case above described and make this affidavit to state that I am unable to furnish the testimony of a Commissioned Officer or Surgeon, to show origin or treatment of deafness in the service, for the reason that I am unable to find any of the officers who have any recollection of the circumstance of my case.  I was over a year in corresponding around the country for this very evidence and the best I could do was to get the testimony of three enlisted men now on file. Immediately upon our arrival at Madison, Ind, I was taken to the General Hospital at that place and was under treatment there, my deafness came on as soon as I began to get over the small pox.  At first in fact for a long time, I felt that I would recover my hearing, but I never have, and it has been growing worse on me right along, so that at present I am almost totally deaf. I have had no regular physician treatment for my hearing since discharge for the reason that I have been too poor to employ a doctor, am out of work the greater part of my time nobody seems to want me they call me stupid and all owing to the loss of my hearing.  I have med home remedies, but it doesn't appear to help me.   I haven't done any work for a long time, and all that I have had to live on was my small pension and the charity of my friends.  I pray that this claim may receive early consideration.  And that I may receive that which is justly my due."

I studied all the names I found in those 30 pages.  I knew some of these names from researching this clan. In fact, these names are what convinced me I had the right man to go with this pension file. Among the affidavits in this pension file I found:

William E. Cook made an affidavit on William's behalf on December 8, 1887, place of residence #1044 Diversey Ave., Lake View, Cook County, Illinois, in which he states, in part, " He worked for me on my farm in Iowa, and also he assisted me at Carpenter jobs, I know that during all these years he has been troubled with impaired hearing of both ears, in fact, he cannot hear any thing, unless spoken to in a loud tone of voice.  This makes it very disagreeable and he finds it difficult to get employments.  Besides he is disabled with a rupture in the right side which gives him lot of trouble and prevents him from doing any kind of laborious work.  I did not employ him on account of his working qualities, but more out of sympathy."  (William E. Cook is the second husband of William's wife, err, ex-wife, Lucy Wright Lashbrook.)

I also found affidavits signed by: I. Leamon, resident of Charles City, Floyd County, Iowa, age 78, who states he has known William for the past 26 years, signed on March 15, 1888.  Another affidavit is signed by W. H. Muffley, resident of Osage, Mitchell County, Iowa, age 50, who states that he has known William since at least June of 1865, and that William had worked for Muffley for a time, signed on February 24, 1888.   W. H. Muffley also states that William had  "trouble to get work at all on account of his deafness and for the past year he knows claimant hasn't been able to perform any manual labor of any account; part of the time not being able to do the chores about the house and a good deal of the time he has been confined to his bed."  Note:  I. Leamon is William's step-father and W. H. Muffley is a brother-in-law.  It is interesting to note that neither one of these affidavits states any relationship such as step-father or brother-in-law.

William Lashbrook appears on the 1885 census of Buncomb Township, Sioux County, Iowa in the household of William E. Cook and Anne L. Cook.  William Lashbrook is shown as 41 years old, laborer, born New York, widowed. (Love the widowed statement, he was not a widower.)  The rest of the household, starting with the head of household is: William E. Cook, age 54, married, carpenter, born Mass., Anne L., age 31, keeping house, born Harden County, Iowa; Hattie M. Cook, (should be Hattie M. Lashbrook), age 10, born Bremer County, Iowa.

William is enumerated on the 1895 census of 9th Ward, 2nd Precinct, Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota as follows: Wm. M., 2313 Monroe St. N. E., age 52, born NY, lived in the State for 5 years, lived at this enumeration district 1 years, no occupation, soldier in War of Rebellion, father not of foreign birth, mother not of foreign birth.

William died June 2, 1896 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The death record shows that he was 59 years of age, single,  born Illinois, died at 1108 Wash N.E., of pulmonary consumption.  Death record states he had lived in the city of 5 years.  Name of parents left blank.  Interment at Hillside Cemetery.  1108 Wash NE is the address of his sister, Cora Lashbrook Chance, for the years 1896, 1897 and 1898, according to the directories for Minneapolis for those years.


Burial records from Hillside Memorium, Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota tell us that William is buried with his mother, Betsey Young (Yong on the burial record, sighhh). As far as I know, their graves remain unmarked.

Note:  this is only a portion of the burial record the cemetery shared with me.  There was data from another family that I removed in preparation for this post.  You will note, also interred in this plot is one Jasper N. Chance, a brother-in-law, and Harry N. Chase (sic), who is actually Harry N. Chance, a nephew.

While researching/reviewing William and what I have collected on his story, I discovered that it was shown on his compiled service record to "See also V.R.C."  With the help of Bill West, I now know that stands for Veteran Reserve Corps.  Of course, I went off on a little research binge.  One of the coolest things I found was this page on uniforms of the VRS.  Do click through, it is very informative, and yes, there are some images.

Below, the only compiled service record card I have found for William, so far.  Note the indication to "See also V. R. C."  Also, note, that his middle initial was not recorded or indicated.


William's pension papers provided me with a deep insight into his life during and after the Civil War.  I was fascinated by the fact that so many people that "testified" for him were indeed related, even his ex-wife's second husband testified.  Further research revealed he lived with his ex-wife, her second husband and his children with Lucy for a while.  He also lived with his brother-in-law and his sister.

Reading through the pension papers, it is easily evident that he suffered the affects of his service for the rest of his life.  In my mind's eye I see a sad, beaten man, depending on the kindness of family and friends, even on the kindness of his ex-wife and her second husband.

As a side note, I can tell you that William had two other brothers that served in the Civil War, Royal Lashbrook and Edgar Lashbrook.  Their stories also are somewhat sad and disturbing.  




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4 comments:

Bill West said...

My 2x great grandfather Asa Ellingwood suffered a rupture at the retreat from the First Battle of Bull Run. He was mustered out for medical reasons but re-enlisted a year later, this time in the V.R.C. He also later claimed a pension.

Great post! Thank you for taking part in the Challenge over the years!

Carol said...

Thanks Bill, your challenges have been great, and I always learn something about my ancestors when I participate.

www.HungarianFamilyRecord.org said...

I ended up here following Bill West's Civil War Challenge.Truly interesting to read about your work on piecing William Lashbrook's family and your CW research experience.

Carol said...

Why thank you so much "HungarianFamilyRecord"