Deposition A
Julia A. Fingar

Case of Julia A. Fingar, No. 655747

On this 23d day of July, 1902, at Philmont, County of Columbia State of New York, before me, Allan F. Church a special examiner of the Bureau of Pensions, personally appeared Julia A. Fingar, who, being by me first duly sworn to answer truly all interrogations propounded to her during this special examination of aforesaid claim for pension, deposes and says:

I am 73 years of age; my post=office address is as above, occupation, housewife: I am the widow of Jacob Fingar, have forgotten what service he was in, or when he enlisted or was discharged, have no memorandum here. Yes I find this letter from the Commissioner of Pensions which shows his service in Co. I 159 N.Y. Inf., don't know how long. Am pretty sure he was in no other service. His rank was 1st Lieutenant. I do not know why his service was so short as you say it was.

Jacob Fingar was a second cousin of mine and we had known each other from childhood; he was a little younger than myself; neither of us had been married prior to our marriage to each other on the 5th day of February, 1850. My husband Jacob Fingar was then 20 years old and I was 21. He was a carpenter by trade and while we had nothing when we married, he worked regularly and kept his family comfortably until he enlisted. We had 5 children of whom but 2 were then living when Jacob Fingar enlisted. When Jacob Fingar enlisted his health appeared to be good, he had never lost any time from work on account of sickness, and I have no reason to think him other than in good physical condition. When he resigned his commission in the Army, he never returned to me or his family. He had got to running around with other women, and when he got out of service he took one of his women (don't know her name) and went away. I never saw him from the day he enlisted.
Q. How do you know he went away with a woman then?
A. Henry Sponberg was a member of my husband's company, and when he was discharged he came back to Philmont and told Mrs. Lucretia Phelps (now dead) with whom we boarded, that Jacob Fingar had gone away with a woman, and Mrs. Phelps told it to me.
Q. Did you try to find him?
A. No sir, I thought if he liked others better then he did me and the children he could go.
Q. Where did he go with the woman?
A. I don't know. I never heard of his being anywhere except what his brother used to tell me of hearing from him. Well, once he was is Pittsfield, Mass., and he went from one place to another; he was roving around all over and I did not hear where he was as I didn't inquire about him.
Q. Who is this brother of soldiers to whom you refer, and where does he live?
A. Peter Fingar, who lives now at Claverack, Columbia County, down on the B+A RR between here and Hudson. I think he corresponded with my husband right along, and he was the one who told me of his death. I never tried to get a divorce from him, and I never got any notice that he had applied for a divorce from me.

When he enlisted we were living in his father's tenement house down at Martindale. He did not leave me any money to pay expenses while he was gone, and he had no property of any kind, my son Sylvanus was only 8 years old and my daughter Emma was only a year and a half old. I told my father I could not stay there and father brought us all up here to Philmont and rented two rooms for us and I went to work in the Mill (shirt + drawers factory). I worked there all of twenty years and raised my children. I used up everything I made during those years to pay expenses, was destitute of clothes and other necessities. My father died in December, 1880, and I worked at the mill at least a year after his death. Yes my father left an estate, and my share of it was a little more than a thousand dollars, and I used it to build this house. I still owe $800 on it to Mr. William Naver of Hudson, and pay 6% interest per annum, payable semiannually. Yes, I have another house, it is the one next door, and was built before this one. My father bought that house and I lived in it and paid him rent for it at first, but finally as he was getting old he gave it to me three or four years before he died. I have no other houses or real estate, and only the household goods in the lower floor of this place. It is hard for me to meet expenses, and taxes are so high it is sometimes pretty scanty living. I have hard work to make ends meet, as I have no money in bank; no stocks, bonds or other investments of any kind.

The rent I receive for these houses is as follows:

Mr. Lockwood 10.00
Mrs. Osborne 8.00
Mrs Gifford (my daughter) 8.00
26.00 per mo
x 12
$312 per annum
My sister pays $1 weekly board 52
Total yearly gross income 364.00
I pay for taxes: Town   23.00
Corporate   21.00
School   8.00
Insurance 3 yrs 51.00
per year 17.00
Interest on mortgage 48.00
Repairs last year 20.00
Total 137.00
Total net income 227.00

I have no other source of income except my daily labor. No one is legally bound to support me

I was married by Rev Himrod who was pastor of the Reformed Church at Mellenville. My sister Gertrude Minkler (now dead), and my sister Jane, now Mrs. Allen Harder, were witnesses. Yes George L. Harder was there too. These and my sister Caroline Clum who lives with me, are the only ones I can think of now who knew me before marriage. I think George A. Lockwood knew my husband and myself before he (Jacob Fingar) enlisted.

Mr Ezra J Beardsley has come to Philmont since my father died. He has known me since that, and all these witnesses can tell you about my property, its value, and what I have to pay for expenses on it.

No, I don't know whether Jacob Fingar was sick, or whether he incurred any wound or disability in the Army. I never heard that he did. I don't remember the date of his death, or what was the cause of death, but I think a statement as to his death was filed in Washington. He died at Syracuse, N.Y., and I did not hear about it until about 6 months later, and then I filed my claim under the Act of June 27, 1890. My husband's brother, Peter Fingar told me of Jacob Fingar's death, and also that he was drawing a pension when he died. Peter Fingar is an insurance agent.

I am the claimant in this case and am interested in its prosecution. This statement has been read to me. I have understood your questions, and my answers are correctly recorded.

/s/ Julia A Fingar

Home     Jacob Fingar