Albany, N. Y., July 29, 1902
Hon. Commissioner of Pensions
This claim was referred to the S. E. Division for Special Examination to determine legal widowhood, and, incidentally, dependence.
Claimant bears a good reputation for truth and veracity, was served with the usual notice and all her rights and privileges fully explained to her. She desired the examination to proceed at once, waived representation in person or by attorney at the further examination of the claim, was present when the depositions of her son Sylvanus Finger, and her sister Catherine Clum, were taken, and all other depositions have been read to her.
All witnesses bear good reputations for truth and veracity except Eugene Gardiner, whose reputation is excellent, and Peter R. Finger, "Fair." The latter is a veritable Colonel Sellers, but credible parties say they would believe his statements in such a case as the one under consideration, and where no personal interest appeared.
Gertrude Minkler, B.J. 9 & 12, is dead.
From the testimony herewith submitted it appears that soldier never lived with claimant from the date of his muster in as 2d Lieut. of Co. I, 159th N.Y. Inf. His service was short, but little over the 90 days required to give title under Act of June 27, 1890, and his resignation was prompted by "private" reasons. Peter R. Fingar, in deposition K, p.39 of this report, says the soldier was drafted, arrested at Richmond, Mass, taken to Hudson, N.Y., and from there fled to the Canadian border. Careful search of the records should be made to determine whether he was ever mustered into any other service from which he may have deserted.
The only towns shown in the deposition last named above, in which the soldier lived long enough to acquire a legal residence, and where he may have obtained a divorce from claimant, are enumerated below, and I therefore recommend further examination as to legal widowhood, at
While papers are in the hands of the Special Examiner whose territory includes Cayuga and Onondaga Counties, New York, the former consorts Lorana Parks (or Fingar) at Locke, N.Y., and Mrs. Delcena Smith (or Fingar), Maltby (or Maltbie) Street, Syracuse, New York, should be seen and carefully questioned on points touching legal widowhood.