Friday, January 24, 2014

I'll Tell You When I'm Dead

William Smith Telford was my wife's great great grandfather. He was born October 7, 1837 in Ray County, Missouri and died February 3, 1934 in Abilene, Texas.

He enlisted in the 13th Regiment of Texas Volunteers on January 10, 1861 and served until the end of the Civil War.

When he was 92 years old he filed to collect the Texas Civil War Pension he had been entitled to receive thirty one years earlier.

He was a pretty independent guy and farmed up until his mid eighties. He only moved to Abilene when he got too old to run the farm.

He must not have wanted to get tangled up in the State bureaucracy or maybe he didn't need the money until the Depression hit. Whatever the reason, he didn't start receiving the pension until August 1, 1930 and collected it only a few years.

Less than a year after the got the first check, he received this letter from the State.

It was sent to all Civil War Pensioners telling them they could be Fined $100 dollars or Imprisoned for not less than a year, if they died and didn't notify the State.

The State's letter is dated June 1, 1931 but they crossed out the year and put 1932.

Telford wrote them back promptly on June 7, 1932. He had someone else transcribing his thoughts but it has his aged signature, letting them know they would be notified at once if he or his wife died. 

Letter from the State

I can imagine him having a few choice words about the bureaucrats in Austin and this being the reason he never filed for the pension before.

Telford's Response

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