Genealogy Trails


Surviving "Widows of 1812"
in 1922

Forty-nine widows of soldiers who fought in the War of 1812 are still alive — or were on Memorial day 1922.

This is one of the many astonishing and Interesting facts brought out by examination of the pension rolls. They are very old, these widows, and in the course of human events will not much longer be Uncle Sam's pensioners.

There were 71 in 1920 and 64 in 1921. And now there are 49. The oldest is one hundred and four and the youngest lady sixty two. Three are centenarians; eight are over ninety; 22 are octogenarians.; the remainder, with one exception, are over seventy.

Mrs. Elisabeth Riggles Tyler, 102 South Gary street. Baltimore, Md., is the oldest of this remarkable body of women. She is the widow of Private George W. Tyler of the Maryland militia. in the War of 1812 he was a seaman on one of the ships that participated in the battle of Fort McHenry, which inspired Francis Scott Key to write The Star-Spangled Banner. in the forties and fifties Tyler was the skipper of famous American clipper ships. He died in 1862, the commander of a Union supply ship, having thus served his country in two wars.

The husbands of these "1812 widows" served in the militias of 13 states, as follows:
Connecticut, 1, Georgia, 4; Kentucky, 1; Maryland, 4; Massachusetts, 2; Mississippi, 1; New Jersey, 1; New York, 5; North Carolina, 2; Ohio 2,  South Carolina, 8; Tennessee, 2; Virginia, 15.

One was a midshipman on the U. S. S. Constitution ; one a seaman on the U. S. S. Comet; one a private in the U. S. Artillery; one a seaman on the U.S.S. President; one a private in the Seventh U. S. Infantry. These widows now live in 21 states, 10 of which were not in existence when their husbands fought for the Flag. The "baby" of the number, only sixty-two, and the youngest by 11 years, is Mrs. Arminia I. Anderson of Cedar Grove, Ga., the widow of Musician Robert Anderson of the South Carolina militia.

Several of these "1812 widows" are sprightly old ladles. Mrs. Matilda Showacre of New Market, Md., one hundred and one years, the widow of Private Showacre of the Maryland Militia, reads her Bible and newspaper every day, and goes about the house and climbs stairs with a cane. She has 2 children, 15 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren.

There are 73 veterans of the Mexican war on Uncle Sam's pension rolls. What history these old fighting men have seen! They fought in a war when all the Union stood together, saw or took part in a war when the North and South fought each other, and in two later wars saw a reunited nation again battling under the Stars and Stripes against a foreign foe. Memories  of nearly all this brilliant successes of the Mexican war are recalled by this roll—Vera Crux, Matamoras, Monterey, Palo Alta, Chapultepec, Buena Vista, Cerro Gordo, Contreras, Churubusco. Of these Mexican veterans all are ninety or over, except two, and they are past eighty-nine. The oldest of them, William Repseto of Cross Plains, Tenn., of the Third Tennessee volunteers is nearing his one hundred and second birthday, another has passed his ninety-eighth mile post,, seven have celebrated their ninety-seventh anniversary, five are more than ninety-six, another six are ninety-five, sixteen have seen ninety-four summers come and go, and there are fifteen in the ninety-three year class, seven are more than ninety-two and eight have passed the ninety-first mile- stone. The other five are all nearing the ninety-first mark. These veterans—mores' the pity!— will not be with us long. Already their average age is ninety-three and one- half years—more then 13 years above the average age of the "1812 widows" —which is a little over eighty-five.  Those who have passed the ninety-three and one-half year average are:

Abney, George H., Clay, Miss, 94, South Carolina the Palmetto  Regiment.

Ballard, Thomas B. St. Joseph Ky 94, Fourth Kentucky Volunteers

Burtleson, Augustus C, Muskogee. Okla., 94, Second Illinois Volunteers

Baskett, James P., Onaga, Kan., 97, First Missouri Mounted Volunteers

Benson, William V., Los Angeles, 95, Second Illinois Infantry

Boyd, James F., Dinuba, Cal. 95. First Arkansas Cavalry

Brown, Calvin M, Ins, III., 94, Second Illinois Foot Volunteers

Brown, James N. Concord. N. C, 94, First North Carolina Volunteers

Buckner, William F, Camden, N J, 94 Second Missouri Mounted Volunteers

Chandeur, Urban, San Francisco, 98, Tenth United States Infantry

Choate, Gabriel, Field Creek, Texas, 90, Texas Rangers.

Clark, Amos, Bandera, Texas, 90, Third United States Infantry.

Davis, William K , Admiral, Texas, 94. First Virginia Volunteers

Flowers, Levy, Glencoe, Okla., 96, Second Missouri Mounted Infantry.

Genovely, Alfred, Louisville, Ky., 94, Sixteenth United Slates Infantry.

Gillihan, William W., Blandinsville, III., 95, Gray's Battalion, Arkansas Volunteers

Hardy, John A. Flat Rock, III., 94, Third Ohio Volunteers

Harrod, James, Los Angeles, 94, First United States Artillery.

Jordan, Enoch G., Chapman, Kan., 97, First Louisiana Volunteers

Kirk, Thomas A., Milano, Texas, 96, Texas Mounted Volunteers

McGuire, William, Balton, Ont., 97, New York Volunteers

Madara, Peter B., Reading, Pa., 97, Second Pennsylvania Infantry.

Mitchell, James, Princeton, Ky., 95, Fourth Kentucky Infantry.

Read, John, Perry, Ill 95, Fourteenth United States Infantry.

Repseto, William, Cross Plains, Tenn., 101, Third Tennessee Volunteers.,

Shirk. James W., Vonore, Tenn., 97, Fifth Tennessee Volunteers

Stough, Oliver J. San Diego, Cal., 94, Third Ohio Infantry.

Thompson, Calvin R.. Smithshire, III., 96, Second Indiana Infantry.

Truesdale, Matthew C, Kempner, Texas, 97, First Tennessee Volunteers

Wedig, John. Granite City, III., 97, First United States Dragoons.

Williams, Isaiah H., Jr., Stafford, Kan.. 94, First Iowa Volunteers

Wise, Josephus C, Ladonia, Texas, 94, Third Tennessee Volunteers

Wright, Charles. Ionia. Mo.. 94, First Missouri Mounted Volunteers

These Mexican veterans and their comrades won a war which fixed a boundary of Texas at the Rio Grande and gave us the region now occupied by California, Nevada, most of Arizona New Mexico, Utah and a part of Colorado.


source: The Library of Congress, "The Jasper News" (Jasper, Mo.) 1898-1924, July 20, 1922. Submitted by J. Rice



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