Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Anatomy of a Military Pension File, Part 3

Previously, I reported on the acquisition of my great-great-great grandfather's military pension file. The documents contained within paint a picture of a man and his family about which I knew very little. I've decided to share this 103-page treasure chest of information with you a few pages at a time.

Page 7 - Articles of Agreement

This page is the main portion of a contract for legal representation in the process of applying for a military pension. The attorneys were "Jas. H. Vermilya & Co." of Washington D.C. In the small print, it lists a fee of twenty-five dollars, which "shall not be demanded by, or payable to my said Attorneys...except in case of the granting of my pension by the Commissioner of Pensions."

The first half of the document has signatures of the notary who acted as a witness, Chas. Griedrich, another witness and Max Baerecke, pension applicant. His location is Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. The paper says he was a private in the 15th Regiment of the U.S. Infnatry Vols., in the O. War.

Max's signed portion of the document is dated 1 October 1885. He must have signed it and returned it because the attorney's signed portion is dated 7 October 1885.

What did I learn from this page?

1. I learned the address of Max Baerecke in 1885. He lived on 5th Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A Google street view of the address shows an industrial area in the same location today.

2. I learned his role in the "O. War." In other documents, it appears that stands for "Old War" and implies Civil War. However, Max was in the 15th Regiment of the U.S. Infantry in the Mexican War. He had a different role in the Civil War. Perhaps they're calling the Mexican War the "O. War." Otherwise, this is an error.

3. I learned that Chas. Griedrich was a witness for Max. Was he a friend? A relative? Just some dude in the pension office? More investigation is needed.

Page 8 - Fee Agreement Cover Page
This is the front page of the pension application contract. It lists Max's name and a declaration of filing for an invalid pension. There is also a "notice to claimant" regarding fees (not to exceed $25) and the statute laid out by the U.S. Government.

Page 9 - Handwritten copy of page 7
This is a handwritten duplicate of page 7. No Xerox machines back then.

Page 10 - Copy of page 8

Page 11 - Articles of Agreement
This page is the same form as page 7, but it is dated later (25 Feb 1887) and has slightly different information. Max is listed as a member of the 15th Regiment of the U.S. Infantry in the "Mex War." This is correct. Perhaps page 7 was incorrect and they had to resubmit this form later.

The witnesses on this document are R. Pfeil and F. J. Gressing. More names for me to investigate.

Page 12 - Fee Agreement Cover Page
Information is similar to that on page 8.

Coming up... a "Survivor's Brief" with good information. Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. The street numbers were renumbered in Milwaukee in the 1930's, so if you google an old address keep this in mind.