Monday, May 10, 2010

Anatomy of a Military Pension File, Part 21

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 with you a few pages at a time.

Page 37: Reimbursement form for medical and funeral costs for Amalia Baerecke (below)
Page 38: Cover of page 37 (no new information)

I call this page "The Cost of Dying in 1912." Sometimes I work so hard at blogging about this file and helping others that I forget the reality of it all: this is how much it cost my great-great-great grandmother to die.

What I learned from this page: 

This page appears to be a government form. Medical, pharmacy and funeral costs match those on previous forms I have shared in this series.

Amalia was receiving $12 a month for her widow's pension.

Reimbursement was to go to Lena Smith (daughter of Amalia). However, I don't understand the two different totals of approval: $173.70 and $36.40. Was Lena asking for the last pension payment ($12 x 3 months = $36), since Amalia died in 1912 but was last paid in 1911? What's the 40 cents? Interest?

Given all the signatures, it looks like reimbursement of these costs was approved. That gives me relief as I think my great-great-great grandparents were pretty broke and didn't have anything to leave to their children.

Coming up, Mr. Smith's reply to the U.S. Government's "Show us the bill" letter discussed in Part 18.

Stay tuned....

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