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last widow of civil war

The Last Widow of the Civil War

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We have just recently lost the last widow of the Civil War. Can you imagine that a lady whose husband fought in battles for the Union Army died on December 16, 2020?

We have just recently lost the last widow of the Civil War. Can you imagine that a lady whose husband fought in battles for the Union Army died on December 16, 2020?

That’s right. Helen Viola Jackson was married to James Bolin, who had served the 14th Missouri Cavalry. This last civil war widow was 101 and married Mr. Bolin in 1936 when she was 17 and he was 93.

I think that is called a January December Marriage.

At the service, the minister expressed concern that at that advanced age, marital relations could be harmful, or even fatal.

His response was reported to be “If it kills her, it kills her.”

Well, I made that last part up. but the first part of this story is true.

Reportedly Ms. Jackson became the last widow of the civil war as the neighbor and caretaker of Mr. Bolin.  The marriage was not consummated, she didn’t report the wedding to her family, and she never lived with her husband. It may have been intended to allow her the widow’s pension during those depression days, but she never claimed it.

Still, the far reach into the past for this story is astounding. For a widow from the Civil War to be alive last month stretches not just the years but my imagination as well.

I wonder if she had an estate plan? There would be little excuse for running out of time.