The following information was extracted from various papers in the pension file for Stewart Slavens of Camden county, Missouri.
Stewart (also know as Steward Slavens), a son of Henry and Elizabeth (Houchin) Slavens, enlisted in Company B of the Osage County Home Guard, serving under Capt. Hurst, from July 12, 1861, through December 20, 1861. According to the pension claims, he died February 17, 1870, from "camp diarrhea" (chronic diarrhea) contracted while in the Home Guard. This death date appears at least half a dozen times through the file, on papers filed between 1890 and 1912. However, on his headstone at Conway Cemetery in Camden County, Missouri, the date of death is listed as March (or May) 17, 1870.
Stewart's widow, Dicy A. Waimac (positive spelling of her surname is unknown) remarried after his death, and was apparently widowed again as she filed a claim for Stewart's service in 1890. However, her claim was denied for the inability to provide proof of his service, and that the cause of his death was related to his service.
In 1908, according to the papers filed, Dicy became the guardian of the claim of Stewart's children who were under 16 at the time of his death. While it seems odd that a claim for minor children could be filed when those children were in their late 30's to over 50, it wasn't dismissed out of hand so it must have had some merit. Dicy also refiled a widow's pension claim, and both were declined for the same reasons as the one 18 years before.
However, these claims give us names and birthdates for six of Stewart and Dicy's children:
John F. Slavens, February 13, 1856
Hiram L. Slavens, November 5, 1859 (died October 5, 1883, according to one paper)
Armilda J. Slavens, July 9, 1861
Martha E. Slavens, October 23, 1864 (not listed on the widow's pension in 1890 or 1908)
Jedion O. Slavens, June 5, 1866 (also spelled Gediar)
Willis M. Slavens, December 29, 1868
Josephine R.A. Slavens, April 29, 1870
The paperwork also lists her marriage to Stewart Slavens as March 10, 1855, at Shelbyville, Shelby County, Illinois, and her remarriage date as October 13, 1877. The only place in the paperwork that her maiden is listed, it's listed as Whitlock.
In 1890, Dicy and children were living in Eldraig and 1908 in Ira, both in Laclede County, Missouri.
In support of the 1908 claims, Benjamin and James Perry swore that they were acquainted with Stewart and that he died of what was known at the time as camp diarrhea. They also stated that the doctors who had waited on Stewart were dead.
In the file are handwritten letters from John F. Slavens, written in 1908, asking for blanks to file a widow's pension and a minor children's pension claim and submitting the forms a couple months later. He stated that Dicy's original pension request and other paperwork was lost in a fire, but that they had Stewart's discharge papers. Also in the file is a copy of a letter from the pension office to the Hon. Thomas L. Rubey giving the date and reason for the rejection of the 1908 application, so apparently a family member went to their Congressman for assistance. In 1914 Charles A. Kincaid Sr. of the Osage Iron Works wrote a letter to the pension department on John Slavens's behalf, stating that Dicy "is now old and feeble and has nearly lost her mind and is in a pitiful condition." He states that her early pension was never properly attended to as her attorney had died. The response stated the same old thing, and either Dicy passed on or the family gave up, as no additional applications were on file.
Copyright © 2007 Larry Slavens. All rights reserved.