Transcribed by Laurie Birks Dean for Linda Cunningham Fluharty.

Department of the Interior
Washington, Mar. 9, 1914

Docket No. 143,345
Act of April 19, 1908
Claim No. 994,137
Margaret J., as widow of
Patrick V. Justus,
Private, Co. B, 1st W. Va. Cav.

On appeal from the Commissioner of Pensions.

     Application was filed in this case October 1, 1912, under the Act of April 19, 1908, claim being rejected July 24, 1913, on the ground that the claimant was not the widow of the soldier in question. An appeal was entered October 29, 1913. A special examination held in this case developed the following facts:      Claimant asserted that she married the soldier at West Alexander, Washington County, Pennsylvania, July 27, 1865, and that the ceremony was performed by the Rev. Stevenson at his house, said minister being a pastor of the United Presbyterian Church. She states that no witnesses were present and that it was virtually a runaway match. She further states that they lived together as man and wife until 1880 or 1881 when they separated and she did not know much about his subsequent movements save that she saw him once or twice after that time.
     She further states that no divorce was ever attempted or obtained by either party, and that she positively had never remarried. As to the soldier, she had no reason whatever to believe that he had ever married any one after their separation.
     As to all of these statements she was thoroughly cross-examined and insisted that her testimony was true in every respect.
     Suspicions were aroused by testimony given by other parties, as well as municipal records, the latter showing that this claimant married Henry S. Brown, at the city of Pittsburg, Pa., August 20, 1885, the ceremony being performed by B. McKenna, an alderman. The record further shows that the soldier married on Sue Norton, June 9, 1890, the ceremony taking place in Gallia County, Ohio.
     Claimant was interviewed again and asked concerning Henry S. Brown, and she admitted that she had known such a party many years ago, but that he was merely an acquaintance of a short time, and that he afterward went West and South and she had no further knowledge of him.
     She was closely questioned along this line and reiterated her former statements.
     When confronted with the record admitted that she married Henry S. Brown at Pittsburg, Pa., August 20, 1885, further stating that the marriage was a fake and that Brown lived only five weeks, dying at his mother's home in Connecticut. The record showed that she married Brown under the name of King, and she admitted that this was her maiden name. She denied all knowledge of the soldier's marriage to Sue Morton and made a very poor explanation of the fact that the soldier died in 1903, while she did not file her application for pension until October 1, 1912.
     It further appears by the evidence that no witnesses were present at her supposed marriage with the soldier.
     The Rev. Mr. Stevenson's daughter is still living and she has advised the bureau to the effect that her father's book of marriages is still extant, and that there is no entry in it of any marriage between the interested parties, covering a period from 1860 to 1865, inclusive.
     This claimant relies upon a ceremonial marriage said to have been performed at a certain time and place, and it is true, so far as the department can discover, that no marriage license was necessary in Pennsylvania in 1865. Nevertheless it is quite apparent that she has not proved any ceremonial marriage between herself and the soldier, and also that all the facts surrounding her case tend strongly to prove that no ceremonial marriage ever did take place between herself and the soldier.
     She was ceremonially married to Henry S. Brown in 1885, and the soldier was married to Sue Morton in 1890, and the claimant admits her ceremonial marriage with Brown. Furthermore, the family circular signed by the soldier is to the effect that his wife's maiden name was Sue Morton, and that he had never been previously married.
     There is much more evidence in this case, but enough has already been said to demonstrate that the claimant has utterly failed to show that the soldier in question was ever her husband, and consequently she cannot be considered his widow.
     No error being found in the application complained of it is Affirmed.

Lewis C. Lylin
Assistant Secretary.

Certified Copy of Marriage Record

City of Pittsburgh,
Department of Public Safety,
Bureau of Health,
Divison of Vital Statistics.

1. Full name of husband, Henry S. Brown
2. His occupation, Gentleman
3. Residence, Connecticut
4. Birthplace, Connecticut
5. Age when married, 49 years
6. Full name of wife previous to marriage, Margaurite J. King
7. Her residence, Washington County, Pa.
8. Birthplace, Washington County, Pa.
9. Age when married, 37 years
10. Date of the marriage, Aug. 20th, 1885
11. Place where married, 7th Ave. Hotel
12. Color of the parties, White
13. Ceremony employed, Civil
14. Name of person performing ceremony, B. M. Kenna, alderman
15. His residence, 817 Penn Avenue, 4th Ward
16. Date of Return, Oct. 1, 1885

Pittsburgh, Pa., June 13th, 1912
I hereby certify, that the foregoing is a correct copy of the record of the marriage between Henry S. Brown and Margaurite J. King as recorded in "Marriage Register," Vol, 13 page 400, in said Bureau as required by Act of Assembly, approved June 26th, 1875

Jas. H. Harkins
Clerk Bureau of Health.

Certified Copy of Marriage Record

Probate Court, Gallia County, Ohio.

Van. B. Justus} Marriage License.
Sue Morton} Issued June 5, 1890

I hereby certify that on the 9 day of June, 1890 by virtue of License issued by the Judge of the Probate Court of said County, I joined in marriage, Van. B. Justus and Sue Morton.

Given under my hand this 5 day of July in the year 1890. P. Henry, M. G.

Filed and recorded this 5 day of July, 1890.
John J. Thomas
Probate Judge

The State of Ohio, Gallia County, ss.}
     I, Morris Tipton, Probate Judge within and for said County, hereby certify the foregoing to be a full and complete transcript from the record of Marriages, Vol. 7, Page 38, required by the Laws of Ohio to be kept in the Probate Court of said County.

Witness my signature and the seal of said Court, at Gallipolis, O. this 14 day of June, 1913.

Morris Tipson
Probate Court of Gallia County, Ohio.

Deposition A
Case of Margaret J. Justus, No. 994,137

     On this 9th day of June, 1913, at Hollidays Cove, County of Hancock, State of West Virginia, before me, George M. Beckett a special examiner of the Bureau of Pensions, personally appeared Margaret J. Justus, who, being by me first duly sworn to answer truly all interrogatories propounded to her during this special examination of aforesaid claim for pension, deposes and says: I am 65 years of age; my post-office address is Steubenville, Jefferson Co., Ohio, general delivery. I reside with my son-in-law and daughter, Joseph and Lenore Snyder in the village of Hollidays Cove, Hancock Co., W. Va., but we get our mail still at Steubenville, Ohio. I am an invalid. I am an applicant for pension as the widow of Patrick Van Buren Justus who was usually called "Van" Justice, who served in Co. B, I think, and in the 1st W. Va. Cavalry. He had no other army service and no service in the navy or marine corps to my knowledge. He was pensioned under the '90 law. He wouldn't apply before then. I first knew soldier at West Alexander, Pa., while he was at home on furlough and in 1864, and on July 27th following (1865) and after he was discharged from the army, we were married in West Alexander, Washington Co., Pennsylvania by Reb. Stevenson in U. P. Church, but no license was there required.

(pages missing)

     I loan you a photo of him taken along about the time we married. I wish the photograph returned. We had 3 children born to us, Arthur, Lenore, and Ernest. Ernest is 35 years old. Arthur went away when 16 years old from Wellsville, Ohio, and we have never heard of him since we were all living there then. He, Arthur, was born at Wellsville. As previously stated, my husband & I married at West Alexander, Pa., July 27, 1865, but no one was present to witness our marriage that I know of. No, I have no knowledge that my husband had been previously married before I married him.
     As stated above, we spent the first year of our married life at Portmouth, Ohio. Then we moved to Wellsville, Ohio, when Arthur was born in 1867, and we stayed there for a while, then at Bellaire, for a time, then back to Wellsville, & until after Arthur left at 16 years of age. Then we moved to Warrentin, Jefferson Co., Ohio, when my husband ran away.

Margaret J. (X) Justus

Jos. Snyder
Lenore Snyder

Wheeling, W. Va.
June 20, 1913
Hon. Commissioner of Pensions
Washington, D. C.

     I have the honor to return, with my report therein, pension claim, w.o. 944,137, of Margaret J. Justus, as widow of Patrick V. B. Justus, late of Co. B, 1"W. Va. Vol. Cavy., whose residence and postal address is Steubenville, Jefferson Co., Ohio.
     The claim was rec'd. in the S. E. Div., Jan. 16, 1913, to determine legal widowhood, that is, date and fact of contracting of all marriages by claimant and soldier, dissolution of ? marriage, also when, where and under what circumstances they ceased to live together, various places of residence of each thereafter, and whether either secured a divorce.
     Soldier died Jan. 28, 1903, and claimant though alleging to have been an invalid for years did not file claim until Oct. 1", 1912, and therein alleged that they married in West Alexander, Pa., July 27, 1865; that neither she or soldier were previously married;....

(several pages missing)

he; and I was not disappointed. In fact I doubt if I would have learned of the Pittsburg marriage had it not been for him. In the claimant's statement indicates, in fact shows, that she denied such a marriage until confronted with the fact that said marriage is of records at the Bureau of Health in Pittsburg, Pa.
     I searched the marriage records of Jefferson, Meigs (while at Pomeroy on other business) and Gallia Cos., Ohio, and Brooke, Ohio and Marshall Cos., W. Va.., and failed to find record of claimant having married in any one of those counties either as Margaret, Margaret J., or Jane King or Justus, nor of soldier having married, either as Patrick or Van, or Van. B., Justus, except to Sue Morton at Gallipolis, Ohio, in 1890, a copy of which is made a post of this report.
     And I also searched the records containing record of divorce matters in the above named counties, and failed to find record of any divorce such having been filed by either the claimant or soldier.
     I failed to find any one about Gallipolis who knew anything about Sue Morton in the long past, nor of late years under the name of Morton, Justus or any other name. And no one there seemed to know anything definite about Justus himself.
     It is likely that soldier and the woman "Sue Morton" lived together at Huntington, Cabel Co., W. Va., where I learn here that Justus was employed at some car works, but owing to claimant's remarriage to Brown upon deserting her husband, I recommend that the claim be referred to the Chief of the Board of Review for consideraton.

Very respectfully,
George M. Beckett
Special Examiner