GEORGE CAMPBELL MENDEL
About five years before the Civil War, George C. Mendel left Wheeling and lived in Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia. He worked in a bookstore and also taught school. He states in his pension affidavit that "the Secession element became so violent that I returned to my home in West Va. (Wheeling)." In September 1861, he enlisted in the 1st (W)Va. Infantry. He subsequently transferred to Company "K" 2nd Penna. Cavalry and possibly to the 14th New York Infantry (mentioned in his service record but not clear) before returning to the 1st W.Va. Infantry. He was captured by the enemy at Moorefield, W.Va. September 11, 1863 and was exchanged March 14, 1864, after being held captive at Belle Isle Confederate prison.
(Peter) Curren Mendel, brother of George C. Mendel, served in Carlin's Battery "D" of the 1st W.Va. Light Artillery.
George C. Mendel moved frequently during his lifetime and was married twice. His first wife was Louisa Naylor and his second was Eugenie "Jennie" Staples. A great deal of biographical information is contained in the pension records that follow.
Mendel Family Biographies in History of the Upper Ohio Valley
PENSION RECORD, NATIONAL ARCHIVES
State of California
County of Santa Clara
In the matter of George C. Mendel for Pension #274.754.
Personally appeared before me a Notary Public in and for said county and state GEORGE C. MENDEL who being duly sworn according to law says that he is a resident of the county and State aforesaid was late a Pvt. in Co. "B" 1st West Va. Vols. and is now an applicant for pension. That for five years immediately preceding his enlistment he resided in Christian Co. Ky then near McMinnsville Tenn and lastly in Augusta Ga.; at the two former places he taught school and at the latter place, was salesman in a Bookstore. Remained in the last named place until the early part of 1861 when the Secession element became so violent that I returned to my home in West Va. (Wheeling). In Sept of 1861 I enlisted in the 1st West Va Infty; In July 1865 I went to Boonville, Cooper County Mo. and purchased 160 acres of land. I remained in Cooper County Mo. until March 1876 and then went to Roseburg Oregon and remained there until October 1878 and then came to Santa Clara County Cal. near San Jose where I now reside. My occupation while in Mo. was that of a farmer, depending for my income principally on the rent of my land. In Oregon I owned Twelve Cows and sold milk for the support of my family. At present, I am raising poultry and depend upon that for a living. My disease first became clearly marked in the summer of 1863, after my transfer from the 2nd Pa. Cavy to the Regt in which I first enlisted (1st W.V.) a change which was sanctioned by my Officers. My disease was aggravated by a great physical and nervous prostration while in Rebel prison. My condition can be judged of when I state that out of eighty one men belonging to my Regiment captured with me at Moorefield Va. Thirty nine died while in prison, as will be seen by reference to the records. I was captured Sept 11th 1863 and was exchanged March 14th 1864. My name does not appear upon Hospital records for the reason that Dr. Bagley the Regimental Surgeon was not prepared to treat successfully a disease of the optic nerve, in fact, he was no occulist. My first treatment after my discharge from the army was by Dr. A. W. Merril(?) who was my family physician in Boonville Mo.; he is now dead. Was also treated by Dr. Evans of the same place in 1866 also by Dr. J. B. Holman of the same place in 1867. Also by Dr. C. J. Burger of the same place from 1873 to 1876 and lastly by Dr. J. J. Woodruff of Roseburg(?), Oregon as for affidavits presented herewith. I have never had any disease other than the disease of my eyes for which I claim pension. As I regard teaching as my vocation being the one for which I was educated, I consider that I am totally disabled from following my occupation and by reason of said disease, am unable to perform manual labor and have been in this condition since the time of my discharge to the present time. He states as a reason for not applying for a pension until now, he did not think his circumstances would justify the step but having lost all his property and left destitute and unable to earn a living by reason of disease contracted while in the service he holds it is a duty to himself and family to apply for what is honestly due him at the hands of the Government he helped to defend.
George C. Mendel
Charles H. Bryant, Notary Public.
Deposition of George C. Mendel
State of California
County of Santa Clara
San Jose Santa Clara Cal.
Nov 19, 1881
In the matter of my claim for invalid pension No. 274.754 I will say that I certainly have committed an unintentional error in stating that I was in first W Va Inf instead of 2nd Pa Cav, as the records show that I was transfered to Co K 2nd Pa Cavalry in May 1862 it was in that regiment and company that my eyes were first ailing and I believe in the month of August 62. Although as I stated before not seriously until the summer of 63 in the Shenandoah while with Company "B" first WVa Inf I can give the name of no camp or place where I saw any difference in my eyes for the worse or every march when the sun was very hot on the limestone pikes they always troubled me. I believe I stated in my former deposition that I was afraid to have Doctor Bagley 1st W Va Inf surgeon treat my eyes as he was no occulist and I can only say that I never had them treated at all while in the service. I will here mention that I was offered the position of first sergeant of Co K first W Va Inf after my return to that regiment, but was unable to accept it on account of my eyes being too bad to do the Company writing. This statement my old Captain George M White of Wellsburg W Va will substantiate if addressed upon the subject. I believe that the causes I have mentioned to wit -- the hardships of the service added to six months starvation at Belle Isle were sufficient to produce in my case a disease from which I have suffered ever since my discharge. As for additional evidence to show that my disease continued from 64 to 66 the date of Dr. Evans treatment I have furnished that of Mr. A. Naylor one of the best citizens of Boonville, Mo. to the effect that I was almost altogether unable to labor during that time - from 64 to 66. Also the affidavit of Doctor Holman that I wore dark glasses during that time and that he believed that my vision was so bad that I did not always know him when I met him in the road. At this distance of time and place it is next to impossible to find another person who could testify on this point indeed I was traveling around nearly all the time after my discharge until I located in Mo. Aug 65. Mr. Naylor is from the same part of the country that I am and the County Clerk at Boonville Mo has assured you that he is unimpeachable and disinterested witness. I hope you will receive the address of Doctor Gurner at an early day as parties in W Va have been requested to send it you.
George C. Mendel
J. E. Brown, Notary Public
Declaration for a Pension
State of New York
County of Rockland
On this 19th day of January, A.D. one thousand nine hundred and nine personally appeared before me, a Notary Public within and for the county and State aforesaid, George C. Mendel, who, being duly sworn according to law, declares that he is 75 years of age, and a resident of Allendale County of Bergen, State of New Jersey; and that he is the identical person who was enrolled at Wheeling, West Virginia under the name of George C. Mendel, on the 11th day of September, 1861 as a 1st Serg't in Co. B 1st West Virginia Infantry in the service of the United States, in the CIVIL war, and was honorably discharged at Wheeling West Virginia, on the 14th day of November, 1864.
That he also served one year in Co. K 2nd Pennsylvania Cavalry as a private.
That he was not employed in the military or naval or servce of the United States otherwise than as stated above. That his personal description at enlistment was as follows: Height, 5 feet, 11 inches; complexion, LIGHT; color of eyes, GRAY; color of hair, REDDISH; that his occupation was FARMER; that he was born JAN 19th, 1834 at WELLSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA.
That his several places of residence since leaving the service have been as follows: State of Missouri from 1865 to 1876 California and Oregon 1876 to 1885 from 1885 to present time Philadelphia, Brooklyn, England and New Jersey.
That his post office address is Allendale RFD No 2, county of Bergen, State of New Jersey.
George C. Mendel
Department of the Interior
Bureau of Pensions
Washington, D.C., May 28, 1912 George C. Mendel
New City, N.Y.
No. 1. Are you a married man? If so, please state your wife's full name, and her maiden name. Answer: yes. Jennie Mendel. Jennie Staples.
No. 2. When, where and by whom were you married? Answer: 1887. Eureka Cal. by Dr. Bowman 1st Pres Church.
No. 3. What record of marriage exists? Answer: As my marriage Certificate was destroyed during a fire I have sent and procured a copy from the Records at Eureka which I have now.
No. 4. Were you previously married? If so, please state the name of your former wife, the date of the marriage, and the date and place of her death or divorce. If there was more than one previous marriage, let your answer include all former consorts, Answer: Yes. Mrs. Louisa Mendel. Maiden name Louisa Naylor. Died at Sedalia Mo. 1885. Married Boonville, Mo. 1866
No. 5. Have you any children living? If so, please state their names and the dates of their birth. Answer: 2. Mrs. Grace Mills Procker St. Los Angeles Cal. & Florence Mendel (unmarried) former 39 years old and the latter 34.
Where is your pension certificate? In my possession.
Date of reply, May 31st, 1912
George C. Mendel
(Note: Record of the marriage of George C. Mendel and Louise J. Nayler gives date as Jan 3, 1867.)
Death Record Information
State of Tennessee
State Department of Health
Division of Vital Statistics
County - Blount
City - Maryville
File no. 25847
Registered No. 142.
Date of Death - Nov 18, 1926
Cause of Death - Pleurisy resulting from fall.
Information provided by Florence Mendel (daughter):
Date of birth - Jan 19, 1835 (91yrs -10mo - 18da)
Birthplace - Wellsburg, West Va
Name of Father - John Mendel
Birthplace of Father - Wheeling, W.Va.
Name of Mother - Anna Encel
Birthplace of Mother - England
Place of burial or removal - Magnolia, 11/19/1926, Maryville.
Following the death of her father, Florence Mendel gave a deposition in support of a pension claim filed by her step-mother, Jennie Staples Mendel.
Case of Jennie S. Mendel. - No. 1567952
On this 2 day of September, 1927, at New York, county of New York, State of New York before me, William O. Baldwin, an inspector of the Bureau of Pensions, personally appeared FLORENCE MENDEL, 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:
My full name is Florence Mendel. I am 51 years of age and I reside at 640 Madison Avenue, New York City. I am unmarried. I am a Graduate Nurse. (Registered Nurse) My father was the late George Campbell Mendel and my mother was the late Louise Naylor. My parents are dead. My father died at Maryville, Tenn., on November 18, 1926. Mother died at Sedalia, Mo., in November 1884. My mother is buried in the cemetery at Sedalia but really I do not know in what cemetery. (Note: Another document gives the name of Crownhill Cemetery, Sedalia, Mo.)
My father was the last of his family and he has no brothers or sisters living. My father was a soldier in the Civil War. He was born 1n Wheeling, West Virginia, but I do not know the date but I think January 19, 1835. To the best of my knowledge my father lived at Wheeling, West Virginia from the time of his birth until his enlistment in the Army during the Civil War. After the War my father went back to Wheeling where his family all lived and where they were in business and so far as I know he stayed there until he married my mother. I do not know the date that my father and mother were married but it must have been shortly after the Civil War. Of the marriage of my father and mother four children were born all older than I. Two are living. The living ones are my sister Grace, the wife of Charles H. Baldwin, and me. My sister Grace Baldwin, the last time I heard of her, lived in Los Angeles, Calif. That was before the World War. I do not know her address. Her husband has some kind of a store there. My father and mother lived together from the time I can remember them until my mother died. There was never any separation or divorce between them. My first recollection is of San Jose, Calif., and that was when I was a small child. (I was born in Oregon, in Roseburg, near Portland but I do not remember anything about Roseburg for we left there when I was an infant.) From San Jose we went to Los Angeles, Calif., and lived there for some few years and then my mother left my father and several of us children and she went, with my eldest sister, to her home in Sedalia, Mo., and stayed there at her parents home and died there in November 1884.
My father went to Sedalia to attend my mother's funeral and then he returned to California and took me to San Francisco. He took some kind of a position there and I went to Berkeley, Calif., and lived with a Mrs. Lilly, and old friend of the family. I stayed with Mrs. Lilly until until Father married the second time. Father was only a widower for about one year and then he married Jennie Staples. I witnessed the marriage. They were married in Eureka, Calif., but I do not remember the date. I was only 9 or 10 years old at the time. I remember the marriage distinctly. Jennie Staples lived in San Francisco and Father brought her out to Berkeley to see me. That is all I know of her prior to her marriage with my father. She was a divorced woman at the time. I do not recall the name of her husband but I have heard it lots of times. Jennie Staples was not the married name. After she obtained the divorce from her husband she resumed her maiden name of Staples. I always understood that the divorce was granted in San Francisco but I do not know when, but of course it was before she married my father. No children were born of the marriage of my father and Jennie Staples.
I never heard that my father was married before he married my mother and I am sure he never was. I never heard that this claimant had been married but once prior to her marriage with my father. I told you that my sister Grace was the wife of a Mr. Charles Baldwin. I lost sight of the fact that she divorced Baldwin and later married a man named Mills. I do not recall Mills' full name and do not recall what his business is. My sister and I are not on friendly terms and I know very little of her. I have a letter, which I will have to find and that will give me the information concerning her. It has her address and I think Mills name. My impression is that my sister left her husband, Mills, and has taken the name of Baldwin again. The only children she had were born of her marriage with Balke and they are Charles Balke, Herbert and Roy Balke. So far as I know they live in Los Angeles and their mother lives there, too. (Note: Don't know where this Balke came from.)
In Wheeling, West Virginia, any of the old residents should be competent witnesses to testify that my father was not married prior to his marriage with my mother. I do not recall the names of any one for I never lived there. My grandfather was John Mendel and I think he was in the wholesale furniture business, then my father had two brothers, John and Curran and they were well known there. John carried on my grandfather's business after my grandfather's death. The family was well known in Wheeling. I imagine that John left a widow and children at Wheeling and then Curran went to Taylor, Texas, and he was in the Taylor National Bank there until his death. He also left a widow and there are some children there too and these children would know of my father's life. There were four children, two boys and two girls. The boys are Curran, Jr., and Harry, and the girls were Mary and Elizabeth. I know and I know positively that my father did not contract any marriage from the time that my mother died until he married this claimant who was then known as Jennie Staples. I was with this claimant in Maryville, Tenn., from November until January last. She was ill and I left a case upon which I was working and went to her and was with her sometime. I know that she has not contracted any marriage since my father died. She is still known there as my father's widow. I feel satisfied that you can get more information concerning my father's family at Taylor, Texas, than at any where else. My uncle Curran kept in touch with the family and the members of the family who are now in Taylor will know more than anyone else, I am sure. I have the address here of my uncle Curran's daughter, Mary and I will give it to you. Through Mary the other members of the family can be very readily located. Mary's name is Huff. She is the wife of Charles C. Huff, a lawyer, of Dallas, Texas. Her address is 4201 Lakeside, Dallas Texas. Mr. Huff is in the legal department of the M.K. & T.RR at Dallas.
I have read this deposition and it is correct.
Case of Jennie S. Mendel. - No. 1,567,952
On this 13 day of May, 1927, at deponent's home county of Blount, State of Tennessee before me, S. M. Arnell, an inspector of the Bureau of Pensions, personally appeared Mrs. Jennie S. Mendel, 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 72 years old, am a housekeeper, my post office is 148 East High Street, Maryville, Tennessee.
I am the widow of George C. Mendel who was a soldier in the civil war. I do not know the designation of his service. I have his pension certificate which shows that he was pensioned as of Co. K, 2 Pennsylvania Cavalry and Co. K, 1 West Virginia Infantry. That is all I know about his service. He was a first sergeant. I do not know how many times he enlisted. I was just a small girl in France at that time. He was never in the navy. I had two nephews and a brother in the World War, but they were in the French army. They never lived in this country. My nephews were both killed and my brother died while the war was going on. I never drew allottment or other money on account of the service of any one in the World War.
My maiden name was Jennie Staples. My father was James Staples. The maiden name of mother was Catherine Cuergou. I was born in the south of France. I came over to this country when I was fifteen years old. I first secured employment in the home of General John M. Ketcham at New York. General Ketcham was in Congress. They treated me like a daughter. I went with his family to Washington and was at the Arlington Hotel. I remained with General Ketcham's family about two years. After leaving Gen. Ketcham I became governess for the children of Mr. Larned, don't remember his Christian name. He lived on J. street, lived next door to Mr. Babcock who was secretary to President Grant. In the third house from Mr. Larned lived Mr. Belknap, who was in President Grant's cabinet. Mr. Larned had two sons, Willie and Chutau. I remained with the Larned's about two years. I went to California with the family of Mr. Ketcham after the centennial exposition. It was in San Francisco that I met Mr. Mendel, but before meeting him I had married a man by the name of Alexander Corbela. I afterwards found out that Corbela was the maiden name of his mother but that his correct name was Alexander Bordoni. I married him under the name of Corbela. We were married at Los Angeles by a judge but I can't be sure as to his name. One of the witnesses was a Mrs. Wilson, don't know her given name. I was married on December 20th, but I don't remember the year. I know I was just twenty two years old at the time of my marriage to Corbela. He was a bad man and I lived with him very little. I was mistaken in saying that I went to California with General Ketcham's family. I went there with the family of Lawyer William Evans of Washington, went to San Diego. I was with them a considerable time, possibly a year or so. At San Diego I met Corbela. I went to Los Angeles from San Diego, got there on December 19th and married him on December 20th. After that I went to San Francisco, but I can't remember how I got there. I believe I went to San Francisco with Corbela. It was at San Francisco that he and I finally parted. Corbela went off, went to Panama and Arizona and got into trouble, disgraced himself. While he was away I got a divorce from him. We had one boy, only one child, who died when he was two months old. I had two lawyers in getting divorce but don't remember the name of but one of them. One was a Mr. Knox, don't know his first name, who had an office on a short street just off Kearney Street. We did not go to court but went before a commission. They had to advertise for three months, ninety days, after that I was granted a divorce. There were witnesses who went before the lawyers and the commission, but I don't know that there was any trial. I know I did not attend any trial. The lawyers attended to all that. All together it took about six months to secure the divorce. Corbela offered to send me money to put flowers on the grave of our child but my lawyers told me not to accept any money from him. I don't remember what paper the advertisement was carried in. I couldn't read English at that time, but others read it to me. I don't know of anybody who would know of my divorce from Corbela. I had a copy of the divorce, but my home burned about twenty five years ago and the copy of the divorce was destroyed at that time. It had a large red seal on one corner of it. I am told that the records were destroyed during the time of the earth quake at San Francisco. I made the acquaintance of Mr. Mendel before I secured the divorce. I was working at that time at the White House a dry goods store run by a french jewess. I was waiting to get the divorce in order that we might get married. Mr. Mendel was living in Humbolt County California at that time I secured the divorce, was working at a dairy. After I got the divorce I went to Humbolt where we were married the same day I reached there. We lived about Humbolt for a year or two, then went to Texas on a visit for a few months, then went to Las Vegas, New Mexico where Mr. Mendel ran a dairy for three or four years. He then went to Philadelphia and worked for Dr. Chase's Nerve and Blood Food Co. for fourteen or fifteen years in charge of the advertising. He was on the road most of the time while holding that position, went to Europe three or four times, I mean England. I went with him on those trips. After about fifteen years he told Mr. Efer under whom he worked that he wanted to be more at home and gave up his position to go raising chickens up in New York or near there. While raising chickens we lived near New City, about thirty five miles from New York, and Saddle River about eight miles from Spring Valley. I can't be sure whether that is in New York state or in new Jersey. We went to France from up there and remained about two or three years. We returned to America before the United States got into the World War. After getting back we lived for four or five years in Knoxville and then moved to Maryville where we lived about five years. Mr. Mendel died here on November 18, 1926. Mr. Mendel and I were never separated or divorced. We were never apart except when he would be off engaged in his work. I have only been married the two times.
Mr. Mendel came from West Virginia, was born at Wellsburg on January 19, 1835. He was married only twice. His first wife was Louisa Naylor. My record shows that he married her on January 3, 1869, and that she died at Sedalia, Missouri during November of 1886. We were married on February 24, 1887, at Eureka in Humbolt County, California. I do not know any one who knew my husband prior to my becoming acquainted with him except his daughters, Grace Mills who lives in Los Angeles, and Florence Mendel who lives in New York. Grace is married and is a widow, I think. She is keeping house for one of her boys in Los Angeles, I suppose. I don't know her address. She has lived her own life and I have known very little of her. She has two living boys but I don't remember their names. Florence lives at 640 Madison Avenue, New York City, New York. She is a trained nurse and her immediate address can be furnished by Miss Carmody at the address given above. My own daughter could not be better to me than Florence is. She was only about eight years old when I married Mr. Mendel. Both of the daughters would know about the death of their mother. I don't know of any others who would know of her death. Mr. Mendel always told me that he was married only once before he married me. The record that I have was made by Mr. Mendel from memory, his other record having been destroyed in the fire that burned up my copy of the divorce from Corbela. If the record shows that the first wife died only a few months before we were married it is a mistake, for she must have been dead two years at the time of our marriage. I think Florence or Grace will be able to furnish you more information than I can. I can not furnish you the names of any who knew me before I married Mr. Mendel. About two years after our marriage we went to El Paso, Texas and Mr. Mendel worked there in a dairy for about two years. While we were there he worked for a Mr. Collier and Mr. Fugate. I suppose they were partners. It was while there that I last saw Alexander Corbela. he was an Italian, he asked me if I was divorced and I told him I was. He said he would marry me again. I told him that I had a husband. Corbela was an awfully bad man and I was afraid he would do something to injure us but he went off and I never saw him again.
Mr. Kramer of Maryville has been looking after my claim for me. I have no contact with him as to fee. I have no paid him a fee. I do not care to be present at the further examination of my claim and waive further notice. I have no complaint to make as to the manner, conduct or fairness in taking my statement.
Questions understood and answers correctly recorded.
Mrs. Jennie S. Mendel
Jennie Staples Mendel died February 16, 1929.