Sunday, May 15, 2011


Photo by The National Guard

Stop the presses!  Step back, take a deep breath, and CONCENTRATE.  New information may have just surfaced.  My mind is reeling!

Emery Waller may have spent the the last years of his life and died in Kansas.


When I received his pension records, I thumbed through it fairly quickly and thought that I may not learn anything new.  There are pages and pages of information about his disability - diarrhea and piles caused by eating green corn.  While I feel terrible that my 3rd great grandfather, Emery Waller, had to endure such pain, I was a little disappointed that I didn't find any mention of his wife, children, parents, or anything.  So I set the records aside until the next day.

24 hours later, I started reading a little more carefully.  There were requests to increase the pension (from $7.50 per month to $20 per month!), examination reports by physicians, statements from friends confirming that Emery served in the Civil War, etc.  Each statement said pretty much the same thing.  Blah, blah, blah.  And then, I spotted it - KANSAS.  What?  Emery was in Kansas?  I've always believed that Emery spent the end of his life in DeWitt County, Illinois and, most likely, died there.  But here he was in Ness County, Kansas all the way up to 1889!

I decided to google Emery Waller, Ness County and here's what I found from the Society of Ness City, Part I - Handbook of Ness Co., KS 1887
Col. Emery L. WALLER, who commanded the 4th Ohio Infantry in the Mexican War, and held a command in the western army in the late war for the Union, and whose associations with Generals Grant,, Shields, Logan, and others lend interest to his military life, has recently settled here for the improvement of his broken health and fortune, and pronounces the climate the finest and most healthful of any he has ever known.  Col. Waller has led an eventful life, rich in experience of many countries and is a brave, genial, sociable and entertaining gentlemen, whose opinions are worthy of the highest regard.  He has resided here since 1884, and believes in a grand future for this region.
So how 'bout that????

Now since Emery was born in 1813, serving in the Mexican War seems logical since he would have been about 33-35 during the war.  And since he enlisted as a First Lieutenant, and later as a Captain, during the Civil War, that makes sense.  And I know his health was poor in the 1880's because I read about it in his pension records.  Did he have experiences in other countries?  I don't know.  And what about living in Kansas in 1884?  I do know he was born in Ohio so it also makes sense that he served in an Ohio regiment in the Mexican War.

As I go through his pension records, I find him in McPherson county in 1882, 1883, 1884......and by 1886 he's in Ness County.  The last record I have for him in Ness County, Kansas was 2 Aug 1888.  Could he have died there?  But then I found him later in Franklin County 18 April, 1889.  Did he die there?

Early on in my research I made a note that his death date was 21 Dec 1890.  Sadly, even though the super smart Kerry Scott told me to cite stuff, I didn't do it and now I don't know where or how I came up with that date.  But if his last medical examination was in 1889, it is entirely possible that he died in 1890 in - gasp! - Kansas. 

So now I'm on a quest to find Kansas death records from 1889 and beyond.  And Mexican War records for the 4th Ohio Infantry.  But so far, I'm hitting a brick wall.  Any suggestions?

1 comment:

  1. I just KNEW there was going to be something good in that file!

    I have zero Kansas experience, but I'm going to tweet this and hope that somebody with mad Kansas skills can help.