SPURGEON FAMILY CIVIL WAR PENSIONS
WILLIAM SPURGEON


WILLIAM SPURGIN, Co. A, 27th Missouri Infantry; and Co. B & F, 50th Missouri Infantry; and Co. D, 45th Missouri Infantry.

Declaration for Invalid Pension, dated Jun 1887, William Spurgin, age 49, of the Town of Missoula, County of Missoula, Montana, states he enrolled 13 Jun 1861 in Co. A, 27th MO Vol. Inf. commanded by Capt. Samuel W. McGuire, and was discharged 26 Jan 1862 at St. Louis MO. His personal description is 5 feet 6 inches, light complexion, auburn hair, hazel eyes. While on duty at Tipton MO about 15 Jul 1861, he "had his left arm broken at the elbow, at guard mount, he being orderly sergeant of his company and marching his detail at double time to the parade ground, fell between some logs, thus breaking his arm, and also on the 26th Aug 1861, while on duty at the battle of Lexington Mo, the arm was rebroken in building breastworks, by a fall, while carrying logs and sacks of dirt." He was treated at the hospital in Lexington MO from 26 to 1 Sep 1861 when he was captured. He was paroled 8 Sep 1861 and went home, and was there treated by Dr. Parsons at Brownsville MO until about 1 Oct 1861. He reenlisted in the 45th MO Vol Inf. On 26 Dec 1863 and was discharged at Benton Barracks MO on 26 Aug 1865. He has resided at Brownsville MO and at Missoula MT since the war, his occupation being that of a blacksmith and farmer. Signed, William Spurgin. Witness, Frank A. Schmidt.

Affidavit, 11 Jul 1887, Missoula MT, by William Spurgin, who says that he resided at Brownsville, Saline Co. MO until Apr 1882 when he removed to Missoula MT. He has never suffered from acute disease since the war, and has worked more or less all the time "with my right arm and hand but not with the left in blacksmithing and on a farm." He has never been totally disabled, but does suffer great pain.

Surgeon's statement, 28 Nov 1887, by Richard A. Wells, who examined Spurgin at Missoula, Montana Territory, and found a normal pulse rate and respiration, height 5 feet 6 inches, weight 138 pounds, a man 50 years of age, but could find no trace of a fracture after some 25 years since Spurgin's service. He says there is a sense of numbness about the hand, but Spurgin has no difficulty in flexing and extending the forearm. He says there very well may have been injury, very probably incurred in the service, but he could neither prove or disprove with physical evidence that Spurgin now suffers pain.

Affidavit, by John A. Spurgin, late a Private in Co. A, 27th Regt., Missouri Volunteers, now of Sweet Springs, Saline Co. MO, states that he saw William Spurgin's injury to the arm, and says he had no use of it for about two months afterward.

Affidavit, by Solomon Spurgin, a resident of Sweet Springs, Saline Co. MO, who states that "I was in the service with Wm. Spurgin and belonged to the same company with him and I know that said soldier had his left arm hurt while in service and at the battle of Lexington Mo." Solomon thinks that William is justly entitled to a pension.

Handwritten letter, dated 29 Apr 1892, at Sweet Springs MO, from Solomon Spurgin, who states that he was at home on furlough when Wm Spurgin was crippled with his arm.

Handwritten letter, 14 Feb 1896, by Wm. Spurgin, who says, "I will try and state as fully as possible the reason that it is impossible for me to furnish an eye witness in my call at the time my arm was broken. My regiment was ---?-- and the detachment that I was with were ordered on a fwd march to Jefferson City Mo. It was at the time of Prices last raid in Mo and while in this march at a town called Tipton the accident occured. The officer in command of my detachment was 2nd Lieut. Thos. Keeton who is now dead. He was with me when my arm was set at Jefferson City and one comrade Ranes Wheeler and the man that set my arm his name I can't tell. Wheeler is also dead."

Affidavit on Origin of Disability, by Charles C. Collins, of Burden, Cowley Co. KS, late a Private in Co. A, 27th MO Volunteers, states that he saw the accident occur "with my own eyes and helped to take care of him". He further states in a second affidavit that he had become acquainted with the claiment in 1859. "William Spurgen was a messmate of mine untill capture."

Deposition, by Geo. W. Reed, age 53, of Elk City, Montgomery Co. KS, on 12 Jul 1898, that he heard that Spurgin's arm was broke while he was shoeing a mule. He said that reading Spurgin's version of how he broke the arm did not refresh his memory any. "The claimaint and I are brothers in law, he married my sister, but I have no interest in his claim for pension and my answers to your questions are correctly recorded in this deposition."

Deposition, 6 & 7 Sep 1897, by William Spurgin, is fifteen pages long. Here are some of the genealogical valid portions: "I am 59 years of age. Am a rancher living 4 miles S.W. of Missoula Mont. my P.O. address." "I enlisted in Co. A, 27th Mo. Mtd. Infantry at Dunksburg Mo. I lived near Dunksburg in Pettis Co., but the point of enlistment was in Johnson Co. And it was June 14, 1861. I served in that Co. Regt. Until Jany. 27, 1862, when I was discharged at St. Louis, Mo., and back home to Pettis Co. Mo. I again enlisted in Co. D, 45th Mo. Inf. in Jany. 1865 and remained in that regt. until it was consolidated with the 50th Mo. Inf., and I went into Co. B, said regt." "I was born in Davidson Co. NC and went with my people to Mo. in 1844 and settled in Henry Co. for one year. Then went to Pettis Co. and settled on the Blackwater River near the town of Dunksburg and also near Brownsville, Saline Co. Mo. We lived about half way between the two places. I was raised on the farm until I was 18 years old when I learned the blacksmith trade with Jno. G. Ridge at Dover, LaFayette Co. Mo. I worked with him for two years, when I went to work for a firm in Georgetown, Mo., of Ellis, Ferrington & Bridges. They are general blacksmiths & manufacturers, and I worked with them 3 years. After that I went back to near my people on the Blackwater river and started a shop of my own doing general blacksmithing -- shoeing horses and all kinds of work. I learned all kinds of blacksmithing to start with. I ran a shop at home about 18 mos., then ---- up & went to Texas in 1858 for a trip. I went in Company with three others and we were gone 5 months when I reopened my shop at home and was working there when the war broke out." "Our neighbors on the Blackwater river were Drayton Winstone, Wm. F. McGuire, Andrew Adams, Calib Puckett, James Teague, Aaron LaRue, Jno. Forbes, Saml. Tilford, Hugh Kelley, Thos. Shipley and Ryland Tuck, and M.J. Winstone. Wm. F. McGuire & M.J. Winstone were in my company - Co. A, 27 Mo. Mtd. Inf. I was not examined at first enlistment, none of the company were examined. Our neighborhood was evenly divided between the Union and Confederate forces and many of the neighbors above named went in the Confederate service. I had 3 brothers in the same Co., Jno. A., Solomon and Joseph B. Jno. lives at Sweet Springs, Saline Co. Mo., formerly known as Brownsville, and Solomon lives at same place. Joseph is dead." William Spurgin then goes into an extremely detailed account of how he got his injury, the first aid he used to treat it, who was there, his time in the hospital, and what happened during the duration of his service. "After discharge from service in Aug 1865, I lived right on Blackwater at Sweet Springs, Saline Co. Mo. until I came here in 1882. I carried on a blacksmith shop in Mo. all those years. Suram [?] Bros. - Wm. & Alexander were partners of mine from 1877. Before that Isaac Stafford was my partner & he did the hard work." At one point, the examiner questioned him as to the names of the men who went to Texas with him. Spurgin answered "James Ramey, Jno. Carson, and Jesse Hurd. I don't know where any of them are. They are from Georgetown, Pettis Co. Mo." Later in the document, he adds: "I first married to Mary J. Glass March 28, 1861 & she died in Jany. 1866. Then I married Orlena C. Reed a maiden woman and she died Aug. 29, 1883. Then I married my present wife Ruhama P. Roper, a single woman, Jany. 26, 1884, and we have lived together ever since. I have two children both of age. I have no children by last marriage."

Deposition, 11 Oct 1897, by Charles C. Collins. In this they ask questions relating to William Spurgin's statement of events, and Collins supplies about the same answers as Spurgin in great detail about how the fall between the logs occurred. This is also at least five pages. They grilled him!

Deposition, 31 Mar 1898, by David Bell, age 68 in June, formerly a blacksmith, P.O. Longwood, Pettis Co. MO, who adds: "I will further state that Mr. Collins is liable to state most any thing -- I used to regard him as very unreliable -- and a shirk & a liar. I don't recall that Spurgin carried his arm in a sling. I am inclined to assist all worthy claimants -- But I can't help Spurgin, for I do not recall the injury to his arm. I am not related nor interested."

Depositions, by William Spurgin, age 75, farmer, of Sweet Springs, Saline Co. MO, taken 16 Mar 1898, and John A. Spurgin, age 63, farmer, of Sweet Springs, restate their stories. William says he saw his brother with his arm in a sling, but he never told him how he broke it; John said again that a mule threw him.

Surgeon's Certificate, 20 Jan 1904, Missoula MT, gives William Spurgeon's birthplace as Salem NC, age 65 years, height 5-6, weight 135 pounds, etc. This surgeon states that the grasping of the left hand is diminished by about one half, and the left arm is two inches shorter than the right. His permanent disabilities are injury to the arm, impaired vision, loss of smell, and generally debility. He says this warrants a rate of $12.00 per month.

Letter, dated 13 May 1913, from Warrensburg MO, from "Mary Joy" addressed to "My Dear Minnie", states that "I can't send the record but the old bible I have is one that grandpa or grandma gave Willie when she married Joe Bright and after her death Aunt Allie gave it to me it only has one back and all torn apart so there is no records of any kind in it I don't know who got them there was none in it when Aunt Allie gave it to me," etc. The letter tells that Jewel likes the west and "is farming at home. He and his Papa will have 70 acres of corn. Our wheat looks fine will have plenty of fruit." "Minnie I have your Mothers rolling pin and if I ever have a chance will send it to you." "Sol's girls might know about grandpas Bible it might be a good idea to write to them."

Letter, dated 2 May 1913, from "Josie" states that the Bible was badly torn up when Aunt Ally Spurgin gave it to Mary Joy.

Letter, Sweet Springs MO, from "Sitton Sistern" [?] also expresses regret that they do not have a Bible.

Slip of paper, with pension office stamp 23 May 1913, says "born Aug. The 18th, 1838" - but no name.

Letter, 19 May 1913, Missoula MT, from Wm. Spurgin, states that this slip with the date Aug. 18, 1838, is his birthdate, which was copied by his sister Josie from the Bible at some point in the past, and was recopied into his own family Bible, purchased in 1867.

Pension form, 29 Mar 1915, William Spurgin, states that he was born 18 Aug 1838 in Davidson Co NC, and that he was married to Ruhammah Pandora Raper on 27 Jan 1884 at Sweet Springs Mo. by Rev. Martin; that he was married previously to Nannie J. Glass on 28 Mar 1861 at Oak Grove, Pettis Co. MO by E.H. Birchfield, and she died 20 Jan 1866; that he married Orleana C. Reed at Brownsville, MO, on 2 Feb 1868, and she died 29 Aug 1883 at Sweet Springs MO. William Spurgin lists the following children: James W., b. 13 Jul 1864, dead; Verdie, b. 27 Dec 1868, living; Reedie, b. 15 Apr 1871, dead; Minnie, b. 29 Jan 1873, living; Willie, b. 5 Dec 1876, dead; Charlie, b. 17 Sep 1878, dead; and Infant, b. 15 Jun 1882, died 16 Jun 1882.

Declaration for Pension, 5 Dec 1923, by William Spurgin, age 85 years, now of the Soldier's Home, in Los Angeles Co., CA, states that he is practically blind in the right eye; his left ear is deaf; he had rheumatism throughout the body, especially in the knees; he walks with difficulty; his kidneys, stomach, and bowels are "seriously out of order". He has required the attendance of another person since 1 Jan 1921.

Application for Reimbursement, filed 31 Dec 1934, by Minnie Spurgin, age 61, of Brentwood Heights, Los Angeles Co. CA, for expenses incurred in the last sickness and burial of William Spurgin, who died 24 Dec 1934 at 5:30 AM, and was buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery in California on 26 Dec 1934. His pension certificate number was 1034429. He was married three times, to Nannie Glass who died about 1863, to Catherine Reed, who died 29 Aug 1883, and to Ruhammah Roper, who died 18 Mar 1932 in MO.

Death Certificate, William Spurgin, residence 1020 Granville Ave., Los Angeles (West) CA, b. 18 Aug 1838 at Abbott Creek, NC; father Isaiah Spurgin, born Abbott Creek; mother Mary Davis, born Abbott Creek; had lived in California 11 years; had retired from farming in 1923, having worked 60 years in this capacity; died 24 Dec 1934, of Arterio Sclerosis, with senility listed as a contributory cause; burial at Inglewood Cem. on 26 Dec 1934; Price-Daniel Funeral Home, West Los Angeles CA. Informant was Minnie Spurgin, 1020 Granville Ave., West Los Angeles CA.


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