1841 - 1919 (78 years)
||FRANKLIN, Reuben Benjamin |
||1 Jul 1841
||near South Bolivar, NY, in Pennsylvania
||29 Dec 1919
||Roddy-Benjestorf Family Tree
||23 Jun 2014 |
||FRANKLIN, Charles [R?], b. Abt 1805, Roxbury, Litchfield, Connecticut , d. Abt 1848 (Age ~ 43 years) |
||DROCK, Susan(nah) A., b. 1806, Goshen, Cheshire, New Hampshire , d. 1883, Allentown, Alma, Allegany, NY (Age 77 years) |
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
||BOWEN, (A)Della Louisa, b. 2 Jul 1841, Grove Township, Allegheny County, N.Y. , d. 28 May 1922, Portland, Multnomah, Oregon (Age 80 years)  |
||12 Feb 1865
||Washington , D.C.
| ||1. FRANKLIN, Benjamin Emory, b. 5 Dec 1866, Scio, Allegany, New York , d. Oregon ??? |
| ||2. FRANKLIN, Lillian Luella, b. 23 Jan 1870, Port Huron, Michigan , d. 4 Apr 1902, Vancouver, Clark, Washington, USA (Age 32 years)|
| ||3. FRANKLIN, Lewis Adelbert, b. 18 May 1872, Scio, Allegheny County, New York, USA , d. 13 Jun 1917, Woodland, Cowlitz, Washington, USA (Age 45 years)|
| ||4. FRANKLIN, Eola Adelle "Oat", b. 3 Jan 1876, Olean Township, Cattaraugus, New York , d. 22 Jul 1948, Saginaw, Lane, Oregon (Age 72 years)|
| ||5. FRANKLIN, Grace Francelia, b. 23 Jan 1880, St. Paul, Nebraska , d. 7 Mar 1974, Portland, Oregon (Age 94 years)|
| ||6. FRANKLIN, Blanche May, b. 27 Jan 1883, St. Paul, Howard, Nebraska , d. 15 Jul 1963, Creswell, Lane, Oregon, USA (Age 80 years)|
| ||7. FRANKLIN, Nita Elizabeth, b. 17 Jun 1886, Farm near Ainsworth, Nebraska , d. 21 Jul 1985, Grants Pass, Oregon (Age 99 years)|
||23 Jun 2014 |
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
||1-1. The Curious Case of Della & Reuben|
25 April 1921 - Portland, Oregon:
Milford M. Brower, a Special Examiner for the Bureau of Pensions, looked at the petite, frail, old lady seated across from him. She was less than 5 feet tall and, he estimated, weighed considerably less than 100 pounds. With her hair pulled back in a severe bun she looked even older than her 79 years. He mentally reviewed the highlights of her case.
Her husband had died shortly after Christmas, 1919 … the 29th of December, 1919 to be exact. She had applied for a widow’s pension on 18 February, 1920 (her husband had been receiving $46 a month disability pension from wounds received during the Civil War).
As the case is investigated, details of the 50 year plus relationship unfold, as well as Reuben's experiences in the Civil War.
[Della Franklin Depositions; discharge & pension papers; Numerous US Censuses, New York Censuses & 1885 Nebraska Census; Death Certificate; land records in Allegany County, NY & Brown & Howard Counties, NE; Pension & Military records, National Archives]
Reuben Benjamin Franklin
1 July, 1841 ~ 29 December, 1919
Reuben was born near the tiny farming community of South Bolivar, Allegany County, New York, probably across the state line in Potter County, Pennsylvania. His motherâ€™s maiden name was Susan Drock and his father was Charles Franklin. The Franklinâ€™s may have lived just across the border in Pennsylvania, because Reubenâ€™s birth place is frequently listed as Pennsylvania.
Reuben lived with his half sister, Mary C. Churchill [or Churkin] [Clemens] in Caneadea, Allegany County, New York, in 1850 (perhaps after his father had died and his mother remarried ?). In 1855 he was back with his mother , Susan Drock, and her third husband, Charles Thompson and his younger brother, Jeremiah Buell Franklin, still in Caneadea. In 1860 the family was living in Wirt, also in Allegany County. Reuben married Henrietta McGee in 1860 or 61 while again living with his half sister. They continued to live "..more or less.." with Mary until he joined the Army (7 Oct 1861) for the Civil War.
Henrietta continued to live with Mary after Reuben joined the Army until some time after their son, Charles Avery Franklin was born. [The 1865 NY State Census still shows her as part of Charles Thompson's household in June, 1865. The household also included Reubenâ€˜s mother, Susan (Drock) Thompson, his half sister Mary (Churchill~Churkin) Clemens, and her daughter, Eva O. Clemens, his half sister Esther (Churchill~Churkin) Aust (Ost) and her husband Jacob and their son Wilmot, his brother Buel and his wife Maria (Cleaver), his brother Charles, and Reuben & Henriettaâ€™s son, Charles Avery Franklin. Reuben himself was shown as a member of the household but still in the army].
Reuben enlisted in Company "H" of the 76th NY Infantry Regiment in October, 1861. His Company was transported to Cortland, NY, where the Company Commander had a personality conflict with a higher
officer. He requested his Company be transferred to the 93rd NY Volunteers which it was and it was re-designated Company E, 93rd Regiment of New York Volunteers. Reuben suffered a gunshot wound in his left arm at The Battle of the Wilderness on 5 May 1864. He was discharged from the Army on 19 Dec 1864 at Columbian Hospital, Washington, D.C., "..by reason of Surgeon's Certificate of Disability>
After his discharge (?) he worked as "..lieutenant of the guard over the horses.." at Giesboro (?). He met Della Louisa Bowen [Hollis] there, and they claimed to have been married by a Justice of the Peace on 12 February, 1865 in Washington, DC.
Presumably, sometime before their return to Allegany County at the end of the summer, 1865, Henrietta left Reuben or was told to leave. She apparently left her son, Charles Avery with Mary Clemens or Susan Thompson.
After leaving Washington, Reuben and Della lived with Mary Clemens for a while, then made a series of moves to Michigan, back to New York, then to Michigan again, then to St. Paul, Howard, Nebraska, where he purchased a small farm lot NNE of town. He sold that lot on **** and moved his family to Ainsworth, Brown, Nebraska where he took out a homestead on the NE 1/4 of Section 27, Township 30, Range 21. He received a patent on the homestead on 28 June, 1888. Reuben took out several mortgages on his land starting in August, 1883, shortly after he moved onto the homestead. Most of these mortgages were for a short term and were paid off on time, including one for $500, one for $900 and one for $800. It appears that he was borrowing money from one lender to pay off the mortgage that was due to another lender. The last mortgage was to the Union Trust Company for $120 on 11 October, 1886. In September of 1889 he was shown as in arrears on the mortgage, and the property was sold at a sherrif's auction by sherrif W. Magill on 30 December, 1890. The farm was sold to the mortgage holder, Union Trust Company, for $180.37.
The homestead property is now owned by *** who purchased it from his in-laws, the Weyer's. The north end of the property is presently being leased to a gravel company and gravel is being quarried directly under the surface. The land was probably never very good farmland.
Around 1892 [obituary] Reuben and his family moved to Oregon City, Oregon, where they lived for a few years before moving to Portland. Della stated that Reuben tried to buy land in Oregon City, and was cheated out of $800. Reuben must have made a conscious decision to abandon the homestead in Brown county, since he apparently had more than enough money to pay off the mortgage. They stayed in Portland only a short time before moving to Woodland, Washington where they lived for several years. Apparently Reuben became a carpenter after moving from Nebraska.
Although Della never mentioned living in Tillamook, Oregon, the family was living there next door to their daughter , Grace [Fay], and her family at the time of the 1910 census. Adelbert & Aunt Dot were also living with them, but Uncle Ben was not.
About a year before his death Reuben and Della, along with their spinster daughter, Nita E. Franklin (Aunt Dot) moved back to Portland.[Obituary].
Some time in late 1918 or early 1919 Reuben suffered a severe stroke which left him paralyzed (Apoplectic paralysis). Around Christmas time, 1919, he developed Broncho Pneumonia and died around 7 AM on the morning of 29 December, 1919, while under the care of Dr. G.E. Christmas at his home in Portland, Oregon.
Reuben was buried at the IOOF Cemetery in Woodland, Washington, on 2 January, 1920. The Grand Army of the Republic provided a grave marker (?).
In addition to Charles Avery Franklin, Reuben had at least seven other Children; Benjamin Emory , Lillian Luella, Lewis Adelbert, Eola Adelle, Grace Francelia, Blanche May, and Nita Elizabeth Franklin. There is also a record in the Woodland cemetery for a baby Franklin with information concerning date or parentage. This was probably not Della & Reubenâ€™s child because of age considerations. Alice has speculated that the child may have been Aunt Dot's and born "out of wedlock".
[Depositions of Della Franklin, et al. 1921-22] [Reuben Franklin Discharge papers] [Various New York & Federal Censuses] [Reuben B. Franklin Death Certificate] [Oral tradition] [Woodland, Washington cemetery records].
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