Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families

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  • ID: I28326
  • Name: Elizabeth KARSCHNER
  • Sex: F
  • Birth: 20 NOV 1842 in PA
  • Burial: Pine Summit Cemetery, Lycoming County, PA
  • Death: 30 DEC 1930 in Lycooming County, PA
  • Name: Elizabeth KARCHNER
  • Note:

    (1) Source: "The Many Branches of the HERBINE Tree," a Family Tree on Ancestry World Tree.

    (2) Frank, Lisa Tendrich, Women in the American Civil War, Volume 2, Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, Inc., pp. 435-436:

    Women were significant beneficiaries of the Federal Civil War pension system, established in 1862. The original intention of Congress was to provide regular payments to disabled Union veterans and to the survivors of men who died in Union service. Under subsequent postwar legislation, eligibility for pensions broadened and the generosity of the system increased to the point that, by the 1890s, over 40 percent of the Federal budget was being spent just on Civil War pensions.

    The bulk of survivors' pensions went to the widows of Union soldiers and sailors. Under the 1862 Act, or General Law, widows could collect $8 per month, paid quarterly, plus an additional $2 per month for each child under sixteen years of age. To be approved for a pension, a widow had to prove that her husband's death was service-related and that she had been legally married to the man in question at the time of his death. Legal marriage could be proven by government records or by the testimony of two people who either witnessed the marriage ceremony or could state the couple lived together as husband and wife. The latter provision was established to assist the widows of common law marriages, ex-slaves, and Native Americans, for whom no record of a ceremony existed. The U.S. Pension Bureau, which administered Federal military pensions, used relevant state law in deciding the legality of marriages, deferring to a long tradition of state primacy in domestic law. Hence, a marriage that was legal in one state could conceivably be judged by Federal bureaucrats not legal in another state, even if the circumstances of the marriage were identical.

    The first significant change in the General Law, specifically pertaining to widows, came in 1882. In a law passed on August 7 of that year, Congress mandated that "the open and notorious adulterous cohabitation of a widow who is a pensioner shall operate to terminate her pension from the commencement of such cohabitation." Evidently, some widows were living out of wedlock to enter into new relationships and keep their pension, which by law would be terminated upon a remarriage. The U.S. Pension Bureau energetically investigated charges of Union widows living in "open and notorious cohabitation." The vigor not only reflected Victorian morality, but also the fact that, through Civil War pensions, the Federal government effectively was standing in for a dead soldier or sailor in supporting his widow, and it expected the same fidelity.

    (3) As the widow of a Union soldier, Daniel STACKHOUSE, Elizabeth (KARSCHNER) STACKHOUSE received a pension of $8 per month, plus an additional $2 per month for their child, Mary Ann STACKHOUSE, who was born on September 8, 1861. Elizabeth's pension was terminated when an investigation by the U.S. Pension Bureau revealed that as of August 23, 1886, Elizabeth had living in open and notorious adulterous cohabitation with George U. HOLDREN for 16 to 18 years, and five children had been born to Elizabeth and George.

    (4) Letter dated August 23, 1886 from C. J. Hill, Special Examiner, to Hon. John C. Black, Commissioner of Pensions:

    Pottsville, Pa. August 23, 1886

    Hon. John C. Black
    Commissioner of Pensions


    I have the honor to return the papers together with my report in Case 76.543, Cert. of Elizabeth Stackhouse, Widow of Daniel Stackhouse late Corporal, Co. I. 18. Pa. Cav., who died in Prison Sept. 4, 1864. The Post Office Address of Pensioner is Pine Summit, Columbia. Co. Pa.

    Before the case came into my hands evidence had been taken showing cohabitation. I found on going into Pensioners immediate neighborhood that it would be difficult to get neighbors to testify against her. They all seem to Sympathize with her. I then called on the Pensioner and Geo. Holdren, the man who lives with her, and stated my business. After some talk they desired to acknowledge the true state of affairs, and avoid further inquiry about the neighborhood. The testimony taken is brief, but covers the points. I am satisfied that Pensioner has never married Holdren.

    It is A Sad case - The Pensioner was a very respectable woman - but was tempted and fell like many another - The Tempter offered then to marry her but her mother opposed it - and they have to all intents and purposes gone on as man and wife, and Pensioner has borne five children, who call Geo. Holdren father, and he acknowledges them as his. The Pensioner informed me between her sobs that Holdren had Said to her that he would Stay with her until the children were large enough to care for themselves, and then he was going west. She felt - and knew - She was doing wrong, and held on to her pension as A means of support in case Holdren left her - I had quite A talk with Pensioner and Holdren together. Holdren was finally broken down completely, and he promised me faithfully that he would right the great wrong - So far as he could by Marrying and Supporting the Pensioner. Only for the new Penna Marriage law, which requires A license and time, I would have Staid and Seen to it that he kept his promise. And because A father to the five nice looking and appearing children that I saw, legally as well as in fact. The Pension laws require the stoppage of This Pension. That much is plain to me. Though I am sorry that it falls to my lot to recommend it.

    Very Respectfully

    C. J. Hill
    Special Examiner


    Elizabeth Stackhouse Karschner Holdren
    Birth: 1842
    Death: 1930

    Born to unknown parents she married George U. Holdren in 1870 and had 5 children: Alnora, Abbie, Lavera, Mary and Murray.

    Family links: Spouses: Daniel Stackhouse (1836 - 1864), George U. Holdren (1846 - 1917); Children: Mary A. Stackhouse McCarty (1861 - 1953), Lyvera Holdren Creveling (1870 - 1948), Fanie Mae Holdren Edwards (1873 - 1955), Alnora Holdren Hileman (1875 - 1934), Murray Holdren (1878 - 1969)

    Burial: Pine Summit Cemetery, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, USA

    Created by: Sue Herbine
    Record added: Mar 16, 2003
    Find A Grave Memorial# 7267939

    Father: Michael KARSCHNER b: 29 JUL 1802 in PA
    Mother: Dorothy A. SIGLER b: 20 NOV 1804 in PA

    Marriage 1 George U. HOLDREN b: 15 DEC 1846 in Lycoming County, PA
      1. Has No Children Alnora HOLDREN b: 11 DEC 1875 in Columbia County, PA
      2. Has No Children Murray H. HOLDREN b: 10 MAR 1878 in Columbia County, PA
      3. Has No Children Fanny May HOLDREN b: JAN 1873 in Columbia County, PA
      4. Has No Children Abigail Victoria HOLDREN b: 3 MAY 1867 in Columbia County, PA
      5. Has No Children Lyvera HOLDREN b: 17 AUG 1870 in Columbia County, PA

      Marriage 2 Daniel STACKHOUSE b: 1836 in PA
      • Married: 30 JAN 1861 in Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lairdsville, Lycoming County, PA
      1. Has No Children Mary Ann STACKHOUSE b: 8 SEP 1861 in Columbia County, PA
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