Mary filed for a Civil War pension as a helpless child. The
following is from her pension file.
On this 23rd day of May, 1930, at Burnsville County of
Tishomingo, State of Mississippi before me, Chester D.
Bennett , a field representative of the Bureau of Pensions,
personally appeared Mary Blakeney , 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 about 75 years of age, I reckon, I am not sure and
cannot say exactly. P. 0. address Route 1, Burnsville,
Miss. I do not have any occupation, as I am unable to work.
My health is not very good. I am always hurting, my back
and side. I remember that I was always told that I was born
August 12, but do not know what year. I have lived in and
around Burnsville all my life with the exception of 2 years
I lived in Hickory Plain, Arkansas, in 1920 and 1921. I
never attended school on account of my eyes. I would look
at the letters and they would all jumble together,I could
not tell one from the other. I can not get around very
well. My hands are all right but my feet are not, My feet
have been in this condition for 7 or 8 years. My eyes al-
ways have such a fever in them that my lashes scald and
come out. They have been this way ever since I can
remember. I can remember back to the time when I was 8
years old. I cannot read or write due to the fact that I
could not attend school on account of my eyes. I can see
out of my right eye better than I can out of my left. I
have never been able to see anything out of my left eye. (
At this point claimant was requested to cover right eye,
which she did. She unable to count my fingers or even tell
what object I was holding before her.CDB) I can see a
little better out of my right eye. ( at this point claimant
was tested as to vision of right eye. (She was unable to
count my fingers at a distance of 4 feet. She called, the
number but called it wrong. She said. my fountain pen
looked black but she did not know what it was at the same
distance.CDB) I have never had a full set of eye lashes
since I can remember and the few that I do have grow in or
drop out. The ones that grow in I have to pull out, the
result being that I do not have any at all.
Q. Why did you wait so long before filing your claim for
A. I tried to get a pension right after I got my first
pension of $111.00. Mr. Formby, J.P. tried to help me. He
did not live very long after he wrote the first letter. I
tried to get others to help me and when I would ask them
about it, they would say, "Well I wrote a letter but I have
not heard anything". This was true of every one I asked to
help me. Mr. E. D. Blakeney helped me this time. He is a
cousin of mine. He came here to see me and said. "You are
entitled to a pension, why don't you apply for it?"
Q. Do you remember your condition at 16 years of age?
A. Yes, My eyes were in bad condition then but of course
they are worse now. I was living with my grandmother then
and was not able to make a living for myself. I have never
worked for wages. I have never made any money by my labor.
Q. Who has taken care of you for the last 58 years?
A. My relatives, my grandmother first, Winnie Blakeney;
then with my uncle, W.B. George the rest of the time, with
the exception of the 2 years spent in Arkansas,I lived
there with my cousin
Onnie D. George.
Q. Do you know what brought on this condition of the eyes?
A. I do not know but was told by my grandmother that I had
sore eyes when I was about a year old and never recovered.
My grandmother also told me that I lived in Illinois when I
was an infant.
I have heard read this my deposition. It is correct.
Mary Blakeney (her mark)
Witnesses Sadie George Chester D, Bennett
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 23rd day of May
1930, and I certify that contents were fully made known to
deponent before signing.
Chester D. Bennett Field Representative1
- Benjamin Blakeney Pension File