Sunday, June 05, 2011

the pension rejection is reversed

So finally Cecelia Young got the news from the Department of the Interior. The letter she received included all the info that I've posted here, without such details as William Young's being dissipated or John Pfingstag's sprees. The decision rested on this:
The evidence shows that John A. Pfingstag had a wife living from whom he was not divorced, at the time he married claimant, and under the laws of Pennsylvania he was unable to contract a legal marriage with claimant. His marriage to her was therefore null and void. The mere fact that his former wife had commenced an action in divorce prior to his marriage to claimant, but never prosecuted the same to final judgmenet, and was never granted a decree, did not give him capacity to contract another marriage.

For the reasons above stated the Department is of the opinion that claimant's marriage to Pfingstag was void abinitio, and she, therfore, is, and always has been, the widow of William H. Young, the soldier, and as such is entitled to the pension claimed, if found to be dependent.

The action appealed from is reversed, and you will reopen and readjudicate the claim in accordance with this opinion. The papers are returned herewith.

Very respectfully,

(illegible signature)

Assistant Secretary

And with that Cecelia Young got her pension:

She got $20 a month, later raised to $50 a month.