Santa Cruz County History - People

Old Soldiers: Santa Cruz County Civil War Veterans
by Robert L. Nelson


Santa Cruz Sentinel (August 24, 1893)

Headstone of Benjamin Finney
Benjamin Finney
IOOF Cemetery in Santa Cruz

Pension Cut Off
The Information Elder Finney Received From the Pension Bureau

Who will be next? That is the question that is bothering the Santa Cruz pensioners, the boys who fought and suffered for their country. The Grand Army boys can not blame the SENTINEL for bringing about the present condition of uncertainty regarding pensions, for this journal pointed out during the recent national campaign how a change of administration would not do the old soldiers any good.

The reason some of the "boys" are troubled, is owing to the fact that Elder Benjamin Finney has received a notification from the Pension Bureau that from medical evidence on file he (Finney) is not disabled from "earning support by manual labor, under act of June 27th, 1890, from the effects of cicatrix [a scar left by a healed wound] on the chest and left variocele [enlargement of the veins of the spermatic cord, commonly occurring in adolescent males]". In consequence of this he has been notified that his pension of $8 per month will be cut off unless evidence is presented within sixty days showing proof to the contrary.

Elder Finney did garrison duty in Massachusetts during the war. Although he did not go "to the front" he was ready at his country's call. He did not ask for a pension until the law of 1890 was passed, whereby he was entitled to it. For two years and a half he has been drawing his pension, and fourteen months ago asked for an increase to $12 a month, but never heard from the application. The notification referred to above was the only reply he received.

The cutting off of the pension will work a hardship to him, for he is unable to do any manual labor. At present he is employed from time to time in collecting water rates for the city, his pay therefore being very small. He intends to collect evidence to show that he is entitled to a pension.

As yet no other Santa Cruzans have been notified, although it is reported that several have been similarly informed.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (April 13, 1895)

B. Finney has received notice that his pension of $8 has been restored to him. Two years ago it was cut off, but Mr. Finney furnished such evidence that he was entitled to it that the pension department was convinced of the justice of his claim.

Santa Cruz Surf (June 18, 1901)

Rev Benjamin Finney, who for half a century has been an Adventist preacher, died this morning at two o'clock of paralysis of the throat at Monterey where he has resided for several months. He came to California about fifteen years ago from Massachusetts to be pastor of the Advent Christian Church of the Blessed Hope and was for several years its pastor. He also served other advent churches in the state.

He was a firm believer in the doctrines held by his advent body, but was very Catholic in spirit.

He leaves a wife and a daughter, Mrs. Carrie Notely of Monterey.

The funeral will be held at the Advent Church in this city tomorrow afternoon at four o'clock. He was also a veteran of the Civil War; He was 67 years of age and a native of Massachusetts.

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cemeteries, Civil War


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