Viney

by Gratia Housler Fox

Chapter One

Louis and his sister were seated in an open buggy [7] .  Viney was a young girl and about 16 and Louis 12 years of age. Viney was slim and dark  with beautiful soft brown eyes and an abundance of dark hair. Her face wore a look of intelligence and quiet humor, most pleasing to look at.  Though not pretty or beautiful, it was one that you would turn to look at a second time.

"Did you have a good time?" asked the boy abruptly. He held in his hand a rope with knots tied at the ends.

"Yes, Louis, but I am glad to get home again. Do you suppose you could get old Kit  to go a little faster?

"Ged dep", called the boy shaking the reins and chirping to the horse which droned on in the way the family horse is very apt to do.

Louis swung the rope slowly back and forth swinging it farther and farther with each motion of his hand. Finally he struck at the horse with the knotted rope. In some way the rope swung around and struck the girl squarely in the eye.

The effect on the horse was what had been wanted but with a cry of pain the girl leaned back in the seat with her hand over her eye.

"Oh, Viney, what have I done?" asked the boy in alarm.

"I don't know," sobbed the girl. "My eye hurts awfully. Let's get home as soon we can."

Louis, pale with fright, turned his attention to driving and they soon drove into the yard of the farm house.

The family rushed out to meet Louis and Viney. They gathered round the buggy with cheerful faces and happy greetings which soon changed to concern when they found what had happened.

"Stand back  all of you and let me carry my little girl into the house."

It was the father [8] who spoke and gently lifting the slight form in his arms, he carried her into the house. He placed her in a chair in front of the big fireplace, for although it was summer the evenings were chilly and a fire was cheering if not exactly necessary. As Viney still sat nursing her eye, the rest of the family [9] one and all proceeded to prepare what each one of them considered the more effective eye wash. Consequently she was surrounded by dishes containing camphor and water, salt, hot water, cold water ...  All were guaranteed to stop any pain and injury of the eye ever heard of.

... time the various remedies were tried with no effect. The weakness caused by any of them wore off after a time and Viney was left, pacing the floor, wringing her hands and trying to forget her misery.

It was long after midnight that sleep came to her relief and then she slept fitfully. When morning dawned it was evident that something must be done immediately. In the family conclave that followed, ways and means were discussed with energy. Long before Viney was awake it had been decided that she must be taken to the city to an eminent oculist [10] located there. Accordingly no time was lost but preparations were in progress when the girl awoke.

After the breakfast, which she could not eat, Viney kissed her family all around and walked out to the buggy. She climbed in. Her father tucked the robe around her carefully and jumped in beside her. Kit started out at her usual slow pace, and Viney's mother called after them to be careful and not to be afraid. ... done that the oculist might think necessary …

The ride to the city was, for the most, a silent one. Neither father nor daughter felt like talking. There was the same fear in both. A fear lest it might mean blindness.  They would feel better after the oculist had given his opinion, but at the same time they were frightened to hear that opinion.

At noon, they stopped by the road side in the shade of a tall wide-spreading maple and tethered the horse. They ate the lunch they had brought with them, giving the horse a chance to rest as well as eat. After waiting for about an hour they started on again, old Kit resuming the journey with a lighter heart which showed in her increased speed.

Everything must come to an end sometime, however, and so they arrived in the city [11] a little after two o'clock. Kit was tied to a post in front of the doctor's office. Livery stables were not so common then as they are today.

Viney and her father went up to the doctor's room. He was busy and it was after three o'clock before he led the girl into his private office where he heard the story of the accident and examined the eye. Presently he sat down in his office chair and leaning back looked reflectively at Viney 's father.

"It's a pretty bad case. Do you live in the city?"

When told how far away they lived he said, "She will have to stay in the city probably for three or four months. If you have no relatives in the city to leave her with she can stay at my house. I know my wife will be pleased to have her and it is very necessary for her to remain. Any other course will probably mean the loss of the sight of that eye, and the other will be impaired [12] ."

And so it was arranged. The doctor wrote his address on a card and giving them oral directions and a note to take to his wife, he dismissed them and turned to other patients who were still waiting.

Getting into the buggy and following their instructions they came at last to a large red brick house set well back from the road in extensive grounds. It was not a mansion, just a large dwelling with an air of refinement and cozy comfort radiating from it.

It was early June and the grounds were beautiful, the lawn smooth as velvet, but they did not pause to take in the beauties surrounding them. They walked up the graveled path between rows of early spring violets to the broad verandah screened from a curious world by climbing roses just ready to burst into bloom. The verandah was furnished with chairs and hammocks and a bird had fearlessly built a nest in the corner of the porch railing.

Niles Michigan

Niles MI Panoramic Map 1868 PF
bird's-eye view of the city of Niles, Michigan originally drawn by A Ruger in 1868

In answer to their summons the door was opened by a colored servant [13] , a man who led them into a large room at the right of the hall. It was the finest room Viney had ever seen, but we will tell more of that later on. After waiting a few minutes the curtain at the door in the farther end of the room was brushed aside and a tall, large stately looking woman dressed in black silk entered the room.

To the surprise of everyone and especially of Viney, it was Viney who spoke first.

"Is this Mrs. West?" At the same time she produced the note the doctor had given her.

"Yes, I am Mrs. West." She smiled, and the look of stateliness was gone.

She looks motherly and good natured and friendly and common and nice and good, thought Viney.  I wonder why ...

[Two pages missing]

Her father said, "Have a good time. Your eyes will get all right in time and then you will come home again. When you went to visit Aunt Julia [14] we didn't know you would be away from home so long. A month at Aunt Julia's and home one night , then two, three or four months here it will be a long time to be away from home. Well, good-bye, Viney"

He kissed her and she went with him to the door. Mrs. West came into the hall as he was leaving to assure him that she would look after Viney as carefully as if she were her own daughter.

Thanking her for her kindness he departed, and Viney, struggling to keep back the tears, followed Mrs. West back into the room which she had just quitted and which was called the living room.

Viney

Chapter  Two

Dr Bonine Residence

Dr. Bonine's Residence, Niles, Mich.
Postmarked 29 Jun 1932

"Take off your hat, dear, and sit down. You can put your hat on the sofa and take it up to your room when you go. I have ordered a light lunch to be served in here. Nothing that will spoil our appetite for supper, just bread, butter and cold meat and cakes and tea."

As she talked she moved about removing the papers and books from a small table. Viney , having first placed her hat on the sofa sat in the comfortable arm chair and watched her hostess at her work. Presently a servant entered carrying a tray on which was arranged the dainty repast. Taking a white linen cloth from the tray Mrs. West spread it on the little table; then the servant set the tray on the table and left the room. Mrs. West arranged the viands [15] and dishes on the table and indicating a straight chair, told Viney to come to lunch. Viney was very hungry and the bread and butter sandwiches with thin slices of cold meat in between were very good. Viney had read of the poor man who ate dinner with the rich man and his laughable blunders, and she was glad to see that this lunch was served as simply as if it had been at home. Perhaps the meat was nicer than she was used to having. The white bread was more plentiful, the dishes it was served on were thinner and prettier than the dishes at home, and the forks and spoons were of silver. Outside of this the process of eating was the same as at home. You took the sandwiches with your fingers and drank you tea out of the cups. The little seed cakes were delicious. When they were through eating Mrs. West said, "I would like to show you around the house and garden, but I suppose you are too tired to go with me."

"Well, then in the first place take a look around this room. It is the living room. Here is where we spend our evenings , and many hours are spent here on Sunday. On rainy days it is the pleasantest room in the house. Woodbridge says this room is home."

Viney had looked around the room many times before, but now she looked again, her eyes taking in all the details of this pleasant room. The walls were wainscoted, and the room was lighted by many windows. She saw the fireplace with shining andirons in the farther end of the room. The door hung with velvet curtains, the book shelves filling the corner from the door opening into the dining room to the window opening onto the lawn at the side of the house. The piano, the sofa, the chairs, the tables, the soft carpets, the many paned windows hung with cream colored silk , the many pictures on the walls all combined to make a harmonious whole. Is there any need to add that this room was a very large one. Mrs. West led the way into the dining room where a beautiful carpet covered the floor. Here again was a fireplace. The dining table covered with a white cloth and the chairs were finer than Viney had ever dreamed of even in her most extravagant moments. The old-fashioned buffet was shining with a splendor of burnished silver and sparkling glass. On the walls were many pictures, and the light that entered this room filtered in through silk hangings.

"That room leads to the kitchen and the servants' rooms. We will not look at them. You will never need to go there, and I am showing you over the house so that you will be able to go around without getting lost."

They went out into the hall and she opened a door under the stairway.

"Here is the place for your cloak, my dear. It will always be handy and you will always know where it is when you want it."

Next came the parlor, richly furnished but lacking the cozy look of the living room.

"This is my husband's own particular room. He is supposed to study here. He seldom enters this room. He prefers the living room. This room belongs to Woodbridge. He has lots of studying to do and he comes here to study on account of it being so quiet, and this corner room is mine. I have furnished it just as I wished. It is a pleasant room in summer. I think you will like it. You may come here whenever you like. Now I will get your hat to take up to your room , and we will go upstairs."

They went slowly up the broad stairway and along the hall to the front of the house. Opening a door on the right, she led the way in to a large bedroom the front window of which looked out on the violet bordered walk. The other window opened on to the side lawn almost obscured by the branches of a huge maple tree which nearly swept the window. The four-poster bed of walnut, the mirror over the dressing table, the chest of drawers, the carpet, and a comfortable chair completed the furnishings of this room with the exception of the muslin curtains at the windows and a picture of Christ blessing little children which hung on the wall at the foot of the bed as if it was intended to be the first thing the eyes would rest on in the morning.

"This is your room, Viney.  I hope you will find it comfortable in every way. If there is anything missing you must let me know. My room is just across the hall from this, so if you should be afraid or get sick and need me in the night you could call me, and now if you are not too tired we will take a look at the garden.'

Together they descended the stairs and passed out of the door opening onto the violet bordered walk. They turned aside and walked across the lawn towards a grove of trees growing so closely together that it was with difficulty that the sunlight penetrated the thick foliage . In the midst of this dense shade a little summer -house or arbor had been built. It was sparsely covered by a running vine.

"The vine didn't grow this summer. It is the result of many years of patient care. When frost comes in the fall the leaves die, but they grow again as soon as spring comes. I got this vine because it would grow in the shade, but it is so shady that it has taken constant care to get it to do as well as it has. This is my favorite nook. How do you like it?"

They were in the summerhouse now and through the door Viney could see the crystal waters of a tiny pool or pond shining through the trees beyond.

"It is very beautiful," she said.

They left the summerhouse and following a narrow path they came to the little pond beyond the grove of trees. Here water-lily pads were floating on top of the cool water. The pond was supplied from a little spring which bubbled up beneath a large stone.

"The spring water used to run away, but one day I thought of making this pond and planting water lilies. I love water lilies. Woodbridge did most of the work on the pond. You see it is quite small. It is an artificial pond."

They passed on to the box-bordered garden.

"Only a few of my flowers are in bloom. Some of them are just up , but I can tell you what they are so you will know how many flowers there are. The pansies are looking beautiful."

Viney saw many flowers, some of them in bloom, some just peeping above the brown earth. No matter what stage of growth they had reached or not reached, Mrs. West could name them all. Verbenas, phlox, larkspur, pinks, marigolds, lavender, sweet alyssum, hollyhocks, bachelor buttons, lilacs, snowballs, and roses. There were, perhaps, more colors and kinds of roses here than many people had ever seen before. The yellow ones came first and included every form and shade of yellow roses known at that time. Next were the white roses, then all shades of pink gradually shading into red of all shades.

"This black rose is the queen of them all. There are nothing but buds now, but you will see it in full bloom. There is nothing richer looking than those full-blown red-black velvet roses," said Mrs. West. "There is my robin," she added quickly, smiling at a bird swinging on a twig of the Queen rose bush and regarding her with saucy bright eyes.

"You had better fly home to your nest in the lilac . It is getting late for you, little fellow."

"I saw a bird in the corner of the porch. He didn't seem to be afraid," said Viney .

"They are not. They built their nest two years ago. At first they seemed afraid, but as we didn't go near them they got over their fear, and now you can look into their nest and see the little mother-bird sitting on her eggs as contented as can be. But come, the dew is falling , and we must go into the house. I mustn't let you catch cold this very first evening of your stay here."

They entered the dining room through the door opening onto the side porch. Viney went on into the living room. A small fire had been kindled in the fireplace, and Viney drew a chair up in the welcome glow. Her eye was paining and she was beginning to feel tired and sleepy.

"Hadn't you better lie down, dear, and rest until supper is ready? We have it at seven, and there is some time yet before it will be ready."

"Thank you, Mrs. West, but I believe I would rather sit here by the fire. It is so cheerful."

Mrs. West busied herself about the room and presently lighted the candles on the mantle shelf and others placed at convenient places about the room. The lighted candles suffused a soft subdued light through the room. There was the sound of footsteps outside, and Mrs. West hastened from the room into the hall. Viney heard the door open and close and then an affectionate greeting which made her wonder. Never since she could remember had there been any affectionate words or fond kisses wasted between her father and mother, and she wondered if the doctor and his wife could still love each other after so many years together. If they did, then other people could, and sitting there she resolved that if she ever did marry, she would try to keep on loving her husband through all the years and try to make him keep on loving her [16] .

But now another step sounded on the porch outside, a quick firm tread. The hall door burst open and a merry voice called out, "Am I very late, Mother? I didn't mean to be. I went riding with Burt to try his new horse. The roads were so good and the horse traveled so well that we went farther than we intended."

"You are not too late for supper. Come, Woodbridge. We have a guest that you must know."

Drawing him into the room she led him to where Viney was waiting, listening, and hearing everything that had passed.

"Viney, this is my son, Woodbridge, and Woodbridge, this is Miss Viney Hastings.

Woodbridge bowed politely, holding out his hand, and Viney, blushing diffidently hesitated a moment and then shyly placed her hand in his. She flinched when his hand closed over her small brown fingers. Woodbridge dropped her hand and Mrs. West , noticing Viney's embarrassment, put her arm around her and led the way to the dining room. While they are being seated at the table we will describe Woodbridge. He was a handsome boy, only nineteen years of age, but his city life and association with young people made him appear like a polished gentleman. Boyish, frank, and gay, he had many friends. His hair was dark, his eyes, dark gray and expressive, his face, long and thin; his firm lips and prominent chin showed strength of character. At table he sat between his father and mother just across from Viney. And Viney, no sooner was she seated at the table than her eyes fell upon a formidable array of forks and spoons beside her plate and little dishes the names of which she knew not, just what she had been dreading from the first, but Viney was intelligent and resourceful. Without appearing to do so, she watched Mrs. West and so kept from making many mistakes.

Once during the meal she gathered up courage to look in the direction of the young man across the table and when her eyes met his squarely, he smiled and said frankly,

"I was just thinking that the name Viney didn't fit you very well. It is rather babyish, don't you think?"

"My real name is Malvina. Viney is just a pet name."

Viney became so confused when he spoke to her that he decided to keep still , and the supper passed off without incident. When they were through, Mrs. West led the way back to the living room. Mr. West took up a paper and began to read. Viney returned to her chair in the corner. Mrs. West went to the piano, and after playing a rippling prelude called on Woodbridge to come and sing. He obeyed with alacrity and sang song after song, his deep mellow baritone voice filling the house with melody.

"Come, Viney, I know you can sing. Tell me what to play for you."

Perhaps Viney would have refused, but she wished to please Mrs. West and mentioned a song quite popular at the time. Mrs. West played it from memory and Viney sang. Her voice at first weak and unsteady gained volume and strength as she proceeded. She had a fine soprano voice, and as she sang she became conscious of the fact that she had never sung so well before. Woodbridge soon joined in the song and Mr. West laid aside his paper to listen. From song to song they went until Viney declared she knew no more. Her diffidence was all gone now. She knew there was something she could do as well as he could. It was ten o'clock when Mrs. West gave her a candle and taking another led the way upstairs. At the top of the stairs Viney paused to look back . She saw Woodbridge standing candle in hand while his father locked the doors and saw that everything was secure for the night. In her own room Viney dropped into a chair and gazed at her reflection in the mirror above her table. Viney, child, I think you will wake up after awhile and find that you have been dreaming.

After preparing for bed she knelt with a prayer of thanksgiving in her heart; then she crept softly into bed and was soon sleeping soundly.

Viney became so confused when he spoke to her that he decided to keep still , and the supper passed off without incident. When they were through, Mrs. West led the way back to the living room. Mr. West took up a paper and began to read. Viney returned to her chair in the corner. Mrs. West went to the piano, and after playing a rippling prelude called on Woodbridge to come and sing. He obeyed with alacrity and sang song after song, his deep mellow baritone voice filling the house with melody.

"Come, Viney, I know you can sing. Tell me what to play for you."

Perhaps Viney would have refused, but she wished to please Mrs. West and mentioned a song quite popular at the time. Mrs. West played it from memory and Viney sang. Her voice at first weak and unsteady gained volume and strength as she proceeded. She had a fine soprano voice, and as she sang she became conscious of the fact that she had never sung so well before. Woodbridge soon joined in the song and Mr. West laid aside his paper to listen. From song to song they went until Viney declared she knew no more. Her diffidence was all gone now. She knew there was something she could do as well as he could. It was ten o'clock when Mrs. West gave her a candle and taking another led the way upstairs. At the top of the stairs Viney paused to look back . She saw Woodbridge standing candle in hand while his father locked the doors and saw that everything was secure for the night. In her own room Viney dropped into a chair and gazed at her reflection in the mirror above her table. Viney, child, I think you will wake up after awhile and find that you have been dreaming.

After preparing for bed she knelt with a prayer of thanksgiving in her heart; then she crept softly into bed and was soon sleeping soundly.

Viney

Chapter Three

It was quite late next morning when Viney awoke. She lay still for a few minutes....

[Rest of the story is missing]

[7] The 1892 Probate Court records for Viney's mother, Amanda Hastings Bowerman, list a buggy in the inventory. Stated value: $1.00.

[8] Viney's father is James Addison Bowerman.

[9] Her family included seven younger siblings at that time.  Another sister was born in 1860,  (Myra) Blanche Bowerman.  Blanche's daughter Gratia wrote this story.

[10] An oculist is the English term for an eye doctor or ophthalmologist.  Oculists were not regulated in the mid 19th century and frequently had no formal medical education. 

[11] This was probably the city of Niles, in Berrien County Michigan.

[12] The doctor may be concerned about sympathetic ophthalmia, whereby an injury in one eye causes the body to reject the cornea or retina of the other eye, causing blindness in both eyes.

[13] The Bonine household is listed on the 1870 and 1880 census as having a servant, who was white. The 1860 census, closer to when this story took place, does not show any live-in servant.

While it was unusual in other parts of  Michigan to have African-American servants,  in both Berrien and Cass counties, where Dr. Bonine and the Bowermans respectively lived, there was a large African-American population. By 1870, the census shows that Berrien County had 596 African-Americans and Cass County had 1690. Livingston County, by comparison, had only 57.

The Bonines in particular were likely to have African American servants because they were Quakers who were very active in the Underground Railroad.

[14] Viney's mother is Amanda Hastings Bowerman, sister to Juliana Hastings Chapman.

[15] Viands an old fashioned term for a very choice or delicious dish.

[16] It would be interesting to know if Gratia was writing this comment about her own parents or about Viney's parents, James Addison and Amanda.

Documents related to Amanda Malvina Bowerman's marriage to Jake Anderson

Marriage record

Jacob A. Anderson & Amanda M. Bowerman. Filed & recorded Aug. 2[5?], 1863. Ira Brownell Clerk State of Michigan County of Cass
I certify that on the 19th day Of May A. D. 1863 at Marcellus in the County of Cass I joined in marriage Jacob A. Anderson of Cass County in the State of Michigan aged 21 years and Amanda Melvina Bowerman of Cass County in the State of Michigan aged 22 years . That the parties did ... solemnly declare that they took each other as husband and wife and that there were present as witnesses Martha Wolfe of Marcellus, Cass County and M Anderson of Marcellus Cass County. Dated at Marcellus 9th day of August A. D. 186[3?]

William L. Wolfe, Justice of the Peace

Viney at 30?
Viney
at 30 years old?

Letter to the Civil War Pension Department regarding Viney's marriage to Jacob M. Anderson:

Jacob M. Anderson of the Township of Boardman in said County and State, who being duly sworn deposes and says that,

I was a private in Co. "A" 19th Mich V.I. in the war of the rebellion, that I am now drawing a pension under Pension Certificate No. 145.141 at the rate of $8 per month, that I married Amanda M. Bowerman at Cass County, on the 17th day of May 1863, that I enlisted in Co. "A" 19th Mich V. I. on the 22nd day of August 1863, and was transferred to the [?] Reserve Corps April 21st 1865 and was discharged from the service on the 9th day of August 1865, by reason of G O. #116;

Jacob Anderson circa 1863
Jacob Anderson circa 1863
enlisted in 19th Michigan Volunteer Infantry

that I returned to my wife at her mother's home in Cass County as soon as I was discharged from the service; that I lived happily with my wife about four months after my arrival at home.

My wife became jealous and commenced to abuse me. I, with my family, moved from Cass County to Fife lake in Grand Traverse County in 1872 and located a homestead and gave my family as good a living as I could;

that about the year 1884, my wife was taken sick and was sick for seven years; that during this time I took the best of care of her and I do not know that I was ever charged with neglect by any of my neighbors;

that by reason of this sickness I lost my farm by foreclosure of mortgage;

that during all this time my wife made home so unpleasant that in 1891 we separated - -my wife was well at this time.

Before the separation took place, my wife and oldest son said to me, "If you can't behave yourself and stop running after other women, there is the hole the carpenter made, you can leave,"

 My son Raleigh saying, "If you don't leave, I will give you a starter." I left my house at the time, before breakfast, and went to the hotel, kept by John Myers for breakfast and remained there two weeks.

I was in James Hamilton's store at about 10 o'clock one day. Mrs. Hamilton said, "Jake, you can't get out of this store until you promise to go back to live with your wife." I told her I would think it over. It was at his store I had always done my trading and my wife had been there the day before and I had reason to believe and did believe that my wife had talked with Mrs. Hamilton of this.

Jacob Anderson

My wife and Mrs. Hamilton were good friends. I concluded to go home, and did go home the next day. When I arrived at home, my wife said, "Well, the old devil has come back."

After a time my son Raleigh came in and I said to him that I could not stay here as she is worse now than ever before, and he set her in a chair, and said to her, "Now, Mother,  you behave yourself and let him alone or I shall not blame him if he goes away and never came back" and I remained at home for years and during this time home was unbearable, and I could not stand it any longer, and in the year 1895, I again left home, separating from my wife.

For about a month before this separation I was compelled to sleep in the barn.

When company was at our home and I was at work in the yard near the house, they would sit to the table and leave me at work, not calling me when meals were ready;

that my wife has often said to me in the presence of other, "I don't care for you, all I want is your pension." which I shall prove by affidavit of other parties;

that I have separated from my wife for the reason that I cannot live in peace with her; that I did live at home until my children were old enough to take care of themselves;

that my youngest son John is 22 years old, that my wife and children are not in destitute circumstances, for that my wife is soon going to the State of Wisconsin on a visit;

that my daughter Vinnie is a school teacher, that my son Raleigh is a lumber inspector, that my son John is in Wisconsin, on a railroad, and received $3.00 per day.

Jacob M. Anderson

Malvina Bowerman Anderson circa 1905
Viney circa 1905

Letter from Viney

Letter to the lawyer handling Viney's mother estate.

September 22, 1892
Traverse County, Michigan
Mr. Bennett,

Dear Sir:
I understand the old home is sold. Now if there is anything for me let me know what the amount and when it will come.

Now for my part don't have a lawsuit, settle the best you can and save cost.
Respt. Yours
Amanda Malvina Anderson
[Viney]
Write me soon.

Other original documents relating to Viney's mother, Amanda M. Hastings Bowerman.

Deposition from Viney's brother-in-law William Goff: 

State of Michigan, County of Cass, In the matter of claim for 1/2 pension - Amanda M. Anderson, wife of Jacob M. Anderson, Co. A 19th Mich Inf. #145141 on the 26th day of June, 1899, personally appeared before me, a notary public in and for the aforesaid County duly authorized to administer oaths,

William Goff, aged 54 years, a resident of Volinia Township in the County of Cass and State of Michigan well know to me to be reputable and entitled to credit, and who, being duly sworn, declared in relation to the aforesaid case as follows:

That he has been intimately acquainted with said claimant Amanda M. Anderson and her husband Jacob M. Anderson for nearly 40 years having lived neighbors to them, both previously to their marriage, and during the early part of their married life.  That he is the brother in law of said claimant, having married claimant's sister. And that to his knowledge said soldier deserted said claimant on or about July 1895.  

That it is  impossible to specify the exact time - as said desertion was gradual.

Furthermore, that to his own knowledge neither said Amanda M. Anderson nor said Jacob M. Anderson had never been married previous to their marriage to each other.  That they lived together husband and wife up to the time of said desertion and that said claimant, Amanda M. Anderson is of good moral character, and in needy circumstances financially and that neither she nor said soldier has ever obtained a divorce and that no application for a divorce is now pending and that claimant is dependent upon her daily labor and relatives for support. 

His post office address is Wakelee, Cass Co. Michigan.  I further declare that I have no interest in said case and am not concerned in its prosecution.  

William H. Goff