William Brubaker was born in Perry county, Ohio, November 20, 1843. His mother was Sarah Foster, daughter of Benjamin and Margaret "Peggy" Myers Foster. His father was John Brubaker, son of Martin and Nancy Neel Brubaker. William's parents were never married to each other. My grandmother's notes state that two girls were pregnant by John Brubaker, Sarah Foster and Catharine Clum. John chose to marry the one that was "more pregnant" and that was Catharine. In 1849 John and Catharine moved to Huntington County, Indiana. They had eleven more children. Even though William was not mentioned in his father's will of 1879 it is thought that he did have a relationship with some of his half-siblings as he is mentioned in the obituary notices for several of them and those still living when he died are mentioned in his obituary. When he enlisted in the 17th Indiana he used the Brubaker surname; he used that name for the rest of his life.
When William was 5 ½ years old, his mother, Sarah Foster, was married to George Parkison and in 1851 the family moved to Whitley County, Indiana. In the 1850 and 1860 census William was listed in the household of George and Sarah Parkison, under the Parkison surname. In the 1870 census he is listed with them as William Brubaker. George Parkison, in his will dated June 10, 1902 stated "It is my will that said William Brubaker, although he is my step-son only, shall take his equal share as hereinbefore and hereinafter set out, the same as if he were my son by blood." William was also made co-executor of George's estate.
William Brubaker enlisted April 21, 1861 in Company E, 17th Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry, which became known as Wilder's Lightning Brigade after the regiment was mounted in February 1863 and then armed with Spencer repeating-rifles in May 1863. William served three years and two months in the 17th. He took part in all the battles and skirmishes in which the regiment was engaged through October 3, 1863.
One record in his pension file No. 102.087 shows that he was 5 feet 8 ¼ inches tall when he enlisted in 1861 and he had a fair complexion, gray eyes, and brown hair. A surgeon's certificate dated April 17, 1878 shows that he was 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighed 145 pounds and had a dark complexion.
On October 3, 1863 while in the line of duty at Thompsons Cove, Tennessee and engaged with his company in a skirmish with rebel troops he was shot through his right thigh by a musket ball. The next day he was sent to the hospital at McMinville, Tennessee where he remained until January 15, 1864 when he was sent to the hospital at Nashville, Tennessee. He was at Nashville for four days when he went home on furlough with his company. He remained at home until March 20, 1864 when he returned to the field again. He was discharged on June 20, 1864 at Columbia, Tennessee. I would imagine that he went home for further recuperation.
On February 28th 1865 he was "veteranized" and enlisted as a sergeant in Company I, 152nd Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He was again honorably discharged at Charlestown, West Virginia on August 30, 1865.
His injury plagued him the rest of his life. He filed for an "invalid" pension on February 1, 1866 stating "He was and still is unable to perform any manual labor of any consequence. He can do some light work and that is all." and was awarded $4.00 per month with a one-half disability. In March of 1891 he applied for a re-rating of his pension and was awarded $6.00 per month.
The pension act of February 6, 1907 apparently based pensions on age rather than just disability. William reapplied for pension on March 5, 1907 when he was 63 years old, which made him eligible to receive $12.00 per month. Veterans over 70 years of age could receive $15 while those 75 and over could receive $20 per month. He received the increase of $12 per month for the rest of his life.
William died on January 26, 1912 aged 68 years, 2 months and 6 days. His widow, Malissa Joslin Brubaker, immediately applied for pension and was awarded $12.00 per month, which she received until her marriage to Jacob Bower on May 18, 1915. He died on March 22, 1929 and just four days later, Malissa reapplied for a widow's pension based on William's service. Malissa had moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana and was living with her granddaughter Hazlette Brubaker Phend and her husband, Vic Phend at 2221 West Brook Drive. Malissa's application was approved and she received a pension of $40.00 per month until her death on September 30, 1937 at Columbia City.
William Brubaker and Malissa Mariah Joslin, daughter of Lydia Robison and Lysander Price Joslin, were married on April 20, 1871 by A. J. Douglas, Minister of the Gospel. (Just as a side note, six years later, A. J. Douglas would become the father of Lloyd C. Douglas, minister and author.)
Photos: The first two were tintypes and are of William Brubaker and Malissa Joslin Brubaker. They were probably taken about the time of their marriage in 1871. The group photo was probably taken around 1890-1891, shown are William (born 1843), Hale (born 1886), Charles (born 1871), and Malissa (born 1849).
From the 1907 History of Whitley County, Indiana we learn that in 1871, William "purchased one hundred and thirty acres of native forest land, bordering Goose Lake, which now, as a result of his earnest labor and successful management, presents a neat and thrifty appearance, being nicely fenced, well drained and thoroughly equipped with a comfortable and substantial residence, barn and other improvements necessary to render farm life pleasant and profitable. In politics he is a Republican, but refuses to serve in public capacity. Mrs. Brubaker is an active member of the Woman's Relief Corp of Columbia City and also takes an interest in religious matters, being a member of the Baptist church. The family is well known and highly respected, taking an active interest in all social and public enterprises."
Two children were born to William and Malissa: Charles Romain was born August 19, 1871 and married Maud Wise (more on them in the future). Maurice Hale, who was born May 17, 1866 and died December 14, 1910 at New York City while attending the law school of Columbia University.
His obituary, published January 27, 1912 in the Columbia City Post, in part, stated: "William Brubaker, an old veteran and one of the kindliest of men, entered into the long sleep at his home on North Elm street Friday forenoon about ten o'clock. He had been unconscious since Wednesday and his passing was peaceful and quiet. The last illness dates from a week ago Monday, but Mr. Brubaker had been feeling badly for the past six weeks, during which time he had not been off the premises. It was four years ago that his health began to fail, and the sad and untimely death of his son, Hale, which occurred December 14th, 1910, was an affliction which bore heavily upon him and burdened him with grief. Heart trouble and such complications as follow diseases of that organ undermined his strength and when Bright's disease set in his powers of resistance were almost exhausted."
On Saturday, April 28th, William Brubaker, my 2nd great grandfather, was inducted into the "charter class" of the Society of Civil War Families of Indiana, a project sponsored by the Indiana Genealogical Society.