Monday, December 3, 2012

Final residence of Thomas D Hoskins

The Final Residence of Thomas D. Hoskins


Thomas D. Hoskins, a veteran of the Civil War who served in the Iowa 32nd Volunteers, applied for admittance to this beautiful Veteran’s Home in Burkett (Grand Island), Nebraska, in December of 1895. He was a widower.  His wife, Samantha Wilson Hoskins, had passed away some 20 years earlier. His application was approved in early January and he was admitted to the home at the age of 63 on January 24, 1896. His residence was listed as Lakeside, Nebraska, on the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home paperwork.  At the time he was admitted his government pension was $10 per month. His pension certificate is #493,935 (in case anyone would like to research the Washington DC Civil War records.)

Although this grand building is no longer standing, the Nebraska Soldiers and Sailors Home was dedicated in June of 1888.  The building consisted of 3 stories above ground and a stone basement.  A high stairway of stone led to the main entrance.  Broad hallways ran through the center from one end to the other on each floor.  The lower or basement story contained a storeroom, dining room, smoking room and an extensive kitchen.  On the second floor were the headquarters, commandant’s consultation room, large library, parlors, and dining rooms.  The third and fourth floors were used for sleeping rooms.  A number of cottages were built around the grounds and were assigned to the married couples mainly.  The power house and laundry, stables and numerous other buildings were scattered about the grounds.  Farming operations were carried on upon the 640-acre tract.  Very good crops were raised and the produce formed a valuable addition to the larder and assets of the Home.

Thomas appears on the 1900 census records for the Soldiers and Sailors home which shows his birth date as Feb, 1832, and his age as 68 years old.  This census shows his birthplace as Ohio, his father’s birthplace as Kentucky and his mother’s birthplace as Virginia.  Previous census records show different birthplaces for his mother and father so this information may not be factual.

While living in this home, he met a Mrs. Emma Norris Usher who was also living at the home and the two of them were married. She had served in the Civil War (or it could have been her previous husband who served – the form is not clear) enlisted in the 151st Pennsylvania Volunteers.  Emma’s profession was listed as a nurse – so it is possible that she may have been enlisted.

Thomas passed away on August 21, 1909 at the age of 77.  His death certificate lists the cause as old age/exhaustion.  The informant on the death certificate was his second wife Emma Hoskins, and she didn’t know his birthplace, birthdate, Father’s name or Mother’s name.  He is buried in the Veterans Home Cemetery in row 10, space 50.

The following obituaries were published:

From the Grand Island Daily Independent August 25, 1909.

The remains of Thomas Haskins, aged 77 years, were brought to this city yesterday from Council Bluffs to be interred at the Soldiers’ Home cemetery.  Mr Haskins passed away there from old age and exhaustion while on a furlough from the Home here.  He was well known at the Soldier’s Home and for a while resided in this city, on South Sycamore street.


From the Nonpareil Council Bluffs, Iowa, August 22, 1909:

Thomas Hoskins, aged 77 years, died of old age and paralysis at the home of C. F. Norris, 104 South Fourth street, Saturday afternoon at 5 o’clock.

Mr. and Mrs. Hoskins came from Grand Island, Neb., July 14 to visit Mr. Norris, who is a son of Mrs. Hoskins by a former marriage, and Mr. Hoskins’s daughter, Mrs. Anna Thompson of south Omaha.  While at Mr. Norris’s home Mr. Hoskins had a stroke of paralysis, July 24, and fell from the steps, receiving injuries from which he could not recover.

The deceased leaves a wife and three children, all of whom are of age.  The children are Mrs. Laura Thompson, Amelia, Ia; Mrs Anna Thompson, South Omaha; Thomas Hoskins, Jr., Douds, Ia.; and Wilson Hoskins, Idaho.

It has not yet been decided whether the body will be taken to Nebraska and no funeral arrangements have been made.


The second obituary has many errors.  First it says he left 3 children and then it names 4. In actuality Thomas Israel Hoskins, Sarah Elizabeth Hoskins Thompson, Laura Belle Hoskins Pierce Dickinson, James Wilson Hoskins, Anna Martha Hoskins Thompson and Mae Hoskins Ott, a total of six children, all survived him.  It lists Laura as having the last name of Thompson when her last name was Dickinson at that time.   Sarah’s last name was Thompson, but she lived in Amelia, Nebraska, not Amelia, Iowa.



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