Abraham Tower After the Civil War
Covering the Years 1865 to 1930 of Abe Tower's Life
I'm researching my great-great grandfather's life and documenting what I find here. Abraham Bates Tower survived the notorious Civil War prison, Andersonville, and returned to Indiana. He lived a long life despite the damage to his health from starvation and disease in Andersonville.
Eventually, I hope to write a book about the life of this remarkable, yet very ordinary man. For the moment, I want to share what I'm finding about his life.
Poor Health Plagued Abraham after the War
August 1, 1868 - He Filed for an Invalid Pension
The claim says that he is unable to work in warm weather. "He contracted a disease while in Andersonville Prison in Georgia. It causes blotches on his chest and his bowels are inflamed and itching. This reappears whenever he is the least heated, so can only work when the weather is very cold.
He experiences a choking sensation in the throat and loss of voice, followed by being sick at the stomach. Long under a surgeons care but gets no better." (C.D. Price and W.D. Crandall, Jr. res. of Brookfield, MO)
I Found Abraham Tower in the 1870 Census - They were in Jefferson Township (Linn County, near or in LaClede, Missouri)
He is listed as age 32 with the occupation of farmer and his wife Nancy, age 30, listed her occupation as "Keeping House." The value of their personal estate was estimated at $1,100. There was no value in the column of Value of Real Estate, so I assume they did not own land.
Abe and Nancy are listed as born in Indiana, as are the two older children, Laura - age 10 and Erastus - age 8. They are marked as attending school within the year. The two younger children, Mary - age 4 and Sarah - age 2, were born in Missouri and were not attending school.
This is three years before the birth of my great-grandmother, Viola Matilda Tower (later McGhee).
It gives Laclede as the nearest post office.
Nancy Angeline Long - Abraham Tower's Wife
Abraham Bates, son of Jonathan Warren and Sarah V. (Monroe) Tower,
married Nancy Angeline Long Oct. 28, 1858.
She was born in Harrison Co., Ind., May 2, 1840, and was the daughter of Thomas and Nancy Ana (Daggs) Long.
(from Tower Genealogy book)
When Abraham was missing and presumed dead during the Civil War, she took their two young children and moved from Indiana to Missouri where her sister lived. Abraham arrived in LaClede, Linn County, Missouri in September 1865 after being mustered out of the infantry.
Their Cabin in Harrison, Arkansas
They Moved to Arkansas in May 1874
According to his pension applications
His great-grandson took the above photo years later. It shows the place that Abraham's son, Reuben Tower, called the homeplace. It was located on Gaither Mountain in Harrison, Arkansas.
He said Abraham had liked the land in Arkansas when he was there during the war. The state offered land to veterans.
The cabin has since fallen down.
In 1888, they returned to Arkansas
This information was in Abraham's pension file.
They Moved Back to Indiana
Where Abraham grew up
According to his pension paperwork, the family moved from Arkansas to Leavenworth, Dubios County, Indiana. That puzzles me a little, because Leavenworth was in Crawford County.
(photo of a historic cabin in Southern Indiana, taken by my husband - this is not Abraham's home, but may be similar)
In 1900 the Family Lived in Taney County, Missouri, in Big Creek Township
The census shows 68-year-old Abraham and wife Nancy. Also listed nearby was his son William Tower and family. A little further down the list is daughter Malissie and her husband Henry Fiscus and children.
Tyro Main Street Looking East
Abraham Bates Tower in the 1920 Census
In Montgomery County, Kansas (at this point, he's living with his daughter Matilda and her husband, Samuel McGhee) Abraham's wife, Nancy died after a stroke.
Name: Abraham Tower
Residence: Montgomery, Kansas
Estimated Birth Year: 1838 (family records give 1837 as the birth year)
Relationship to Head of Household: Father-in-law
Other Members of the Household
Household - Gender - Age
Samuel N Mcghee M 44y
Matilda Mcghee F 46y (A.B. Tower's daughter)
Roy B Mcghee M 19y
Bertha Mcghee F 16 y
Lelan Mcghee M 15 y
Loren Mcghee M 12 y
Elmer Mcghee M 9 y10m
Austin Mcghee M 7 y6m
Ethel Mcghee F 4 y11m
Abraham Tower M 82y
Leland Henderson M 18 y
Marital Status: Widowed
Father's Birthplace: New York
Mother's Birthplace: Virginia
More about the Life of Abraham Bates Tower
Zazzle graphic showing Napoleon Cannon Vicksburg Postcards by Soulshine51
- Abraham Bates Tower - Civil War Veteran
He fought for the Union in the Civil War, was captured at the Battle of Brice's Crossroads and survived the horrible conditions of Andersonville Prison.
- Descendants of Abraham Tower
Meet Abraham Bates Tower's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
- Bertha McGhee - Missionary from Kansas
Bertha was Abraham Tower's granddaughter. He lived with her family in his old age in Tyro, Kansas. This page is about her life.
- Bertha McGhee at the Navajo Indian School
Abraham Tower's granddaughter's first missionary assignment was an Indian school in New Mexico in 1929.
Abraham's Old Age
He went to live with his daughter, Viola Matilda, called Tildy. She was married to Samuel Newton McGhee and they added two rooms to their house in Tyro, Kansas to hold their many children and have space too for Abraham.
Abraham would spend part of each year with his children in Oklahoma and Texas also.
The photo below shows the McGhee home in Tyro, Kansas where Abraham Tower lived in his old age. Son-in-law Sam McGhee stands in front with his son.
Sam McGhee Home in Tyro, Kansas
- From Melbourn, Arkansas to Tyro, Kansas
from Melbourn, Arkansas to Tyro, Kansas - Writer: Gail Lee Martin. Person: Bertha McGhee & family. Location: Tyro Kansas USA. Year: 1900.
Abraham Bates Tower's Grave
in Robbins Cemetery, Montgomery County, Kansas
The stone shows 1831 as his date of birth, but my mother's genealogy research shows 1837.
Photo from Find-A-Grave.
© 2011 Virginia Allain