MARSHFIELD, Mo. — The last documented widow of a Civil War soldier passed away at Webco Manor Nursing Home in Marshfield, Missouri, at 101-years-old on Dec. 16.
Helen Viola Jackson was born on August 3, 1919 to James Washington Jackson (1879-1972) and Thursa Arizona Shelby Jackson (1883-1935). She was a part of a family of 10 children outside of Niagua, Missouri.
On September 4, 1936, Helen was married to Private James Bolin, Company F, of the 14th Missouri Calvary. The two married when Helen was 17-years-old and he was 93.
They met when Helen’s father volunteered her to do chores at James’ house on her way home from school each day. James didn’t believe in charity and after some time, he asked for Helen’s hand in marriage so he could provide for her future by leaving her his Union pension.
Helen accepted and James recorded the marriage in his personal Bible.
James passed away in June of 1939. Helen never remarried and never applied for the pension.