Last Civil War Widow Dies

The last Civil War widow only recently died.

In 1936, Helen Jackson was 17-years-old. That's when she married James Bolin, a 93-year-old man in declining health.

Bolin was a Civil War veteran who fought for the Union in Missouri.

Here's how it all began. In the 30's, Jackson's father told his teenage daughter to stop by Bolin's home each day to check on the elderly vet and do some chores. To return her kindness, Bolin offered to marry Jackson so that her family would receive his soldier's pension. That money wasn't insignificant as the world emerged from the Great Depression.

The two never lived together and Bolin died three years after they wed. Bolin never told her parents that she was a teenage bride and she never filed the paperwork to collect Bolin's pension.

Jackson never told anyone her secret until a few years ago and went on to share her story with the world. She spoke to school children and even members of Bolin's extended family. There's even a Facebook group dedicated to her.

Helen Viola Jackson died last month at a Missouri nursing home. She was 101.

Image courtesy Getty