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Looby, Edward 1835-1919


Posted By: S. Ferrall - IAGenWeb volunteer
Date: 8/25/2018 at 16:30:56

On Good Friday at about 8 o'clock in the evening Edward Looby passed away at the home of his daughter Mrs. Henry Oelke, Jr.

The subject of this sketch was born in Roscommon county, Ireland, Nov. 1st, 1835. He came to the U.S. May 26, 1860, and enlisted at New York in the regular army, Bat. B, 2nd U.S. artillery, July 8th, 1860. He was at Fort Sumter when the first shot was fired in the struggle between the North and South, serving in the army of the Potomac for 4 years and 3 months.

Being disabled and as all hospitals were crowded, he was granted a furlough after he re-enlisted for a term of three years, and came to his brother Thomas in Wagner twp., where he lay sick for over two years. His service record was lost while in the Hospital at Governor's Island, which barred him from securing an honorable discharge as any pensioner.

Rep. G.N. Haugen got a bill through the House of Representatives granting him an honorable discharge April 11, 1916, but the same courtesy was denied this old soldier when it came before the Senate. We can not but feel that the services and sufferings of the soldier is soon forgotten. Here was a man less than one year in his adopted country, taken up arms in its defense and passed through some seventy-five battles and skirmishes receiving a crushed skull and a broken arm, then denied privileges. He lived over fifty years near Farmersburg and was a peaceful and law abiding citizen highly respected.

His last days passed pleasantly as the final sickness was of short duration, all being done for his comfort that loving hands could do.

Burial was at Monona, April 23rd. The remains were placed beside his wife who died in 1914. Services were conducted by Rev. Father McNamara. Many friends were present to pay their last respects to the old soldier, neighbor and friend.

He is survived by seven children, Mrs. Henry Oelke, Jr., Farmersburg; W.E. Looby, Oakes, N.D.; Mrs. Bert Mathews, Farmersburg; Chas. Looby who is on the home farm; Richard Looby, Farmersburg; Mrs. Hugo Engelhardt, Duluth, Minn. and Mrs. N.B. Arverson, Fergus Falls, Minn.; and by 16 grandchildren, one grandson Leslie Oelke is a soldier in France.

~Monona Leader, April 4, 1919

... from the same issue, Farmersburg column:
Ed Looby one of the old settlers passed away Friday evening.

Mr. Haken Thorson from Osage came to attend his old neighbor Looby's funeral and called at the G. Zurcher home Monday evening.

Note: his wife, Margaret nee Barnum, died in 1914 and is buried in St. Patrick's cemetery, Monona.

----- ----- -----

Additional information:

Edward Looby, of McGregor, Will Receive His Compensation From Uncle Sam
There is rejoicing in the heart and home of an aged veteran living near McGregor over a letter received from the war department.

To have served four years in the army and fought in twenty-five battles, to have received a crooked arm and crushed skull in the service and contracted a disease which has made him a sufferer for fifty years and yet to have been branded disloyal and undeserving a pension has been the lot of Edward Looby.

By special act of congress of Aug. 14th, the stigma unjustly attached to his war record has been blotted out and soon the pension he has long asked for, long deserved and needed, and long been denied, will come.

The promise of financial help in his few remaining years is welcome news to the old soldier who handicapped by ill health has had a long hard fight against poverty, but his joy is greater over the removal of the charge of desertion which has made the years bitter to him.

On July 25th, 1860, Mr. Looby enlisted at New York, N.Y., for five years; he was assigned to Battery B, Second Artillery, and was discharged from the service July 14th, 1864, at City Point, Va., in order to re-enlist. This he did on the same day and in the same battery for three years.

Six weeks later, on August 28th, he was given a two weeks furlough and came to Farmersburg to visit a brother. Shortly after arriving he was taken sick with a disease contracted in the army and was sick for several years, his case being considered hopeless by his physicians. After some years he partially recovered but has never been well since.

Not knowing how to either read or write Mr. Looby did not report his sickness and never was granted an honorable discharge. On applying for a pension in later years he learned that the war department had rated him as a deserter from furlough as he had not returned to service, reported his whereabouts nor the cause of absence.

His record of service had been lost while he was in the hospital at Davis island during the war and the physician who attended him during his long illness was dead. So it has been until this late date that the veteran has been able to get the testimonials and secure the necessary affidavits to prove him innocent of the charge of desertion.

The evidence as now collected and printed by congress contains Mr. Looby's own story; the testimony of Dr. Ralph Crawford, of Milford, Pa., who in 1867 was called in consultation by Mr. Looby's physician, and of Dr. H. Clark, of McGregor, who has known of his physical condition since, and the affidavits of several pioneers of this vicinity. Through the efforts of Congressmen Haugen and Hull the report has been favorably acted upon and the honorable discharge and pension are to be granted. - Elkader Argus Gazette

~Monona Leader, August 31, 1916

Note: Although this article implies that Mr. Looby was granted an honorable discharge & a pension, his obituary states that the U.S. Senate did not agree after the House of Representatives had approved the discharge & pension.


Clayton Obituaries maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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