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Molampy, Roger Bernard 1845-1911


Posted By: Linda Ziemann, volunteer (email)
Date: 6/22/2010 at 20:23:54

He Was Confined to Bed for Fourteen Weeks Before the End Came—Served Many
Years on City Police Force and Was Well Known

R.B. Molampy, one of the pioneer residents of LeMars and a veteran of the
Civil War, answered the last roll call on Monday afternoon. He had been
confined to his bed for fourteen weeks before the end came to relieve his
sufferings. He as taken sick in February with internal trouble and gradually
weakened and wasted way in spite of the best medical care and attention.
During his last illness he was devotedly nursed by his daughter, who has
been constantly at his bedside night and day. Mr. Molampy complained of
illness last November but stuck to his post on the police force until
February, when he had to give up. He himself ascribed his illness to an
injury which he received when he badly strained himself internally when
Colonel Roosevelt was in LeMars on September 3d. At that time Officers
Molampy and Harrison of the local police force, in the course of their duty,
boarded the train on which the ex-president was. When the train moved away
from Sixth street, where Col. Roosevelt spoke, it was understood it would
stop at the Union depot, but it did not and Molampy jumped off when the
train was speeding out of town and had to run a hundred feet to retain his
equilibrium after he touched ground. He strained himself inwardly at this
time and subsequently always felt pain. While sick he was patient and
cheerful, joked and told stories with those who came to see him and faced
the inevitable bravely. Two friends went to see him one day asking how he
felt, and he characteristically replied, “Never give up firing until the
ammunition is gone.” Last Thursday his daughter noted a change in his
condition and from that time until Monday he sank rapidly.

Roger Bernard Molampy was a native of Ireland, being born at Nanah, County
of Tipperary, on October 16, 1845. When three years old, his parents came to
this country and located at Cohoes, N.Y. where their son, Roger, grew to
man’s estate and learned the trade of plasterer and mason, which he followed
all his life. After the Civil War in which he served, he returned to Cohoes
and was united in marriage in 1868 with Miss Ellen Scanion, with whom he
lived in happy wedded life for twenty years until her death on June 10,

To this union eight children were born, seven sons and a daughter. Three of
the boys died in infancy. Those who mourn the loss of a good father are
Philip Henry Molampy, Mary Francis, of this city; Roger S. Molampy, of
Quinn, South Dakota; Cornelius Molampy, of Chicago; and Geo. Molampy, of
this city. He also leaves one sister, Mrs. Winnifred O’Connor, of New York

When a youth of eighteen he volunteered to fight for his country and served
in the closing years of the war in Company H, Fourth New York Heavy
Artillery. In the fall of 1864 when the Army was in front of Richmond he was
wounded and captured by the Confederates. The battery to which he was
attached stuck in the mud and the guns and men were taken by a large force
of the enemy. He was a prisoner for nine months in Libby prison, when an
exchange of prisoners was made.

The deceased was well known in LeMars, having been among the first comers,
and had a very wide acquaintance in this and adjoining counties. He served
for several years at different times on the city police force and made an
efficient officer, being brave, cool and level-headed. He served during the
administrations of Mayor A.P. Brown, Mayor N.L. Greer, and Mayor J.F.
Scharles. He was a skilled workman and an all around out of doors man, being
a hunter, fisherman and gardener, with considerable knowledge of all these
crafts. He was of a generous nature and warm hearted, possessed of a good
deal of native wit and was popular with a great number of people. He was
happy in his domestic relations, took pride in his home and always aimed to
have a model place. He was a member of Mower Post, G.A.R., of this city, and
was held in high esteem by his old comrades. They will have charge of the
funeral, which will take place this morning from the residence at the corner
of Ninth and Cedar streets at half past nine o’clock. The remains will be
interred beside those of his wife in the St. Joseph’s cemetery.

The pallbearers, old friends and companions of the dead man, are John B.
Perkins, T. J. Boland, P. Considine, C. H. Jones, T. J. Carpenter, and
Washington Porter.

~Source: LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, June 2, 1911

Database: American Civil War Soldiers
Viewing records 2016532-2016532 of 2642757
Rodger Molamphy
Residence: Occupation:
Service Record:
Enlisted as a Private on 26 January 1864 in Watertvliet, NY at the age of 18 Enlisted in Company Batty H, 4th Heavy Artillery Regiment New York on 29 January 1864
Mustered out on 26 September 1865 in Washington, DC
Sources: New York: Report of the Adjutant-General. (NYRoster) Published in 1894-1906

Per Pension Papers Obtained from the National Archives:
Spent the winters of 1864-1865 in Salsburry Prison, N.C.*** during the Civil War (per affidavit hand-written by Rodger Molamphy) and developed severe varicose veins, rheumatism, and severe piles. He applied for an invalid pension and was granted a rate of $12.00 per month to commence August 6, 1890. On November 22, 1894 his pension was reduced to $8.00 per month. His lawyer petitioned to keep the pension at $12.00. December 18, 1894, the Bureau of Pensions allowed him to submit further evidence as to why the pension should not be reduced. January 9, 1885, Ira C. Munson, personal friend for the past 16 years, submitted an affidavit stating the severity of Rodger's disability; also, M. W. Richey, M.D., certified to the medical disability under the claim, saying he was not able to perform manual labor and is a constant sufferer from his disease. The reduction was reversed and he received a pension of $12 per month until April 4, 1911. He died May 29, 1911. Then son George J. and daughter Mary F. Molamphy, who nursed him at the family home at 623 Cedar St., LeMars, IA until his death, applied for reimbursement of $550.25 ($49 and $11.50 for physician, $10 for medicine; $350 for nursing and care; $108.25 for undertaker; $12.00 for livery; $5.00 for ice; $4.50 for wines and cordials). Listed assets of $800.00 (house and lot). Reimbursement was disallowed "for the reason that the pensioner left assets consisting of real estate of $800 assessed value, sufficient to meet the expense of his last sickness and burial", according to the Bureau of Pensions. Then Mary F. Molamphy asked for reimbursement of the pensions from April 4th until May 29th, the day of death because "he lived that long after drawing last pension". The Bureau replied she was not entitled to that because "the pension accrued to the date of death is not considered an asset of the estate nor is it liable for payment of the debts of the estate in any case whatsoever."

***Per Don't Know Much About the Civil War by Kenneth C. Davis, p. 351: "Georgia summer heat, disease, and inadequate food and medical care took a terrible toll: of the 45,000 prisoners at Camp Sumpter, at least 13,00 died. (Some have argued that the camp at Salisbury, North Carolina, was even worse. Although smaller than Andersonville, with only 10,000 prisoners, Salisbury saw a mortality rate of 34 percent, higher than Andersonville's 29 percent.)

~Above submitted by Deb Walsh


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