I ran across a story in a newspaper from Tonkawa, Kay County, Oklahoma, regarding an old civil war soldiers who wandered into this Oklahoma town, and apparently lived in that location for several years before wandering off, eventually to St. Clair County, Missouri where he died.
The commander of the Osceola Post, Grand Army of the Republic, wrote a letter hoping to find information about the old soldier.
"Osceolo, Mo., Sept. 20. -- An old soldier, Capt. Abraham Jinks died here on the 10th of September. Was cared for and buried by the Grand Army Post. Do you know any of his relatives or family? If so, please inform them or give us their address. -- C. C. Rubottom."
The newspaper article continues:
"This marks the passing of an eccentric character who lived in and near Tonkawa for about seven years. Little is known of his past life, save that he had been a soldier in the Civil war, enlisting in the 16th Indiana, and serving three years. He talked very little of the past, but it was gleaned from rambling remarks made while in his cups, which was very often, that he had been a man of means, that he had a wife and family, but they were all dead and with them had vanished ambition, money and friends, and he had become a wanderer."
Although referred to as Capt, Jinks, he was an an enlisted man.Pension records indicate he was from Rush County, Indiana.1870 Rush Co., Noble Twp., census lists him with wife Elizabeth and two sons; Ulysses G., 4 and Abraham, 1.Can't find them in any other census so perhaps part of story about family dying is true.
He wrote a poem while in Oklahoma that ends:
"When my boat rocks empty on the water And Old Cap no more you see, Please throw my poor dog Bum a biscuit And kindly think of me."
His companion, Bum, died before the old man reached Missouri.Perhaps Abraham Jinks was on his way back to Indiana.If we don't find his family, at least when folks read this maybe they will kindly think of him and honor him forhis service to his country.