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21975 A.D. Shadd Road
North Buxton, ON N0P1Y0
phone: 519-352-4799
email: buxtonhistoricalmuseum@gmail.com

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Updated January 2024 by Lori Gardner

Buxton History Helps Widow
Collect A Pension, 1908

Below is an interesting and insightful article unearthed
by our own local historian and board member, Bryan Prince.

The Columbus Journal, April 29, 1908, Nebraska

Although she lived fifty years with her husband as a legal wife, Mrs. Mary Jane Allen, of 15218 Pratt street, Omaha, widow of Lieut. Robert I. Allen, has been unable to secure a pension because of the various state laws prohibiting miscegenation. Mrs. Allen is a negro and her husband was a white man. Senator Brown has just succeeded in getting a pension of $15 per month from April, 1907, for Mrs. Allen, and he was able to do this only because Mr. and Mrs. Allen had at one time lived in North Buxton, Ontario, Canada, where the law had not made marriage between whites and negroes illegal. After the pension bureau had been shown that the Allens had been domiciled in Canada, their common law marriage thus valid, a 'relief was speedily granted the needy widow. Mrs. Allen lived for years in Kearney, the home of Senator Brown, and he knew them personally. They also resided in Omaha and the widow has resided in that city since the death of her husband.

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