Last Surviving Widow of a Civil War Soldier

Last Civil War Widow Dies - 2004

ENTERPRISE, Ala. -- She was the last surviving widow of a Civil War soldier, as far as anyone knows. Alberta Martin died Monday at a nursing home in Enterprise, Ala. She was 97 years old. When she was 21 years old, back in 1927, she married William Martin. He was 81 and had a $50 per month Confederate veteran's pension for his service in the Civil War. They had a son 10 months later. William Martin lived another four years, dying in 1931. Two months later, his widow married his grandson, and they remained married for more than 50 years until his death. Alberta Martin was born the daughter of a poor sharecropper, but by the end of her life, she was the belle of Confederate history buffs. The Sons of Confederate Veterans brought her to conventions and rallies. Her caretaker said she died early Memorial Day of complications from a heart attack she suffered this month.
Mrs. Alberta Stewart Martin, resident of Enterprise Nursing Home and former resident of Elba, Ala., died on Memorial Day, May 31, 2004. She was 97. Mrs. Martin had the unique distinction of being the last known living widow of a Confederate veteran for the last 14 years upon the death of Confederate widow Daisy Cave of Charleston, S.C. in 1990. Mrs. Martin will lie in state in the parlor of the First White House of the Confederacy, Montgomery, Ala. from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 11, 2004, and from 8 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. Friday, June 12, 2004. Mrs. Martin will be placed in the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church in Elba, Simmons Street, Elba, Ala. prior to the funeral from 8 a.m. till 12 noon Saturday, June 12, 2004. Funeral services will be held at First Assembly of God Church, Highland Drive, Elba, Ala. at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 12, 2004. The First Assembly of God Church will open its doors at 10 a.m. for early arrivals. Nineteenth Century period heritage music will be played from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. by the 52nd Regimental String Band, Memphis, Tenn. and the Olde Towne Brass Band, Huntsville, Ala. Following her funeral service at First Assembly of God Church, a Confederate reenactor heritage funeral march and graveside service will be held at the New Ebenezer Baptist Church Cemetery, Curtis, Ala., 6 miles west of Elba, Ala. Mrs. Martin will be buried alongside her third husband of 50 years, Charlie Martin. Flowers are being accepted at Byrd Funeral Home in Dothan beginning Wednesday, June 9, 2004 or any memorials may be made to her scholarship fund: The Mrs. Alberta Martin Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 340, Courtland, VA, 23837. Mrs. Martin's scholarship fund is a 501( C ) 3 tax-deductible fund and exists to help deserving qualified students in post-high school education.
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