FUN WITH MILITARY RECORDS
And now we pick up again with the law sliding antics of Lawson. Shortly before his death in 1931, Lawson applied for a confederacy pension in Oklahoma for the Civil War military service. But, remember, Lawson was born in 1862 so he would have had to been a gun toting toddler in order to have participated in this war.
Lawson applied for this pension under the name of Richard N. Earls and was eventually approved. Richard N. Earls, the one being impersonated, was actually Lawson’s half cousin and he DID participate in the Civil War and also received a pension in Texas.
Lawson kept up this ruse even through his death. At first, his death certificate was not found because, as it turned out, it was under the name of Richard N. Earles. The following is his obituary in the Billings, Oklahoma newspaper:
Civil War Veteran Dies at Home of Son Monday
Billings – R.N. Earls, 86 years old Civil War veteran, died at the home of his son four miles east of Billings Monday morning. Earls and his wife were inmates of the Old Soldiers home at Ardmore and were visiting their son for a few days. Funeral services were held at 10 o’clock Tuesday from the Long funeral home with Rev. O.W. York, pastor of the First Methodist church in charge. Burial was made in the Billings cemetery. (Died 13 July 1931 in Billings, Noble County, Oklahoma)
We know this is Lawson because the death dates and events surrounding his death fit the family history of Lawson’s death, and the tombstone in the Billings Cemetery has the date of death as 13 July 1931 with Lawson’s actual name inscribed on it.