Pension to Elderkin, David T.
The following data is extracted from Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents: Grover Cleveland.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, June 23, 1886.
To the House of Representatives:
I return herewith without approval House bill No. 5995, entitled "An act granting a pension to David T. Elderkin."
This claimant enlisted August 5, 1862. From his record it appears that he was dishonorably discharged the service, to date from June 11, 1863, with a loss of all pay, bounty, and allowances.
He filed a declaration for a pension in 1882, claiming that he was wounded in the head by a shell January 1, 1863, which cut his cheek close to his right ear, causing almost total deafness.
There is conflicting evidence as to the claimant's freedom from deafness prior to enlistment, and on a special examination it was shown that he was slightly hard of hearing before enlistment. Indeed the claimant himself stated to the special examiner and also to the board of surgeons that he had been somewhat deaf from childhood.
In 1882 an examining surgeon reports that he finds no scar or evidence of wound, but his hearing is very much impaired.
The claim was rejected in 1885 on the ground that deafness existed prior to enlistment, and also because of no ratable disability by reason of alleged wound in the cheek.
I think, considering the manner of the soldier's discharge and the facts developed, that the claimant should not be pensioned.
Source: Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents: Grover Cleveland