Irene Triplett's father fought in the civil war as a young man and remarried as an elderly senior. Triplett, born 1930, inherited his veterans' benefits due to her own disabilities. With her death at 90, the U.S. government closes the books on the last outstanding civil war pension.
Pvt. Triplett married Elida Hall in 1924. She was 34 when Irene was born in 1930; he was 83. Such an age difference wasn't rare, especially later, during the Great Depression, when Civil War veterans found themselves with both a pension and a growing need for care.
Both mother and daughter suffered from mental disabilities. Irene Triplett recalled a tough childhood in the North Carolina mountains, beaten by teachers at school and parents at home.
"I didn't care for neither one of them, to tell you the truth about it," she told The Wall Street Journal in 2014. "I wanted to get away from both of them. I wanted to get me a house and crawl in it all by myself."
Photo: Screenshot from 2016 interview