Mixed Claims Commission: Charles Williamson excerpt

[p. 105, an excerpt from the case of Mr. Charles Williamson, Saloon Passenger] The decedent was survived by his father, Henry W. Williamson, the 75 years of age, a sister, Ellen Williamson Hodges, a brother, Harry A. Williamson, the 50 and 35 years of age respectively, and a nephew, John Baseman Williamson, son of a deceased brother (Eugene L. Williamson). In 1901 the father, at the instance of the decedent, retired from the office of Clerk of the Circuit Court of Allegheny County, Maryland, and has since that time engaged in no employment, the decedent making regular contributions amounting to about $700 per annum, sufficient to meet the father’s modest needs. The decedent had been unusually devoted to his sister, Ellen Williamson Hodges, whose husband had long been ill and died in 1916. The decedent not only contributed from time to time substantial amounts to his sister’s maintenance but promised her that in the event of her husband’s death he would take care of and support her. The care of her aged father now rests principally on Mrs. Hodges, who in order to support herself and father is employed in a Government department in Washington. There is no evidence that the other claimants were to any extent dependent upon the decedent or that he made any contributions to them. It is apparent from the records in these cases and another case before the Commission that the pecuniary demands upon the decedent were quite heavy, and according to the provisions of his will more than one-half of his estate (had it been solvent) was bequeathed outside of the members of his family. While decedent had he lived would doubtless have continued making modest contributions to his father and sister, it is probably that such contributions would not have been very substantial in amount. Applying the rules announced in the Lusitania Opinion and in other decisions of this Commission to the facts in these cases as disclosed by the records, the Commission decrees that under the Treaty of Berlin of August 25, 1921, and in accordance with its terms the Government of Germany is obligated to pay to the Government of the United States on behalf of (1) Henry W. Williamson the sum of five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) with interest thereon at the rate of five per cent per annum from November 1, 1923, and (2) Ellen Williamson Hodges the sum of ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) with interest thereon at the rate of five percent per annum from November 1, 1923; and further that the Government of Germany is not obligated to pay to the Government of the United States any amount on behalf of the other claimants herein.

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