16 September 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Brown (Elias)

Rosanna Wingard Snyder Brown v Elias Hyram Brown
Second Time Around Wasn't Lovely, Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1866
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

They were both married before and each had many children from their former marriages.  This marriage was short-lived as each party told a different version of the events that led up to the divorce.  Love was not lovelier the second time around.

Elias H. Brown, a shoemaker and farmer, born on 13 Aug 1811, Schuylkill Co, PA, was first married to PA native Susannah Tressler, b.c. 1820, on 5 Sept 1840 in Williams Co, OH.  Elias may be the son of John Balzar and Christina Scholl Brown. The couple appeared in the 1850 Jefferson Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census, p18, as Elias 38 PA, Susannah 30 PA, Delilah 8 OH, Thomas 7 OH, Sanders 5 OH, Bradley 3 OH, and Zachariah 1 OH.  Wife Susannah died on 8 Apr 1858 @38Y and was buried in the West Jefferson Cemetery.

Elias and his children were enumerated in the 1860 Jefferson Twp federal census, p167A, as Elias 42 PA, Delia 18 OH, Thomas C. 17 OH, Sanders V. 15 OH, Bradley 13 OH, Zachariah 10 OH, Winfield S. 7 OH, Andrew 6 OH, Charles F. 4 OH, and Isabel 4 OH.  Within a span of eleven days between 8 Sept 1862 -18 Sept 1862, four of the children died of black diphtheria (Delilah, Zachariah, Andrew, and Isabella); also dead within that timeframe was a grandson, AP Phillips; all were buried with Susannah Brown. The existence of the deceased grandson @ 14Y leads one to speculate that there must have been an unknown older daughter of this couple. This tragedy left Elias a widower with five children when he married a second time.

His new bride was Mrs. Rosanna Snider/Snyder, the widow of Edward Snyder; they were married on 21 Jan 1849.  Rosanna may be the daughter of Joseph and Mary Kauffman Wingard. According to the 1850 Bethlehem Twp, Stark Co, OH federal census p117A the Snyder family was enumerated as Edward 25 PA, Anna 30 OH, and Diana 2 OH. Rosann or Anna Wingard Snyder was a resident of Stark Co, OH and had five children at the time of her marriage to Elias on 31 Jan 1864, Wms Co (Marriages V3 p349).  Her Snyder children were Richard 15, Amanda 14, Cuquel 10, Aaron 8, and Sarah 6.

Rosann, dissatisfied with her new husband, petitioned the Williams County, OH Civil and Criminal Court for a divorce (Roll 18 case number 4 - Oct 1866).  She stated that on 1Nov 1865 Elias beat and choked her.  Between Aug 1866-Oct 1866 she was very sick and unable to move; Elias in a vile manner, using abusive language, beat her daughter Amanda.  On 1 May 1866 Elias drove Anna out of the house and would not allow her to take her clothing and other belongings.  She stated that Elias was worth $10,000 - $12,000 plus he owned real estate in Jefferson Twp, such as 160 acres on the southeast corner of West Jefferson.  Rosann wanted a reasonable alimony.

Elias by deposition said he did not receive any money from her before or after the marriage so he did not owe her anything.  She could have what few articles she had any time and he did not drive her from his home.  He was willing to support her if she would return but not if she remained apart.  Elias said Anna neglected him and was often gone for weeks at a time.

Bradley Goodwill Brown, Elias' son, by deposition said Anna left without cause but that she had returned frequently to the Brown home and had stored her belongings there of her own free will.  His father did not neglect her or refuse medical attention or financial assistance.  Her own daughters were in the home when Anna was sick.  Anna did not provide regular meals for the family.

The court granted Anna a divorce plus $50 in alimony to be paid in Oct 1866 and a further $50-60 in a year's time.  In the 1870 Jefferson Twp federal census, p25, Elias Brown was listed as 60 OH without occupation along with children Sanders 24, Bradley 22, and Sarah (Tingle) 20, Sander's new bride.  Elias H. Brown was the owner of extensive land in Sec 17 of Jefferson Twp according to the 1874 Wms Co Atlas, p40.  In the 1880 Jefferson Twp federal census p522, Elias H. Brown was enumerated as Elias 62 PA with PA native parents and was divorced; he lived alone.

On 26 June 1890 Elias died in Wms Co (Deaths, V2 p58) and his estate was probated on 10 June 1890 (#3092).  A Rosanna Snyder was listed in the Wms Co Deaths (V3 p119) for 19 Oct 1894.  Whether she was the divorced Mrs. Brown has yet to be determined.  Also a marriage record in Wms Co (Marriage V3 p460) revealed the wedding of a Thomas Corwin Brown to Amanda A. Snyder on 19 Sept 1865.  This was  Elias' son and Rosann's daughter; Thomas and Amanda moved to Elkhart Co, IN where Thomas was an engineer on the Lake Shore and Southern Michigan Railroad.

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