24 September 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Daggett

Phebe Ann Doolittle Daggett v Ethan Allen Daggett
Belle Daggett Cole v William F. Cole
A Native Daughter Abused: A Bill of Divorce in Williams County, OH (1869), 1901- see Robinson 

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 15 Jan 2013)
(This is the case that started my early divorce project)

Modern readers are all too familiar with stories of spousal abuse and divorce.  Family researchers should be aware that these sociological situations are not confined to any particular time or area, but they transcend the ages and can affect the lives of several generations both in positive and negative ways.  This genealogical detailing illustrates these points.  I would like to thank Jean Coy Bartholomew, Alan Benjamin, Pete Daggett, and Jacque Whetro for their assistance in providing various historical and genealogical pieces of the puzzle for this story.  I will first set the stage by introducing the reader to the necessary cast of characters.

Ethan Allen Daggett, the son of Orange and (possibly) Betty Sears Daggett, was born on 10 Sept 1837 in Cortland Co, NY.  On 17 Mar 1863 in Wright Twp, Hillsdale Co, MI, Book C p 305, he at 27 years of age eloped with 16 year-old Phebe Ann Doolittle, the youngest child of Harmon and Martha Stubbs Doolittle.  This bride and groom were both descendants of early settlers of Williams Co, OH – the Daggetts of Bridgewater Twp and the Stubbs-Doolittles of Springfield Twp.   Anyone proving a direct connection to these people would be eligible for admission into First Families of Williams County, OH (FFWC).

The Orange Daggett family came to this county sometime after a sheriff’s sale in 1842 at Lisle, Broome Co, NY and before the 23 Sept 1850 federal census records of Bridgewater Twp as follows: Orange (45 VT), Mariah (42 NY), Mary (16 NY), Ethan (15 NY), Lucretia (13 NY), Hannah (11 NY), and Emmaline (7/12 OH).  Orange owned a fifty-acre farm three miles north of Montpelier.

A Daggett genealogy alludes to the possibility that Orange was the second son of Ichabod and Hannah Whiting Daggett with Orange born in Orange Co, VT, Orleans Co, VT, or Broome Co, NY, on 14 Apr 1804.  Mariah (possibly Gleason) may have been his second wife with the mother of the first five children being Betty Sears of CT, d. bef 1849.  Further speculation about this Mariah showed that there was a gap between the 1839 birth of Hannah and the Feb 1850 birth of Emmaline.  It would seem she was at least the mother of Emmaline. The oldest known son of the family, Charles W. (1832 NY- aft 1880, Chicago, Cook Co, IL; mar 1 Jan 1856, Hillsdale Co, MI, Susan Marcia or Sarah A. Martin Smith) is not on the 1850 census with the rest of the family.   This farm family established roots in the Bridgewater area and was found in the 1860 Federal Census: Orange (55 NY), Ethan (25 NY), Lucretia (22 NY), Charles (5 MI), and Allen (3 MI). Mariah had died in Bridgewater on 9 May 1856 @49Y 8M 3D [pos b.date of 6 Sept 1806] and was buried in Cogswell Cemetery; her tombstone inscription says “Mother” with a substantial epitaph of love and devotion.

This decade also resulted in the marriages of Orange’s daughters, Mary, Lucretia, and Hannah.  Mary W. (1834 NY-aft Apr 1915, Russell, KS) was first married 13 Aug 1854, Hillsdale Co, MI, to John K. Rood(e), a native of Cayuga Co, NY.

1860 Convis, Calhoun, Michigan; Roll: M653_539; Page: 681; Image: 678; Family History Library Film: 803539.
h/h 1358/1450 Rood, John 40 NY farm laborer
Mary 35 NY
Charles 15 MI
Allen 13 MI
Eugene 11 MI

20 Aug 1861 John enlisted in Co E 6th Michigan Artillary at Marshall, MI and was discharged on 23 Aug 1864 at Kalamazoo, MI with a kidney disorder
14 Apr 1865 John enlisted in Co A 8th US Regiment at Jackson, MI and was discharged on 14 Aug 1865 at Detroit, MI under general orders

Evidently John and Mary divorced sometime c1865 (no further information) and both shortly remarried.

1870 Nashville, Barry, Michigan; Roll: M593_661; Page: 111A; Image: 301; Family History Library Film: 552160.
h/h 80/75 Rood, John K 43 NY farm laborer
Margaret 25 NY
Thomas 8 OH
John Q 3 MI
**2/12 MI (m) May

1880 Newton, Jefferson, Nebraska; Roll: 750; Family History Film: 1254750; Page: 623B; Enumeration District: 289; Image: 0695.
h/h 60/67 Roode, John K 53 farmer NY-NY-NY
Rosencrans D 9 son MI-NY-Canada

In 1884 he lived in Steele City, Nebraska; he was a farmer and a widower; he died c1911.

The two young boys, Charles and Allen, who were recorded in the Daggett household in 1860, were Mary's sons.  She later married Hiram Opdycke, 10 Mar 1867, Wms Co, OH, and as his second wife Mary took on the responsibilities of rearing his children in Superior Twp plus having three children in the marriage, Heman, Wilbur, and an infant who died. Allen Roode (1857 MI-1931) was listed with the Opdycke family in the 1870 Superior Twp federal census records. Hiram served from 1866-1871 as a Williams County Commissioner. As early as 29 Dec 1864 Hiram was a delinquent taxpayer, owning lots in Bryan.  By March 1876 Hiram, who had six separate mortgages on his land and a general merchandise store in Montpelier, was forced to have a Sheriff’s Auction after one or more of the persons who had loaned him money, foreclosed through the courts.  The Opdyckes then moved to Pella, Marion Co, Iowa and eighteen months later to Russell, Kansas.  Hiram, a Civil War veteran, applied for a pension in 1890.  He died on 27 Jan 1906 and his widow, Mary, made an application for a pension on 22 Apr 1906.

Allen Roode, Mary Daggett Roode Opdycke’s son, married Sarah E. (surname unknown). Allen’s son Charles A. (1887-1946) was president of the Farmer’s and Merchant’s State and Savings Bank of Montpelier at the time of his death.  The Roode family is buried in West Jefferson Cemetery, Jefferson Twp, Wms Co, OH. How ironic that Mary and Hiram had financial difficulties and later her grandson is involved in the business of finances.

Daughter Lucretia T. (May 1839 NY- 27 Jan 1917, Larned, Pawnee Co, KS) married James L. Dole, 6 Nov 1862, Hillsdale Co, MI, and established a home in Jefferson Twp, Wms Co, OH where they were found in the 1870 and 1880 federal census records.  The Doles later moved to Kansas, first to Bunkerhill, KS (c.1887), then to Russell, Center Twp, Russell Co, KS (bef 1900), and by 1901 to Larned, Pawnee Co, KS. Lucretia and her family were enumerated in the 1900 Center Twp, Russell Co, KS federal census as 61 year old Lucretia Dole b. May 1839 NY, married 26 years with 4 living children, parents both from NY; in the 1910 Larned Twp, Pawnee Co, KS federal census the family appeared with Lucretia, 74, married 48 years with 3 of her five children living, parents both from NY.  [Note the discrepancies in age and info about children.]  Lucretia Daggett and James L. Dole were the great-grandparents of Senator and 1996 US Presidential Candidate Robert Joseph Dole. James L. Dole was living in Larned as late as 19 Mar 1925 according to sister Kathryn H. Dole’s obituary.  He was a widower then and he inherited a quarter interest in his sister’s house at 215 N. Myers Street in Bryan, OH.  He died on 29 Oct 1928.

Hannah F. Daggett  (1839 NY-?) married Loren A. Smith, 1858, Hillsdale Co, MI.  Emmaline, the youngest daughter, who would be ten years old, had disappeared from the household by 1860. 

Fourteen months before Ethan eloped, Orange married his third wife, Mrs. Clarissa Kimball Hillard, 23 Jan 1862, Ransom, Hillsdale Co, MI, Book c p236, but Clarissa is not with the family on the 1870 Federal Census. Clarissa, the daughter of Daniel and Sarah Kimball, was supposedly born in Canada and had moved from Geauga Co, OH to Crawford Co, OH before her move to Williams Co.  Clarissa died on 7 Nov 1877 in Ransom Twp, Hillsdale Co, MI and is buried beside her first husband, Perez Hillard (d. 21 Oct 1854), in Burt (Evergreen) Cemetery.  Clarissa did not obtain a divorce from Orange in Williams Co, but may have done so elsewhere.

Phebe Ann Doolittle, daughter of Harmon and Martha Stubbs Doolittle, was born c. 1846, Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH.  Harmon and Martha were reported to have been the first couple to marry there in the spring of 1834. He bought several parcels of land between 15 Sept 1835 and 16 Mar 1837. Harmon built a sawmill in 1837 plus he was a township magistrate from 5 Sept 1835-19 Apr 1848 and a county commissioner from 1847-1849.  This couple was found on the 1840 Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH Federal Census with 2 sons under 5 years old and 1 daughter bet 5-10 years of age.

Martha Stubbs, the daughter of John and Phebe Miller Stubbs, was born in Tompkins Co, NY, 25 Apr 1812, and came with her parents to this county c. 1833.  John Stubbs of Goshen, Orange Co, NY traveled to Viewfield, Tompkins Co, NY in 1804; he was a captain in that state’s militia during the War of 1812 but saw no active service.  His father, William Stubbs, was a Revolutionary War soldier. 

John and Phebe were married in Tompkins Co, NY and became the parents of seven children: William M, (22 June 1810-Nov 1900, Stryker; mar Margaret H. Collins), Joseph H (1811 NY- ?, mar Louisa Reynolds, 20 Nov 1836), Martha, Polly H (1818 NY- aft 1869, Donniphan Co, KS; mar 1- Jonathan B. Taylor, 16 Jan 1836; mar 2-Jesse McArt, 3 Mar 1850), Mary , John H (26 Nov 1820 NY –10 Sept 1882, Stryker; mar Mary Polly Miller), and Moses R. (1832-bef 1869).  John was a Justice of the Peace in NY for 17 years and came to Wms. Co, OH c.1833.  John and Phebe may be the parents of another daughter, Rachel Stubbs Hollingshead Robinson, who obtained a divorce in Williams Co, OH.

John purchased huge amounts of land at the Wapakonetta Land Office on 8 Oct 1835.  Upon moving to this county John farmed over 1,000 acres, was a county commissioner, an active organizer of Masonic lodges in NW Ohio, and a Master of Hiram Lodge F and AM.  John Stubbs (12 Aug 1784, Goshen, Orange Co, NY-5 Feb 1864, Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH @79Y 5M 22D) and Phebe (16 Jan 1794, Broome Co, NY-18 May 1869, Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH @75Y 4M 2D) were buried in Boynton Cemetery. 

Harmon Doolittle (11 Mar 1810, CT-23 Sept 1849 @39Y 6M 12D) died in Springfield Twp and was buried in Boynton Cemetery.  He wrote his will several days before his death and left his beloved wife all his real and personal property.  He gave her the authority to sell any of this to settle his debts and to maintain guardianship of all four minor children until they reached the age of 21, but if she remarried, this guardianship would cease.  The Doolittle children, all born in Springfield Twp, were: Sophia C. (10 Oct 1834-21 May 1857; mar. 17 Mar 1853, Wms Co, OH, Joseph Stockbridge Boynton), John S. (27 June 1836-aft 2 June 1874; mar.16 Dec 1855, Wms Co, OH, Ann Gifford), Horace H. (16 Oct 1843-bef 13 Mar 1868, pos Chase Co, KS), and Phebe Ann.  Family tradition stated that John S. Doolittle later married the daughter of an Indian chief and subsequently became a very wealthy man.

Martha and her children were enumerated in the 1850 Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH Federal Census.  On 20 Feb 1853, Wms Co, OH, Martha married Jacob Boyers and moved to Bridgewater Twp bef 1860 where they were listed in that census as follows: Jacob Boyers (58 PA, farmer), Margaret (47 NY), Horace (17 OH), Phebe (13 OH), and Matilda, Jacob’s daughter, (28 OH servant).  Note that Martha’s name was written as Margaret.  By 21 Nov 1853 Jacob was the guardian of the Doolittle children and held a note from the Doolittle estate against Joseph S. Boynton, husband of Sophia.  Jacob put up a $5,000 guardian bond with the court at the time of his appointment.  On 22 July 1854 he wanted to sell the Doolittle land and wrangled in court with Jesse McArt, an uncle and guardian for Horace, over the proposed sale of part of the real estate.  Martha agreed to the sale as the land was north of the Tiffin River and it overflowed; the parcel was separated from the rest of the estate and could not be fenced in with the other land.  The final account of the property took place on 13 Apr 1864.

Along with being the Doolittles’ guardian, Jacob was also guardian to his grandchildren, issue of his son Jacob Jr. Jacob Boyer, b. 30 Jan 1802 in Westmoreland Co, PA and the son of Peter and Anna Margaretta Hartzell Boyer, was first married to Elizabeth Hoover who died 22 Oct 1852 and was buried in Fountain Grove Cemetery, Bryan, OH.  Jacob and Elizabeth were parents to William, Matilda Eliza, Jacob Jr., Margaret, Adam, and Mary.  He was a Bryan merchant as of Apr 1850 where he advertised the acceptance of ashes on account for the firm of Boyer and Case.

As was stated before, the Boyer-Doolittles lived in Bridgewater in 1860 where they were neighbors of the Orange Daggett family.  Ethan and Phebe met then and eventually married.  One wonders if Phebe’s mother and stepfather sanctioned this elopement.  In any event the marriage took place and Ethan and his bride established their home with Ethan’s father, Orange.  As time passed they had 2 daughters, Annie Belle, b 1865 and Mary L. b. 1868. 

What takes place next is the tragic tale of spousal abuse, so brutal that an account of the event is found on the front page of a Wauseon, Fulton Co, OH newspaper, Northwest Republican, on 26 Aug 1869.  The original story appeared on page four of a Bryan paper, Union Press, 19 Aug 1869.  Perhaps its less prominent position was meant to spare the feelings of the relatives who lived in Bryan and Stryker.  Further details can be found in the journal record leading to the divorce of this couple in the Williams County Court of Common Pleas (V7 p369, 380-381) and on the microfilm of the proceedings from the Williams County Civil/Criminal Court (Roll 21 case numbers 39 and 57).

On Saturday morning, Aug 14, 1869, in the Bridgewater home of Ethan and Phebe Daggett, Phebe was preparing toast for her husband, when he began complaining, “that she was too extravagant in the use of milk”.  A verbal argument ensued and finally “he kicked her with his feet encased in thick heavy boots until he had inflicted a wound to the abdomen which had caused a rupture to such an extent that the bowels and womb were protruding”.  He then “seized and pulled her out of doors”. Phebe “pleaded to have a doctor sent for but he (Ethan) refused to let the boy have a horse to go for one and in this frightful condition the woman (Phebe) lay from Saturday until Monday morning without medical attendance”.  Apparently Phebe finally “prevailed upon the boy to go on foot for the doctor”. Who the “boy” was is left to speculation – was he a farm laborer, one of the Rood nephews, or someone else?

During this infamous weekend Ethan “had explained to the neighbors that his wife was sick with chills and could not go out”.  Presumably he had allowed her to return to the house sometime between Saturday and Monday morning.  The boy found Dr. Samuel W. Mercer in Montpelier who treated her and possibly made a personal report to the authorities.  On Tuesday morning Sheriff Edwin J. Evans of Bryan went to Bridgewater to arrest Ethan and to take Phebe’s deposition if she was still alive.  When he arrived at the Daggett home he found Phebe was still living but was “most severely injured”.  She was able to give him her statement of the assault.  Ethan was a “short distance from home at the house of a neighbor where he had stopped to converse a few moments” when the sheriff took him into custody, brought him back to Bryan, and lodged him in the county jail.  When the story broke, people in the Daggett farm vicinity became indignant and it was “a fortunate thing for him (Ethan) that the sheriff had taken him in charge”.  The newspaper accounts were at first misleading as the headlines read, “Brutal Assault: A Wife Fatally Injured”.

At the time of this attack Phebe was 22 years old and was “again soon to become a mother at the time she received her injuries”.  Whether that part of the account is true has not been determined, but Phebe does appear before the Williams County Common Pleas Court on 19 Aug 1869 to request a divorce citing extreme cruelty. 

On 8 Nov 1869 she was awarded alimony of $300, was restored to her maiden name of Doolittle, and was given custody of the minor children, Annie B. and Mary L.  There was no mention of a living third child, an ongoing pregnancy, or the recent death of a child.  At the time of the divorce Phebe possessed $1800, which was held by Ethan since her marriage, but was the “sole and exclusive property” of Phebe.  In addition to this sum Phebe had brought $600 to Ethan by reason of the marriage, which she now wanted back.

Ethan was allowed to see his children through visitation rights of four hours on Saturdays.  Phebe was given legal ownership of the land she owned in her own right.  She was further granted “control of her wearing apparel, two feather beds, two straw ticks, pillows, sheets, blankets, and quilts for the two beds, two stands, and one set of chairs”.  Her $300 alimony was to be paid as follows: $100 in 60 days, $100 in one year, and the remaining $100 in two year's time.  She was granted a lien on the property owned by Ethan who as the defendant was ordered to pay court costs in ten days.

According to the Bryan Democrat, 11 Nov 1860, p3, the State of Ohio v Ethan Daggett case had the following outcome: “for brutally whipping his wife the defendant was found guilty and sentenced to ten days in jail and a $50 fine.  His wife obtained a divorce and alimony of $300.”

Poor Ethan’s financial troubles were also evidenced in a suit brought on by Pratt and Nelson, Attorneys, on 2 Nov 1869 for money owed them by Ethan.  He had to retain another attorney, Schuyler E. Blakeslee, to settle the matter. Lawyer Blakeslee was the attorney of record in the famous murder trial of Andrew F. Tyler in July 1848.

In 1866 Martha Stubbs Doolittle Boyers’ sister, Mary Clark and her family, had moved to Stokes Mound Twp, Carroll Co, MO, but later moved back here by 1875.  Three months before the assault of Aug 1869, Phebe Daggett’s grandmother, Phebe Stubbs, had died and her obituary listed Phebe Daggett’s mother, Mrs. Jacob Byers (Boyers), as living in Clinton, MO. By 27 June 1870 Martha was back in the 1870 Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH Federal Census as Martha Boyers (57 NY) plus daughter Phebe Boyers (23 OH) and Daggett granddaughters Annie B (5 OH) and Mary L. (2 OH) all living together.  Obviously they had put some distance between themselves and the Daggetts.  Martha had $800 in real estate value plus $200 in personal property while Phebe at age 23 possessed $1,000 in real estate and $150 in personal property.  What had happened to husband, Jacob Boyers, has not been determined to date; some Boyers researchers state that he died on 8 Oct 1892.  If this is the case, then he did not live with his wife Martha Stubbs Doolittle Boyers.

In the 1870 Bridgewater Twp, Wms Co, OH Federal Census Ethan Daggett (33 NY farmer) plus father Orange (65 NY) and a 21-year-old housekeeper, possibly Natalie McFavorite of OH, lived together on the Daggett homestead.  Now Ethan possessed $1,000 in real estate and $200 in personal property as head of household.

When James L. Dole sold property on 27 Aug 1876 in Jefferson Twp, Orange Daggett witnessed the transaction. Orange left the Bridgewater area sometime around 1887 and moved to Bunkerhill, Russell Co, KS to live with his daughter and son-in-law, James L. and Lucretia T. Dole and the four Dole grandchildren, Eva, Netta, Robert G, and Rutherford H.  Orange died at the Dole home in Bunkerhill, which is approximately eight miles east of Russell, KS, on 27 June 1887 @83Y 2M 13D from gangrene of the foot and ankle. His obituary listed him as “always industrious and a highly respected citizen”.

Ethan and Orange sold their Bridgewater property in Section 12S c1872 and Ethan bought acreage c.1880 in Harrison Co, IA from his brother Charles. According to the 1880 Missouri Valley, St. John’s Twp, Harrison Co, IA federal census p151, Ethan Daget, 39 NY carpenter and boarder of Edward and Georgiana Coblergh, was listed as a divorced male.  From the 1885 Missouri Valley, IA state census Ethan Daggert was 60-year old native of NY.  He supposedly married a Nancy J. Daggett (18 Aug 1841-20 Apr 1927) who is buried in the Woodbine Cemetery, Harrison Co, IA. Whether this is true and whether Nancy obtained a divorce from Ethan is not presently known.  On 31 Mar 1898 he married Mrs. Elizabeth Bailey Hillard in Harrison Co, IA. Elizabeth and her husband William were next-door neighbors to the Daggetts in Bridgewater. Elizabeth, b. 18 Sept 1828, a native of London, England, became a widow on 18 Dec 1891.  She owned property in Superior Twp as of 1894.

The story told by Elizabeth’s grandson, John Hillard, was that “after her husband died, she was bound to go to Iowa and marry Ethan Daggett even though her children were against it and had a fit.  She went anyway and married him, but they didn’t get along.  One night they were fighting in bed and he got up, left the room, and got a pail of water to throw on her; but in the meantime she slipped out the window and went to the neighbors; all he got was a wet bed as he threw it on the bed but she wasn’t there”.

In the 1900 St. John Twp, Harrison Co, IA federal census p229, the Dagget family was enumerated as Ethan, born Sept 1835 (64) married two years, a carpenter with father native of NY and mother native of CT, and his wife, Elizabeth, born Nov 1833 (66) ENG of foreign born parents; she had 8 children with 7 still living, and she had immigrated to the US in 1839.  

This marriage lasted sometime between 1898 and when Elizabeth Daggett moved back to Wms Co, OH where she died on 7 Oct 1906.  If she obtained a divorce, she did not do so in Wms Co. Her obituary and probate records listed her as Elizabeth Daggett. The Hillard family never acknowledged the marriage and she was buried beside her husband, William Hillard, in Cogswell Cem.

An interesting point that should be made here is that Orange Daggett had married Elizabeth Hillard’s mother-in-law, Clarissa Hillard; furthermore, Clarissa either left or divorced Orange just as Elizabeth did with regard to Ethan.  That these Daggett men appear to have been poor husbands is an understatement.

Ethan A. Daggett was enumerated in the 1910 First Ward, Missouri Valley, Harrison Twp, Harrison Co, IA federal census, p179, as 70 NY, a widower, with parents from NY and CT; his profession was carpenter. On 10 June 1912, Ethan Daggett died hundreds of miles from his former Williams Co, OH home.  His death certificate stated he was divorced at the time of his death. His probate record, under the name of E. Daggette (Docket 7 p289 #1693) from Harrison County, IA needs further study, but I did obtain a copy of Ethan's obit from the "Missouri Valley Times", 13 June 1912, which according to the obituary writer gives a different side to Ethan's nature. 

"Mr. Daggett was laid away yesterday.  I have known him quite intimate for a number of years and have found him a good neighbor, willing to help in any good cause.  He especially loved children.  They were always welcome to his home.  The brothers have all passed over, two sisters remain." [Note that Ethan may have had more than the one known brother, Charles W. Daggett.]  "Ethan Dagget, born in Cortland County, New York, Sept 10, 1837, died June 10, 1912, 75Y 9M.  At 12 years of age he removed with his parents to Williams County, Ohio, and remained there until he came to Harrison County, Iowa, 38 years ago (1874).  He was converted early in life and joined the M.E. Church where he has been a faithful member so many years.  He has suffered much the past year and has been cared for by kind friends and neighbors.  He was removed to the hospital some three months ago and though all that medical skill and science could do was done, he passed away to rest yesterday.  He leaves two sisters, Mrs. Mary W. Opdycke of Russell County, Kansas, and Mrs. Lucretia Dole of Lanard, Kansas, both of whom came to care for him the last days and were at the bedside when death came and were present at his funeral.  'He giveth His beloved sheep’”.  Ethan was laid to rest in the Oak Grove Cemetery, St. John Township, Harrison Co, Iowa.  With the marvels of modern technology one can even view a photo of Ethan's tombstone.

The Bryan Press, 3 July 1879 p5
On the evening of 3 July 1879 at the bride’s residence in Stryker, Williams County, OH, by Rev H A Brown, Mr. Jason W Beard of Summit, DeKalb Co, IN to Mrs. Pheoba A Doolittle of Stryker, OH.

Phebe married Jason W. Beard, 3 July 1879, Wms Co, OH; the couple was enumerated in the 1880 Summit, Smithfield Twp, DeKalb Co, IN federal census period, 16B, as Jason W. 31 IN dry goods and grocer, Phebe 33 OH, Belle D 14 OH, May 11 OH, and Martha Boyer 64 mother and boarder. Jason W. Beard, born Feb 1849 in IN, was the son of Elisha and Elizabeth Boyers Beard.  His mother was a sister to Phebe's stepfather, Jacob Boyers.  Elizabeth died sometime before husband Elisha married Mrs. Mary Magdalena Noragon Kepler on 9 May 1863 and by the 1870 Franklin Twp, DeKalb Co, IN federal census, Jason did not reside with this father and stepmother.

Martha Boyers died of dropsy on 25 July 1886 @74Y 3M at her home in Stryker. Her death record listed her as a widow. Her burial place is unknown. The term "widow" for Phebe is also not strictly accurate because in 1900 Jason W. Beard lived with his wife of 20 years in Crowell, Woods Co, Oklahoma.  He had two children with wife Josephine A. Hitchcock Walter, whom he married on 6 Dec 1886 in Haneysville, Pratt Co, KS but only one, Clarence S. Beard b. Feb 1887 Kansas, was listed.  It would appear that Phebe or Jason obtained a divorce or Jason was a bigamist. Note that Jason was in DeKalb Co, IN in 1880 and apparently by 1886 he and his wife Josephine lived in Kansas where son Clarence was born on 1 Feb 1887 and passed away on 5 Aug 1904.  Jason died on 10 Apr 1909 and wife Josephine died on 17 June 1914; they are all buried in Alva Cemetery, Alva, Woods Co, OK.

As stated before in 1886 Martha Boyers died in Stryker so it would seem sometime after 1880 the women moved back to Wms Co, OH. A brief article in the Bryan Press, 4 Sept 1890, mentioned Mrs. Phebe Beard of Wauseon, formerly of Stryker, was visiting relatives in Stryker.

Belle Daggett married William F. Cole, 17 July 1890, Wms Co, OH but on 20 July 1901 she obtained a divorce in Wms Co.  William, a resident of Illinois, had been willfully absent for the past three years.  He did not contest the divorce.  Mrs. Phebe Beard testified in court on her daughter’s behalf that William was at fault.  There were no children from this marriage and Belle was restored to her maiden name, Daggett.  Phebe’s other daughter, Mary L. Daggett, disappeared from records after 1880.  Phebe A. Beard, cousin to Phebe M. Boynton, dec as of 1915, was listed with other relatives in the will probated in Wms Co, OH (#6050), as a resident of Stryker, OH.

Phebe appeared as a widow living at 195 Lynn Street, Stryker, OH with her daughter Belle in the 1910 and 1920 Federal Census records.  Phebe was a music teacher and Belle was a public school teacher. 

Phebe Ann Doolittle Daggett Beard died at her Stryker home, 8 July 1926.  Her daughter Belle was living at the County Home in Jefferson Twp as of 5 Feb 1934 or earlier.  Phebe’s estate was valued at $1500 with real estate as Lot 38 Tingley’s Add, Stryker. Her estate had unpaid funeral expenses of $225 with the estate administrator, Wendell P. Grisier, taking care of the bill with a public auction of her belongings on 21 July 1934 after he was unsuccessful in getting Belle Daggett to cooperate with the probate and property sale.  Belle died 16 July 1936 @78Y, in Stryker. The burial sites for Phebe and her daughter, Belle, have not been discovered to date.

Speculation/Unanswered Questions

1.     All around him Ethan would have been among people who did not approve of his behavior, but would they have continued to socialize with his family?  Also, what about his family – would they have felt embarrassment and anger?  On that dreadful day, who was there to witness the assault and was there something they could have done?  Ultimately was this a reason for the Dole and Opdycke families moving to Kansas?
2.      Ethan may have been among people who felt Phebe, as a woman and a wife, was to blame for the assault; she should have been more cooperative and frugal.  Perhaps they turned a blind eye to the situation.  Perhaps this was an on-going case of abuse.  Examining Ethan’s later spousal abuse with wife Elizabeth, one forms the opinion that Ethan definitely had problems with anger management.
3.     Why didn’t Ethan serve his country during the Civil War?  He was the right age to enlist.  Was there a religious or political reason?  Did he have a physical or emotional impairment?  Was Orange, the father, too ill to work the farm alone?
4.     Phebe had a mother, a stepfather and his family, a brother John, and Stubbs uncles and cousins.  Did they in any way threaten Ethan?  If so, is that the reason Ethan and his father eventually left for parts West?  Was the move based on financial troubles or poor credit?
5.     Ethan was 27 years old when he married the 16-year-old Phebe.  Had he been married before?
6.     What happened to Jacob Boyers?  What happened to little Mary L. Daggett?  Was there a divorce for Phebe and Jason W. Beard?

Ivana Trump, former wife of “the Donald”, is quoted as saying, “the best revenge is living well”.  Did Phebe know such revenge?  I hope so.



Williams Co, OH Atlases, WCGS, 1864, 1874, 1894, 1904 Plat Map
1867 Personal Property Taxpayers, Wms Co, OH, WCGS


Bridgewater Twp, Wms Co, OH Cemeteries, WCGS, 1993, Cogswell Cemetery p24, 32
Jefferson Twp, Wms Co, OH Cemeteries, WCGS, 1986, West Jefferson Cemetery p20, 24
Pulaski Twp, Wms Co, OH Cemeteries, WCGS, 1989, Fountain Grove Cemetery p52
Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH Cemeteries, WCGS, 1992, Boynton Cemetery p 21, 24


1840 Federal Census Record, Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH, p239
1850 Federal Census Record, Franklin Twp, DeKalb Co, IN, p214
1850 Federal Census Record, Bridgewater Twp, Wms Co, OH, p49
1850 Federal Census Record, Jefferson Twp, Wms Co, OH, p24
1850 Federal Census Record, Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH, p95B-96, 100
1860 Federal Census Record, Franklin Twp, DeKalb Co, IN, p71
1860 Federal Census Record, Bridgewater Twp, Wms Co, OH, p93
1860 Federal Census Record, Jefferson Twp, Wms Co, OH,  p179B
1860 Federal Census Record, Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH, p61B
1870 Federal Census Record, Franklin Twp, DeKalb Co, IN, p64
1870 Federal Census Record, Bridgewater Twp, Wms Co, OH, p28
1870 Federal Census Record, Jefferson Twp, Wms Co, OH, p37
1870 Federal Census Record, Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH, p45
1870 Federal Census Record, Superior Twp, Wms Co, OH, p40
1880 Federal Census Record, Chicago, Cook Co, IL, ED 7 #161
1880 Federal Census Record, Summit, Smithfield Twp, DeKalb Co, IN, p19B
1880 Federal Census Record, Bridgewater, Twp, Wms Co, OH, p454B
1900 Federal Census Record, Russell, Center Twp, Russell Co, KS, p116
1900 Federal Census Record, Crowell Twp, Woods Co, OK, p7A
1910 Federal Census Record, Harrison Twp, Harrison Co, IA, p179
1910 Federal Census Record, Larned Twp, Pawnee Co, KS
1910 Federal Census Record, Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH, p8B
1920 Federal Census Record, Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH, p7B

Court Records

General Index of Common Pleas Court, Williams Co, OH 1824-1878, Journal 7 p369, 380-381, Nov 8-9, 1869, and microfilm Roll #21 Case #39, #57, 19 Aug 1869 and 2 Nov 1869; Journal 21 p393 Case #4547
Williams Co, OH Probate #201, 282, 2441, 4314, 4934, 8140

Death Records

Williams Co, OH Death Records, V1 p1, V2 p39, V3 p29


History of Williams Co, OH, Weston Goodspeed, 1882, p234, 318, 344, 394, 429-432, 434, 716-717, 737-740
Stories of Fountain City, Bryan, OH, Paul Van Gundy, 1975, p21
Supplement to Section Entitled John Doggett-Daggett of Martha’s Vineyard from 1894 History of Doggett-Daggett, Samuel Bradlee Doggett, George and Sydney Daggett, 1974

Marriage Records

Marriages of Hillsdale Co, MI, B-344, C-35, C-236, C-269, C-305
Marriages of Williams Co, OH, V2 p111, 132, 159, 188; V3 p48, V4 p636


“Bryan Democrat”, Bryan, Wms Co, OH microfilm newspaper collection, 17 Mar 1864 p3, 27 May 1869 p3
“Bryan Press”, Bryan, Wms Co, OH microfilm newspaper collection, 7 July 1887, p3; 19 Mar 1925, p2 c3, 21 Oct 1926, 23 July 1936
"Missouri Valley Times", Harrison Co, IA email copy from Harrison Co, IA Genealogical Society, 13 June 1912
“Northwest Republican”, Wauseon, Fulton Co, OH microfilm newspaper collection, 26 Aug 1869, p1
“Union Press”, Bryan, Wms Co, OH, microfilm newspaper collection, 19 Aug 1869, p4
“Whig Standard”, Hillsdale Co, MI, microfilm newspaper collection, 22 Aug 1854

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