Sarah Matilda Rosendaul Duroy v Eugene Duroy
A Case of She Said, He Said, Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1881
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)
She said, "I was violently assaulted. It was late at night. He pulled me out of bed, tore off by bedclothes, and beat me with his fist. I had bruises for two weeks. He choked me and used profane language. I fled to another room and locked the door. He broke down the door. This has happened many times."
He said, "I wanted my supper after a long day's labor and she refused to feed me. She struck me, seized me by the back of my neck, and dug in her fingers. I defended myself."
She said, "My husband has been habitually drunk for more than three years and I charge him with gross neglect and failure to provide for me and the child. He brings home whisky bottles instead of food."
The following divorce case illustrates the "she said, he said" cases that are all too prominent in the civil and criminal court records of the county, and probably any county in the US, both in olden times as well as today. Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in between. You be the judge.
Eugene Duroy, b. 18 June 1857, Stryker, Springfield Twp, Wms Co, was the son of James and Catherine (Sharpie?) Duroy, natives of France. He married Sarah Matilda Rosendahl on 22 Nov 1877, Wms Co (Marriages, V4 p546). Sarah M. or Matilda as she was known was born on 26 Nov 1858 in Wms Co, the daughter of Francis and Margaret E. (Partee) Rosendaul. The Duroys had a daughter, Myrta Alice (b. 24 Aug 1879, Springfield Twp [Births, v2 p10] - 13 Oct 1931, Toledo, Lucas Co, OH; m. Elwin E. Taylor, 27 Apr 1896, Wms Co [Marriages, V7 #129]; Elwin was a veteran of the Spanish-American War).
Eugene's family was found in the 1850 Springfield Twp federal census, p94B, as James 43 FR, Catherine 35 FR, Henry 12 FR, Catherine 8 FR, Charly 5 OH, and Peter 1 OH. Next door to them were the Sharpies, James 65 FR and Catherine 64 FR. Speculation exists that these were Eugene's maternal grandparents, but this had not been proven todate.
James Duroy, a farmer, owned various pieces of land in Sec 1 Pulaski Twp and Sec 7 Springfield Twp. Some were deeded to his wife Catherine. The Duroys added more children to the family shown by the 1860 Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census PO Stryker p57, as James 49 FR, Catherine 48 FR, George 19 FR, Louisa 17 FR, Charles 15 FR, Peter 12 OH, Lewis 10 OH, Catherine 8 OH, Adalade 6 OH, and Eugene 4 OH. By the 1870 Springfield Twp federal census, p20, the family appeared as James Duroy 48 FR, Catherine 47 FR, Louis 20 OH, Kate 17 OH, Adaline 15 OH, and Eugene 13 OH. Catherine Duroy died 6 Sept 1877 @63Y 3M 11D and was buried in the French Cemetery, Springfield Twp, several months before son Eugene married Matilda.
Eugene owned real estate as part of his mother's estate (Probate, #1974 - 24 Sept 1877) with brother-in-law, Rudolph Reed, as the executor and holder of the purse strings. Reed controlled the estate even though Eugene's father, James Duroy, was still living. At the time of the divorce, Matilda knew Eugene had real estate and money. She claimed the right to part of these holdings in her suit. Eugene requested and was granted visitation rights to see his daughter. James Duroy died @73Y 5M 16D on 13 June 1884, and was buried beside wife Catherine. His estate was divided among his children with Eugene receiving an equal share (Probate, #2554 - 24 June 1884). Matilda learned of this and proceeded back to court to claim more alimony and child support.
Matilda's parents, Francis and Margaret Partee Rosendaul were married in Wms Co, on 27 Nov 1856, and Matilda had early Wms and Defiance Co settlers as grandparents, Peter and Elizabeth Metz Rosendaul and James and Charlotte Reid Partee. Her father Francis, a carpenter, was a Civil War veteran, serving in Co H 38th Reg Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He and Margaret were enumerated with his parents in the 1860 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census, p49B, as follows: Peter 60 Prussia, Elizabeth 55 Prussia, Benjamin 22 OH, Maria 17 OH, Franklin 26 Prussia, Margaret 19 OH, Matilda 2 OH, and James N. 2/12 OH. By the 1870 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census, p15, one finds Frank 36 PR, Margaret 30 OH, Matilda 12 OH, James N. 10 OH, John 9 OH, Minerva 7 OH, William 3 OH, and Dana 1 OH.
After Matilda's marriage and before applying for her divorce, she lived with her parents according to the 1880 Bryan, Pulaski Twp, p620, as Frank 47 PR, Margaret 39 OH, Sarah M. Duroy 21 OH, Myrtie Duroy 10/12 OH, plus the other Rosendaul children.
According to the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court records (Journal 11 p195 - 21 June 1881; Roll 36 case number 877 - 4 Apr 1881) Matilda described the events outlined in the beginning of this detailing. She stated this happened on 29 Dec 1880 and that she left home with her child on 11 Feb 1881. Considering the 1880 federal census one surmises that this was not the first time she left home and returned to her parent's care, but there could also be another reason for her appearance on that census record. The Rosendauls had 13 children, with Matilda being the oldest. At the time of this 1880 census, her mother Margaret was pregnant with child #13, Viola or Olive L., b. 13 Sept 1880. Matilda could be living in the household to take care of her younger siblings and to give assistance with her mother's eminent lying in period. The Rosendauls had the following children: Sarah Matilda, James Newton, John A., Minerva J, Elizabeth, William E, Dana B, Alice M, Francis, Daniel E, Lemuel B, Charles, and Viola.
Francis Rosendaul, b. Aug 1833, Westphalia, Germany, died on 6 Nov 1914, Bryan, and was buried in Shiffler Cemetery. His wife Margaret, b. 17 May 1841, Brunnersburg, Wms Co (now Defiance Co) died on 18 Apr 1918, Bryan, and was laid to rest beside her husband.
Matilda Duroy again appeared before the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court (Journal 12 p430 - Mar 1885 and Journal 13 p208, 243 - Nov 1885) asking for more alimony and child support. The case was continued both times. Matilda eventually married Harvey Kline, on 29 Dec 1887, Wms Co (Marriages, V5 #1142). On 21 Apr 1889, Stryker (Births, V2) the Klines became parents to William F. Kline, born in April 1889. They were enumerated in the 1900 Stryker, Springfield Twp federal census as Harvey 42 OH, Matilda 41, married 13 years with three children, 2 surviving, Myrtle 20 OH, and William F 11 OH. Matilda died on 22 Oct 1917 and was buried beside her husband, Harvey, in Oakwood Cem, Stryker.
What happened to Eugene Duroy after 1885? He married Eliza Adeline Towers, b. 5 June 1866, Bryan in 1887. "Addie" was the daughter of Thomas and Hariette Dawson Towers. A later divorce case from Journal 14 p238 - Nov 1887 showed a Kate Duroy wanted a divorce from husband Eugene Duroy. The case was continued after 19 Mar 1888 and by 23 June 1888 Kate requested the case to be dismissed. Is Kate Duroy this Eliza Adeline Duroy or was there another wife in between? Perhaps there was another Eugene Duroy, but no other man has been found.
What is known is that this couple had four children: Irwin Levi (18 Oct 1888 -?), Herbert Franklin (28 July 1891 - aft 1910), Sylvia Leone (18 Dec 1894 -?), and Louis Roscoe (17 Feb 1895 - aft 1910). Eugene and Addie were enumerated in the 1900 Brady Twp federal census with Eugene as a 42 year old teamster, married 13 years, with 4 children, 3 surviving along with wife Addie as 33 OH; again they were listed in the 1910 Lincoln Twp, Osceola Co, MI federal census as Eugene 53, Addie E. 43, and two children, Herbert 18 and Louis 15. Eugene died on 12 Aug 1913 in Stryker. His wife, Eliza, died on 4 Oct 1947 in Gladstone, Delta Co, MI.