Mary Hable Boos v John Boos
Catalogue of Physical Abuse Ignored, No Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1879 – see Stewart
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)
No divorce was granted for the wife who came to court and listed over 100 times when her husband physically abused her. He was accused of being a habitual drunk for over six years, but that did not sway the court. The wife ended her days married to the retired German saloonkeeper in Edgerton, St. Joseph Twp, Wms Co, OH.
John Boos, b. 6 July 1827, Blarmick, Hesse, Danustat on the River Rhine, came to the US in 1849 and initially made New York City his home. In 1852 he moved to Cleveland, OH, where he married Mary Hable on 23 Apr 1854. The couple moved to NW Ohio before 1858 (Milford Twp, Defiance Co, OH) and John eventually set up a saloon in Edgerton, OH. Wms Co, OH Criminal Court case #517 showed John Boos was charged with serving liquor to minors on 1 Aug 1858. He belonged to the St. Mary's Catholic Church while his wife Mary followed the Lutheran religion.
Mary Hable, b. 12 Apr 1821, Gemesfebt, Germany, had entered the US prior to 1851. She lived briefly in Wooster, Wayne Co, OH before moving to Cleveland where she met John Boos. The 1860 Milford Twp, Defiance Co, OH federal census p399-400, showed the Boos family as John 33 Hesse-Darmstadt, Mary 36 Wurtemburg, Mary 8 OH, John 5 OH, and Amy 2 OH. This couple became the parents of seven children, but only the following four are currently known: Mary (1854 - aft 1906, Toledo, OH; m. __ Hahn); John G. (1855 - 1920, Butler, DeKalb Co, IN, m. Rosannah Weber, 28 Jan 1882, Wms Co, OH, V5 #108); Emma (1857-May 1915, Youngstown, Mahoning Co, OH, m1 Frank H. Tyler, 18 June 1887, Wms Co V5 #1004; m2 JM Spier/Spears); Charles (Oct 1866 - aft 1906, Edgerton, m. Geneva A. Law, 7 July 1897, Wms Co, V7 #382).
The Boos family was enumerated in the 1870 St. Joseph Twp federal census p38, as saloonkeeper John 44 Hesse Darmstadt, Mary 46 Wurtemberg, John 15 PA, Emma 13 OH, Charles 4 OH. Note the PA birthplace for John Jr.
Mary as stated earlier wanted a divorce in 1879 when she appeared at the Williams County Civil and Criminal Court (Roll 34 case number 661 - 26 May and 8 Jul 1879). She listed the names of her four children and their ages as Mary 25, John G 24, Emma 21, and Charles 14, who was a helpless invalid, incapable of movement. Mary accused John of habitual drunkenness and physical abuse dating back to 1 Sept 1866 - 25 May 1879. She further listed over 100 times prior to 1 Dec 1866 when she was struck, kicked, choked, and wounded by her husband. Mary told the court that on 25 May 1879 John had driven her out of their home. Mary was the owner of Lot 59 in Edgerton and she owned other real estate as well.
For unknown reasons the court rejected her case and no divorce was granted. In 1880 the couple was enumerated in the St. Joseph Twp federal census, p4, as John Boos retired saloonkeeper 56 Germany, Mary 58 Germany, Charles 15 OH. Perhaps Mary's court appearance had something to do with John's status as retired. In 1900 they were again listed in the St. Joseph Twp federal census, p197B, with John still a retired saloonkeeper and the youngest son, Charles, a farm clerk, married to Geneva Law, a milliner, lived nearby. Geneva, herself a divorcee, ended her marriage to John H. Stewart, whom she married in Wms Co on 16 Nov 1880 (Divorce Journal 12; Roll 38).
Oldest son John G. owned a meat shop in Edgerton and his father was also involved in the meat cutting business. Daughter Emma Speir had married a meat cutter as well. Mary Boos died in Edgerton on 1 Oct 1904 @83Y 5M 20D and was buried in the Maple Grove Cemetery, Edgerton ("Butler Weekly", 7 Oct 1904). John Boos died on 30 Aug 1906 in Butler, IN ("Butler Weekly", 7 Sept 1906) @ 79Y 1M 25D was buried beside his wife.