03 October 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Finegan

Oscar S. Finegan v Irena S. Bollinger Finegan
Census Showed Various Birthplaces for Abandoned Husband,
Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1874 – see Oxenrider and Bacon

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 1 Mar 2013)

Irena S. Bollinger, b. 1852 OH, daughter of Jacob and Mary Ann Stoner Bollinger, married Oscar S. Finegan, a carpenter, on 2 Dec 1869, Madison Twp, Wms Co, OH.  In the 1860 Center Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census p77, the Bolinger family was listed as Jacob 45 PA, Mary 40 OH, with children Solomon, Amanda, Mary M, Arthalinda, Sarah E, and Sophia J.  Ten years before in 1850 the family lived in Wyandot Co, OH.

Oscar was born in Aug 1848, NY.  The Finegan couple was enumerated in the 1870 Madison Twp federal census, p19, as Oscar F. 21 NY and Irena 18 OH living next-door to her parents, a sister Athlinda Oxenrider 24 OH, and her son Elwood S. Oxenrider 5 OH. Irena’s sister, Athlinda, was also the subject of a divorce with husband David Oxenrider. Again in 1870 Oscar was listed in the Millcreek Twp federal census, p6, as living with his parents, Richard Fenagan 57 EN, Harriet 55 NY, Oscar 21 farm laborer OH, Margaret 18 OH, and Emmanor 13 (f) OH. One speculates that since Oscar was a farm laborer and a carpenter he was probably working for his father on 28 July 1870 when the census taker came to gather information.

Consulting the 1860 Millcreek Twp federal census, PO Domestic, p134a, one finds Richard Finigan 42 EN, Harriet 33 NY, Oskar 11 MI, Margaret 9 IN.  Prior to settling in Wms Co, the Richard Finnegan family lived in Franklin Twp, DeKalb Co, IN, as shown by the 1850 federal census, p212, with Richard 30 EN, Harriet 27 NY, Oscar 1 PA.  Here is an example of not only the same person enumerated in two different townships of the same census year, 1870, but also the same person listed in four different censuses with different birthplaces of PA, MI, NY, and OH.

Oscar petitioned the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court (Roll 26 case number 50 - 11 Aug 1874) for a divorce, charging Irena with adultery at the Sargeant House, Butler Co, IN, on 3 June 1874 with John F. Altofer, and as of Aug 1874 Irena was living in Brunsfield, Noble Co, IN.  She had abandoned Oscar.  After listening to his corroborating witness, Stephen Gilbert, the court granted Oscar a divorce.

The 1880 Madison Twp federal census, p476A, listed the Finegan household as Oscar S. 32 MI-EN-MA, Libbie C. 26 OH - Scotland - OH, Maud Bacon 8 OH, a boarder and stepdaughter of Oscar, and their daughter Gertie Finegan 1 OH-MI-OH.  Apparently the new wife was Elizabeth “Libbie” Beattie, born Dec 1854 in Mansfield, Richland Co, OH, the daughter of James and Susan Bright Beattie. They were married c 1875. Elizabeth M Beatri (note spelling) had married Leonard Dix Bacon in Amboy Twp, Hillsdale Co, MI on 16 Sept 1871; this bride was born c1854 in Richland Co, OH; the groom was born in Portage Co, OH c1846 (V1 p265).  Since Leonard is living in King Co, WA c1892-1920, there must have been a divorce prior to Libbie’s marriage to Oscar.  Note that Leonard’s father, Chauncey Clark Bacon, also had a divorce which is posted in this blog.

There is a birth record for an unnamed female (Beulah), b. 6 Mar 1884, Montpelier (Births, V2 p60) whose parents were listed as Oscar S. Fenigan and Libbie Beaty.  Elizabeth’s father, James, a native of Scotland, held the post of Treasurer for Hillsdale Co, MI.

In the 1900 Chicago, Ward 26, Cook Co, IL federal census p3, Oscar and his wife Elizabeth were listed with their three children, Gertrude (later married Charles W. Jones), Beulah, and Percy (later married Laura Hazelfeldt). Note that this record stated Oscar was born in Michigan to immigrants from Ireland. Libbie died in Chicago, Cook Co, IL on 14 Apr 1901 and was buried in the Rose Hill Cemetery; Oscar, a carpenter, died in Chicago, Cook Co, IL on 14 Mar 1905 and was also buried in the Rose Hill Cemetery.  Irena's fate is not currently known.

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