18 October 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Kint and Spring

Delilah Cain Owens Kint v Daniel M. Kint
Delilah Cain Owens Kint Spring v Samuel S. Spring

Colorful Character and Early Settler, Divorces in Williams County, Ohio, 1874 and 1879

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 4 Mar 2011) - see Roll 47 Estate Suit: Owen v Rogers

Putting flesh on the subjects of both divorces detailed herein has been a challenge.  The lady of these cases was one of 23 children.  She traveled in her early life as does her younger daughter and made a home for her own four children in Montpelier, Superior Twp, Wms Co, OH.  She was a businesswoman, a colorful character, a thrice-married pioneer with two divorces, a gun-toting grandmother, and an early settler of this county.

Delilah Cain, daughter of Samuel and Esther Elizabeth Mockerman Cain, was born in Stark Co, OH on 4 Nov 1834.  With her family she traveled throughout Ohio, finally landing in Florence Twp c1838 on 93 acres of Section 1.  Her father, Samuel Cain, was born in Beaver Co, PA on 4 July 1810 and married Washington Co, PA native Elizabeth Mockerman, born 26 Aug 1810.  In 1829 they moved to Harrison Co, OH; in 1831 they settled in Stark Co, followed by brief stays in Richland Co, and Napoleon, Henry Co, before permanently residing in Wms Co. 

Samuel and Esther held the first school in Florence Twp, Union Corners, in their kitchen c1842.  By 1844 Samuel sold his original homestead and bought another property there, but at the end of the Civil War he purchased 80 acres two miles north of Columbia in NW Twp.  Esther, the mother of 12 children, died on 11 June 1852 and was buried in the Eagle Creek Cemetery.  On 3 Mar 1853 Samuel married a young lady named Rachel Meek, born in Richland Co, OH, on 11 May 1834.  Rachel would eventually add 11 more children to the Cain household.

Whether it was the death of her mother or the remarriage of her father to a girl scarcely six months older than herself, Delilah Cain moved west with a family traveling by prairie schooner in 1853 stopping at Nauvoo, IL, Keokuk, IA, and ending up in Memphis, TN.

There, Delilah met and married John Owen, an Irishman, c1856, and relocated back to Montpelier in 1863.  John may have been a surveyor as indicated on a monument located in Riverside Cemetery with no dates.  Delilah's obituary in "The Leader Enterprise", 22 Feb 1912, p1, mentions John's death in 1869, but estate records in Wms Co (Probate #1235) are dated for 8 Oct 1868.  Delilah and John Owen were the parents of three children, Johannah Josephine "Josie" (1862 TN - aft 1912), John (1865 OH - 2 Sept 1877, Wms Co), and Samuel Jones (1867 OH - Feb 1928).  Although there were no dates on their tombstones, it may be that all three children were buried there with the parents.  Why did Delilah return here?  Perhaps she wanted to be near her large group of siblings and parents?  Perhaps her husband John wanted to leave Tennessee and look for a better life for his family?  Perhaps the grass was not greener elsewhere?

Widow Delilah, now the mother of three, married Daniel M. Kint on 12 Mar 1871, at Montpelier, Superior Twp, Williams Co, OH (Marriages V4 p162).  They became parents of daughter Margaret Ellen, born 11 Dec 1871, Superior Twp (Births V1 p37).  Daniel served in the Civil War as a private in Co K 132nd Ohio Infantry. By the time Margaret was three years old Delilah appeared in the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court (Journal 8 p275 - 4 Nov 1874; Roll 26 case number 60) requesting a divorce, stating that Daniel had been willfully absent for three years and left without cause or justification.  She was granted a divorce.  There was a Daniel M. Kint buried in the Nettle Lake Cemetery (18 Dec 1845 - 11 Apr 1919) who married Elizabeth A. Eckler, 1 Jan 1879.  In the 1870 Superior Twp federal census Daniel was a day laborer living with brothers Cyrus and George.  He may have been the son of Simon and Mary High Kint. She may have been the daughter of Henry and Sarah Eckler of Superior Twp. Birth records for this county show him to have been a father to at least six other children by this second wife.

Divorcee Delilah now had four children to support and upon the form of a shoemaker she set her sights.  Samuel S. Spring, born in Germany on 3 July 1837, a Civil War veteran of Co A 32nd Indiana Regiment, came to Montpelier c1876.  On 27 Apr 1876 (Marriages V4 p460) Delilah Cain Owens Kint married Samuel Spring in Bryan.  Two weeks after this marriage Samuel changed his pleasant, sober, temperate self and Delilah found herself the object of threats, abusive language, gross neglect, and physical abuse as Samuel was "a habitual drunk."  She once more appeared at the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court (Journal 9 - 14 Nov 1876; Roll 30 case number 58) seeking a divorce but the case was dismissed.  Later Samuel was confined to the penitentiary on 20 June 1877 and Delilah became known as Mrs. Delilah Owen again. 

According to the "Fountain City Argus", Nov 1878, Montpelier had a new store, a harness shop with Samuel Spring working for PB Shaffer.  Samuel 45, a Swiss native, appeared in the 1880 Superior Twp federal census, p24, as a shoemaker and boarder with John and Fredericka Bowers; Delilah Owen appeared separately as Delilah 45 OH along with children Johannah 18 TN teacher, Samuel J 13 OH, ML (female) Kint 8 OH, and Charles Kane 22 OH boarder and half-brother to Delilah.

According to the Business Directory of Montpelier, which includes excerpts from the "Montpelier Leader Enterprise", one learns that in Oct 1881 Delilah owned "The Empire Hotel", the first one in Montpelier but she wanted to rent or sell it; the papers have scattered mention of her efforts to sell this with the sale in June 1901 to LW Franks of Ransom, MI.  This hotel had 20 rooms and was constructed of yellow poplar; it eventually was burned down in 1981 to make way for the Montpelier Garage. 

Recollections of aged Montpelier residents tell one that as the proprietress of Empire House, Delilah kept a gun under the counter to keep the peace and she was known to tear through the neighborhood when the notion took her fancy.  Her daughter, Josie, was well admired for her dedication as a teacher.  Josie would walk 2-3 miles one way to school each morning and the same distance at night. 

What became of Samuel Spring?  A comment in the above-mentioned Montpelier newspapers of 1882 showed that Samuel, the boot and shoemaker, could take it easy if he had not attempted to build so many railroads involving lots of money.  From the 1890 Veterans Schedule of Montpelier, Superior Twp, Williams Co, OH, one finds both Daniel M Kint and Samuel Spring listed. Samuel died on 27 Aug 1894 @57Y in Montpelier ("Leader", 16 Sept 1894).  He was a member of Hiram Louden Post, GAR, who took care of his burial service and he was laid to rest in Floral Grove Cemetery, West Unity.  Samuel left behind a companion and three children.  Williams County birth records showed a birth for female Perl Spring, daughter of Samuel Spring and Elizabeth Smathers, born in Montpelier, 24 Oct 1892.  It may be he married outside of the county, as there are no marriage records for this couple.  Nothing more is known of him to date.

Thirteen days before Samuel's death, Delilah's stepmother, Rachel Cain, died on 14 Aug 1894 @59Y 3M 3D and was buried in Rogers Cemetery beside her husband, Samuel Cain, who had died on 24 Mar 1887.  In 1903 Delilah's half brother Charles M. Cain purchased SA Jackson's interest in a musical instrument business formerly known as Jackson and Cain.

Delilah Cain Owen's obituary related that she died at home in Montpelier on 12 Feb 1912 @77Y 3M 8D of cirrhosis or hardening of the liver; she was buried in Riverside Cemetery, Montpelier.  Her three surviving children were listed as Mrs. HB Franks and SJ Owen of Montpelier and Mrs. WL Whitney of Caimanera, Cuba, who on account of the long distance from home could not be present for the funeral; she was also survived by a grandson, Owen Tyson (no further information given).  There was no mention in the papers of her Kint or Spring marriages, which is another example of the importance of these divorce records.  Her final words to her children were "Be Good".  Her funeral was conducted by Reverend George W. Long, which included a male quartette of consoling selections.  It would appear that her daughter, possibly Josephine, had married the brother of the man who eventually bought her hotel.  Delilah's estate was probated on 9 Aug 1913 (#5780).

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