25 October 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Mills

Richmond M. Mills v Rosa H. Bridinger Mills (Journal 12 p430 - 22 Dec 1884; Journal 14 p352 - 11 June 1888; Journal 15 p69 - 1888; Roll 47 case number 2085 - 4 June 1889)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married on 11 Jan 1877 in Wms Co (Marriage V4 p45).  Richmond, born 27 Mar 1834 NY, was the son of Minor and Hannah/Martha Wood Mills. According to the 1860 St. Joseph federal census p110a, the Mills family was listed as LN 28 NY, Hannah 62 NY, Richmond 26 NY, Lois 28 NY, and William J 22 NY. By the 1870 St. Joseph Twp federal census p12, the family appeared as Richmond 35 NY, Hannah 72 NY, Lois 27 NY, and Nathaniel Hutchins 13 OH.  In the 1880 St. Joseph Twp federal census p590D, the family was listed as Richmond 40 NY, Rosa 19 OH with German parentage, William 3 OH, and Martha 1 OH.  Richmond and Rosa Mills had the following children: William G (19 Mar 1876 – 5 July 1913), John Keenan (b 19 Mar 1877), Martha H. (b 7 Feb 1879), and Mary Ann (b 14 Dec 1880).  Note that on William Mills' tombstone inscription in Maple Grove Cemetery, Edgerton, his birth date was 1876, making him issue before the marriage or the son of another. 

From the 1870 Richland Twp, Defiance Co, OH federal census p164A the Bridinger family was enumerated as George Bridinger 41 Wurtemberg, Hannah 37 Saxony, Rosa 9 OH, Matilda 7 OH, Henry 4 OH, and David 1 OH.  Rosa’s parents were George and Hanna Richard Bridinger.  According to the 1880 Ferris, Montcalm Co, MI federal census, Rosa was living with her mother and siblings; her father had died sometime between 1870-1880. Note that Rosa was listed twice in the 1880 federal census – once with her husband in Ohio and once with her mother in Michigan.

The court initially continued the case but Richmond charged Rosa with being willfully absent for five years plus he wished custody of the children.  A legal notice appeared in the Bryan Press.  A divorce was granted, but on 11 June 1888 a criminal action was brought against Richmond and Caroline Stirtz for cohabiting in adultery. The defendants claimed that they were not guilty. The Edgerton Earth, 5 Nov 1915, p5, reported Richmond's demise on 2 Nov 1915. The Maple Grove Cemetery showed burials for Richmond M. Mills (1834-1915), his son William, and his sister Lois N Mills, who was incorrectly identified in the cemetery records as Richmond's wife. 

Rose Bridinger Mills married George O. Spaulding in Charlotte, Eaton Co, MI on 15 June 1889.  According to their marriage license she was born in 1862 NY; George was born in NY c1854; his parents were John and Maria Jackson Spaulding. 

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