06 October 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Goff


Rhoda Hess Goff v George Alanson Goff
He Went Home to Mother, Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1883
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

This couple had no children.  The husband was extremely cruel, a habitual drunk, and a spoiled son.  He left his wife and went home to his mother.  For the sad wife, this was the last straw.

Rhoda Hess married George A. Goff in Amboy Twp, Hillsdale Co, MI, on 27 Oct 1874 (Marriages Lib E p162).  Rhoda b. 1857 OH was the daughter of Bridgewater Twp, Wms Co, OH residents, Conrad and Jane Hess, who appeared in the 1860 p93A, as Conrad 60 PA, Jane 45 PA, William J 18 PA, Elizabeth 15 PA, Mary 13 OH, John 12 OH, Joseph 6 OH, and Rhoda 3 OH.  This family was also listed in the 1870 federal censuses for that township p11, with Rhoda M. charted as 15 OH.

Rhoda appeared in the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court (Journal 12 p172 - 20 Dec 1883; Roll 40 case number 1218) and requested a divorce from George.  She stated that George was extremely cruel to her on 10 Apr 1878 at their home in Pioneer, OH, when he hit and struck her.  He left her three years ago, providing no support.  His mother, Julia Goff of Burr Oak, MI, had property and money to help Rhoda but she had chosen not to give her any assistance.  George as to Rhoda's knowledge was living with his mother.  He was a habitual drunk for most of their marriage.  Rhoda called the following men as witnesses of her plight: Daniel Stough, John Moore, and John Orewiler.  The court agreed that Rhoda should receive a divorce and be restored to her maiden name of Hess. Rhoda Hess married Duane Clow on 18 Oct 1892, Wms Co (Marriages V6 #784).  Nothing else is currently known of this couple.

In the 1880 Burr Oak, St. Joseph Co, MI federal census p259, George Goff 26 MI-NY-OH lived with his mother Julia 59 OH-CT-Unk and his brother Charles 30 MI-NY-OH.  George, born 16 Nov 1853, appears to be the son of Dorsitt J and Julia Terrill Goff.  The Goff household was enumerated in the 1860 Burr Oak, St. Joseph Co, MI federal census p as DJ Goff 44 NY, Julia 39 OH, Frank 15 MI, Charley 12 MI, George 6 MI, Ellen 4 MI, Julia Casata 18 Ire, and Lucretia Terrel 60 CT.  Prior to this census the Goff family lived in Coldwater, Branch Co, MI in 1850. In the 1900 Burr Oak, St. Joseph Co, MI federal census p5B, George Goff and his new family were listed as George 46 MI, Laura wife, born Sept 1855, married 1886 as 44 MI, and children Maggie A 9 MI, and Vern A 4 MI.  Laura Start, daughter of George Harvey and Martha Decker Start, was George’s new wife and together they had several other children who died at birth.  Laura died on 18 Jan 1929 and George died on 28 Jan 1905 in Burr Oak where he is buried.

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