13 October 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Hunter

John W. Hunter v Jane Ann Doty Hunter (Journal 5 p382 - Apr 1855; Roll 9 case number 59 - Apr 1855) - see Coy and Fesler

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married in Wms Co on 6 Oct 1850 (Marriage V2 p113).  Jane, born c1832 in Crawford Co, OH, was the daughter of Lyman and Maria Briggs Doty, natives of NY.  In the 1850 St. Joseph Twp, Wms Co federal census, p83, the Dotys appeared as Lyman 57 NY, Maria 50 NY, Jane Ann 18 OH, John W. 12 OH, and Lydia 9 OH.  John W. Hunter, b 4 Jan 1823, had an unusual household before this marriage as found in the 1850 St. Joseph Twp federal census p77B, as John W. 27 OH, Lucy Gray 50 NY, Nancy Hunter 18 MI, and Lucy Gray 5 MI. John was the son of William and Lucy Gardner Hunter, the former born in 1801 and the latter born in 1800, Salisbury, Montgomery Co, NY.  It would appear that the mother remarried a Gray after husband William died c1840 in Defiance Co, OH, or Sturgis, St. Joseph Co, MI, and had a child, Lucy Gray.  John W. and Jane Hunter had two known children, William E (18 July 1851 - 22 Sept 1854) and Cyrus (22 June 1853 - 13 Oct 1854). 

John W. Hunter stated in court that Jane was living in DeKalb Co, IN as of 13 Nov 1854 and he charged her with extreme cruelty.  She refused to cook, nor would she make, wash, or mend clothing.  Lucy Gray, who lived in the household, testified that Jane would never be willing to cook or do any mending.  Lucy made John's shirts.  The couple had two children who were both sick and they died c Sept 1854.  Jane was willful and lazy.  John bought calico and she would not use it.  She would not cook even though there was a cook stove and adequate firewood available.  John said Jane should only have her bed and clothing. He suffered from a liver disease and was in the care of Dr. J. Stough when she left him. He called the following witnesses to substantiate his claims: Alexander, Tobias, and Orphia Wright, Daniel Hunter, Harriet Parker, Margaret Miser, Calvin H. Everhart, Lorinda Davidson, and John McDonald.

Jane's brother, John Westley Doty, appeared in court and stated that John abused his wife and she ran away and took one of the children with her.  John came after her and said the cause of her leaving was his request for her to fetch a bucket of water.  Jane went into a fit and afterwards left the home.  John begged her to return, but her mother advised her to leave him. 

This divorce was granted.  On 10 Dec 1859 in Wms Co John married Mrs. Sarah Ann Fesler (Marriage V3 p79). Sarah, the ex-wife of Michael Fesler, had a daughter Sarah Amelia Fesler (9 Nov 1855 or 15 Oct 1856 - 12 Oct 1870) and a son William J. Fesler (12 June 1852 - 6 Oct 1854). John and Sarah had a daughter Susan A, b 20 Dec 1861.  The Hunters were enumerated in the 1860 St. Joseph Twp federal census p110b, as John 37 OH, Sarah 29 OH, Sarah A 4 OH, and Theador 14 OH.

John wrote a will on 6 Oct 1862 (Probate #784) in which he bequeathed Sarah A. Fesler, "daughter of my present wife $75 when she turned 18"; wife Sarah received his property of 56 acres with the bulk of his estate going to daughter Susan Hunter, who later married a Mr. Wartenbee.  The young girls were granted guardians by the court.  John was a soldier during the Civil War and died on 13 Aug 1863; he was buried in Shiffler Cemetery along with his young sons and his second wife's children.

After his death Sarah married David K. Bowersox on 27 July 1865 in Wms Co, OH, and together they had two children, Della J and Cyrus Bowersox.  The family was enumerated in the 1880 St. Joseph Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census; David died on 19 Sept 1881 and Sarah continued to live in Edgerton as of 1883; after that her whereabouts are not currently known.

Another case found in the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court (Roll 18 case number 4 - 25 Apr 1865 - Oct 1866) involved the housekeeper and mother, Lucy Gray who sued George E. Long, executor for the estate of JW Hunter.  Lucy said on 9 Feb 1850 John Hunter made a promissory note for payment to Lucy of $42.50 in one year, from Oct 1856-Oct 1857.  John did not pay her and later he died.  George Long said that John performed manual labor for Lucy and she should be satisfied.  He called Alexander Wright and Daniel Hunter as his witnesses.  The court decided that Long owed her $72.33 plus interest.  In the 1860 St. Joseph Twp federal census p111a, Lucy Gray 65 OH lived with the Daniel Hunter family; again in the 1870 St. Joseph Twp federal census, p10-11, the Daniel Hunter household included Lucy Gray 70 NY.  Lucy died on 18 Jan 1877 @ 77Y 6M 23D and was buried in the Maple Grove Cemetery.  Later the Daniel Hunter family was buried next to her.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this... I am a descendant of both Lucy Grays. I can add this information... that John and Daniel were born in Defiance County and Lucy (the younger) in Sturgis, Michigan. Lucy (the younger) later married Henry Snyder but died shortly after giving birth to a daughter.

Pamela Pattison Lash said...

Could you tell me anything more on Lucy Gray (the older)?

Pamela Pattison Lash said...


I contacted you on your blog about the Lucy Grays. Again, thanks for your info it was really helpful. I posted what I knew (which is not much) beyond what you already had.

My Swindeman ancestors were German immigrants who came to St. Joseph Township around 1870.

Henry ‘Pat’ Snyder’s first wife was Lucy Gray (the younger), whose daughter Vermilla (Nellie) married a Swindeman. I think it may have been Snyder’s barn that caught fire and burned down part of Edgerton.