Mary Ellen Van Fossen or Turnipseed (from the record) Simon(s) v Richard Simon(s) (Journal 10 p401 - 13 Mar 1880)
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)
Mary charged Richard with extreme cruelty. They had an infant daughter Hallah Mary. The action appeared to be dismissed but I found reference in The Bryan Democrat, 19 Feb 1880, p5, which stated the divorce was granted and custody of child was given to plaintiff plus $500 alimony and plaintiff was restored to her maiden name of Mary E. Vanfossen; however, in the record Mary’s maiden name was Turnipseed.
From the 1870 NW Twp federal census, p13, Richard Simon 17 IN lived with his parents, Henry and Mary Wagoner Simon and they were enumerated as Henry 52 EN and Mary 53 OH plus siblings Aaron 20 OH, Ann R 15 IN, Olive C 12 IN, Harriet 8 IN, and George 22 OH, wife Sarah J 17 OH, and daughter Anna B 2/12 OH. In the 1880 Paw Paw, Wabash Co, IN federal census a Richard Simons, a farm laborer, was enumerated as born 1853 IN. In 1881 he married a Mary; a son, Elmer H, b 28 Nov 1886 NW Twp (Birth V2 p91) was born to this couple. Later they were enumerated in the 1900 Woodbridge Twp, Hillsdale Co, MI federal census as Richard, Mary, and sons Leroy and Elmer.
On 28 Sept 1912 in Coldwater, Branch Co, OH Richard married Minnie B. Adams, daughter of Edward and Melissa Mott Purdy and former wife of Martin H. Adams. By 1920 they lived in Steuben Co, IN.
In the 1880 NW Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census p428, Mary E. Van Fossen, divorced, born 1857 OH was enumerated as step daughter of Hugh Thompson; his wife Susannah was born in Ohio c1837; also in the household was Mary’s daughter, Hallah M. Simons, born 1875 in OH; her father was a native of Indiana. Backtracking to the 1860 NW Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census p14 one finds mother Susannah with her small children, Eliza, Levi, and Mary. The picture of Mary Ellen Van Fossen is now much clearer; she was the daughter of Joseph and Susanna Sickles Van Fossen. Mary was born on 16 Aug 1856 in Williams Co, OH.
After the divorce she married David Rice in Reading, Hillsdale Co, MI on 20 Mar 1881; she died in Jan 1899 and was buried in the Maplewood Cemetery, Reading, Hillsdale Co, MI. Mary and David Rice had a son, Claude B. Rice, born 15 Nov 1885. It would appear that Mary’s father, Joseph Van Fossen, left the family sometime before 1860 and traveled west to Kansas. It is not know whether his wife Susanna sued for a divorce before she married Hugh Thompson on 18 May 1863 and Joseph married a Mary Bishop in Smith Co, KS.