Isaac Shaffer v Alinda Eagley Shaffer
Man of Many Occupations Sought Divorce from Reluctant Wife, Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1885
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)
The History of Williams County, Ohio, Goodspeed, 1882, p807, contains a biographical sketch of a native Hooser who with his parents traveled to DeKalb Co, IN c1848. He spent three years at the Wolcottville Seminary and an additional year at Northwest College in Plainfield, Illionois where he taught school. By 1874 he had established a furniture business back in Wolcotville, LaGrange Co, IN, and spent time in 1878 as a traveling salesman. By 1880 he established a drug store in Hamilton Co, IN, and in Sept 1881 brought that business to Alvordton, Millcreek Twp, Wms Co, OH. According to this biographical entry he was married and had two sons. If a researcher only used this material the picture of this man's life would seem pretty routine. However, if one searches the divorce cases, one finds more to this multi-faceted man's life.
Isaac Shaeffer/Shaffer, born 26 Nov 1846, Wayne Co, IN, son of Abraham and Elizabeth Gerry Shaeffer, married Alinda Eagley in Van Buren Twp, LaGrange Co, IN on 24 June 1872; the marriage was officiated by Reverend Philip O'Mailey. Note that Goodspeed cited the wrong marriage date. The biographical sketch gave Alinda's birthplace as Erie Co, PA, and the fact that she was a member of the Evangelical Association. Starting with this information I discovered that Alinda's parents were John and Leah Fry Eagley; Alinda was born on 30 Apr 1851. On 13 July 1853 John and Leah Eagley sold their farm of 103 acres in Erie Co, PA and moved to Van Buren Twp, LaGrange Co, IN c1860.
In the summer of 1876 the couple lived in Wolcotville; when Isaac wanted to move to Wms Co in Aug 1881, Alinda refused to live with him. The couple separated when Isaac moved here. The biographical entry of 1882 reflected the notion that this couple was happily living together in Alvordton.
Isaac requested a divorce in the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court (Journal 13 p1 - 23 Feb 1885; Roll 41 Box 137 case number 1402 - 6 Jan 1885). He stated that his wife's whereabouts were unknown. The couple had two sons, Homer John, age 12, and Ulysses G, age 10. The court granted Isaac a divorce after a notice ran for the usual six consecutive weeks in the Bryan Press. Isaac had taken this action a little over three years after they separated. Isaac, however, did not request custody of his children. The particulars concerning Alinda are not currently known, but in the 1880 Van Buren, LaGrange Co, IN federal census p306 Alinda Shaffer and her sons Homer and Early were enumerated with her parents. It is known that her parents died in LaGrange Co, IN in 1885 (mother) and 1887 (father); they were both buried in the Eagley Cemetery found in Van Buren Twp there. An online source stated that Alinda died on 14 Feb 1933. She was listed in both the 1920 and 1930 Camden, Hillsdale Co, MI federal census records; Alinda was listed as a widow.
What prompted Isaac to seek a divorce may be answered by another record found in Wms Co. Isaac Shaeffer married Mrs. Martha A. Poulsen on 24 May 1885 (Marriages V5 #658). Martha was the former wife of Franklin M. Poulsen. In 1900 and 1910 Isaac and Martha were enumerated in the Mill Creek Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census records. Isaac ran a general store in Alvordton, OH where he died on 17 Oct 1911 and was buried in Pioneer, Ohio.