Margaret Mary Clark Pew v Thomas Spafford Pew
Hester Conklin Pew McLain v William Harvey McLain
He Divorces, She Divorces, Two Divorces in Williams Co, OH, 1855, 1885 – see Back
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 13 January 2013)
Thomas Spafford Pew, b 1824, NY, married NY native Mary Margaret Clark in Bridgewater Twp, Wms Co on 16 May 1846 (Marriages V1 p88). Mary was born in 1827. The couple was listed in the 1850 NW Twp federal census, p51, as Thomas Piew 25 NY, Mary 23 NY, Malvina 3 OH, and Martha 1 OH. Currently the parentage of this couple is unknown; there may be a relationship to an Elias and Judith DePiew, both from NY, who also lived in Wms Co (1850 Bridgewater Twp federal census, p48-48B) and a Hulbert and Mary Clark, both NY natives (1850 Bridgewater Twp federal census p47B).
According to Williams County Civil and Criminal Court Records (Journal 5 p370, 381 - April 1855; Roll 9 case number 66 - April 1854), Margaret M. Pew requested a divorce from husband Thomas S. Pew citing that in 1847 she had lived apart from him for six months because of his extreme cruelty to her. On 24 June 1848 he committed adultery in Bridgewater Twp with women unknown to Margaret. On 1 May 1851 in Bridgewater he committed adultery with Jane Norman. For the last seven years he had been grossly neglectful of her and treated her cruelly. The couple had three children, Mary M (b. 1847), Alvira P (b. 10 Apr 1849), and Thomas Perry (b. 25 May 1854). Their father had personal property valued at $200 and real estate valued at $1,000. The court granted a divorce and Thomas was to pay court costs.
Thomas S. Pew next married Hester Conklin between 1855-1857. Hester or Esther was born in Oct 1838, OH, the daughter of Joshua and Ruth Irene Roberts Conklin. Joshua and his family were listed in the 1850 Bridgewater Twp federal census, p48B, as Joshua 41 NY, Ruth 39 VT, William 28 NY, Phebia 18 NY, Philip 15 NY, Adaline 14 NY, Esther 11 OH, Henry 9 OH, D***tus (m) 8 OH, Elizabeth 6 OH, Hannah 5 OH, and George 3 OH. Thomas Pew and his family were enumerated in the 1860 NW Twp federal census, p9A, as Stafford Pew 36 OH, Esther C 21 OH, Mary E 13 OH, Martha J 11 OH, Charles 3 OH, and Lydia 2 OH. Note that in 1860 the first two children belong to Thomas' first marriage.
In the 1860 Jefferson Twp federal census, p179B, there is an unusual household that could explain the whereabouts of his first wife and youngest son who were residing there but the ages do not correspond to their projected ages. The household was enumerated as Wesley Clark 35 OH, Mary Pew 18 NY, GW Clark 7 MI, and Thomas Pew 51 OH. In the 1870 Jefferson Twp federal census, p37, one finds Mary M. Pugh 45 NY, Pary 17 OH, and Lincoln Sinclair 3 OH. Further study of this group may enlighten the reader as to what happened to the first wife and son.
Heeding the call to arms during the Civil War, Thomas S. Pew joined the 3rd Ohio Cavalry Co H, enlisting on 20 Aug 1861 and receiving a disability discharge on 31 Jan 1863. The Wms Co, OH Atlas, 1864, showed a TS Pew owning property in NW Twp Sec 6. Thomas died before 30 Apr 1869 when his estate was probated (#1289) and he was buried in Eagle Creek Cemetery, Superior Twp as TS Pew with an inscription on his tombstone as to his military service, but no dates of birth or death.
From the 1870 NW Twp federal census, p38-39, one finds Esther C. Pew 31 OH, Charles 13 OH, Lydia 12 OH, Eliza 9 OH, and Frances (f) 3 OH, all the known children of Esther and Thomas Pew. Their particulars are Charles Edward (b. 1857), Lydia Samantha (b. 10 Mar 1858), Eliza Ellen (b.1861), and Frances (b. 1867).
Esther, the widow, next married William Harvey McLain on 8 Apr 1872, Hillsdale Co, MI (Lib E p106). William H., b. 11 Apr 1824, Onandaga Co, NY, was the son of William and Mariah Nelson McLain. This family left NY and settled first in Monroe Co, MI c1833. William H. married Malinda Dennis, b 1829 Maine, on 1 Jan 1849, Whiteford, Monroe Co, MI; Malinda died in NW Twp, Wms Co on 7 Mar 1871 @41Y 7M 15D and was buried in the Nettle Lake Cemetery. They were the parents of Jeremie, Alonzo, Eli Nelson, George Washington, Ralph C, Eulela B, Mary E, Andrew Jackson, William, Martha Malinda, Malissa Jane, and Arilla.
By the time of Esther's marriage to William H. McLain the couple lived on Esther's farm of 40 acres. According to the 1880 NW Twp federal census, p441A, the McLain family was listed as William 56 NY, Hester C 40 OH, James 7 OH, Ruth 4 OH, Frances Pugh 13 OH. Esther and William H. McLain were the parents of James Harrison (23 May 1873 - 6 May 1897; buried in Nettle Lake Cem), Ruth Irene (25 July 1876 - ?), Thomas Jefferson (13 Apr 1879 - bef 1885), and Frederic W. (20 Sept 1880 - ?).
According to the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court Records (Journal 12 p431 - 22 Dec 1884; Journal 13 p64 - 16 Mar 1885; Roll 41 case number 1383 - 1 Nov 1884) Esther C. McLain wanted a divorce. Note that the divorce proceedings showed that Esther told the court that she was married on 24 Apr 1872 in Hillsdale Co, MI, by HG Dover. The couple had three living children, James Harrison, Ruth Irene, and Frederick, ages 11, 8, and 4, respectively. Esther said she had limited means and that her husband had failed to provide her with any necessities of life. He was willfully absent for three years; William remained idle but he was physically capable of working. She requested custody of the children, and reasonable alimony. The court granted the divorce, allowed that Esther be awarded the 40 acres of land (which was her property anyway), and husband William was given visitation rights to see the children.
William H. McLain died on 1 Aug 1902 @78Y 3M 21D as found in his obituary (Montpelier Enterprise, 14 Aug 1902) and was buried in the Pleasant View Cemetery in Montpelier, OH. Esther C McLain married David Flegal on 15 Oct 1900 in Gratiot Co, MI - he was married once before and she was married twice before. Esther died on 12 Aug 1906 in Gratiot Co, MI.