Eliza Jennie Preston Sumner v Alonzo J. Sumner, 1878
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)
The couple was married on 8 Aug 1874 in Amboy Twp, Hillsdale Co, MI.
“My wife Jennie Sumner, having left my bed and board without just cause or provocation, this is to warn all persons not to harbor or trust her on my account, as I will pay no debts of her contracting. Signed Alonzo J. Sumner of Bridgewater, 28 Sept 1878 (Fountain City Argus, 31 Oct 1878, Number 24, p2.
“Legal Notice - Alonzo J. Sumner, whose place of residence is to the plaintiff hereinafter named unknown and cannot be ascertained is hereby notified that said plaintiff Eliza J Sumner, wife of the said Alonzo, defendant did on 5 Oct 1878 file petition in Clerk’s Office of the Common Pleas Court of Williams Co, OH against said defendant for the purpose of divorce. The said defendant is guilty of extreme cruelty, and gross neglect of duty. The care, custody, education, of Maud Sumner, daughter of the couple, may be decreed to the said plaintiff. Mrs. Sumner wishes to be allowed reasonable alimony, paid out of the real estate of the following: Section 14 of Bridgewater Twp, comprising of 40 acres of land. Her court appearance on 6 Nov 1878 was with Hon Selwyn N. Owens Judge; MR Willett and Philetus Smith, Plaintiff’s Attorneys.”
Alonzo J. Sumner, born on 1 April 1851 in Bridgewater Twp, Williams Co, OH, was the son of William and Elizabeth Pool Sumner. Jennie Preston, born on 6 Jan 1856 in Lenawee Co, Michigan, the daughter of Samuel and Sarah Jane Brown Preston, was the mother of Maude (born 1874), Nellie (born 1879), and Charles Melvin (born 1887). It would appear that this divorce action was dismissed.
According to the 1880 Bridgewater Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census p461C the Sumners were enumerated as Alonzo 29 OH-NY-OH, Jennie 26 MI-Ire-OH, Maud 5 OH, and Nellie 8/12 OH (born in October 1879). By the 1900 Bridgewater Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census p3A the family was listed as Alonzo 49 OH, Jennie 46 MI, Nellie 20, and Charley 12 OH. Alonzo died on 22 May 1904 in Bridgewater Twp and Jennie passed away on 10 Feb 1940 in Pioneer, Madison Twp, Williams Co, OH; she was buried in Floral Grove Cem, Pioneer, OH next to husband Alonzo, who was originally buried in Pease Cemetery.
This is an example of a divorce action that was NOT found in either the journal or rolls of the Civil and Criminal Court records, but in the newspaper article cited above.