18 November 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Stoneburner/Porter

Elizabeth Beamont Stoneburner v Adam Stoneburner

Albert Porter v Sophia Stoneburner Porter

Sad Outcome for a Father and Daughter, Divorces in Williams County, Ohio, 1876 and 1883

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 17 Mar 2013)

A German family emigrated from their homeland to the US sometime between 1847-1850 in the hopes of creating a better life for themselves.  As in all families the hope was fulfilled for some but not for others.  This genealogical detailing deals with a father and his daughter, both experiencing the divorce process in Wms Co, OH.

Johann Jakob Steinbrenner, b 25 Jan 1807, and his wife Veronica Lamade, natives of Wiesloch, Baden, Germany, were married there on 6 Mar 1828.  They remained in Wiesloch where Protestant parochial registers revealed the names and birthdates of many of their children.  By the 1850 Polk Twp, Crawford Co, OH federal census, p371, showed the family, which changed its name to Stoneburner, as Jacob 43 Germany, Frances 42 Germany, Jacob 21 Germany, Adam 19 Germany, Mary 17 Germany, Barbara 13 Germany, Elizabeth 11 Germany, and Eliza 3 OH.  The family moved to Wms Co and was listed in the 1860 Nettle Lake, Florence Twp, p1, as Jacob 53 BD, Verosa 52 BD, Elizabeth 18 BD, Frederick 16 BD, Louisa 12 OH, and Sophia 7 OH.  Note that mother Veronica appeared in the census records as Verosa and Frances.  Next door to Jacob appeared his son Adam and his family.

Adam Stoneburner, b 27 Sept 1831, married Elizabeth Beamont, daughter of Jesse and Catherine Grose Beamont, on 23 Dec 1855, Putnam Co, OH.  As was stated previously this couple resided in Florence Twp as the 1860 federal census, p1, showed as Adam 26 BAD, Elizabeth 21 BAD, Catherine 3 BAD, and Sophia 1 BAD.  Note that the birthplace for Elizabeth should be PA and OH for the daughters.  Later the family was enumerated in the 1870 Nettle Lake, NW Twp federal census, p32, as Adam 38 BD, Elizabeth 32 PA, Catherine 13 OH, Sophia 11 OH, David 8 OH, Alberta 5 OH, and Jacob 3 OH.  By 24 Nov 1874 court records found in Wms Co probate record #1693 Adam began experiencing some emotional problems and by Mar 1875 he was granted Robert Lougheed as a guardian.  In the meantime the children, Alberta, Catherine, David, Jacob, and Sophia (Probate case number 1697) were also granted a guardian to oversee their interests in a real estate sale on 9 Aug 1875, whereby the land would be sold at public auction, appraised at $1,522.50.  A legal notice with a full description of the real estate appeared in a local Bryan newspaper.

Elizabeth Stoneburner appeared in the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court (Journal 8 p423, 459, 546 - 15 Nov 1875/29 Feb 1876; Roll 28 case number 50) requesting a divorce.  By subpoena a myriad of friends, relatives, and interested parties such as Robert Lougheed, Adam's guardian, and Dr. Finch, the family physician, testified as to the abnormal behavior of Adam and the potential harm he could do to himself and others.  There is a possibility, although not directly stated, that Adam may have molested his daughter, Sophia.

The Bryan Argus, 16 Jan 1879 p2 ran a list of those who were delinquent taxpayers with Adam Stoneburner of NW Twp named, showing that not all his real estate was sold at the earlier mentioned auction.  In the 1880 NW Twp federal census, p432C, Elizabeth, head of household was listed as 41 PA with children Alberta 15 OH, and Jacob 13 OH.  In the 1880 Adams Twp, Lucas Co, OH federal census, p85B, Adam Stoneburner was listed as 48 German, divorced, an insane patient, institutionalized in the mental asylum.

The couple had the following children: Catherine (1857-aft 1874); Sophia (1859-?, m Albert Porter, 1876), Albert (1861-25 July 1861, buried Columbia Cem), David (1862-?, m Lydia L. Oberlee), Alberta (1865-aft 1880), Jacob (1867-aft 1880).  Two other children, both buried in Columbia Cem were James B (d 29 Aug 1875) and Effie (22 Mar 1872 -24 Mar 1872); however, Effie was the daughter of Adam Stoneburner and a Frances Jerusha (Birth V1 p28) with a birthdate of 22 Mar 1871, but her tombstone inscription stated she was the daughter of A and E Stoneburner, d1872.

Adam's father died in 1887, leaving a will (Probate #2785) and division of his estate to daughters, Catherine Bowdish, Mary Kern, Barbara Eichler, Elizabeth Limpert, Louisa Klink, and Sophia Krous; to sons Jacob and Adam he left $5 apiece, expressing disappointment in the pair. 

Our story next shifts to Adam and Elizabeth's daughter, Sophia.

Albert Porter v Sophia Stoneburner Porter (Journal 12 p100-101 - 9 June 1883; Roll 39 case number 1135 - 13 Apr 1883)

The couple was married in Camden, Hillsdale Co, MI on 16 Apr 1876 (Lib E p205). There was an Albert Porter married to Caroline Richards, 23 May 1869 in Steuben Co, IN; whether this was the subject's first wife is not known.  Albert, born in 1857 OH, was the son of George and Orpha Ann Porter. Albert and Sophia had two children, Chester L (b 1 June 1878) and Altha M (b 22 Mar 1880).  According to the 1880 New Hartford, Butler Co, IA federal census p113A Albert Porter and family were enumerated as Albert 23 OH day laborer, Sophia 21 OH wife, Chester 2 IA son, Alpha 2M IA daughter, and Robert 17 OH brother.

1850 Northwest, Williams, Ohio; Roll: M432_741; Page: 54B; Image: 112.
h/h 754/756 Porter, George 28 OH $900re
Orpha 17 NY
Next door to Augustus Porter 32 OH farmer $900 re and wife Rachel plus children Jane and Mary

1860 Northwest, Williams, Ohio; Roll: M653_1052; Page: 1; Image: 5; Family History Library Film: 805052.
h/h 7/7 Porter, George 37 OH merchant
Orpha 28 OH
Daniel 9 OH
Alfred 7 OH
Remalie 5 OH
Albert 3 OH
Mary 8/12 OH

1863 – George Porter, 41, NW Twp, Williams Co, OH, Postmaster – CW Draft Records

1870 Northwest, Williams, Ohio; Roll: M593_1282; Page: 154B; Image: 312; Family History Library Film: 552781.
h/h 244/244 Porter, George 49 OH farmer $2500re/$400pp
Daniel 18 OH day laborer
Alfred 17 OH
Parmelia 15 OH mar Isaac Reynolds
Albert 13 OH
Mary 10 OH
Robert L 7 OH mar Della Bruner, 1890, Hillsdale Co, MI
Lucy 5 OH
George I 3 OH in 1880 NW Twp living w/sister Parmelia Reynolds and her husband Isaac

1880 New Hartford, Butler, Iowa; Roll: 329; Family History Film: 1254329; Page: 113A; Enumeration District: 099; Image: 0747.
h/h 141/144 Porter, Albert 23 OH day laborer
Sophia wife 21 OH-Germ
Chester son 2 IA-OH-OH
Alpha dau 2M IA-OH-OH
Robert brother 17 OH

Albert charged his wife with gross neglect.  He said on 22 Mar 1882 she deserted him and she lived in Angola, Steuben Co, IN.  She was not fit to have children.  He called Plessie Fenton of Steuben as a witness.  Plessie stated that she had known Albert for 4-5 years and Sophia for 8 years.  She worked as housekeeper for them in Mar 1882 for one week. "Sophia always was dissatisfied and scolded Albert all the time.  She did not do anything for the children.  Sophia picked quarrels but Albert did not."  The "Bryan Press, 25 May 1883" carried Albert's legal notice of divorce which was granted plus he received custody of the children.

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