16 November 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Sowle

Matilda J. Hoover Sowle v Andrew H. Sowle (Journal 8; Roll 30 case number 61 - 14 Nov 1876 - June 1877)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married on 16 Feb 1869 in Hillsdale Co, MI.  Matilda, born in Nov 1843 in OH, was the daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth Hoover. The family was enumerated in the 1850 NW Twp federal census, p52, as Jacob Hoover 45 OH, Elizabeth 38 OH, Matilda 6 OH, Jacob 5 OH, Anna 3 OH, and Catherine 2 OH.  They appeared in the 1860 NW Twp federal census, p12A, as Jacob 54 OH, Margaret 44 OH, Matilda 15 OH, Jacob 13 OH, Catherine 12, and Lorenzo D 5 OH. 

Andrew, son of Riley and Lillian or Millian McMahon Sowle, was born in June 1837 or 1831 in Trumbull Co, Ohio. He was first married to Theressa A. Richardson on 27 June 1854 in Windsor, Eaton Co, MI; the couple lived as residents of Steuben Co, IN in 1860.  Next he married Margaret Fee in Steuben Co, IN on 14 May 1865.  Presumably his second wife died between 1865-1869 when Andrew married Matilda. The Sowles were listed in the 1870 NW Twp federal census, p21, as Andrew 34 OH, Matilda 23 OH, and Leander 9/12OH.

Matilda charged Andrew with extreme cruelty and violence on 1 June 1874.  On 1 Mar 1875 with a clenched fist Andrew threatened to kill her and he used profane language; she left him and took the children, Justin Leander (6 - b 28 Sept 1869), Elroy (5 - b 15 May 1871), and Sarah (3).  Andrew owned five acres in NW Twp and she feared he would sell this property plus the livestock to Philip Neer/Nunn and leave her with nothing.  She subpoenaed the following people to testify: Catherine M. Krites, Miranda Sickles, Redding Larr, and Nancy Huston, her next-door neighbor. 

The couple stayed together and had another child, son Irwin, born 1 Mar 1878.  It is also possible that the court dismissed the action due to Matilda’s pregnancy. They were enumerated in the 1880 and 1900 NW Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census; later in 1910 they had moved to York, Steuben Co, IN.  Andrew may have died between 1910-1920 in Steuben Co, IN as Jane M. Sowle, widow, was lised in the 1920 Angola, Steuben Co, IN federal census p3B; she was 78 OH, living alone.

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