22 November 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Thomas

Abidon Thomas v Abby Ann Ransom Thomas (Journal 9 - June 1877; Roll 31 case number 205 - Nov 1878; Journal 15 p227 – 14 Mar 1890) – see Heslip Shaffer

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 29 December 2011)

Samuel Rockwood married the couple on 10 Sept 1854 (or 26 Mar 1854 according to online MA records) in Hanson, Plymouth Co, Massachusetts.  Abby, the daughter of John G. Ransom, was born c1835 in MA. 

1850 Hanson, Plymouth, Massachusetts; Roll: M432_332; Page: 125A; Image: 253.
h/h 81/94 Thatcher, Samuel J 59 MA farmer
Elisa (Eliza S) 57 MA
Punsom, Abby 15 MA
Note Punsom should be Ransom - possibly the Thatchers are grandparents??

Abidon, born 3 Mar 1828 in Hanson, Plymouth Co, MA, was the son of Levi T. and Phebe C. Tillson Thomas, natives of Massachusetts. Supposedly Abby was also from Hanson, MA. The couple was listed in the 1855 MA state census with their daughter Eliza.  From the 1860 Madison Twp federal census, PO Pioneer p210A-211, the Thomas family was listed as Abidan 31 MA boot and shoemaker, Abby 23 MA, Eliza 6 MA, and Helen 2 MA. According to The Bryan Union, 15 Mar 1866 p3, Abidan Thomas was named with William Shaffer in the case of The State of Ohio v Abidan Thomas; the men were charged with selling liquor.  They each pled guilty and were fined $15 each and costs.

Abidon charged Abby with gross neglect.  He said she refused to share his bed and neglected the household duties such as cooking, mending, and keeping house.  The couple had two children, Murving A (12) and Burton J (6).  He said on 15 Feb 1869 at the home of Heslip W. Shaffer she committed adultery with Shaffer of Pioneer.  On 21 Sept 1873 in a Hillsdale, MI hotel she was unfaithful with a William Mc***.  On 28 Feb 1874 she committed adultery with William Sweetman at the home of Levi Thomas, his father.  He brought the following people to court to testify for his side: Mrs. F. Utter, Thomas Hodson, John Oxenrider, Levi Thomas, and Dr. Richard Gaudern.  Abidon owned lots in Pioneer.  Levi and Phebe Thomas bought some land from Abidon for $100 with full knowledge of Abby.  Levi then sold the land to Emily S. Wilkinson.

In the 1870 Madison Twp, Wms Co federal census, p2, the Thomas family appeared as Abidon 41 MA boot and shoemaker, Abby A 34 MA, Eliza J 15 MA, Murving (m) 5 OH, Phebe Dempsey 48 MA, with Levi and Phebe Thomas residing next door.  The couple had the following children: Eliza J, Helen M, Hubert A, Mervin A, and Burton J; Helen and Hubert died as toddlers and were buried in Pioneer's Floral Grove Cemetery.

Abby claimed on 1 Jan 1874 that he did not want to cohabit with her and he was guilty of misconduct and gross neglect of her.  He did not want sex; she never abandoned him.  Abby felt that Abidon was trying to defraud her with the land sale.  She brought witnesses John Oxenrider and WF Kalsey for her side.  A divorce was granted.

The Bryan Press, 26 June 1879 p4 c1
The case of Mrs. Thomas against Thomas Hudson (note it should be Hodson), both of Pioneer, an action for slander, has occupied the court and a special jury since last Thursday, and is still going on as we go to press.  Plaintiff claims damage to the amount of $15,000.  We should judge that nearly all Pioneer, and a large part of the township are here as witnesses.

The Bryan Press, 3 July 1879 p5 c1
The case of Mrs. Thomas against Hodson came to a close last Thursday, with the jury returning a verdict of $400 in favor of the plaintiff.

According to the 1880 Monroeville, Huron Co, OH federal census p217B Abidon had remarried and was listed as Abidon 51 MA shoemaker, Sarah 38 MA, Murving 15 OH, Burton 9 OH, and Wright step-daughters Etta 16 MA and Netta 13 MA. Sarah, the daughter of Horace and Ester Dole Franklin, was born in MA on 29 July 1842; she died on 13 Apr 1922 in Pioneer, OH. Abidon died on 27 Mar 1897 and was buried beside his children in Floral Grove Cemetery, Pioneer.  

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