02 December 2010

Black Sheep Stories of Williams County, Ohio - Tawney and Lloyd

Local Doctor Murdered by Angry Husband,
A Family Scandal in the Midst of the Civil War for Tawney and Lloyd

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 15 May 2011)

Even by today's examples of social impropriety this genealogical detailing may be shocking to some and amusing to others; the irony will be disclosed as the reader comes to the last line of a newspaper article I have quoted.  A family researcher contacted me because she was having difficulty gleaning much information from relatives about her gggrandfather.  This man was the local doctor who was murdered in 1863 and the family was so scandalized by this event that they disowned him.  This would make it difficult for a researcher to continue searching for past generations when the brick wall is the reluctance of some of the family to discuss the man.  Here's what she and I have pieced together.

Henry Lawrence Tawney, son of Michael and Catherine DeHaven Tawney, was born c. 1827 in Ashland Co, OH.  His parents were married in Stark Co, OH on 23 Jan 1827.  Henry took as his bride, Caroline Gladden, daughter of James and Jemima Jennings Gladden on 12 Oct 1849, pos. Ashland Co, OH.  Michael Tawney and his family were enumerated in the 1850 Green Twp, Ashland Co, OH federal census p115, while son Henry and his wife were listed in the 1850 Pike Twp, Knox Co, OH federal census p315 as Henry 23 OH chain maker; Caroline 22 OH.

Sometime before 1860 Henry, now a doctor, settled in Center Twp, Wms Co, OH, practiced medicine in Williams Center, and reared a family of four children: Pliny Byron (8 Dec 1850-21 Dec 1924, buried Boundary Cem, Jay Co, IN; m. Mary Ann Elizabeth Miller, 16 Jan 1881); Winton Granger (15 May 1852 - 8 Aug 1910, buried Williams Center Cem, Wms Co, OH; m. Emily Newcomer, 27 Dec 1874, Wms Co, V4 #268); Laura (1854 - 22 Dec 1937, Bryan; m. William H. Lane, 20 Feb 1873, Wms Co, V4 #268); and Sterling Orlando (Jan 1856 - 9 Aug 1934, Bryan).

I will now introduce the "angry husband" and his kin.  In the 1850 Farmer Twp, Defiance Co, OH federal census p67, one finds the wife Jane Lloyd 23 NY enumerated with son Emery 5 OH and daughter Harriet E 2 OH along with Samuel Tomlinson 59 IR, Elijah Kimball 8 OH, and Elijah Lloyd 54 MA.   According to the 1860 Farmer Twp, Defiance Co, OH federal census p376, there lived a farmer by the name of Thomas E. Lloyd, b. 1821, NY, and his wife Jane, b. 1827 NY, along with 4 children, a possible father to Thomas, Elijah Lloyd, b. 1795 MA, and a 20 year old female servant.  From the tombstone inscriptions found in the Farmer Cem, Defiance Co, OH and this 1860 census one learns that Thomas and Jane had five known children: Emery (b. 1844), Harriet (b. 1847), Cassin C. (b.c. 28 July 1853 -7 Mar 1856), Ella E (b.c. 26 Feb 1855 - 8 Oct 1862), and Clarissa J. (b.c. 4 Mar 1858 - 16 Oct 1862).  Note the last three children died by Oct 1862, so this family had already experienced a great deal of heartache.

As you read the newspaper account of what happened to these two families, ask yourself whose grief is greater and whose sin is larger.  "The Bryan Democrat", 5 Nov 1863, Thursday, p2 related the account of why local citizens in both Williams and Defiance Counties were buzzing with rumor and innuendo.

"It will be remembered that in the early part of last season, Dr. H. L. Tawney, a practicing physician at Centre, becoming enamored with Mrs. Lloyd, wife of Thomas E. Lloyd, Esq. of Defiance County, persuaded her to break her marital vows and elope with him.  For a time the matter caused some talk, but finally died out, and it was not until recently revived.  It seems that Lloyd, who was a well to do farmer, and who also served as Justice of the Peace in the township in which he lived, could not brook the insult to himself, and the reproach that would naturally attach to him, and has devoted nearly the whole time since in searching for the guilty party.  Going first to Illinois, where Mrs. L. had relations living, and not finding her there, he placed the matter in the hands of a detective, and returned to Ohio.  Subsequently he took a tour through Canada, and we believe, some of the eastern states, but without avail. [Note that all this traveling was done during the middle of the Civil War.]

Some two or three weeks ago the detective wrote him that Mrs. L. had been to visit her relations in Illinois, but left there with the avowed intention of going to Memphis, at which place she had secured a situation as nurse in one of the government hospitals.  The detective followed her to Cairo, thence up the river to Beetown, Wisconsin, where she met Tawney and boarded at a hotel with him as his wife.

Immediately upon receipt of the letter, Lloyd started for that point, and the first intimation the citizens here had of his success in finding Tawney was contained in the following dispatch.  From Lancaster, Wisconsin…..To G.W. Gladden [Caroline Tawney's brother]: Request Thomas Blair, John Johnson, and my father to come here immediately.  Dr. Tawney shot dead…..Thomas Lloyd

The account of the meeting is thus described by the Grant Co, Wisconsin Herald:

On Thursday evening of last week, a man named Thomas Lloyd of Defiance Co, OH, arrived at Beetown and called Mr. G. Lampson, the Postmaster, to the door, saying he had some business of a private nature and not wishing it known that a stranger had come to town.  He told Lampson that Dr. H. L. Tawney of that place was living with Lloyd's lawful wife and that he wished to call there for some property of his that the adulterous parties had taken with them and were now in possession of.  Lloyd said he wished for some citizen and the constable to accompany him as evidence that all was right.  Lampson refused to go saying some difficulty may arise and asked, 'Are you armed, Mr. Lloyd?'  Lloyd said , 'No, only with a sort of half worthless pistol, but Dr. Tawney is a coward, so there is no danger.'  It was then so arranged that Mr. Halloway and Mr. Wells, the latter a constable, should go along with Lloyd.  They went to Dr. Tawney's house about nine o'clock and, knocking, were invited in by the Doctor, who said, 'How are you Lloyd?' when the latter said, 'Where is my wife?'.  The Doctor replied, 'In the room abed.' Whereupon Lloyd raised his pistol and shot Tawney, the ball entering about the liver and lodging in the spine.  Dr. Tawney fell to the floor mortally wounded and died the third day about 11 o'clock. [The local cemetery in Beetown was called Boot Hill Cemetery, appropriate for this scenario, where it is said Tawney was buried.  His estate in Williams Co, OH, was probated on 2 Nov 1863, case #795.]

Immediately after the shooting Lloyd turned to the constable, saying, 'I'm at your service,' and was thereupon taken before Justice Rockfeller for examination which was postponed till morning.  The next morning, the excitement being very great, it was thought best to send the man to Lancaster to await the fate of Tawney, when, if he should die, Lloyd would be examined on a charge of murder, instead of attempted murder.  A partial examination was had on Wednesday before Esquire Burr - District Attorney for the State, Barber for defendant, but, by agreement, the trial was postponed to allow parties to send to Ohio for witnesses, Lloyd going to jail. [There is no mention of the obvious reunion that must have taken place between Lloyd and his wife.]

Mr. Lloyd was held to bail of $3,000 bonds for his appearance at the March term of Court. [Was he allowed to stay out of jail and come home to Ohio?]

We learn Mrs. Lloyd was the third woman the Doctor had induced by his captivating wiles to forsake the path of virtue, one of which was the wife of a Baptist Minister.  His general reputation was that of a man of easy virtue.  He left a wife and four children.

Whatever may be the legal decision in this case, we know that Mr. Lloyd has the sympathies of a large majority of those acquainted with all the circumstances.  There is no law that will reach the case of a man who will thus cooly destroy the domestic tranquility of a family circle, and wounded honor seeks to heal itself in summary chastisement - even unto death.  The only wonder is that more shooting is not done." [On both sides of this article were news reports about the Civil War.]

Caroline Tawney and her children, Winton, Laura, and Sterling, were listed in the 1870 Center Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census, p38.  Her oldest son, Pliny, became a teacher in Indiana.  She married Frederick Hart, 22 Aug 1872, Wms Co, V4 p231, but her obituary does not mention this.  However, there are two little statements which tell one that she did marry Mr. Hart.

Bryan Democrat, 22 June 1905
1. Mrs. Hart died at her home in Williams Center, Wednesday, 7 June 1905.

2. Phine Tawney of Boundary, IN was called here last week by the death of his mother, Mrs. Hart.

Caroline died on 7 June 1905 and was buried in the Williams Center Cem, Center Twp.  Her son Winton and his wife died on 8 Aug 1910 and in 1930, respectively, and were buried beside Caroline.

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