09 September 2010

Bridgewater Twp - Hiram Russell


Hiram Russell

By Pamela Pattison Lash

He had a wandering spirit, so much so that he and his family moved many times before finally settling on the west coast.  He was an early settler of Bridgewater Twp and lived to be 81 years old.

Hiram Russell, born on 16 July 1815 in Phelps, Ontario Co, NY, was the son of John and Rachel Van Ornum Russell.  The family moved to Perry Twp, Richland Co, OH c1819; several years later the family settled in Richfield Twp, Henry Co, OH c1823. Hiram traveled farther west to this area and married Annie Marie Goodwin in Steuben Co, IN on 9 Nov 1837.  On 20 Aug 1838 Hiram purchased 120 acres in Steuben Co, IN. Annie was born on 17 June 1818 in Litchfield Co, CT, parentage unknown, but Aaron Burr Goodwin (see his detailing) took her in as an orphan and brought her to what was called Bridgewater Twp. The couple had the following children (first two were born and died in Williams Co): Mary J (27 Oct 1838 – 13 Oct 1841)), Silas H (12 Sept 1840-5 July 1841), Lucy R, Phoebe E, Sylvia Jane, Sarah Lavina, Amelia A, James H, and Monroe.  According to the 1840 Bridgewater Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census p215 Hiram was enumerated as male (20-30) along with a female of his same age, and one male under 5 plus one female under 5. 

By 1842 the couple lived in Steuben Co, IN and then they moved to Dubuque Co, IA c1848-1850.   He purchased 120 acres in Dubuque Co on 1 Mar 1848. Hiram’s parents both died in Steuben Co, IN c1849. According to the 1850 Dubuque Co, IA federal census p65A the Russell family was listed as Hiram 35 NY shoemaker, Annie (Annis Maria) 31 MA, Lucy 8 IA, Phebe 6 IA, Sylvia Jane 3 IA, Sarah Lavina 1 IA, and Henry Martin 17 NY; one of Hiram’s brothers, Anthony W. Russell, was their neighbor. They moved back to Steuben c1851 but by 1854 they lived in Weber Co, UT.  Once again they moved to Eugene, Lake Co, OR c1858.

In 1860 they lived in Crescent City, Smiths River Valley, Del Norte Co, CA; census records show Hiram was a grazier.  By the 1870 Cedar River, King Co, WA Territory federal census p96A Hiram was listed as a farmer along with his wife and son, Monroe. Annie died in Seattle, King Co, WA on 7 Aug 1874 while Hiram lived much longer, passing away in Cedar River, WA on 19 May 1897 from bronchitis. He may have married a Margaret Jenkins, 27 June 1877 in King Co. From the 1880 King Co, WA federal census p277B one finds Hiram has a new wife, Mary Ann, born c1841 in Washington Territory; he was 65 and Mary was 39.  The couple was also enumerated in the Washington State Censuses of 1880, 1881 and 1892.

Bridgewater Twp - Aaron Burr Goodwin

Aaron Burr Goodwin

By Pamela Pattison Lash

A violent temper, a fine education, knowledge of surveying, an unscrupulous nature, and a trickster are several descriptors used to detail this early settler of the Bridgewater, NW Twp area.  He was branded a coward by some for not leaving his cabin at night for fear of reprisals by the Native Americans whom he had cheated, but it’s also said he was merely exercising caution.  William Shinn, a county historian, called him a man of mystery and romance.

Aaron Burr Goodwin was born sometime between 1790 and 1800.  His other vitals are currently unknown, but his claim to fame in Williams County, Ohio was that he was the first settler in the Bridgewater/NW Township area.  Accounts state he was here as early as 1837. .  He may have purchased land in Hillsdale Co, MI on 16 Mar 1837 and Steuben Co, IN on 5 Aug 1837 both citing him as Aaron Burr Goodwin of Hillsdale Co, MI.  Before his arrival at some point he was reputably an Indian trader in Jackson, Michigan. When he appeared on Williams County soil, he had two orphans with him, a boy and a girl, whom he brought from Cleveland, Ohio.  No accounts tell anything of the boy but the girl, Anne Goodwin, married another early settler, Hiram Russell.  In fact when Goodwin left the area, the Russells took over his cabin for a time.

Aaron was blessed with gunsmith skills, a superior education, and experience as a frontier surveyor.  This education may have been the ability to read and write and cipher (math skills).  From his cabin he sold goods such as powder, lead, calico, tobacco, and whisky; the last item got him in trouble with the natives.  When they bought his whisky they would get drunk and Aaron would take advantage of them to make a great deal of money.  As the histories tell, Goodwin feared for his life when he refused to sell one native some grog; this led to an altercation whereby a scalping knife was drawn and Aaron quickly barred his cabin door and used his rifle to scatter the complainers from his establishment.  Another time he cheated a man named Big Jack out of an impressive bearskin.  Since many accounts claim Goodwin had a fierce temper, “a conflagration”, one can imagine the frequency of his altercations with both natives and white settlers.

According to the 1840 Bridgewater Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census p215 Goodwin (40-50 years old) was enumerated with a female of similar age.  No wife is ever mentioned in the histories so the lady’s identity is a mystery.  Goodwin spent between six to eight years here.  During that time he served as a mail carrier, keeping the letters and other valuables under his hat, as was the postal custom of the times.  Perhaps items were lost or stolen.  The histories say even the white settlers began to doubt his honesty, so one day he packed it in and left.

Another theory exists that he supposedly did not like crowds, “the encroachment of civilization” so when this area became populated he stole away into the night, never to return.  Some say he traveled as far west as Illinois or Iowa.

Bridgewater Twp - William H. Billings


William H. Billings

By Pamela Pattison Lash

He took his civic duties seriously.  He founded an early village in two states, a post office in two locations, and held almost every local governmental post available.  He loved gardening and in later years was well known for his large varieties of fruit trees.  The Williams County histories never mentioned his later life in Kansas nor his sad personal life, but William G. Cutler’s History of Kansas, stated, “his first marriage did not prove to be a happy one.”

William H. Billings, born in Broome Co, NY on 6 Sept 1812, was the son of William and Sarah Morse Billings.  He moved to Rochester, NY with his parents and siblings as a youngster and later married Angeline Butler, a NY native, c1833.  Together with his own family and that of his brother, Ozias Morse Billings, the settlers moved to Ohio and William eventually built the first cabin in what would be called NW Twp, Williams Co, OH, but was within Bridgewater Twp of that time.  In 1838 he opened a store on his frontier claim as soon as there were others in the area who could patronize his venture.  By 20 June 1839 the families of Adolphus Rogers, and the Whaley brothers, Thomas, TF, and JC, had secured government land at cheap prices and had settled in the Billings area.

According to the 1840 Bridgewater Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census p215, Ozias Billings had a party of six and William was listed as having one male aged 5-10 and himself aged 20-30 years old.  Note the absence of a female in the household.  Later in Dec 1840 he and others petitioned to have NW Twp established from parts of Bridgewater.  The township had ten voters, which was enough to hold an election on 7 Dec 1840.  William was elected as township trustee and justice of the peace.  He helped to organize a Free Will Baptist Class in his home but that did not survive very long as other denominations took over. The Billings brothers each paid personal tax in this county as early as 1841.

On 30 Aug 1843 William Billings was selected as the NW Twp’s first postmaster and his settlement, Billingstown, was included in the early maps.  County histories claim that Billings held every governmental post except that of constable.  Billings’ land purchases were in Sections 17 and 21.

From the 1850 NW Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census p53 the Billings family was listed as William 38 NY farmer, Angeline 26 NY, Chancy 15 NY, and Claracy 9 OH.  The gap in the ages of the children, the absence of Angeline in the 1840 census, and the follow up details suggest this marriage was not a happy one. Brother Ozias had left the area and established his home in LaGrange Co, IN.  On 15 Dec 1854 William H. Billings purchased a parcel of land in Sec 21 (T9S, R4W) along the MI-Toledo Strip, expanding his holdings.

Our story shifts back in time and geographical location to Stark Co, OH.  According to the 1850 Lexington Twp, Stark Co, OH federal census the William Butterfield family was enumerated as William 30 OH, Keziah 30 NJ, and children, Elizabeth, Harriet, Hannah, and Charles, all born in Ohio.  Stark Co, OH was also the site of the marriage between this couple – William B. Butterfield and Kezia Grifs (Griffith) on 17 May 1838.  Mexican-American War veteran William Butterfield died on 6 Oct 1857 @39Y 3M 23D and was buried in Billingstown Cem, NW Twp.  Apparently the Butterfields had moved to NW Twp sometime between the 1850 census and William Butterfield’s death. 

The Williams County Gazette, 30 Dec 1858, mentioned the death of John Billings a possible relative to the Billings brothers, who had died in Wisconsin; he had lived in Stark Co, OH and Noble Co, IN previously. Perhaps it was his association with Butterfields that helped to acquaint them to William Billings?

In 1860 William Billings left Ohio and traveled west with his “wife”, Keziah.  They were part of a group that left New Paris, IN on 1 May 1860 finally locating in Kansas on the Cottonwood Creek just west of present day Marion, KS cJuly 1860. The 1860 Cottonwood area federal census showed William Billings living with a group of men next door to Keziah Billings and her Butterfield children.  An online record of a divorce proceedings demonstrated that William divorced wife Angeline Butler Billings in Noble Co, IN on 17 Sept 1863, clearly three years after establishing a home with a second wife.  No divorce record has been found in Williams County.  Keziah Griffiths was born in July 1820 in NJ; she was the daughter of an unknown father and a mother Hannah, and a sister to George Griffith who also moved to Kansas with the Billings party.  Angeline Billings was listed in the 1860 NW Twp federal census as living alone.

Back in Kansas the first three families to settle in Marion Centre, KS were William Billings, George Griffith, and William P Shreve.  They went where surveyors claimed was the best land in the territory.  Their wagons halted at the crest of a hill on the east side of the Luta Creek and they gazed at the fertile valley of the Cottonwood River.  There was a clear spring of water for their campsite, which today is called the Marion Central Park.  William’s nephew, Levi Billings, joined them in 1865.

From the 1865 Kansas State Census William and Keziah were listed as married with son C. Butterfield 16 OH and A. Palmerton 6 MI.  In June 1865 William petitioned to have Marion County established from Chase Co, KS.  He was successful and at the election held on 7 Aug 1865 he was chosen as one of the county’s first commissioners and its first probate judge along with nephew Levi.  The first meeting of the new county was held in William’s home on Dec 1866.  On July 1869 William and Levi Billings joined an organization to bring a newspaper to Marion Centre.

The Billings family was located on the 1870 Marion, Marion Co, KS federal census, the 1875 Kansas State Census, and the 1880 Marion, Marion Co, KS federal census records.  Note that son Chauncey Billings lived with his father in 1880.  William loved to garden and to grow different varieties of fruit.  His community service extended to being a justice of the peace, a register of deeds, and postmaster of Marion, KS.

William died in Marion on 19 Sept 1890 and was buried in Highland Cem, Marion, KS.  Keziah, his widow, lived in Marion until her death on 19 Aug 1902.  From the 1900 Marion Co, KS federal census one learns that she was the mother of five children, all living.

Back in NW Twp Angeline Billings 56 NY lived with her brother Johnson Butler, an early Bridgewater-NW Twp settler, 54 NY, his wife Lucy 48 NY, and a Nancy Billings 35 NY as stated in the NW Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p143B.  Angeline died on 11 Feb 187* and was buried in Billingstown Cem.  Note that Nancy Billings may have been Angeline’s daughter or more likely a misspelled/written entry for Chauncey Billings, her son, who would have been 35 from NY.  Chauncey as stated above later moved to Marion, KS to live with his father.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Avery


Nancy A. Hively Avery v Franklin Avery (Journal 7 p587 - Nov 1871; Roll 23 case number 56 - Oct 1871) – see Lindersmith (when posted)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married on 9 Nov 1861 in Allegan Co, MI.  They had a daughter Mary M Avery, b1862. Nancy was the daughter of Isaac and Magdalene (Bible) Hively. In the 1850 Richland Twp, Defiance Co, OH federal census p29, the Hively family was listed as Isaac 46 OH laborer, Magdalene 29 OH, Sarah 17 OH, Caroline 12 OH, Angeline 12 OH, George 9 OH, Elizabeth 7 OH, Rebecca 5 OH, Nancy 2 OH, and Catherine 4/12 OH.  Prior to this census the 1840 Independence, Henry Co, OH federal census enumerated Isaac Hively and family. According to the 1860 Superior Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census, p188B, Nancy Hively was part of the household of John G. Pew 23 OH, Angeline 22 OH, Mary 3 OH, George 1 OH, Nancy Hively 14 OH, Beretha or Ruth Pew 65 CT, and Arvilla McDaniels 46 NY.  It appears that Nancy and Angeline Hively Pew were sisters and daughters of Isaac and Magdalena Bible Hively, who were married in Wms Co, OH on 3 Oct 1836 (Marriage V1 p20).  The father Isaac had died c1859 in Williams Co, but mother Magdelena resided in Superior Twp, Wms Co and died on 4 Apr 1890.

Nancy Avery stated that she had supported herself and the child for the last five years.  Franklin had left her in 1866 and his whereabouts were unknown.  She called the following witnesses to substantiate her case: Catherine Hively, Angeline Lindersmith (her sister had divorced and remarried), Osmon Dolph, and Mrs. Magdaline Hively; Osmon Dolph owned a hotel in Jefferson Twp where Nancy’s sister Angeline Hively Pew Lindersmith lived in 1870.   Nancy was granted a divorce. On 5 Jan 1870 in the Williams County probate records (#1333) a guardianship was determined for Maria M. Avery. Mother Nancy disappeared from the 1870 federal census, but in the 1870 Superior Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p35, Mary Avery 8 OH lived with Milton Sheets and wife Rebecca Hively Sheets, her aunt and uncle.  Again in the 1880 Superior Twp, federal census, Mary Avery 17 MI with parents native to MI (father) and OH (mother) resided with Milton J. Sheets and Rebecca Hively Sheets.

Nancy married Hiram W. Tawney on 1 Jan 1874, Wms Co (Marriage V4 p318).  Hiram was the son of Frederick and Anna Tawney and was listed with them in the 1870 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census p165, as Hiram 18 PA; the Tawney family moved as discovered in the 1880 Harrison, Franklin Co, KS federal census p55, and was listed as Frederick 72 PA, Anne 69 PA, Hiram 29 OH, Nancy 33 OH, and Ida 12 OH.  Note that Hiram’s birthplace shifted from PA to OH.  By the 1900 Harrison Twp, Franklin Co, KS federal census p179, the family was enumerated as Hiram W. Tawney Apr 1842 (48) OH blacksmith, Nancy Jan 1848 (52) OH mother of 3 with 2 children surviving, Mabel E July 1896 (3) KS adopted daughter.  This family was also found in the 1910 Harrison Twp federal census p61, as Hiram W. Tawney 57 OH blacksmith, second marriage of 37 years with 3 children, 2 surviving, Nancy 61 OH, second marriage, and daughter Mabel 13 KS with parents native of OH.  Many questions still need answers as to the particulars of Nancy, her daughter Mary, and errant ex-husband, Franklin Avery.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Austraw

Frances A. Deck Austraw v Charles Austraw

A Tragic End for a Father of Many in Williams County, Ohio, No Divorce, 1882

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

MB Plummer married the couple in Wms Co on 20 Nov 1879 (Bryan Democrat, 27 Nov 1879; Marriage V4 p656). The bride being only 17 was given permission by her father to marry Charles.  Frances was the daughter of David Daniel and Margaret Gusler Deck, natives of Huntington Co, PA and Allegany Co, MD, respectively; this couple was married in Wms Co, OH on 7 Aug 1856 (Marriages V2 p168). In the 1860 Washington Twp, Defiance Co, OH federal census PO Ney p411, the Deck family was listed as D. 25 PA, Margaret 21 MD, Emery 3 OH, and Arthur 9/12 OH.  Having moved to Bryan, the family was listed in the 1870 Pulaski Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p161, as David Deck 36 PA, Margaret 32 MD, Emery 13 OH, Arthur 10 OH, Frances 7 OH, and Adam 45 PA. 

Charles Austraw, b 15 Jan 1854 in Wayne, Holmes Co, OH or Wooster, Wayne Co, OH, was the son of William and Mary Ann Starn Austraw.  The Austraws appeared in the 1870 Pulaski Twp federal census p2, as William 50 PA, Mary 40 OH, Charles 16 OH, George 14 OH, Willis 11 OH, and Isabelle 5 OH.

William Austraw died on 30 Jan 1875 @54Y and Charles' mother Mary sued her son who was administrator of the deceased father's estate (Wms Co, OH Probate #1723 – 31 Mar 1875; Wms Co Civil and Criminal Court Journal 9 p51 - Nov 1876).  Mary Austraw stated that her son had control of the land and property (Sec 33, Pulaski Twp) and he needed to distribute this to her and the other heirs; several were minors (George, Isabelle, and Willis) who were granted John Starn as guardian on 11 Dec 1877 (Probate #1975).

Frances Deck Austraw appeared in the Williams Co, OH Civil and Criminal Court (Journal 11 p478 - Dec 1882; Roll 38 case number 1000 - 6 May - Nov 1882), and charged that on 3 Apr 1882 Charles refused to support Frances and daughter Emma or to live with her.  He was guilty of extreme cruelty and use of violent language; he choked and forced her to the floor.  Charles owned real estate in Sec 33 of Pulaski Twp, valued at $2500.  Frances feared that he would sell this and cheat and deprive her of any financial support.  She was pregnant with another child. The court dismissed the case but Charles had to pay court costs. David Deck, Frances’ father, passed away on 25 May 1884 in Wms Co (Death V2 p29).  Frances died of lung fever on 25 Jan 1888 @25Y 5M (Bryan Press, 2 Feb 1888). “She was the mother of four small children, one son and three daughters; the youngest was a year old.”  These children were Emma B (13 July 1880), Elgison (f – 28 July 1882), Zella/Julia (25 Dec 1884), and Virgil (10 Feb 1887).  Frances’ mother, Margaret Deck, died on 13 Sept 1889 in Wms Co (Death V2 p51). 

Charles later married Mrs. Lucy E. Hamilton on 13 Nov 1892 in Wms Co (Marriage V6 #807).  Note that this marriage date is different than the date of 3 Feb 1892, mentioned in Charles’ obit (Bryan Press, 2 June 1921). An Internet source stated that Lucy, the daughter of William and Anna Lourchi Young, was born in Wms Co on 31 Sept 1864, although the 1900 federal census information stated her birth as Aug 1868.  In the 1870 Center Twp, Wms Co federal census p1 there was an Asa Young 69 NJ, wife Mary A 68 NJ with son Charles 38 OH and his wife Ann 35 OH plus their children, one of whom was a Lucy 7 OH. Another Internet source stated that Lucy had a son, George Hamilton, from a previous marriage; there was a Wms Co, OH marriage for George W. Hamilton and Lucy Mattice on 30 July 1887 (Marriage V5 #1024), but the bride’s maiden name was listed as Mattice, not Young.  Further research needs to be made to clear up this mystery.

In the 1900 Bryan, Pulaski Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p159, the Austraws lived on East Bryan Street, and were enumerated as Charles Ausstrow Jan 1854 (46) OH, laborer, with 6 children, 4 surviving, wife Lucy, Aug 1868 (36) OH, Julia Dec 1884 (15) OH, Virgil Feb 1887 (13) OH, Earl C Nov 1892 (7) OH, Walter O May 1894 (6) OH, Donald E Sept 1896 (3), and Edith A Dec 1899 (5/12) OH.  A son, Ray, b 21 Sept 1895, had died on 5 Feb 1897 and a son Byron died 12 Jan 1897 @1Y 3M 10D (Death V 3 p1).  In the 1910 Pulaski Twp federal census p165, Charles Austrow 56 OH, married 18Y with 11 children, 8 surviving, was a shoe store clerk, listed with wife Lucy 46 OH, and children Virgil 23 OH, Charles E 17 OH, Wallie Owen 16 OH, Donald D 12 OH, Editha 10 OH, Adrian 8 OH, Carelton Wayne 7 OH, Juneta Pearl 4 OH, and Stephen Lester 1 10/12 OH. 

Charles committed suicide by hanging himself in his barn on 30 May 1921 @67Y 4M 15/19D and was buried in the Brown Cemetery, Center Twp. His obituary in the Bryan Democrat, 3 June 1921, stated that Charles “had been in abnormal mental condition for some time but his rash act was not expected.” His estate was probated on 19 Aug 1921 (#6938).  Lucy died on 14 Apr 1937 and was also buried in Brown Cemetery.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Archer


Mary Halley Archer v Thomas Archer
Gold Mines and Gambling Tables, Divorce in Williams County, OH, 1865
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

Some women for whatever reason excuse the faults of their husbands.  Perhaps they don't want to admit to themselves or the world that they picked a lemon.  Perhaps love is blind.  These ladies may naively believe that tales told to them are the absolute truth, but after eleven years, one lady took stock of the situation and took action.  Such is the theme of this genealogical detailing.

Mary Halley b.c. 1834, possibly Morgan Co, OH, daughter of William and Debra (Bond) Halley, appeared with her parents as a 16 year old in the 1850 Noble Co, OH federal census along with siblings Samuel, John, William F, Eliza Jane, and Lucy Malvina.   She married her Prince Charming in the form of Thomas Archer on 4 Sept 1851 in Noble Co, OH.  Thomas, possibly born 17 Aug 1830, Brookfield Twp, Morgan Co, OH, may have been the son of Michael Archer and his second wife, Jane Stone Elliott, but this is only speculation at the moment; furthermore, one wonders if the Archer and Halley families were closely allied as they both came from the Morgan-Noble Co, OH area.

In the 1860 Rochester, Enoch Twp, Noble Co, OH federal census, p440, Mary Archer 26 OH domestic and son William L. Archer 8 OH, were living next door to her brother Samuel Halley 25 carpenter and Mary Halley 18 domestic.  Mary's father, William Halley died on 29 Feb 1864, Noble Co, OH and she was mentioned in his will.  Mary may have joined her uncle Nathaniel Halley who lived in Milford Twp, Defiance Co, OH.  This would explain why she moved to this area.

Mary appeared before the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court, in May 1865 (Journal 6 p485, Roll 17), and revealed an amazing story to the judge of her married life and her spouse, Thomas Archer.  It seems that for eleven years Thomas was guilty of gross neglect.  While they lived in Noble Co, OH Thomas decided to make his fortune in the gold mines of California, so he left Mary and their 15-month-old son, William Luther Archer, on 29 Dec 1853.  Thomas told Mary he would return to his family in two years time, but he made no provision for their financial support.  [As evidenced by the 1860 federal census Mary earned her living as a domestic servant and as a cherished daughter and sibling she received help from time to time from her family.]

Once each year for six years from that departure date he informed Mary by letter that he would soon return.  After eleven years had passed and Mary, now living in Williams County, had not heard from him as to any disposition on his part to return.  At one point during the first six years Thomas promised to return and asked her to send him $100 by mail, which she did.  She later learned that Thomas had spent it all at the gambling tables in California.  The court granted her an immediate divorce and a legal notice to that effect was published in "The Bryan Democrat".

What took her so long one might ask?  What was the pressing issue that provoked her to finally take action?  The Ohio statue only required that one of the parties be willfully absent for three years before hearing a divorce complaint.  She waited more than three times the requirement. The answer is simple - love and stability.  Mary wanted to remarry and that's exactly what she did on 24 May 1865 in Wms Co (Marriages, V3 p442) when she became the wife of Canfield Phelps. Interestingly, Canfield Phelps was enumerated in the 1850 Noble Twp, Morgan Co, OH federal census, p16, as Canfield 40 CT millwright with wife Nancy 31 OH, and in the 1860 Center Twp, Noble Co, OH federal census p476, as Canfield 49 CT and Nancy 44 OH. He may have known Mary or her family before they married in Williams County.

Together the Phelps had the following children: Almon B (b. 1867), Drayton Canfield  (13 Jul 1868, Edgerton -1927, m. Roxie Caroline Pearce, 14 Jan 1894, Ney, Defiance Co, OH), and Rebecca (b. 1871).  The family was enumerated in the 1870 St. Joseph Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p17, as carpenter Canfield Phelps 58 CT, Mary 36 OH, Luther Archer 17 OH, and Phelps children Almon 3 OH and Drayton 2 OH. Canfield Phelps may have been from East Granby, Hartford Co, CT.  According to the 1880 Buffalo, Noble Co, OH federal census, p40C, there was a Luther Archer 27 OH with parents born in Ohio and a wife Lucetta; further research needs to be done to determine if this is the son of Thomas and Mary Archer. On 5 Nov 1871 (Wms Co, OH Deaths, V1 p13), Canfield died @60Y 3M 29D and was buried in Maple Grove Cemetery, Edgerton, St. Joseph Twp.  He left a will that was probated on 29 Feb 1872 (#1489) bequeathing his widow and heirs, Almon, Drayton, and Rebecca, his land in Section 28, St. Joseph Twp, Wms Co, OH.

Mary married a third time on 2 Mar 1876, Wms Co, OH (Marriages, V4 p451) to John Battershell, a widower; the family was enumerated in the 1880 Milford Twp, Defiance Co, OH federal census p210C, as John 65 PA, Mary 46 OH, Alvah Phelps 13 OH, Drayton Phelps 11 OH, and Rebecca Phelps 9 OH.  By 1880 Mary's uncle, Nathaniel Halley and his family had moved to Iowa.  John Battershell was listed in the 1860 Milford Twp, Defiance Co federal census p403, as Jn. 44 PA, Catharine 40 PA, James 20 OH, Lucia 17 OH, William 11 OH, Finnell (f) 8 OH, James 73 PA, Elizabeth 45 PA, and Joseph 33 OH.  In the 1870 Milford Twp federal census p138, John 54 PA and wife Catharine 52 PA were enumerated with their children.

By the 1900 St. Joseph Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p198, Mary Battershell was enumerated as widow, b May 1834 (66) OH, having all four children surviving.  Husband John Battershell died on 23 Dec 1893 @78Y from being kicked by a horse. 

What happened to the gambling man, Thomas Archer?  If Thomas was the son of Michael Archer, he may have died on 5 May 1876 in California.  Records need to be searched to verify this. One of the Halley cousins, Levi, was definitely into gold mining as well. Family lore claims that Thomas Archer came back to Noble Co, Oh and remarried.  Whether Mary ever heard from him after the divorce or whether Thomas ever struck it lucky either in the gold fields or the gambling tables is not currently known.  What is known is that Mary Halley Archer Phelps Battershell enjoyed a full life despite her errant first husband, Thomas Archer.

08 September 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Amsbaugh

Adaline Osmun Amsbaugh v Samuel Amsbaugh
Samuel Amsbaugh v Phebe Twining Amsbaugh
Delilah Jennie Longanecker Hammon Amsbaugh v Samuel Amsbaugh
Teacher and Student - A Bill of Divorce in Williams County, OH, 1868
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 3 December 2011)

Serious family researchers, if possible, should consult the civil and criminal records of the geographical areas where an ancestor resided.  There is a wealth of information available that can put flesh on the bones of these relatives.  Using this data I shall detail the life of several early Wms Co. settlers who deal with betrayal of trust, divorce, and assault.  I wish to thank Patricia Kennedy for all the information she shared on this couple.  I will now set the stage by introducing the couple and their families.

Samuel E. Amsbaugh, the son of Adam and Tena E. Amsbaugh, was born on 1 May 1820 in Wheatfield Twp, Indiana Co, PA.  At the age of 30 Samuel married 14 year-old Adaline Osmun, the eldest daughter of Israel and Sarah A. Kaywood Osmun, on 29 Oct 1850, Wms Co, OH.  Adaline was born in Chemung Co, NY, on 22 Mar 1836.

Samuel’s father, Adam Johann was born on 2 Oct 1778 in Westmoreland Co, PA and died 12 Sept 1859 in Richland Co, OH.  By 1807 Adam paid taxes in Wheatfield Twp and later in 1833 purchased land in Auburn Twp, Richland Co, OH; he probably moved his family there by 1834 and farmed the land.  He wrote a will on 28 Aug 1856 which was probated on 19 Sept 1859, leaving his wife Tena $500 and his children certain monetary bequests: daughters in order of mention in the will were Catherine Gochenaur, Barbara Moch, Mary Moch, Nancy Cooper, Sarah Moss, Angeline Cypher; sons in order of mention were Michael, Valentine, Samuel (who received $90), George, Henry, Eli, Adam, and Archibald.

Before his father’s death Samuel traveled to Wms Co 1842 and was a schoolteacher by profession.  He is found in the 1850 Millcreek Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census records living with the Israel Osmun family as follows: Israel Osmun, a farmer, 39 NY; Sarah Osmun 34 NY; George Osmun 16 NY; Adaline Osmun 14 NY; Emily Osmun 11 NY; Adelia Osmun 9 NY; Ann Osmun 6 NY; Samuel Osmun 2 OH; and Samuel Amsbaugh, teacher, 28 PA.  Note his age does not list him as 30 years old. In that same census Adaline was also listed in the household of HP Sanger of NY on 17 Aug 1850 in Brady Twp.  She may have been a relative or a caretaker for the young children in the Sanger family.  Samuel’s oldest brother, Michael Amsbaugh, and his family also lived in Millcreek Twp as well.  Less than two months later Samuel married Adaline.

In those days a teacher would be “put up” in the household of his/her students so it is not unusual to find Samuel at the Osmun residence, but it is unusual to find the teacher marrying such a young student within the very household in which he resided.  What the thoughts of the Osmun family were on this marriage can only be surmised.  They may have been very angry at Samuel’s betrayal, or they may have been happy that their daughter found a “man of letters” to be her husband.  Samuel’s brother, George L. Amsbaugh, was later a supervisor and school director in Fayette, Fulton Co, OH, so at that time the Amsbaughs were well respected in the vicinity.

Samuel was summoned to the Wms Co Court of Common Pleas in Sept 1851 where Catherine Deck sued him for bastardy.  He appeared in court with another brother, Eli, and paid $250 as surety that he wouldn’t skip the area.  In April 1852 Catherine Deck returned to court and requested that the case be dismissed. This is also verified in the Issue Docket, Clerk of Courts, 1848-1852, which stated in April 1852 Catharine Deck's suit against Samuel Amsbaugh, brought forward on 13 Oct 1851, was continued. She dropped her case about the same time that the very pregnant Adaline gave birth to her first child.  This case did not seem to hurt Samuel’s reputation, as he was secretary of the first school board in District 6 of Millcreek Twp and still a teacher in 1857.

Samuel and Adaline Amsbaugh had set up their own household in Millcreek Twp and had the following children: Dicey E. (6 May 1852-28 Oct 1852); Milo Valentine (22 Mar 1854-16 Mar 1914, Bottineau Co, ND (dropped dead from apparent heart failure while performing his duties as janitor); mar. Elizabeth A. Alleman, 29 Jul 1875, Wms Co, OH); Cecelia Adaline (1856-1920, pos OH; m1 Henry Bashelier, 10 June 1874, Wms Co, OH (later divorced); m2 __ Schubert); Sarah Ann (15 Apr 1858 – 25 May 1858); and Ida (23 Apr 1861-10 May 1861).  Dicey, Sarah, and Ida Amsbaugh were buried in the West Franklin Cemetery, Franklin Twp, Fulton Co, OH where their grandparents, Israel Osmun (6 Apr 1811 NY-6 Jan 1888, Wms Co, OH) and Sarah Ann Kaywood Osmun (17 May 1816 NJ-3 Sept 1882, Wms Co, OH) would later join them.

On 9 June 1860 Millcreek Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census records the family was listed as Samuel 26 PA, Adeline 23 NY, Milo 6 OH, and Cisselia 4 OH.  Note again that Samuel’s age is different.  On Nov 1860 the State of Ohio vs. Samuel Amsbaugh is listed in the criminal court index but the actual case has not yet been found.

When men in Wms Co decided to fight in the Civil War Samuel Amsbaugh enlisted on 14 Aug 1862, as a private at the age of 42 in Co C 111th Inf, Reg OH and was later transferred to Co 79, 2nd Battalion Reg RC on 1 Jan 1865; he later mustered out in Lexington, KY, on 28 Apr 1865.  From his CW records and pension application Samuel is described as 5’9”, brown hair, grey eyes, and light complexion.  In Jan 1863 in Bowling Green, KY, while carrying rations he fell backwards striking himself on some rocks, which caused a disease of the spine.  In July 1863 while on a forced march he developed a disease of the generative organs.  He was disabled by the time of his discharge and later was reported by friends “to have a lame back and shoulders; he is not now and was not more than 1/4 of the man he was before the war”.

Whether Samuel joined the army for patriotic reasons, several facts must be considered.  A son, Thomas Lavern Amsbaugh, was born on 28 June 1862 in Michigan.  The mother was not Adaline but one Phebe Twining.  According to Samuel’s will written 23 Oct 1891, he listed his heirs, one of whom was this Thomas L., but he did not record the relationship between himself and this man.

On 5 May 1868 Adaline began divorce proceedings, stating that she needed $60, as she was destitute.  She charged Samuel with extreme cruelty, but not adultery.  The court awarded her a divorce, restored her maiden name of Osmun, and set up alimony of $700 to be paid over a 3-year period.  Samuel’s real estate was mentioned as being 80 acres (Journal 7 p173, 256 – Nov 1868).  The divorce was announced in The Bryan Democrat, 26 Nov 1868 p3 along with a suit brought forth by Samuel against William Glime, Jonah Alaman, and Henry Glime whereby Samuel was granted $500 but a second trial was granted to Jonah Alaman.

Samuel next married Phebe Barger, also known as Phebe Twining, mother of Thomas Amsbaugh, on 27 Oct 1869 in Gilead Twp, Branch Co, MI, witnessed by Sarah M. and Francis M. Beers.  The Ohio born Phebe was 32 years old and Samuel was listed as 47. 

In the 1870 Millcreek Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census records the family was enumerated as Samuel 48 PA, Phebe 37 OH, Milo V. 16 OH, Cecelia 14 OH, and Thomas 12 OH.  Adaline 33 NY served as a domestic servant of the David A. Wolfe family in Pulaski Twp.  Note that Samuel kept the children and the real estate while Adaline lived apart from her home and children.

On 8 Feb 1871, Millcreek Twp, Phebe Amsbaugh gave birth to son Cletus Perry (some records say Philo T).  From Journal 8 p391 of 2 Nov 1875 Samuel sued Phebe for divorce in Wms Co and charged her with adultery.  On 18 Nov 1875 Phebe appeared before the court and asked that the divorce decree be set aside and petitioned for a new trial, asking the court to expunge any old court records.  On 7 Mar 1876 there was a second trial in which Phebe was proven to have committed adultery with a Robert Liddlle and a divorce was granted to Samuel who had to pay court costs.

On 24 Apr 1879 in Wms Co, Samuel married Delilah Jenny Longanecker Hammon, daughter of Peter and Nancy Reifsnider Longanecker. Delilah was born on 30 October 1838 in Ohio. From the 1880 Millcreek Twp federal census records the family was listed as Samuel 58 PA, Delila 42 OH, Cletus P. 9 OH, and Elnora Hammon 15 OH as stepdaughter.  In the meantime in Pulaski Twp, Adaline was living alone as 44 NY and recorded as keeping house and divorced.  Her two living children were married and had established their own homes.  Two years later Adaline’s mother would die and 5 1/2 years after this her father passed away as well.

However, happiness does find Adaline as she became the bride of John N. Punches on 13 Nov 1881. According to The Bryan Press, 22 Dec 1881 p4 c3, a marriage notice appeared where the marriage took place at the bride’s residence on North Walnut Street, officiated by Rev George L. Perin; Adaline Osman was listed as “Miss Adaline Osman”.  John was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Punches of Center Twp.  Adaline died on 26 Oct 1905 @69y 7M 4D and was buried next to second husband John in Fountain Grove Cemetery in Bryan.  John had died the year before on 26 Jan 1904.  


See Civil Case of Adaline Punches suing heirs of Israel Osmun (another posting)



Bryan Democrat, 30 June 1904 p4

Adaline Punches to Harvey Snyder, 58 acres in Section 24 Center Twp - $3,000

Bryan Democrat, 19 August 1904 p4
Amanda Hively to Adaline Punches land in Section19, Bryan, $700


Adaline’s obituary was amusing as it stated “at the age of 14 she was united in marriage to Samuel Amsbaugh.”  Sometime after the death of her first husband, she married John Punches”.  Obviously that is not true because Samuel was very much alive when she married again.  Samuel himself was on his third marriage.

On 17 Aug 1885 Samuel “did strike and assault James Corlen”.  In court Jennie Amsbaugh appeared as a witness for the state and a Clinton Amsbaugh was a defense witness.  What happened to Samuel in regard to this assault is not known.  An interesting story appeared in the “Bryan Democrat”, 16 Sept 1886, “Friday’s Bee (Toledo, OH newspaper) published a report of a shooting scrap near Primrose (Millcreek Twp) in which it was stated that Sam Amsbaugh shot John Shaffer through the body; that the wound would probably prove fatal and that Amsbaugh had skipped the country.  Our officers say that no information of that kind has reached them and people from that neighborhood know nothing about this affair”.  From Journal 13 p212 - 2 July 1885; Roll 42 case number 1506, Sept/Dec 1885,  "Anna" Amsbaugh charged her husband Samuel with extreme cruelty and gross neglect and wanted $50 in alimony.  She claimed they had a daughter Mabel.  A divorce was granted.  In Journal 13 p230 - 5 Sept 1885 one learns that Delila Jane Amsbaugh came before a judge in Defiance County who ordered Samuel to pay her the sum of $100 and set up a fee schedule, which was recorded in Wms Co the next day.

Delilah further stated that on 15 Aug 1885 Sam left her; he was guilty of gross abuse and cruel, profane language.  Prior to this in Jan 1884 he assaulted her with a shovel; on 21 June 1884 he threatened to kill her with a knife, struck her with a clinched fist, grabbed her hair, and struck her in the mouth.  On 7 June 1885 he brandished a long knife and shouted, “I’ll shut you up so damned fine that dogs won’t find you”.  When she separated from him he took all her clothing.  Deliah also said that she had loaned Samuel $119 since their marriage and she wanted her money back even if she has to place a lien on his property which was valued at $9,000 in real estate and $2,000 in livestock. From Journal 15 p92 Delilah Amsbaugh received a divorce from Samuel Amsbaugh on 13 Nov 1889 (case #2118). On 14 Nov 1889 the State of Ohio v Samuel Amsbaugh was dismissed (case #865).

What is known of Samuel’s later years is that he wrote his will of 1891, as stated earlier, leaving equal shares to son Milo V of Bryan, son Cletus Perry of Alvordton, dau Ceclia A. Bashelier of Parsons, KS, plus grand-dau Goldie Bashelier.  He stated that if after the sale of his property there was a residue, Thomas L. Amsbaugh would be an equal heir to that money.  No ex-wife was mentioned in his will, but Delilah J. Amsbaugh did not die until 23 Sept 1892 @53Y 10M 23D.  Her “Bryan Democrat” obit does not mention any husband or ex-husband.

Samuel Amsbaugh died on 9 Apr 1898 in Sandusky, Erie Co, OH, and was buried in the Ohio Soldiers and Sailors Cemetery there.  According to the 1910 Madison Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p87, Thomas L. Amsbaugh was 50 MI m26Y with wife Sarah M 44 OH, and children Ethel G 15 OH, and Alma O 3 OH. Again in the 1920 Madison Twp federal census Thomas 58 OH was listed with his wife Sarah M 52 OH and daughter Alma 12 OH. Both his parents were born in Indiana according to the 1920 census, but in the 1910 his father was a PA native and his mother was an OH native. Cemetery records state that Thomas (28 June 1861-7 Jan 1930), buried in Pioneer’s Floral Grove Cemetery, was the son of Samuel and Phebe Twining Amsbaugh and this was also stated on his death certificate.

Samuel Amsbaugh, the teacher, did not appear to have a wonderful life as a three-time husband; Adaline Osmun Amsbaugh Punches, the student, does appear to have found some happiness at the end of her life.  A question I have wondered about is what was her relationship with her children?  Why did Samuel get custody of the children?  Can anyone shed light on this family?

I found this thank you from children, Milo and Cecelia, who obviously benefit from insurance money upon their mother's death. 

Bryan Democrat, 7 Dec 1905
We the heirs of Adeline Punches wish to express our thanks to the Order of the LOTM of the World for the prompt manner in which they paid the insurance carried by our mother.

We greatly appreciate and highly commend this order for the spirit of fraternal friendship shown in all our relations with them.

That this order may be prospered to comfort and minister to others when sickness and trials come to them is our earnest wish.
Milo V Amsbaugh
Celia A Bashelier

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Aller

Sarah Ann Leah Harsh Aller v John S. Aller
Give Me a Son or Else – Questionable Divorce in Williams County, Ohio c. 1866
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 22 February 2013)

King Henry VIII of England is only one of the many “famous” men who desperately sought male issue to perpetuate his lineage.  In Henry’s case he divorced two of his six wives and beheaded another two with the hope that he would be the proud papa of a healthy son.  This genealogical detailing while not dealing with any decapitation depicts a man in search of a son. Perhaps he needed a biology lesson as to who (the male) determines the gender of the child.  This story follows two wives, seven daughters, and at last, the coveted son.

John S. Aller, the youngest child of John and Mary Christina (Kintner) Oller, was born 29 Nov 1830 in Carrollton, Carroll Co, OH.  Father John, a native of Shephardstown, VA, moved his family from Washington Co, PA to Carroll Co c. 1818-1820 where he took up the occupation of farmer and died there on 11 Sept 1846.  Note that he changed his surname to Aller and was the only one of his siblings to do so.

Son John married Sarah Ann Leah Harsh on 13 Dec 1853 as recorded in Carroll Co, OH Marriages 1850-1866, V2 p131.  Rev. George Gaumer of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Carrollton and Kilgore performed the service. Another source, The Harsh Family Genealogy 1740-1987, Robert C. Harsh and Clara Hickox Harsh, 1987, p313 provides data on the bride. Sarah b.c.1836, pos Carrollton, Carroll Co, OH, was the youngest daughter of Elias Harsh’s second marriage to Sarah Summers, both Pennsylvania natives who also settled in Carroll Co, OH.  Elias, the son of Revolutionary War soldier, John Heinrich Harsh, Jr., and Catherine Sonnedecker, died on 24 Dec 1856 and was buried in the Harsh Cemetery, Washington Twp, Carroll Co.  There was also a Harsh Church close by.  The Lutheran Church gained a minister in the form of Sarah’s youngest brother Franklin Elias Harsh who later preached at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Marion, OH until his death on 17 Oct 1869.

Sometime between March 1859 and 1860 the Aller family moved to Lukes Corners, Florence Twp, Wms Co, OH where John Aller had purchased an interest in the Andrew Sheline sawmill/gristmill about 1860. This family was enumerated in the 1860 federal census as the following: John Aller 29 OH engineer, Sarah 24 OH, Rebecca J. 5 OH, Mary E. 3 OH, and Sarah C 1 OH. The 1864 Wms Co Atlas shows John as property owner of Florence Twp of Sec 16 and 21.  He paid personal property tax there in 1867.

Sarah appeared at the Williams County Civil and Criminal Court, according to Roll 17 (#111) and Journal 6 p550 on 9 March 1866 requesting a divorce and alimony from her husband, John Aller.  She listed the names of their five daughters and specific dates of physical abuse, which forced her to leave home.  These dates were important when one compares them to the birth of these last two daughters. 

The first three girls were born in Carrollton, Carroll Co, OH with names and birth dates as follows: Rebecca Jane b. 26 Oct 1854, Mary Elizabeth b. 21 Aug 1856, and Sarah Catherine b. 6 Mar 1859.  She testified that the abuse in Wms Co began on 15 Feb 1861 when John threw her against a wall in their house and held her head against the wall about the time when Sarah should have been pregnant if one follows the rule of a baby every two years.   The fourth daughter, Olive Elvina, was born in Edon, Florence Twp on 25 Aug 1862.  On 5 Sept 1862 John forced Sarah from her home after a severe beating when he struck her on the left shoulder and arm with a closed fist and she was unable to use her arm for several weeks.  Fifth daughter Juliette was born in Edon on 13 July 1865 and on 18 July 1865 Sarah “was ill and John kicked her out of the home providing no food or support.  He threatened to shoot her with his rifle and he used harsh, rough language against her.”

Sarah claimed that John had received property from her at the time of the marriage and she wanted it back because she needed alimony in order to live.  Her father, Elias Harsh, had died in 1856 so perhaps he had settled this alleged property on Sarah at the time of her marriage or as a result of his estate. It is known that John signed off her inheritance. The journal entry stated that the court discontinued this case without prejudice to either party.  This should be interpreted as “no divorce”.  After the March 1866 case Sarah disappeared from records of this area – no death, obit, or cemetery inscription.  However, Sarah Aller 33 b. OH, seamstress by occupation, was living in Ottawa Twp, Allen Co, OH, PO Lima with her youngest daughter Julie Etta age 5 in the 1870 federal census.  Why she was living there is anyone's guess, but she did retain the married name of Aller.

Their daughters are as follows: Rebecca Jane 26 Oct 1854-21 Mar 1939; bur Edon Cem m1 Samuel Day, 8 Oct 1872 (V4 p241), m2 Lyman Baxter, 22 Mar 1891 (V6 #414), m3 John Kennedy Bechtol, 14 June 1914 (She was his fifth wife; Bechtol  he had committed one of his wives to an institution in Toledo, OH); Mary Elizabeth, 21 Aug 1856-2 Sept 1926, Bowling Green, Licking Co, OH; m. John W. Griffith, 29 Nov 1879 (V4 p657); Sarah Catherine 6 Mar 1859-24 Apr 1938, Wichita, KS; m. Edward Newton Salander, 27 July 1886 in Wichita; Olive Elvina 25 Aug 1862-1 Feb 1912, bur Edon Cem; m. George W. Hart (V5 #67); Julia Etta, 13 Jul 1865-25 Aug 1884, Wichita, KS; m George Willis Salander, 1 Jan 1884, Wms Co (V5 #434).

In the 1870 Florence Twp, Wms Co, OH census p21 John Aller is a dry goods merchant in Edon at 39 OH, Hester S. 35 OH, a millinery and dressmaker, Rebecca J 15 OH, Mary E. 13 OH, Sarah C 11 OH, Olive E. 8 OH, Edward N. Salander 12 IN, Geo Willis Salander 9 IN, and Ester E. Aller 1 OH.  The new mother of the Aller family was Mrs. Esther Scoles (Barker) Salander, widow of John Salander (d. 25 Sept 1866) and daughter of English native Reverend Edward Barker and second wife Mrs. Rebecca Oram Salander Barker. There is the possibility that Esther was the adopted daughter of Rev. Edward Barker and a true daughter of a Mr. Scoles, but that has yet to be confirmed.  Esther, a milliner, was born in Amity, Knox Co, OH on 16 Aug 1835, and first married John Salander in Dekalb Co, IN on 7 Oct 1855.  John Salander, son of Christian Daniel Salander and Mary Foursht/First, was born on 3 November 1831, pos. Middleton Twp, Cumberland Co, PA.  The Sallander family was enumerated in the 1860 Smith Twp, DeKalb Co, IN federal census p34, as Daniel 55 Pa, Mary 56 PA, David 18 OH, Clarissa 16 OH, Catharine Foursht 84 PA, John Sallander 29 PA, Hester 24 OH, Edward G 5 IN, Joseph Craig 23 OH, and Samuel Craig 56 PA.

John Salander died at the age of 35 from blood poisoning resulting from a scratch on his arm while husking corn in Illinois.  Esther married John Aller on 22 Sept 1868, Barker's Chapel, Smithfield Twp, Dekalb Co, IN. bringing along her two sons, George Willis b.27 Feb 1861 and Edward Newton b. 13 Dec 1858, both born in Smithfield, Dekalb Co, IN, from Waterloo, Indiana to join the Aller daughters. Esther's father officiated at her second marriage.

The youngest daughter Juliette was not listed with them as she was enumerated with her mother, but she reappears in the 1880 Florence Twp census p557 as shown: John 49 OH, E. S. 44 OH, Sarah C. 21 OH, Olive E. 18 OH, Julie E. 14 OH, Margaret J. 8 OH, John L. 6 OH, and Kate Estrich 20 OH servant.  Interestingly, daughter Mary Elizabeth Aller Griffith and husband John Griffith kept boarders according to the 1880 federal census of Norton, Muskegon Co, MI, with one of those living in that household as Sarah Aller, sister to Mary Elizabeth; this means Sarah Catherine Aller was enumerated twice in two different geographical locations in 1880.

By this census and other records one learns that John and second wife Esther had three children, Esther Emma 27 June 1869-15 July 1870 @1Y15D; Margaret Susannah “Maggie” 1 June 1872-26 Dec 1955, single, and John Leonidas 14 Sept 1873-23 Dec 1960, Camden, MI; bur Edon; m. Elsie Jane Fiser, 26 Mar 1896 (V7 #109). 

A book about this Aller family entitled The History of the Fiser Aller Family by Lucille Aller-Reas, 1977, includes an enlightening excerpt about this family.  “She (Esther) tried to satisfy his (John S.) desire for a son to carry on his name, but after more girls she was ready to give up in despair.  When their third child was about to be born, she became depressed and was all packed and ready to move out.  She said it would be impossible to live with John S. Aller if he became the father of an eighth daughter.” It was lucky for Esther that the child was a son.  Perhaps this was precisely why Sarah, the first wife, was not so lucky, as she was the mother of five daughters and no living son.

The Aller household was listed in the 1900 Edon, Florence Twp federal census, living on Indiana Street, as John 69 OH, married 48 years, Esther 64 OH, daughter Maggie S. 27 OH single.  Note the number of years married would make their marriage taking place in 1852, which we know is incorrect.  I was unable to find Aller in the 1910 census, but by the 1920 Florence Twp census he was 84 years old living with daughter Margaret R 47, a milliner.
Esther Barker Salander Aller died 6 Nov 1917, Wms Co, OH (Death Certif. #74322) and was buried in Edon Cemetery.  She was both a stepmother and mother-in-law to John and Sarah Harsh Aller’s daughters, Julie Etta and Sarah Catherine. Julie Etta and husband George Willis Salander moved to Wichita to be close to her sister and his brother, but tragedy struck when she became pregnant with their first child and Julie contracted typhoid fever.  Both she and her baby died and were buried in Highland Cemetery, the oldest cemetery in Wichita.  Years later her sister Sarah Catherine Aller Salander would be buried next to her sister.

Esther's sons, Edward Newton and George Willis Salander, died on 18 Feb 1946, Wichita, KS, and 5 Jan 1927, Chicago, Cook Co, IL, respectively. Edward and Sarah C. Salander were listed in the 1920 Wichita, Sedgwick Co, KS federal census, and p181, as sixty-year-olds plus daughter Myrtle S 30 and her son Earl C. 3 2/12. After his first wife's death, George Willis Salander married Ida Viola Brewer, on December 1, 1890 at the Walnut Street Methodist Church in Jackson Co., Missouri (marriage license #4670). George Willis was found in both the 1900 and 1910 federal censuses for Jackson, Missouri, PO Kansas City.  In both he was listed with wife Ida, b. Dec 1872 OH, and sons, Riley C. (b. Aug 1891) and Willis L (b. Sept 1893) both born in Missouri.  By 1920 George was a salesman for a rubber tire company, residing in a boarding house as George 58 IN. He is buried in Memorial Park Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri with Ida.

John S. Aller’s obit (“Bryan Democrat”, 10 Feb 1925) states he died in Edon on 2 Feb 1925 @95Y and was laid to rest beside wife Esther.  John made a will on 10 June 1912 listing his heirs and the will was probated on 14 Feb 1925 (#7562) showing extensive property lots in Edon.  Daughter Olive’s heirs were to inherit her share; those being named were Alma Farrier of Hillsdale, MI, Wilbur Hart of Detroit, MI, and Nellie Gearhart of Edon, OH.  His other heirs were Rebecca Jane Bechtol of Edon, OH, Sarah Catherine Salander of Witchita, KS, Margaret Susan Aller of Edon, OH, John Leondas Aller of Edon, OH, and widow, Esther S. Aller, a milliner in Edon, OH, who was to retain Lot #32 in Edon, but John outlived Esther as well as several of his daughters.

John was a sawmiller, a drugstore owner, and a justice of the peace.  He was a charter member of the Edon Lodge. In 1868-1877 John was a partner with George Ball in a mercantile business and an owner of a drugstore in 1877, which was later sold to T. S. Carlin. John's nephew, John Milton Toner, son of James and Elizabeth Aller Toner moved from Missouri to Edon to live with his uncle c. 1870.  This nephew would later become three times Mayor of Edon.

The possibility exists that the Aller girls became fond of their new stepmother, Esther.  For example, it is known that oldest stepdaughter Rebecca, widow of Samuel Day by 1880, was listed as a milliner just like stepmother Esther, so perhaps Rebecca learned this trade from Esther and worked for her to support her three children by Samuel Day.  In Esther's millinery shop she had a pet dalmation that would sit in her window for hours, modeling her hats.  Also, if mother Sarah was a seamstress as indicated in the 1870 Allen Co, OH census, the girls may have learned sewing skills from her as well.

What happened to Sarah Harsh Aller?  An interesting record exists in the 1880 Washington, Carroll Co, OH census p184D: Sarah Aller 42 OH, resident of the infirmary institution there, with marital status as single. A family story from Harriett Aller Storaker correspondence states that John wanted a son and all he had were daughters from his first wife, Sarah Harsh Aller, so he committed Sarah to an insane asylum and then divorced her.  Also from The History of the Fiser Aller Family, p9 it states that "Sarah Ann Harsh Aller was divorced by John S. Aller.  The divorce petition was filed 31 Dec 1865 after having her committed and became final the March term of court in 1866."  The above-mentioned Harsh Family Genealogy also states that the couple was divorced in 1867. To date no such divorce in Wms Co has been uncovered but all the known facts lead to the above-mentioned story as being the likely scenario. 

Records for the Carroll Co, OH Infirmary have been consulted to no avail.  Sarah Harsh Aller's mother, Sarah Summers Harsh, age 80, was living in Harrison, Carroll Co, OH with her son Enoch Harsh, his wife Catherine Helfrich Harsh, and his nine children in the 1880 federal census.  She died on 13 May 1882 @82Y 2M 7D and was buried in the Harsh Cemetery in Carrollton, Washington Twp, Carroll Co, OH. An obituary or probate for the mother may enlighten us as to the fate of the daughter, Sarah Harsh Aller.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Allen


Mary J. Overdear Allen v William Allen
Bullying Got the Best of Her, Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1870


By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)


A divorce can mean freedom from the bad behavior of an ex-spouse.  Many abused spouses go on to lead full, rewarding, and happy lives, but a few die within several years of "being set free".  This genealogical detailing handles such an example.

The Stories of Fountain City, Van Gundy, 1975, p33, told that when an early newspaper, "The Weekly Bryan Democrat" was first published, Jacob Overdear, a staunch Democrat, snatched the first sheet "hot off the press" and would never part with it.  Jacob and family were recorded in the 1860 Crooked Creek, Jamestown Twp, Steuben Co, IN federal census p681 as Jacob Overdear 47 OH millwright, Mary 36 PA, Mary 13 OH, and Everett 6 IN. He and his family were early Bryan settlers, being recorded owners of land in Sec 16, Pulaski Twp, 1864.  Jacob died on 15 Oct 1864 @52Y 10M 15D and his wife Mary died on 20 Apr 1877 @65Y 6M 3D.  They were laid to rest in the Shiffler Cemetery, Jefferson Twp.  Their two known children were Everett, a schoolteacher, and Mary J.

Mary J. Overdear (b 1847 OH) married William Allen in Wms Co on 27 Aug 1868.  Nothing is known of William's parentage.  According to the 1870 Pulaski Twp federal census, p17, the family was listed as Mary Overdear 57 PA, Mary J. Allen 19 OH, Everett Overdear 17 IN teacher, and Charles Allen 2 OH. Mary Allen appeared in the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court (Journal 7 p483 - Nov 1870; Roll 22 case number 20) requesting the divorce.  Mary Allen stated that on 26 Feb 1870 William beat her and threatened to maime her.  For the last three years he had beaten, abused, struck, bullied, and defamed her in her own home and neglected her financially.  Mary said their son Charles Allen was 22 months old and even though William was not fit for custody of their son, as he was a habitual drunk for more than three years, William had threatened to take Charles from her.  Mary called the following witnesses to testify on her behalf: Thomas Clodfelter, John Miller, William Davis, and David Hults.
Evidently the court granted a divorce and William Allen did not receive custody.    

She died on 5 May 1873 @24Y 2M 7D and was buried in Shiffler Cemetery.  Her son Charles O Allen was granted a guardian on 18 June 1873 (Probate #1590).  When he died in 1902 at 33Y he was buried close to his mother.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Aldrich

Martha Jane Best Aldrich v George W. Aldrich


The Husband Ran Away But the In-Laws (With a Twist) Remained Supportive, Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1881


By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

Two early Williams County, Ohio settlers married here on 24 Mar 1859 (Marriages, V3 p52) and they probably shared dreams of a happily ever after life for themselves and their children.  Seven years later the father died (Probate #1065 - 23 July 1866) and three years later his minor children were granted guardians by the Probate Court (#1283 - 14 Apr 1869).  The widow had to make a living on the farm that her husband had established in Madison Twp.  She hoped good fortune would visit each of her girls but one was not so lucky.

Alexander Best married Elizabeth Fleagal and the couple settled on land in Section 32 of Madison Twp.  They had three daughters, Martha Jane (1859 OH - 28 Sept 1883; m. George W. Aldrich, 10 Dec 1875 or 1876, Hillsdale Co, MI [VE p198]); Mary (1861 OH -?); and Ada R. (Aug 1863 OH - 25 Feb 1960, Floral Grove Cemetery, Pioneer; m. Benjamin Hugh Traxler).  The Best family was enumerated in the 1860 Madison Twp federal census, Deerlick PO p203, as Alexander 25 PA, Elizabeth 17 OH, Martha 1 OH and 1870 Madison Twp federal census, p7, as Elizabeth Best 35 OH, Martha 10 OH, and Ada 6 OH. This genealogical detailing deals with the eldest daughter, Martha Jane Aldrich who married George W., the son of George S. and Emily Aldrich. 

George W., the groom, b. 1853 NY, was listed with his parents in the 1860 Bridgewater Twp federal census, p98A, as George Aldrich 48 NY, Emily 43 NY, Eliner 22 NY, Oliver 20 NY, Emma 18 NY, Marion (f) 16 NY, William 14 NY, Mary 11 NY, Sarah 9 NY, George 7 NY, Samuel 4 OH, Ida May 2 OH, and John 7/12 OH.  By the 1870 Bridgewater Twp federal census, p3, George Aldrich, who would be 17 years old, was missing from the family unit as was his mother Emily.  The family was enumerated as George Aldridge 57 NY, Samuel 14 OH, Ida M. 12 OH, and Henry H. 10 OH.  Presumably wife Emily died between the 1860 and 1870 censuses.

Shortly before divorce action took place Martha was listed in the 1880 Madison Twp federal census, p476A, with her in-laws as George Aldrich 58 OH, Elizabeth 39 OH, Martha 20 OH, and sisters Mary Best 19 OH, Ada Best 16 OH, and daughter Myrtie Aldrich 3 OH.  Father-in-law George S. Aldrich was a native of NY and settled in Bridgewater Twp between 1856 -1860.  Before the 1880 census father-in-law George S. Aldrich married widow Elizabeth Best, making George S. both a father-in-law and stepfather to Martha Jane Best Aldrich.  No wonder the in-laws were so supportive and the Best sisters were living with Aldrich.

Martha Jane filed a suit for divorce in the Williams County Civil and Criminal Court (Journal 11 p268 - Dec 1881; Roll 37 case number 922) against husband George stating that he was willfully absent for three years or more, had totally abandoned his wife and four year old daughter, and was guilty of gross neglect.  Note that she gave the marriage date as 1875 but a check in the Hillsdale Co, MI records showed the year was 1876.  She was granted a divorce, custody of her minor child, and restored to her maiden name (Bryan Press, 8 Dec 1881, p5 c3); two years later she died on 28 Sept 1883 @24Y; her tombstone in the Floral Grove Cemetery, Pioneer, Ohio showed her as Martha Best Shaffer, so she may have remarried after July 1881.  She rests beside her in-laws or mother and stepfather, George S. Aldrich (8 Apr 1898 @ 84Y) and Elizabeth Aldrich (6 or 16 Mar 1841 - 15 Sept 1921).  Elizabeth Aldrich was listed in the 1910 Pioneer, Madison Twp federal census as Elizabeth 69 OH widow with 3 children, 2 living.  Next door via the census was Myrtie M. Brandon, wife of Burget, who was listed as 32 OH, married 8 years with one child, Harold H, age 7.

Errant husband, George W. Aldrich, as of 1881 lived in Geneva, Fillmore Co, Nebraska.  A newspaper notice in the "Bryan Press" notified him of Martha's intentions for a divorce.  Nothing more is known of him.  Martha Jane Best Aldrich was 16 or 17 years old when she married George, was about 18 years old when she became a mother, and was 24 years old when she died.  

07 September 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Alderman

Mary Pryor Motte Alderman v George F. Alderman
Lucy Curtis Alderman v Martin Alderman
Cruel, Cold, and Unkind, Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1878 and 1886
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

Within the divorce records one may find a vivid narrative of the household situation for a family that does not have many records in this county.  The following is such an example.

The leasee of the local hotel known as "The Bryan House" c. 1885-1886 was George F. Alderman whose parents were Charles Bidwell and Elizabeth McLaren Alderman. Charles b1828 VT started out as a grocery clerk in LeRoy, Genessee Co, NY but in the 1860, 1870, and 1880 federal census records for Goshen, Elkhart Co, IN, one finds the Alderman family with Charles as a woolen merchant living in a hotel with wife Elizabeth, a native of NY, and son George.  By 1880 Charles B. Alderman was the Mayor of Goshen and later died there on 1 Nov 1887.

Son George F., b June 1852 NY, married Mary Pryor Motte on 19 Nov 1884, in Belmont Co, OH, and moved to Goshen, IN where Mary had an uncle, WW Holloway.  From there they came to Bryan to manage the hotel.
Mary, the daughter of William Dennis and Mary Jane Pryor Motte, was recorded in the 1880 Wheeling, Ohio Co, WVA federal census as Mary P 23 OH, with parents William D 60 OH merchant and wife Mary J 62 MD.  Mary Motte’s father had died several months before her marriage on 10 Aug 1884 and her mother Mary J. Motte occasionally came to stay at the hotel.  Another regular visitor was George's mother.  Both mother and mother-in-law testified in the divorce action brought by Mary Alderman against her husband George in the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court (Journal 13 p526 and 536 - 17/19 June 1886; Roll 43 Box 144 case number 1638 - 15 May 1886).  Mary stated that George allowed his hotel housekeeper to treat Mary not as the mistress of the house but as less than a guest or servant; she was not permitted to order any meals to be filled.  The housekeeper stated, "I will not attend to Mary."  Mary frequently left the dining hall in a state of hunger and she was not often allowed to have friends or her own mother visit her.  In Dec 1884 George was extremely cruel to her and said, "I won't have any kids around me or about me."

In July 1885 Mary returned from a trip to visit her former home with George's consent.  She found him cold and indifferent to her.  By 18 Nov 1885 the couple stopped living together.  She did not have any way to provide for herself.  George told her he was not fit to have a wife.  She had not done anything wrong; she left.  On the way to her destination of Wheeling, WVA, she took ill and eventually she decided to sue for a divorce.  Both Mary's mother and mother-in-law testified that George was cruel, cold, and unkind to Mary.  He would not give any reason for his behavior.  His mother, Elizabeth Alderman, 56 years old, said sometime in July 1885 George had been ill for five days and did not seem himself. She confided that her son told her he did not love Mary and would not continue to live with her.  Mary Motte, the mother, aged 69 years, told the court she related to George before the marriage to her daughter that Mary was frail and of a nervous temperament.

Mary Alderman told the court that George repeatedly told her of their needing to leave the hotel and since he ran the business she decided it would be her to leave.  George had a salary of $15,000 per year plus he owned chattel and property in Bryan and shares in a gas company in Goshen, IN.  Mary asked for a reasonable alimony; the court decided to grant her a divorce with a settlement of $2500.  George continued to run the hotel for a time but later returned to Goshen.  In the 1900 federal census of Goshen, IN, George Alderman was married to Augusta N, b Feb 1861 IL, and they had a daughter Elizabeth b May 1892 IN; the couple had been married for nine years.  He ran the Alderman Hotel on North Main Street.  He was again enumerated with his wife and daughter in the 1910 federal census of Goshen and he later died sometime before 1919 when his widow Augusta married Walter F. Hackett on 24 Nov 1919.  Daughter Elizabeth had married Irvin Kelly on 4 Feb 1913.  Such was the history known of George F. Alderman; Mary Motte’s mother returned to Wheeling, WVA where she died on 9 May 1900, but the particulars of her daughter are not currently known.

Another divorce in the Williams County Civil and Criminal Court (Journal 9 p494, Roll 32 case number 445 - 17 Apr 1878) dealt with a cruel Alderman.  Lucy Curtis, daughter of James and Ellen Curtis, natives of Ireland but living in Oneida Co, NY in 1870, married Martin Alderman in Onandaga Co, NY on 4 July 1870; the census record states that Lucy was 18 NY and a schoolteacher.  She appeared in court, a resident of Ohio for at least one year, in 1878, requesting a divorce.  She stated that on 1 Aug 1871 Martin violently beat her; on 1 Nov 1876 Martin was extremely cruel to her and willfully deserted her on that date.  She called into court the following people to substantiate her claims: Alex Gilbert, Lewis Grosvenour, Sarah J. Alderman, and Jenny Kinney.  The divorce was granted, but nothing further is known of the principals.

Divorce Action in Williams Co, OH - Albright, Hitchcock, Knight

Catherine Deetz Albright v Gideon Albright
Annie Albright Hitchcock v Charles H. Hitchcock
Matilda Albright Knight v Ezra O. Knight 
Changing Minds, Changing Hearts in the Pathway of Life: No Divorce, 1879, 
Divorces 1884 and 1888 Williams County, OH – see Nicholas Brown


By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 1 Mar 2011)

How many times have you ever heard of modern-day people filing for divorce and then dropping the suit?  Just as this happens today, so did this change of heart, change of mind occur in the 1870's.  The detailing of this "almost" divorce deals with this type of change plus a rather unusual suit involving the parties of this story.  I will introduce the principals of the case.

The son of Pennsylvania natives whose identities are unknown to-date, Gideon Albright was born on 16 Feb 1828 in Allegheny Co, PA; at the age of 16 he traveled to Holmes Co, OH in 1844 and later moved to Center Twp, Wms Co, OH in 1848.  According to the 1840 German Twp, Holmes Co, OH federal census p248, Samuel Deatz resided there with a wife and four children. By the 1850 federal census for Center Twp p71, Gideon, a brick maker, lived with the Samuel Deetz family as follows: Samuel Deetz 39 PA, Mary 34 OH, Catherine 15 OH, Susannah 12 OH, Jonathan 10 OH, Sarah 8 OH, Mary 5 OH, Samuel 2 OH, and Gideon Albright 21 PA.

Samuel Deatz (alternative spellings Deetz, Deeds, Deedz, and Dietz), the son of Jacob O. and Susannah Baker Dietz, was born on 7 Nov 1812 in Somerset Co, PA.  His wife, Mary Elizabeth Krieger, parentage unknown, was born on 27 Feb 1817 in Holmes Co, OH.  Samuel Deetz and his wife Mary were married in Holmes Co, OH on 21 Apr 1833 by Jacob Fisher, JP (Marriages of Holmes Co, OH, Raber, p120).  They moved from there in 1842/43 to set up residence in this county.  Possibly since Samuel was a native of PA he was a relative of Gideon or had known him through acquaintances back in Holmes County.  Note that the Samuel Lint family, residing next door to the Deetzs in the 1850 federal census, also traveled here from Holmes Co; Samuel Lint married Elizabeth Krieger there on 5 Sept 1840.  Elizabeth Lint and Mary Deatz were sisters. The Deatzs had the following children: Catherine, Susannah, Jonathan/Jonas (1840 Shanesville, Holmes Co – aft 1897; m Sarah A. Deal, 12 Jan 1865, Wms Co), Saloma/Sarah (23 Dec 1842 Holmes Co – 25 July 1900, Wms Co; m Benjamin Cotterman, 3 July 1860, Wms Co), Mary (25 Dec 1845 Wms Co – 13 Dec 1928 Wms Co; m William Lint, 1 Jan 1867, Wms Co), Samuel (1848 Wms Co – aft 1897). 

On 26 June 1851 in Wms Co, OH (Marriages V2 p118) Gideon Albright married Catherine Deetz, the oldest daughter of his host family. Gideon's fifteen-year old bride, Catherine, was born on 4 Feb 1836 in Sobaresville, Holmes Co, OH and at the age of six she moved here with her parents on their farm in Center Twp near West Buffalo.  About six years later Gideon's younger brother, Perry Albright, born in Feb 1831 PA, followed suit and married the Deetz's second daughter, Susanna, on 11 Nov 1857 in Wms Co (Marriages V2 p129); Susannah was born in Holmes Co on 11 Nov 1838.  Perry had evidently traveled here to visit or he came later to live with his brother and his new bride.  Note that in census records for 1870 Pulaski Twp, Wms Co there appear several other Albrights: Davis Albright 28 OH, a wagon master (p24); Dennis Albright 34 PA with a family consisting of wife Sarah 37 OH (the former Mrs. Sarah Chrisman, married here on 3 Dec 1857, Marriages V2 p182), Emma Chrisman 15, and Albright daughters Anna 11 OH and Ella 5 OH (p1 Bryan).  Whether Davis and Dennis were relatives of Gideon and Perry has yet to be determined.

The Albrights were enumerated in the 1860 Pulaski Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p43 on 28 June 1860 as follows: Gideon 32 PA, Catherine 25 OH, Matilda 7 OH, William 6 OH, Jemima 3 OH, and Mary 1 OH.  This couple would eventually have a total of six children all born in this county: Matilda (Aug 1852-1939; m1 Ezra O. Knight, 17 Aug 1871; divorced 1888; m2 William Ervin Marsh, 7 May 1899); William (1854-pos bef 1870); Regena/Jennie (Nov 1856-aft 1930, Cumberland MD; m. Joseph Lippold c1879); Mary (1858-Jan 1882; m. **Wilcox); Benjamin F. (May 1861- cNov 1938; m. Gertrude Kampf, 4 Mar 1886); Anna Florence (1863-8 June 1938; m. William S. Stackhouse, 30 Jul 1888).

At some point in 1860 Gideon was brought before the Wms Co, OH Grand Jury.  He owned an ashery on the west side of Beech Street in Bryan.  Prior to this his name is found as either the plaintiff or defendant in numerous civil cases between Nov 1852-June 1858; all these suits involved financial matters in association with the ashery.  The cases continued from May 1864-June 1877.

Gideon's brother, Perry, and wife Susannah lived in Wms Co, OH between 1860-1870 as evidenced by federal census records, 1860 Pulaski p42 and 1870 Bryan, Pulaski p49 and the couple had the following children: Mary who first married Thomas Frank Davis on 3 Apr 1869, Wms Co (later divorced), m2 Mr. Chatterton, m3 Rev Asa Brickley; Sarah, Charles W., William, George A., and Millie Aurelia who married Isaac Cruse on 3 Mar 1885, Cherryvale, KS.  Perry and his family were enumerated in the 1880 Drum Creek Twp, Montgomery Co, KS federal census p212A as Perry 50 PA, Susanna 47 OH, William 18 OH, George 15 OH, and Millie 11 OH. He was also a brick maker by trade and was found as a widower living in Portland, Multnomah Co, Oregon in 1900 (federal census Roll 1351, ED 81 p17) with his daughter Millie Amelia Cruse and husband Isaac, a railroad engineer; the Cruse family lived in Oregon c1889 and perhaps Perry and Susanna Albright moved to Oregon with them; his wife Susannah Deatz Albright died in Portland, OR in 1895. Perry later passed away ithere n Jan 1911, and was buried in the Lone Fir Cemetery beside his wife.  Perry and Susannah may have left Wms Co with some financial stability or dissatisfaction based on the next events.

Suffering from the effects of fire damps in a well, Samuel Deetz, Susannah and Catherine Albright’s father, died intestate on 2 Sept 1854 here, but his estate was not settled until 10 June 1867 when Gideon Albright and wife Catherine and Perry Albright and wife Susannah sold their shares in the farm property for $98.68 apiece to Leonard Nafitzger of Bryan.  There appears to have been a dispute between Samuel Lint, a brother-in-law to the Deetz's and the administrator of Samuel's estate against the widow, Mary Krieger Deetz and the heirs; this would account for additional stress on the couples. 

According to Wms Co Probate (case numbers 407 and 408) on 14 Jan 1856 David Thomas was appointed guardian for the minor Deeds children, Jonas, Saloma, Mary, and Samuel with their mother given an allowance on the sale of real estate.  This was the same date when Samuel Lint, administrator, sued widow Mary and minor children with David Thomas as guardian, plus Catharine and Susannah Albright and their husbands over a petition to sell the land Samuel Deetz held at the time of his death.  The adults wanted a homestead set off this land for Mary Deetz and the minors to live on; Samuel Lint apparently did not wish this.

Another stressful event would unfold in the marriage and subsequent divorce of Susannah and Catherine’s mother, Mary Krieger Deeds.  From the 1860 Center Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p87B, Mary Deeds 44 OH was listed with her children, James/Jonas 20 OH, Salma 17 OH, Mary 14 OH, and Samuel 11 OH.  It appears that Mary married Nicholas Brown, a Center Twp resident, on 22 Oct 1865 in Wms Co, OH.  Mary later requested a divorce from Nicholas in 1867.  For further information see Nicholas Brown detailing.

The Albrights were again found in the federal census records for 1870 Bryan, Pulaski Twp p17 with five of their children, as Gideon 40 PA, Catherine 38 OH, Jennie 13 OH, Mary 12 OH, Benjamin 9 OH, Anna 7 OH, and Matilda 18 OH domestic servant. Note that in the 1870 census Jemima becomes known as Jennie and son William had possibly died as a youth or as a teenager he may have left the area.  He would have been 16 by then.  In 1871 Catherine sued several local saloonkeepers for furnishing Gideon with liquor without her consent.  This was both a very proactive move on her part and, apparently by the local newspapers, a very foolish one.  One surmises that the men of this county were amused and shocked while the females, especially women with husbands or fathers who drank to excess, probably felt delighted and secretly supportive of Catherine's move.  Since women did not have the legal or political clout or status that they do today, this case was dismissed.

In June 1877 according to Journal 9 p195 of the Wms Co, OH Common Pleas Court, Catherine and Gideon both appeared seeking a divorce, thereby suing each other.  Gideon planned to appeal this action to the District Court but he was told the appeal would cost $800.  Whether Gideon changed his ways or Catherine changed her mind, each of the parties dropped the suits for divorce sometime in late 1879.

According to the 1880 federal census for Bryan, Pulaski Twp p632B, the couple was listed with their two youngest children, Anna and Benjamin, a hostler.  Catherine's mother, Mary Krieger Deetz (27 Feb 1817-8 Apr 1897 @80Y 1M 13D, Center Twp, Wms Co, OH) died 17 years later and was buried in West Buffalo Cem, Florence Twp.  Her obituary in the Bryan Democrat, 15 Apr 1897 p4, stated she was the mother of nine children, but only six are currently known.  At the time of her death she lived with her daughter and son-in-law, Mary and William Lint.

Three years later in 1900 the couple was still together at their home on North Walnut Street in Bryan, according to the federal census p155, and they had six children with four still living.  Their son, Benjamin, was an insurance salesman and their surviving daughters, Matilda, Jennie, and Anna had all married. 

Gideon and Catherine were also grandparents, presumably now setting an example of connubial bliss; however daughter Matilda Knight sued her husband for divorce in 1888. (Roll 47 case number 2064 - 1888). The couple was married on 17 Aug 1871, Wms Co (Marriage V4 p183).  Ezra was the son of Samuel and Amanda Jane Johnson Knight who were listed in the 1870 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census p18, as Samuel 45 PA carpenter, Amanda 41 OH, Alwilda 22 OH, Ezra O 19 OH works in stave factory, Joe P 16 OH, Milo O 13 OH, Emma L 11 OH. Samuel D. and wife Amanda were married in Wayne Co, OH on 25 Oct 1847. - see Knight divorce action

The Knight family was enumerated in the 1880 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census p632 and 655B as Ezra Knight 28/29 OH brakeman, Matilda 26/27 OH, and Charles 7/9 OH.  The census taker possibly made some mistakes and returned to the neighborhood as several surrounding families were listed twice with different particulars.  According to The Bryan Press, 15 Dec 1881 p5 c1, Ezra Knight and partner Frank M. Wise had opened up a neat little meat market in JW Smith’s wareroom and were selling best cuts of meat for only ten cents. After this divorce Matilda married William I. Marsh on 7 May 1899 in Wms Co (Marriages V8 p28).  William had been married before to Lanetta T. Altaffer who died on 2 Oct 1896.  The Marshs were listed in the 1900 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census p161 East Mulberry St as Irwin W Dec 1847 (52) OH house carpenter, Tillie Aug 1852 (47) OH, Dessey Jan 1884 (16) OH. In 1910 William E. Marsh and wife Tillie lived on Walnut St according to the 1910 Bryan federal census p173 and by 1920 p140 Tillie Marsh 67 OH widow was still residing on Walnut St. William died on 16 Mar 1916 and was buried in Shiffler Cem, Jefferson Twp, next to his first wife.  Matilda died on 24 Jan 1939 in Williams Co, OH and was buried in the Bryan Fountain Grove Cem as Matilda (Knight) Marsh.

On 7 Nov 1906 Gideon Albright died @78Y 8M 22D of paralysis.  His funeral was held at the United Brethren Church in Bryan and he was buried in Fountain Grove Cem.  His health had declined two years prior to his death.  According to his obit in the Bryan Democrat (13 Nov 1906 p1), "Mr. Albright was always industrious and worked hard, never idle until two years ago" and "for several years he (Gideon) has been a devoted member of the UB Church in whose circle he will be greatly missed".

On 1 Jan 1908 Catherine Deetz Albright succumbed to heart failure after a long illness and was buried beside her husband; Catherine was 71Y 10M 28D at her death.  Catherine had obituaries in both Bryan newspapers; the Bryan Democrat (7 Jan 1908 p1) stated, "Mrs. Albright was always industrious, never idle and only thought of her loved ones at home.  She never faltered or skirted the duties of a devoted wife and a loving mother".  Catherine was also a faithful member of the UB Church whose pastor, Dr. Raymond C. Swisher, conducted the funeral services for both her and husband Gideon.  Catherine's Bryan Press obit (9 Jan 1908) stated that she had lived in Bryan about 50 years and with her husband Gideon "they traveled the pathway of life together until his death".

Their daughter Regena/Jennie had married Joseph H. Lippold c1879 and the couple was listed in the 1900 Cumberland, Alleghany Co, MD federal census p54 as Joseph Oct 1858 (42) MD, Regena Nov 1856 (43) OH, along with their children.  The couple had 10 children with 8 surviving.  By the 1910 federal census p60 they owned a truck farm and had 11 children with 9 surviving.  In the 1930 Wills Creek, Alleghany Co, MD federal census p142, Regina was listed as 71 OH widow.

From another divorce case one finds that Annie Albright married Charles H. Hitchcock on 14 July 1881, Cumberland, Allegheny Co, MD. Annie Hitchcock appeared in the Williams County Civil and Criminal Court (Journal 12 p403 - 17 Dec 1884; Roll 40 Box 133 case number 1301 - 12 May 1884).  She told the court that Charles was guilty of gross neglect and failure to provide for her.  She lived and cohabited with him for three weeks and then learned she would have to support herself. Charles, an only child, belonged to a wealthy family and he had both money and property.  The court agreed to the divorce and awarded Annie alimony of $800.

Annie could be the daughter of Dennis and Sarah Chrisman Albright or more likely the daughter of our subjects, Gideon and Catherine. Anna, their daughter, was 17 in the 1880 Bryan census and her sister, Jennie Lippold, had married and was living in Cumberland, Alleghany Co, MD.  Annie Albright might have visited her sister, married Charles Hitchcock (1881), realized her mistake, moved back to Bryan, filed for and received a divorce (1884), and later married Wiliam Stackhouse (1888). The Stackhouse couple traveled around in the east and was found in the 1910 East Orange, Essex Co, NJ federal census p166 as William 49 OH piano salesman and wife Ann 45 OH; they did not have any children. By 1920 they lived in Arlington, Middlesex Co, MA, and by the time of her death on 8 June 1938 Anna and William Stackhouse had moved back to Bryan.  Her obituary in the Bryan Press, 11 Aug 1938 p6, stated that the couple had observed their 50th wedding anniversary a few days before she passed away.