24 September 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Daggett

Phebe Ann Doolittle Daggett v Ethan Allen Daggett
Belle Daggett Cole v William F. Cole
A Native Daughter Abused: A Bill of Divorce in Williams County, OH (1869), 1901- see Robinson 

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 15 Jan 2013)
(This is the case that started my early divorce project)

Modern readers are all too familiar with stories of spousal abuse and divorce.  Family researchers should be aware that these sociological situations are not confined to any particular time or area, but they transcend the ages and can affect the lives of several generations both in positive and negative ways.  This genealogical detailing illustrates these points.  I would like to thank Jean Coy Bartholomew, Alan Benjamin, Pete Daggett, and Jacque Whetro for their assistance in providing various historical and genealogical pieces of the puzzle for this story.  I will first set the stage by introducing the reader to the necessary cast of characters.

Ethan Allen Daggett, the son of Orange and (possibly) Betty Sears Daggett, was born on 10 Sept 1837 in Cortland Co, NY.  On 17 Mar 1863 in Wright Twp, Hillsdale Co, MI, Book C p 305, he at 27 years of age eloped with 16 year-old Phebe Ann Doolittle, the youngest child of Harmon and Martha Stubbs Doolittle.  This bride and groom were both descendants of early settlers of Williams Co, OH – the Daggetts of Bridgewater Twp and the Stubbs-Doolittles of Springfield Twp.   Anyone proving a direct connection to these people would be eligible for admission into First Families of Williams County, OH (FFWC).

The Orange Daggett family came to this county sometime after a sheriff’s sale in 1842 at Lisle, Broome Co, NY and before the 23 Sept 1850 federal census records of Bridgewater Twp as follows: Orange (45 VT), Mariah (42 NY), Mary (16 NY), Ethan (15 NY), Lucretia (13 NY), Hannah (11 NY), and Emmaline (7/12 OH).  Orange owned a fifty-acre farm three miles north of Montpelier.

A Daggett genealogy alludes to the possibility that Orange was the second son of Ichabod and Hannah Whiting Daggett with Orange born in Orange Co, VT, Orleans Co, VT, or Broome Co, NY, on 14 Apr 1804.  Mariah (possibly Gleason) may have been his second wife with the mother of the first five children being Betty Sears of CT, d. bef 1849.  Further speculation about this Mariah showed that there was a gap between the 1839 birth of Hannah and the Feb 1850 birth of Emmaline.  It would seem she was at least the mother of Emmaline. The oldest known son of the family, Charles W. (1832 NY- aft 1880, Chicago, Cook Co, IL; mar 1 Jan 1856, Hillsdale Co, MI, Susan Marcia or Sarah A. Martin Smith) is not on the 1850 census with the rest of the family.   This farm family established roots in the Bridgewater area and was found in the 1860 Federal Census: Orange (55 NY), Ethan (25 NY), Lucretia (22 NY), Charles (5 MI), and Allen (3 MI). Mariah had died in Bridgewater on 9 May 1856 @49Y 8M 3D [pos b.date of 6 Sept 1806] and was buried in Cogswell Cemetery; her tombstone inscription says “Mother” with a substantial epitaph of love and devotion.

This decade also resulted in the marriages of Orange’s daughters, Mary, Lucretia, and Hannah.  Mary W. (1834 NY-aft Apr 1915, Russell, KS) was first married 13 Aug 1854, Hillsdale Co, MI, to John K. Rood(e), a native of Cayuga Co, NY.

1860 Convis, Calhoun, Michigan; Roll: M653_539; Page: 681; Image: 678; Family History Library Film: 803539.
h/h 1358/1450 Rood, John 40 NY farm laborer
Mary 35 NY
Charles 15 MI
Allen 13 MI
Eugene 11 MI

20 Aug 1861 John enlisted in Co E 6th Michigan Artillary at Marshall, MI and was discharged on 23 Aug 1864 at Kalamazoo, MI with a kidney disorder
14 Apr 1865 John enlisted in Co A 8th US Regiment at Jackson, MI and was discharged on 14 Aug 1865 at Detroit, MI under general orders

Evidently John and Mary divorced sometime c1865 (no further information) and both shortly remarried.

1870 Nashville, Barry, Michigan; Roll: M593_661; Page: 111A; Image: 301; Family History Library Film: 552160.
h/h 80/75 Rood, John K 43 NY farm laborer
Margaret 25 NY
Thomas 8 OH
John Q 3 MI
**2/12 MI (m) May

1880 Newton, Jefferson, Nebraska; Roll: 750; Family History Film: 1254750; Page: 623B; Enumeration District: 289; Image: 0695.
h/h 60/67 Roode, John K 53 farmer NY-NY-NY
Rosencrans D 9 son MI-NY-Canada

In 1884 he lived in Steele City, Nebraska; he was a farmer and a widower; he died c1911.

The two young boys, Charles and Allen, who were recorded in the Daggett household in 1860, were Mary's sons.  She later married Hiram Opdycke, 10 Mar 1867, Wms Co, OH, and as his second wife Mary took on the responsibilities of rearing his children in Superior Twp plus having three children in the marriage, Heman, Wilbur, and an infant who died. Allen Roode (1857 MI-1931) was listed with the Opdycke family in the 1870 Superior Twp federal census records. Hiram served from 1866-1871 as a Williams County Commissioner. As early as 29 Dec 1864 Hiram was a delinquent taxpayer, owning lots in Bryan.  By March 1876 Hiram, who had six separate mortgages on his land and a general merchandise store in Montpelier, was forced to have a Sheriff’s Auction after one or more of the persons who had loaned him money, foreclosed through the courts.  The Opdyckes then moved to Pella, Marion Co, Iowa and eighteen months later to Russell, Kansas.  Hiram, a Civil War veteran, applied for a pension in 1890.  He died on 27 Jan 1906 and his widow, Mary, made an application for a pension on 22 Apr 1906.

Allen Roode, Mary Daggett Roode Opdycke’s son, married Sarah E. (surname unknown). Allen’s son Charles A. (1887-1946) was president of the Farmer’s and Merchant’s State and Savings Bank of Montpelier at the time of his death.  The Roode family is buried in West Jefferson Cemetery, Jefferson Twp, Wms Co, OH. How ironic that Mary and Hiram had financial difficulties and later her grandson is involved in the business of finances.

Daughter Lucretia T. (May 1839 NY- 27 Jan 1917, Larned, Pawnee Co, KS) married James L. Dole, 6 Nov 1862, Hillsdale Co, MI, and established a home in Jefferson Twp, Wms Co, OH where they were found in the 1870 and 1880 federal census records.  The Doles later moved to Kansas, first to Bunkerhill, KS (c.1887), then to Russell, Center Twp, Russell Co, KS (bef 1900), and by 1901 to Larned, Pawnee Co, KS. Lucretia and her family were enumerated in the 1900 Center Twp, Russell Co, KS federal census as 61 year old Lucretia Dole b. May 1839 NY, married 26 years with 4 living children, parents both from NY; in the 1910 Larned Twp, Pawnee Co, KS federal census the family appeared with Lucretia, 74, married 48 years with 3 of her five children living, parents both from NY.  [Note the discrepancies in age and info about children.]  Lucretia Daggett and James L. Dole were the great-grandparents of Senator and 1996 US Presidential Candidate Robert Joseph Dole. James L. Dole was living in Larned as late as 19 Mar 1925 according to sister Kathryn H. Dole’s obituary.  He was a widower then and he inherited a quarter interest in his sister’s house at 215 N. Myers Street in Bryan, OH.  He died on 29 Oct 1928.

Hannah F. Daggett  (1839 NY-?) married Loren A. Smith, 1858, Hillsdale Co, MI.  Emmaline, the youngest daughter, who would be ten years old, had disappeared from the household by 1860. 

Fourteen months before Ethan eloped, Orange married his third wife, Mrs. Clarissa Kimball Hillard, 23 Jan 1862, Ransom, Hillsdale Co, MI, Book c p236, but Clarissa is not with the family on the 1870 Federal Census. Clarissa, the daughter of Daniel and Sarah Kimball, was supposedly born in Canada and had moved from Geauga Co, OH to Crawford Co, OH before her move to Williams Co.  Clarissa died on 7 Nov 1877 in Ransom Twp, Hillsdale Co, MI and is buried beside her first husband, Perez Hillard (d. 21 Oct 1854), in Burt (Evergreen) Cemetery.  Clarissa did not obtain a divorce from Orange in Williams Co, but may have done so elsewhere.

Phebe Ann Doolittle, daughter of Harmon and Martha Stubbs Doolittle, was born c. 1846, Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH.  Harmon and Martha were reported to have been the first couple to marry there in the spring of 1834. He bought several parcels of land between 15 Sept 1835 and 16 Mar 1837. Harmon built a sawmill in 1837 plus he was a township magistrate from 5 Sept 1835-19 Apr 1848 and a county commissioner from 1847-1849.  This couple was found on the 1840 Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH Federal Census with 2 sons under 5 years old and 1 daughter bet 5-10 years of age.

Martha Stubbs, the daughter of John and Phebe Miller Stubbs, was born in Tompkins Co, NY, 25 Apr 1812, and came with her parents to this county c. 1833.  John Stubbs of Goshen, Orange Co, NY traveled to Viewfield, Tompkins Co, NY in 1804; he was a captain in that state’s militia during the War of 1812 but saw no active service.  His father, William Stubbs, was a Revolutionary War soldier. 

John and Phebe were married in Tompkins Co, NY and became the parents of seven children: William M, (22 June 1810-Nov 1900, Stryker; mar Margaret H. Collins), Joseph H (1811 NY- ?, mar Louisa Reynolds, 20 Nov 1836), Martha, Polly H (1818 NY- aft 1869, Donniphan Co, KS; mar 1- Jonathan B. Taylor, 16 Jan 1836; mar 2-Jesse McArt, 3 Mar 1850), Mary , John H (26 Nov 1820 NY –10 Sept 1882, Stryker; mar Mary Polly Miller), and Moses R. (1832-bef 1869).  John was a Justice of the Peace in NY for 17 years and came to Wms. Co, OH c.1833.  John and Phebe may be the parents of another daughter, Rachel Stubbs Hollingshead Robinson, who obtained a divorce in Williams Co, OH.

John purchased huge amounts of land at the Wapakonetta Land Office on 8 Oct 1835.  Upon moving to this county John farmed over 1,000 acres, was a county commissioner, an active organizer of Masonic lodges in NW Ohio, and a Master of Hiram Lodge F and AM.  John Stubbs (12 Aug 1784, Goshen, Orange Co, NY-5 Feb 1864, Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH @79Y 5M 22D) and Phebe (16 Jan 1794, Broome Co, NY-18 May 1869, Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH @75Y 4M 2D) were buried in Boynton Cemetery. 

Harmon Doolittle (11 Mar 1810, CT-23 Sept 1849 @39Y 6M 12D) died in Springfield Twp and was buried in Boynton Cemetery.  He wrote his will several days before his death and left his beloved wife all his real and personal property.  He gave her the authority to sell any of this to settle his debts and to maintain guardianship of all four minor children until they reached the age of 21, but if she remarried, this guardianship would cease.  The Doolittle children, all born in Springfield Twp, were: Sophia C. (10 Oct 1834-21 May 1857; mar. 17 Mar 1853, Wms Co, OH, Joseph Stockbridge Boynton), John S. (27 June 1836-aft 2 June 1874; mar.16 Dec 1855, Wms Co, OH, Ann Gifford), Horace H. (16 Oct 1843-bef 13 Mar 1868, pos Chase Co, KS), and Phebe Ann.  Family tradition stated that John S. Doolittle later married the daughter of an Indian chief and subsequently became a very wealthy man.

Martha and her children were enumerated in the 1850 Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH Federal Census.  On 20 Feb 1853, Wms Co, OH, Martha married Jacob Boyers and moved to Bridgewater Twp bef 1860 where they were listed in that census as follows: Jacob Boyers (58 PA, farmer), Margaret (47 NY), Horace (17 OH), Phebe (13 OH), and Matilda, Jacob’s daughter, (28 OH servant).  Note that Martha’s name was written as Margaret.  By 21 Nov 1853 Jacob was the guardian of the Doolittle children and held a note from the Doolittle estate against Joseph S. Boynton, husband of Sophia.  Jacob put up a $5,000 guardian bond with the court at the time of his appointment.  On 22 July 1854 he wanted to sell the Doolittle land and wrangled in court with Jesse McArt, an uncle and guardian for Horace, over the proposed sale of part of the real estate.  Martha agreed to the sale as the land was north of the Tiffin River and it overflowed; the parcel was separated from the rest of the estate and could not be fenced in with the other land.  The final account of the property took place on 13 Apr 1864.

Along with being the Doolittles’ guardian, Jacob was also guardian to his grandchildren, issue of his son Jacob Jr. Jacob Boyer, b. 30 Jan 1802 in Westmoreland Co, PA and the son of Peter and Anna Margaretta Hartzell Boyer, was first married to Elizabeth Hoover who died 22 Oct 1852 and was buried in Fountain Grove Cemetery, Bryan, OH.  Jacob and Elizabeth were parents to William, Matilda Eliza, Jacob Jr., Margaret, Adam, and Mary.  He was a Bryan merchant as of Apr 1850 where he advertised the acceptance of ashes on account for the firm of Boyer and Case.

As was stated before, the Boyer-Doolittles lived in Bridgewater in 1860 where they were neighbors of the Orange Daggett family.  Ethan and Phebe met then and eventually married.  One wonders if Phebe’s mother and stepfather sanctioned this elopement.  In any event the marriage took place and Ethan and his bride established their home with Ethan’s father, Orange.  As time passed they had 2 daughters, Annie Belle, b 1865 and Mary L. b. 1868. 

What takes place next is the tragic tale of spousal abuse, so brutal that an account of the event is found on the front page of a Wauseon, Fulton Co, OH newspaper, Northwest Republican, on 26 Aug 1869.  The original story appeared on page four of a Bryan paper, Union Press, 19 Aug 1869.  Perhaps its less prominent position was meant to spare the feelings of the relatives who lived in Bryan and Stryker.  Further details can be found in the journal record leading to the divorce of this couple in the Williams County Court of Common Pleas (V7 p369, 380-381) and on the microfilm of the proceedings from the Williams County Civil/Criminal Court (Roll 21 case numbers 39 and 57).

On Saturday morning, Aug 14, 1869, in the Bridgewater home of Ethan and Phebe Daggett, Phebe was preparing toast for her husband, when he began complaining, “that she was too extravagant in the use of milk”.  A verbal argument ensued and finally “he kicked her with his feet encased in thick heavy boots until he had inflicted a wound to the abdomen which had caused a rupture to such an extent that the bowels and womb were protruding”.  He then “seized and pulled her out of doors”. Phebe “pleaded to have a doctor sent for but he (Ethan) refused to let the boy have a horse to go for one and in this frightful condition the woman (Phebe) lay from Saturday until Monday morning without medical attendance”.  Apparently Phebe finally “prevailed upon the boy to go on foot for the doctor”. Who the “boy” was is left to speculation – was he a farm laborer, one of the Rood nephews, or someone else?

During this infamous weekend Ethan “had explained to the neighbors that his wife was sick with chills and could not go out”.  Presumably he had allowed her to return to the house sometime between Saturday and Monday morning.  The boy found Dr. Samuel W. Mercer in Montpelier who treated her and possibly made a personal report to the authorities.  On Tuesday morning Sheriff Edwin J. Evans of Bryan went to Bridgewater to arrest Ethan and to take Phebe’s deposition if she was still alive.  When he arrived at the Daggett home he found Phebe was still living but was “most severely injured”.  She was able to give him her statement of the assault.  Ethan was a “short distance from home at the house of a neighbor where he had stopped to converse a few moments” when the sheriff took him into custody, brought him back to Bryan, and lodged him in the county jail.  When the story broke, people in the Daggett farm vicinity became indignant and it was “a fortunate thing for him (Ethan) that the sheriff had taken him in charge”.  The newspaper accounts were at first misleading as the headlines read, “Brutal Assault: A Wife Fatally Injured”.

At the time of this attack Phebe was 22 years old and was “again soon to become a mother at the time she received her injuries”.  Whether that part of the account is true has not been determined, but Phebe does appear before the Williams County Common Pleas Court on 19 Aug 1869 to request a divorce citing extreme cruelty. 

On 8 Nov 1869 she was awarded alimony of $300, was restored to her maiden name of Doolittle, and was given custody of the minor children, Annie B. and Mary L.  There was no mention of a living third child, an ongoing pregnancy, or the recent death of a child.  At the time of the divorce Phebe possessed $1800, which was held by Ethan since her marriage, but was the “sole and exclusive property” of Phebe.  In addition to this sum Phebe had brought $600 to Ethan by reason of the marriage, which she now wanted back.

Ethan was allowed to see his children through visitation rights of four hours on Saturdays.  Phebe was given legal ownership of the land she owned in her own right.  She was further granted “control of her wearing apparel, two feather beds, two straw ticks, pillows, sheets, blankets, and quilts for the two beds, two stands, and one set of chairs”.  Her $300 alimony was to be paid as follows: $100 in 60 days, $100 in one year, and the remaining $100 in two year's time.  She was granted a lien on the property owned by Ethan who as the defendant was ordered to pay court costs in ten days.

According to the Bryan Democrat, 11 Nov 1860, p3, the State of Ohio v Ethan Daggett case had the following outcome: “for brutally whipping his wife the defendant was found guilty and sentenced to ten days in jail and a $50 fine.  His wife obtained a divorce and alimony of $300.”

Poor Ethan’s financial troubles were also evidenced in a suit brought on by Pratt and Nelson, Attorneys, on 2 Nov 1869 for money owed them by Ethan.  He had to retain another attorney, Schuyler E. Blakeslee, to settle the matter. Lawyer Blakeslee was the attorney of record in the famous murder trial of Andrew F. Tyler in July 1848.

In 1866 Martha Stubbs Doolittle Boyers’ sister, Mary Clark and her family, had moved to Stokes Mound Twp, Carroll Co, MO, but later moved back here by 1875.  Three months before the assault of Aug 1869, Phebe Daggett’s grandmother, Phebe Stubbs, had died and her obituary listed Phebe Daggett’s mother, Mrs. Jacob Byers (Boyers), as living in Clinton, MO. By 27 June 1870 Martha was back in the 1870 Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH Federal Census as Martha Boyers (57 NY) plus daughter Phebe Boyers (23 OH) and Daggett granddaughters Annie B (5 OH) and Mary L. (2 OH) all living together.  Obviously they had put some distance between themselves and the Daggetts.  Martha had $800 in real estate value plus $200 in personal property while Phebe at age 23 possessed $1,000 in real estate and $150 in personal property.  What had happened to husband, Jacob Boyers, has not been determined to date; some Boyers researchers state that he died on 8 Oct 1892.  If this is the case, then he did not live with his wife Martha Stubbs Doolittle Boyers.

In the 1870 Bridgewater Twp, Wms Co, OH Federal Census Ethan Daggett (33 NY farmer) plus father Orange (65 NY) and a 21-year-old housekeeper, possibly Natalie McFavorite of OH, lived together on the Daggett homestead.  Now Ethan possessed $1,000 in real estate and $200 in personal property as head of household.

When James L. Dole sold property on 27 Aug 1876 in Jefferson Twp, Orange Daggett witnessed the transaction. Orange left the Bridgewater area sometime around 1887 and moved to Bunkerhill, Russell Co, KS to live with his daughter and son-in-law, James L. and Lucretia T. Dole and the four Dole grandchildren, Eva, Netta, Robert G, and Rutherford H.  Orange died at the Dole home in Bunkerhill, which is approximately eight miles east of Russell, KS, on 27 June 1887 @83Y 2M 13D from gangrene of the foot and ankle. His obituary listed him as “always industrious and a highly respected citizen”.

Ethan and Orange sold their Bridgewater property in Section 12S c1872 and Ethan bought acreage c.1880 in Harrison Co, IA from his brother Charles. According to the 1880 Missouri Valley, St. John’s Twp, Harrison Co, IA federal census p151, Ethan Daget, 39 NY carpenter and boarder of Edward and Georgiana Coblergh, was listed as a divorced male.  From the 1885 Missouri Valley, IA state census Ethan Daggert was 60-year old native of NY.  He supposedly married a Nancy J. Daggett (18 Aug 1841-20 Apr 1927) who is buried in the Woodbine Cemetery, Harrison Co, IA. Whether this is true and whether Nancy obtained a divorce from Ethan is not presently known.  On 31 Mar 1898 he married Mrs. Elizabeth Bailey Hillard in Harrison Co, IA. Elizabeth and her husband William were next-door neighbors to the Daggetts in Bridgewater. Elizabeth, b. 18 Sept 1828, a native of London, England, became a widow on 18 Dec 1891.  She owned property in Superior Twp as of 1894.

The story told by Elizabeth’s grandson, John Hillard, was that “after her husband died, she was bound to go to Iowa and marry Ethan Daggett even though her children were against it and had a fit.  She went anyway and married him, but they didn’t get along.  One night they were fighting in bed and he got up, left the room, and got a pail of water to throw on her; but in the meantime she slipped out the window and went to the neighbors; all he got was a wet bed as he threw it on the bed but she wasn’t there”.

In the 1900 St. John Twp, Harrison Co, IA federal census p229, the Dagget family was enumerated as Ethan, born Sept 1835 (64) married two years, a carpenter with father native of NY and mother native of CT, and his wife, Elizabeth, born Nov 1833 (66) ENG of foreign born parents; she had 8 children with 7 still living, and she had immigrated to the US in 1839.  

This marriage lasted sometime between 1898 and when Elizabeth Daggett moved back to Wms Co, OH where she died on 7 Oct 1906.  If she obtained a divorce, she did not do so in Wms Co. Her obituary and probate records listed her as Elizabeth Daggett. The Hillard family never acknowledged the marriage and she was buried beside her husband, William Hillard, in Cogswell Cem.

An interesting point that should be made here is that Orange Daggett had married Elizabeth Hillard’s mother-in-law, Clarissa Hillard; furthermore, Clarissa either left or divorced Orange just as Elizabeth did with regard to Ethan.  That these Daggett men appear to have been poor husbands is an understatement.

Ethan A. Daggett was enumerated in the 1910 First Ward, Missouri Valley, Harrison Twp, Harrison Co, IA federal census, p179, as 70 NY, a widower, with parents from NY and CT; his profession was carpenter. On 10 June 1912, Ethan Daggett died hundreds of miles from his former Williams Co, OH home.  His death certificate stated he was divorced at the time of his death. His probate record, under the name of E. Daggette (Docket 7 p289 #1693) from Harrison County, IA needs further study, but I did obtain a copy of Ethan's obit from the "Missouri Valley Times", 13 June 1912, which according to the obituary writer gives a different side to Ethan's nature. 

"Mr. Daggett was laid away yesterday.  I have known him quite intimate for a number of years and have found him a good neighbor, willing to help in any good cause.  He especially loved children.  They were always welcome to his home.  The brothers have all passed over, two sisters remain." [Note that Ethan may have had more than the one known brother, Charles W. Daggett.]  "Ethan Dagget, born in Cortland County, New York, Sept 10, 1837, died June 10, 1912, 75Y 9M.  At 12 years of age he removed with his parents to Williams County, Ohio, and remained there until he came to Harrison County, Iowa, 38 years ago (1874).  He was converted early in life and joined the M.E. Church where he has been a faithful member so many years.  He has suffered much the past year and has been cared for by kind friends and neighbors.  He was removed to the hospital some three months ago and though all that medical skill and science could do was done, he passed away to rest yesterday.  He leaves two sisters, Mrs. Mary W. Opdycke of Russell County, Kansas, and Mrs. Lucretia Dole of Lanard, Kansas, both of whom came to care for him the last days and were at the bedside when death came and were present at his funeral.  'He giveth His beloved sheep’”.  Ethan was laid to rest in the Oak Grove Cemetery, St. John Township, Harrison Co, Iowa.  With the marvels of modern technology one can even view a photo of Ethan's tombstone.

The Bryan Press, 3 July 1879 p5
On the evening of 3 July 1879 at the bride’s residence in Stryker, Williams County, OH, by Rev H A Brown, Mr. Jason W Beard of Summit, DeKalb Co, IN to Mrs. Pheoba A Doolittle of Stryker, OH.

Phebe married Jason W. Beard, 3 July 1879, Wms Co, OH; the couple was enumerated in the 1880 Summit, Smithfield Twp, DeKalb Co, IN federal census period, 16B, as Jason W. 31 IN dry goods and grocer, Phebe 33 OH, Belle D 14 OH, May 11 OH, and Martha Boyer 64 mother and boarder. Jason W. Beard, born Feb 1849 in IN, was the son of Elisha and Elizabeth Boyers Beard.  His mother was a sister to Phebe's stepfather, Jacob Boyers.  Elizabeth died sometime before husband Elisha married Mrs. Mary Magdalena Noragon Kepler on 9 May 1863 and by the 1870 Franklin Twp, DeKalb Co, IN federal census, Jason did not reside with this father and stepmother.

Martha Boyers died of dropsy on 25 July 1886 @74Y 3M at her home in Stryker. Her death record listed her as a widow. Her burial place is unknown. The term "widow" for Phebe is also not strictly accurate because in 1900 Jason W. Beard lived with his wife of 20 years in Crowell, Woods Co, Oklahoma.  He had two children with wife Josephine A. Hitchcock Walter, whom he married on 6 Dec 1886 in Haneysville, Pratt Co, KS but only one, Clarence S. Beard b. Feb 1887 Kansas, was listed.  It would appear that Phebe or Jason obtained a divorce or Jason was a bigamist. Note that Jason was in DeKalb Co, IN in 1880 and apparently by 1886 he and his wife Josephine lived in Kansas where son Clarence was born on 1 Feb 1887 and passed away on 5 Aug 1904.  Jason died on 10 Apr 1909 and wife Josephine died on 17 June 1914; they are all buried in Alva Cemetery, Alva, Woods Co, OK.

As stated before in 1886 Martha Boyers died in Stryker so it would seem sometime after 1880 the women moved back to Wms Co, OH. A brief article in the Bryan Press, 4 Sept 1890, mentioned Mrs. Phebe Beard of Wauseon, formerly of Stryker, was visiting relatives in Stryker.

Belle Daggett married William F. Cole, 17 July 1890, Wms Co, OH but on 20 July 1901 she obtained a divorce in Wms Co.  William, a resident of Illinois, had been willfully absent for the past three years.  He did not contest the divorce.  Mrs. Phebe Beard testified in court on her daughter’s behalf that William was at fault.  There were no children from this marriage and Belle was restored to her maiden name, Daggett.  Phebe’s other daughter, Mary L. Daggett, disappeared from records after 1880.  Phebe A. Beard, cousin to Phebe M. Boynton, dec as of 1915, was listed with other relatives in the will probated in Wms Co, OH (#6050), as a resident of Stryker, OH.

Phebe appeared as a widow living at 195 Lynn Street, Stryker, OH with her daughter Belle in the 1910 and 1920 Federal Census records.  Phebe was a music teacher and Belle was a public school teacher. 

Phebe Ann Doolittle Daggett Beard died at her Stryker home, 8 July 1926.  Her daughter Belle was living at the County Home in Jefferson Twp as of 5 Feb 1934 or earlier.  Phebe’s estate was valued at $1500 with real estate as Lot 38 Tingley’s Add, Stryker. Her estate had unpaid funeral expenses of $225 with the estate administrator, Wendell P. Grisier, taking care of the bill with a public auction of her belongings on 21 July 1934 after he was unsuccessful in getting Belle Daggett to cooperate with the probate and property sale.  Belle died 16 July 1936 @78Y, in Stryker. The burial sites for Phebe and her daughter, Belle, have not been discovered to date.

Speculation/Unanswered Questions

1.     All around him Ethan would have been among people who did not approve of his behavior, but would they have continued to socialize with his family?  Also, what about his family – would they have felt embarrassment and anger?  On that dreadful day, who was there to witness the assault and was there something they could have done?  Ultimately was this a reason for the Dole and Opdycke families moving to Kansas?
2.      Ethan may have been among people who felt Phebe, as a woman and a wife, was to blame for the assault; she should have been more cooperative and frugal.  Perhaps they turned a blind eye to the situation.  Perhaps this was an on-going case of abuse.  Examining Ethan’s later spousal abuse with wife Elizabeth, one forms the opinion that Ethan definitely had problems with anger management.
3.     Why didn’t Ethan serve his country during the Civil War?  He was the right age to enlist.  Was there a religious or political reason?  Did he have a physical or emotional impairment?  Was Orange, the father, too ill to work the farm alone?
4.     Phebe had a mother, a stepfather and his family, a brother John, and Stubbs uncles and cousins.  Did they in any way threaten Ethan?  If so, is that the reason Ethan and his father eventually left for parts West?  Was the move based on financial troubles or poor credit?
5.     Ethan was 27 years old when he married the 16-year-old Phebe.  Had he been married before?
6.     What happened to Jacob Boyers?  What happened to little Mary L. Daggett?  Was there a divorce for Phebe and Jason W. Beard?

Ivana Trump, former wife of “the Donald”, is quoted as saying, “the best revenge is living well”.  Did Phebe know such revenge?  I hope so.



Williams Co, OH Atlases, WCGS, 1864, 1874, 1894, 1904 Plat Map
1867 Personal Property Taxpayers, Wms Co, OH, WCGS


Bridgewater Twp, Wms Co, OH Cemeteries, WCGS, 1993, Cogswell Cemetery p24, 32
Jefferson Twp, Wms Co, OH Cemeteries, WCGS, 1986, West Jefferson Cemetery p20, 24
Pulaski Twp, Wms Co, OH Cemeteries, WCGS, 1989, Fountain Grove Cemetery p52
Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH Cemeteries, WCGS, 1992, Boynton Cemetery p 21, 24


1840 Federal Census Record, Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH, p239
1850 Federal Census Record, Franklin Twp, DeKalb Co, IN, p214
1850 Federal Census Record, Bridgewater Twp, Wms Co, OH, p49
1850 Federal Census Record, Jefferson Twp, Wms Co, OH, p24
1850 Federal Census Record, Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH, p95B-96, 100
1860 Federal Census Record, Franklin Twp, DeKalb Co, IN, p71
1860 Federal Census Record, Bridgewater Twp, Wms Co, OH, p93
1860 Federal Census Record, Jefferson Twp, Wms Co, OH,  p179B
1860 Federal Census Record, Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH, p61B
1870 Federal Census Record, Franklin Twp, DeKalb Co, IN, p64
1870 Federal Census Record, Bridgewater Twp, Wms Co, OH, p28
1870 Federal Census Record, Jefferson Twp, Wms Co, OH, p37
1870 Federal Census Record, Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH, p45
1870 Federal Census Record, Superior Twp, Wms Co, OH, p40
1880 Federal Census Record, Chicago, Cook Co, IL, ED 7 #161
1880 Federal Census Record, Summit, Smithfield Twp, DeKalb Co, IN, p19B
1880 Federal Census Record, Bridgewater, Twp, Wms Co, OH, p454B
1900 Federal Census Record, Russell, Center Twp, Russell Co, KS, p116
1900 Federal Census Record, Crowell Twp, Woods Co, OK, p7A
1910 Federal Census Record, Harrison Twp, Harrison Co, IA, p179
1910 Federal Census Record, Larned Twp, Pawnee Co, KS
1910 Federal Census Record, Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH, p8B
1920 Federal Census Record, Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH, p7B

Court Records

General Index of Common Pleas Court, Williams Co, OH 1824-1878, Journal 7 p369, 380-381, Nov 8-9, 1869, and microfilm Roll #21 Case #39, #57, 19 Aug 1869 and 2 Nov 1869; Journal 21 p393 Case #4547
Williams Co, OH Probate #201, 282, 2441, 4314, 4934, 8140

Death Records

Williams Co, OH Death Records, V1 p1, V2 p39, V3 p29


History of Williams Co, OH, Weston Goodspeed, 1882, p234, 318, 344, 394, 429-432, 434, 716-717, 737-740
Stories of Fountain City, Bryan, OH, Paul Van Gundy, 1975, p21
Supplement to Section Entitled John Doggett-Daggett of Martha’s Vineyard from 1894 History of Doggett-Daggett, Samuel Bradlee Doggett, George and Sydney Daggett, 1974

Marriage Records

Marriages of Hillsdale Co, MI, B-344, C-35, C-236, C-269, C-305
Marriages of Williams Co, OH, V2 p111, 132, 159, 188; V3 p48, V4 p636


“Bryan Democrat”, Bryan, Wms Co, OH microfilm newspaper collection, 17 Mar 1864 p3, 27 May 1869 p3
“Bryan Press”, Bryan, Wms Co, OH microfilm newspaper collection, 7 July 1887, p3; 19 Mar 1925, p2 c3, 21 Oct 1926, 23 July 1936
"Missouri Valley Times", Harrison Co, IA email copy from Harrison Co, IA Genealogical Society, 13 June 1912
“Northwest Republican”, Wauseon, Fulton Co, OH microfilm newspaper collection, 26 Aug 1869, p1
“Union Press”, Bryan, Wms Co, OH, microfilm newspaper collection, 19 Aug 1869, p4
“Whig Standard”, Hillsdale Co, MI, microfilm newspaper collection, 22 Aug 1854

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Culbertson (Samuel)

Mary Smith Culbertson v Samuel Culbertson  (Journal 4 p192 - Apr 1852; Roll 8 Box 25 case number 6 - Apr/7 May 1852)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 11 October 2011)

This couple may have been married in Holmes Co, OH on 20 May 1846.  Their marriage is also recorded as 20 May 1848, Wms Co (Marriage V2 p101).  Mary told the court that she lived in Center Twp.  According to the 1850 Center Twp federal census there was a Mary Smith, 21 NY, daughter of William and Sarah Smith, but no Mary Culbertson.  Mary stated that on 15 Sept 1848 Samuel left her and went back to Holmes Co, leaving her with no support and no goods.  Supposedly he went home to dispose of his personal property.  They did not have children.  His real estate was valued at $1600 plus he owned wagons and other property.  She produced witnesses, Jesse Fisher and William Ingram, to corroborate her facts. Mary wanted a reasonable alimony.  A legal notice appeared in the newspaper, Equal Rights.

According to the Appearance Docket, Clerk of Courts, 1846-1852, the divorce action of Mary Culberson v Samuel Culberson (note spelling) was settled with a divorce for the plaintiff in Sept 1852. According to the Issue Docket, Clerk of Courts, 1848-1852, in April 1852 Term Mary's divorce petition was filed on 17 Jan 1852. Mary received a divorce and $700 in yearly equal installments.  

In the 1850 Salt Creek Twp, Holmes Co, OH federal census p237, a Culbertson family was listed as Alexander 70 PA, Margaret 68 PA, and Samuel 35 PA plus nearby Culbertson families of Andrew 38 PA and John 43 PA.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Culbertson (Aaron)

Aaron Culbertson v Rebecca Hubley Culbertson ("Bryan Democrat", 21 May 1863; Roll 16 case number 69 - Nov 1863)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married in Richland Co, OH on 7 Aug 1853 (Marriage V6 p175). Aaron, born on 25 Feb 1835 in OH, was the son of John and Anna Miley Culbertson, Jr.  Rebecca, born on 26 Apr 1833 in Marietta, Lancaster Co, PA, was the daughter of Henry and Catherine Hubley. In the 1850 Weller Twp, Richland Co, OH federal census p275, the Hubley family appeared as Henry 59 PA, Catharine 59 PA, Abraham 30 PA deaf and dumb, Henry 21 PA, Susan 19 PA, and Rebecca 17 PA.  By the 1860 federal census p340, the Henry Hubley family lived in Olivesburg, Butler Twp, Richland Co, OH.

According to Aaron who wanted a divorce the couple had three children, Albert (1), Arabella (3), and Sarah Ann (7).  He stated that on 15 Feb 1856 Rebecca committed adultery with Stephen Wisner, a NW Twp neighbor.  Aaron had only recently (Feb 1861) learned of her adultery; Rebecca left him and returned to Richland Co.  He wanted custody of the children.  Rebecca's brother, Henry Hubley, gave a deposition to the court.  Rebecca lived with him in Blooming Grove Twp, Richland Co, OH; she said Aaron had disgraced her but that he wanted her to return to Wms Co and live as man and wife.  Rebecca denied the adultery charge.  The couple must have settled their differences as Aaron dropped the suit. They were enumerated in the 1870 NW Twp, Wms Co federal census, p20, as Aaron 35 OH, Rebecca 37 PA, Sarah or Scinda 16 OH, Arabelle 12 OH, Albert 10 OH, and Tecumseh S. 2/12 (b 26 Mar 1870, Birth V 1 p3; died 9 July 1871 @ 1Y 3M 13D, buried in the Nettle Lake Cemetery, NW Twp).  They later had a daughter Amanda A., b 11 Nov 1872 (Birth V 1 p45).

The Culbertsons moved by 1875 and were found in the 1880 Buchanan Twp, Jefferson Co, IA federal census p364, as Aaron 45 OH, Rebecca 47 PA, Sarah A 26 OH, Albert 19 OH, Amanda 7 OH, and Hope G 5 IA.  Oldest daughter Sarah or Sadie Culbertson married Mahlon P. Baldwin on 1 Oct 1885 in Crydon, Wayne Co, IA. Rebecca died on 6 July 1882 and Aaron later married Emma Decker. In the 1900 Ottumwa, Wapello Co, IA federal census p169,  the Culbertsons were listed as Aaron Feb 1835 (65) OH, wife Emma Jan 1860 (40) IA no children, and brother-in-law, John Decker, Mar 1858 (42) IA.  This family lived on North Sheridan Avenue.  Aaron died on 21 Nov 1923 in Wapello Co, IA.

23 September 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Crum

Clarissa Chapman Crum v Alfred Crum
June 15 Born and June 15 Wed – Almost a Divorce in Williams County, 1882
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 10 Jan 2011)

I keep harping on the value of the old divorce records.  A good example of how these can be helpful is found in this genealogical detailing of a Civil War quartermaster with a mean streak.  A fellow researcher, Carol Crum Calkins, wrote that she recently began researching her father’s family.  Her dad died in 1985; her paternal grandfather died when she was two years old; and, her paternal great-grandfather died before she was born.  Her father never talked about his family and there were few older relatives to answer questions.  She did find an uncle who had a family Bible that contained the birth date of her paternal great-grandfather, so she finally possessed something on which to build.  I found Carol on the Internet and asked a few questions with regard to her Crum family in order to write this story.  As a result of the divorce material as a springboard, I was able to provide her with the following information about her Williams County connection.

Alfred Crum, possibly the son of Peter and Mary (Nations?) Crum but not proven, was born 15 June 1824 in Olivesburg, Richland Co, OH.  He married Clarissa Chapman, daughter of Connecticut natives Cyrus and Chloe Case Chapman in Richland Co, OH, 15 June 1848 (V5 p108).  Clarissa coincidentally shared the same birthday but different year, 15 June 1825, thus making their birthdays and their anniversary the same.  This probably made it easy for both parties to remember the important dates. 

According to the 1850 Butler Twp, Richland Co, OH federal census records p259, Alfred, a farmer, was head of house (26 PA), Clara (25 OH), Matilda (5 OH), and Emily (1 OH).  Note two things – Alfred born in PA, which is disputed by further census info and his obit, and the child Matilda, who is too old to be issue of this couple unless their marriage record is wrong or they were parents before this marriage.  A possible explanation is that one of the pair was married before, making this his or her second marriage or that Matilda is a Crum niece or orphan, living with the couple.  She does not appear in any other census with them.  Further investigation in Richland Co, OH records may yield the answer to this; however, Alfred’s obit lists his seven children by name and birth order and Matilda is not included.  This couple’s parents also resided in Richland Co, 1850 with Peter Crum, a widower in Franklin Twp, and Cyrus and Chloe Chapman in Butler Twp.

In 1851 Alfred and his family plus the Chapmans moved to Crown Point, Lake Co, IN, but in Apr 1852 the Crums made Williams Co, OH, their home, settling north of Hamer in Millcreek Twp where they are found in the 1860 federal census p13b as follows: Alfred, farmer, 36 OH; Clarissa 35 OH; Emily 10 OH; Harriet 9 OH; Morrison 6 OH; and Lorin 1 OH.  Alfred’s obit in a West Unity paper relates that in 1855 he joined the UB Church but “like many others he became careless and withdrew from the church.” 

On 14 Aug 1862 Alfred enlisted as a private and served in the Civil War as part of Co C 111th OVI for three years, the last 18 months of which he was detailed to work in the quartermaster’s department.  He mustered out on 27 June 1865.  According to the 1864 Wms Co Atlas he owned land in Sections 4 and 16 of Millcreek Twp but in 1874 he owned property in Sec 33N of Brady Twp.

Alfred and Clarissa were the parents of the following seven children: Emma A. or Emily (b. 27 Mar 1849, OH; d. aft 1903, Montpelier (?), Wms Co, OH; m 10 July 1867, Wms Co, OH Reverend Burton Baldwin – V3 p693); Harriet B. (b. 25 Nov 1850, OH; d. 10 Mar 1874, Wms Co, OH; m26 Dec 1867, Wms Co, OH, John C. Rings – V3 p742); Morrison H. (b. 16 Jan 1854, Wms Co, OH; d. 1942, St. Louis, Gratiot Co, MI; m1 22 Sept 1879, Chloe Augusta Medler; m2 Nettie ---); Calista (1856-bef 1860, infancy); Loren V. (1858 – aft 1903, Cheney, KS); Mary A. “Mollie” (b. July 1862; d. aft 1903, Melvern, KS; m. Willis Opdycke); and Silva Belle (b. Sept 1866; d. aft 1903 Chicago, IL; m. Joseph Reed, c1890).  This family was enumerated in 1870 p27 in Brady Twp with Alfred 45 OH; Clarissa 44 OH; Morrison H 16 OH; Loren 12 OH; Mary A. 10 OH; Silva Belle 3 OH and the 1880 census also in Brady Twp p497A as Alfred 56 OH-PA-PA; Clarissa 56 OH-CT-NY; Silva Bell 12 OH.

According to the Williams Co Criminal and Civil Court Records (Journal 11 p462 – 12 June 1882; Roll 38 case number 998), Clarissa Crum petitioned the court for a divorce on 29 Mar 1882, charging Alfred with physical abuse, gross neglect, and non-support of herself and their daughter Silva Belle.  She claimed that for the last two years she had “infirm health” and that between 29 Jan-5 Mar 1882 she had been bedfast and needed medicine which Alfred failed to provide.  She catalogued for the court instances of beatings she sustained as far back as July 1878.  On 5 Mar 1882 she left home and sought shelter with neighbors.  Clarissa feared that Alfred who had real estate and livestock valued at $2500 would carry out his threats to sell the property, convert it to cash, and cheat her out of a monetary settlement.  The court for no known reason dismissed all charges and would not grant this divorce.  Presumably the Crums patched up their differences and reconciled.

From Journal 12 p178 - 28 Dec 1883, their daughter Sevilla Belle sued Norman Dean for bastardy.  Norman, after being found guilty of fathering a female child, was ordered to pay her $700 for the child. He appeared in court with CK Dean to pay the security money to the court. He originally denied this but subsequently changed his plea.  Norman, son of Chester and Mary Ann Hutchinson Dean, was enumerated with his family in the 1880 Millcreek Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p487, as Chester Dean 54 OH, Mary 45 OH, Norman 18 OH with other siblings.  Sevilla later married Joseph Reed.  On 31 July 1886 Deputy Marshal Charles W. Masters served an arrest warrant for a “madam” of a Bryan house of prostitution; her name was Belle Crum; whether this is Servilla Belle Crum is currently unknown.

Clarissa Crum died on 20 Nov 1898 @ 73Y 5M 5D and was buried in the West Franklin Cemetery, Franklin Twp, Fulton Co, OH.  In the 1900 Brady Twp federal census p13, the Crum family was listed as Alfred Crum June 1824 (75) OH widower, daughter Belle Reed Sept 1866 (33) OH married 10 years with one child surviving, and granddaughter Normah B Dean Feb 1883 (17) OH.

Alfred became ill c. 1902 and went to daughter, Emma Baldwin’s home in Montpelier, because she did not have any children and he could be cared for there in peace and quiet.  In the 1880 Ransom, Hillsdale Co, MI federal census p246, the Baldwins were listed as Burton Baldwin 40 PA UB Preacher, Emily 31 OH, and son Larren 16 OH a ministry student; the couple moved as they are found in the 1900 Montpelier, Superior Twp federal census p256, as Burton May 1840 (60) PA married 33 years and wife Emma Mar 1849 (51) OH also a preacher. Alfred died of cancer on 25 May 1903 @ 78Y11M12D.  His obit states that at the time of his illness he entered a new Christian experience and “if he had his life to live over he would live very different.  He extorted his children and grandchildren to live to meet him in heaven.”  Funeral services were held at the Hamer Presbyterian Church and he was buried beside Clarissa at the West Franklin Cemetery.

As a postscript our story does not end with Alfred, but continues with the distribution of his estate (Wms Co, OH Probate, case number 4459, 1 June 1903), as Alfred had wanted each of his surviving children, Morrison, Emma Baldwin, Loren, Mary Opdycke, and Bell Reed, plus grandsons George L. and William E. Rings to receive $500 from his estate.  Morrison (Carol’s ancestor) sued his sister Emma, complaining that she concealed their father’s assets and wanted all the heirs to receive a fair settlement.  The court agreed and ordered Emma to pay the heirs their just due per the wishes of their father, Alfred Crum.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Crawford (Samuel)

Clara Elizabeth Simmons Crawford v Samuel T. Crawford

I Was a Fool For Ever Getting Married; Divorce in Wms Co, OH, 1886

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 4 June 2011)

He told his wife on 17 Aug 1883 that he was a “d***d fool and unable to support a wife.”  He advised her to go home and live with her father.  She could not live with him and she would not receive any support.  Such was the life of the young bride in Wms Co, OH.

Samuel Crawford, born in Aug 1857 OH, was the son of Matthias and Sarah A. Meek Crawford, who were married in Wms Co on 3 Apr 1855 (Marriage V2 p154).  The family was enumerated in the 1860 Bryan, Pulaski Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p65, as Nathan Crawford 27 PA carpenter, Sarah A 22 OH, Clara 4 OH, Samuel 2 OH, and an unnamed female 1/12 OH.  Note Mathias was listed as Nathan.

The Crawford family was listed in the 1870 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census p57 as M. Crawford 38 PA, Sarah A 31 OH, Clara 14 OH, Samuel 12 OH, Cecelia 10 OH, Wilis 8 OH, Milla 6 OH, Alta 4/12 OH.  Matt Crawford became a building partner of John Parcher and together they helped to construct the South School in Bryan in 1880.

On 1 Jan 1883 in Bryan, Wms Co, OH Samuel Crawford married Clara E. Simmons (Marriages V4 p277); Rev. Thomas Doggett officiated.  Clara, b 13 Aug 1864, Delta, Fulton Co, OH, was the daughter of Nicholas and Julia Ketchum Simmons.  In the 1870 Delta, Fulton Co, OH federal census p211, the Simmons family was listed as NH 38 NY egg packer, Julia 30 OH, Clara 6 OH, Leon 4 OH, and Arthur 1 OH.  Again the family was listed in the 1880 Delta, York Twp, Fulton Co federal census p205, as Nicholas Simmons 43 NY produce dealer, Julia A 40 NY, Clara 15 OH, Leon E 13 OH, and Julia C 8 OH. 

Clara appeared in the Williams Co, OH Civil and Criminal Court (Journal 13 p499 – 4 June 1886; Roll 43 Box 144 case number 1631 – 19 Apr 1886) requesting a divorce from Samuel on the basis of gross neglect of duty.  She stated that Samuel was cross and violent in his words to her and made the statements that introduced this piece.  Samuel was living in San Francisco, CA at the time of the divorce.  A notice appeared in the Bryan Press, 1 June 1886, informing Samuel and any creditors of Clara’s intent to divorce him and be restored to her maiden name of Simmons.  A divorce was granted.

Bryan Democrat, 26 Apr 1888
In San Francisco on 22 Apr at residence of bride, Samuel T. Crawford of Bryan married Miss Effie DePuy of San Francisco.

Clara married Clem V. Lash on 12 Nov 1892 in Wms Co (Marriages V5 #810).  Clem, the son of James and Julia Davis Lash, was born in Florence Twp on 15 Nov 1863.  Clara Simmons Crawford Lash died on 15 Aug 1899 in Edon, OH and was buried in the cemetery there.  Clem next married Mary Isora Toner, daughter of John Milton and Elnora Matthews Toner, on 21 Sept 1901.  Clem and Mary Lash were buried next to Clara upon their deaths on 20 Oct 1929 and 14 Apr 1968, respectively.  Clara although married twice did not have any known children.  Samuel Crawford was buried beside his parents and sister Clara in the Bryan Fountain Grove Cem, but there is no existing tombstone to mark his death.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Crawford (Frank)

Frank Crawford v Alice Holmes Crawford (Journal 9 p420 - 8 Mar 1878; Journal 10 p402 - 13 Mar 1880)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

Frank brought the divorce action in 1878 but the case was dismissed.  He refiled later stating that Alice had been absent for three years or more.  The couple had at least one child, M. Blanche Crawford b1878 in West Unity, Brady Twp, Wms Co, OH. Alice Holmes Crawford married John Franklin McIntosh on 13 Oct 1880 in Nashville, Barry Co, MI; she was the daughter of Thomas Holmes and Sarah Vail.  Alice died on 7 Mar 1942 in Hastings, Barry Co, MI.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Coy

Eli Coy v Margaret Fee Coy
The Farmer Took a Wife and Couldn’t Keep Her, Divorce, Williams County, Ohio, 1847 – see Hunter 
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 10 October 2011)

One of the oldest settlers in Williams Co, William Fee, came here c. 1829 with his wife, Margaret Collins (m. 8 Dec 1807, Gallia Co, OH), and some of their children.  After making a little improvement and shelter for his family, William traveled back to Gallia Co for money to pay for the land and on his return was taken ill and died, leaving his family in limited circumstances.  Scottish native William was born in 1784 and died on 4 Jan 1831; he was buried in Clarksville Cem, St. Joseph Twp, Wms Co.  His wife, now known as the Widow Fee lived with her children on Sec 10, St. Joseph Twp.  Margaret was born in 1786 in Greenbriar, VA [now WVA], and was the mother of the following 12 children: Thomas, John, Sarah Houlton, Hannah Houlton King, Cynthia Bender, Malinda Donley, William, Elizabeth Sinkey, Margaret Coy Wilcox, Moses, Richard, and Samuel.

On 24 Apr 1832 Margaret Fee was made the administrator of her husband's estate (Wms Co Probate #20) and was sued by Robert Wasson, James W. Craig, and Montgomery Evans.  These men felt Margaret and her oldest son, Thomas, were neglecting their duties as administrators and pushed the court to select Moses Fee of Gallia Co to be the new administrator.  William Fee had died intestate and a sale of his property was set for 22 Sept 1832.  The estate was finally settled on 11 Feb 1839.  The Widow Fee died c. 1871 in Indiana and was buried beside her husband.

This story deals with the Fee's ninth child, Margaret, who married farmer Eli Coy in St. Joseph Twp, 14 Jan 1838 (Marriage V1 p29).  Eli, born 6 Aug 1787, Arlington, VT, the son of Daniel and Lucy Partridge Coy, had been married before to a Sylvia and had at least three children by her: Levi, Daniel, and Jeremiah (22 Feb 1820 - 31 Mar 1857, Defiance Co, OH).  Eli and Margaret were enumerated in the 1840 St. Joseph Twp federal census as one male 10-15, one male 20-30, one male 40-50, one female 15-20, one female 50-60, and one free colored person 10-24.  Eli Coy came to Wms Co c. Jan 1836 with a deed for 160 acres.  He was both a farmer and a millwright and owned much real estate in both Wms and Defiance Counties. 

Margaret Fee was born on 11 Nov 1823, Chillicothe, OH, making her about 15/16 at the time of her marriage to the much older Eli Coy.  According to the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court Record (Roll 6 Box 21 - May 1847), Eli sued his wife for a divorce stating that on 2 Aug 1841 she had abandoned him and was willfully absent from 1841-1847.  According to the Appearance Docket, Clerk of Courts, 1846-1852, the divorce action of Eli Coy v Margaret Coy was transferred to the Issue Docket on Nov 1846. Eli called to court many witnesses to his situation.  Many of the following were his neighbors: David Aucker, Abraham Stuckey, Robert McCullough, Oney Rice, Thomas Hill, William B. Sawyer, John Fisher, and Eli's son, Jeremiah Coy.  The court granted Eli a divorce, but there is a legal problem for Margaret Fee Coy.

There was a marriage record in Wms Co (V1 p57) that documented the marriage of Margaret and Alfred W. Wilcox, 24 Mar 1842.  Note that this marriage took place about five years before Eli formally received a divorce from her.  The Alfred W. Wilcox family was enumerated in the 1850 Milford Twp, Defiance Co, OH federal census p85, as Alfred 31 NY, Margaret 26 OH, Celestia 5 OH, and Rhoda 1 OH. Margaret became the mother of the following Wilcox children: Dianthe Clestia (1 May 1845 - 4 Apr 1850); Rhoda A. (10 Jan 1849 - 8 Mar 1867); Alford A. (26 June 1852 - 4 Apr 1853); and possibly Flora May (11 Oct 1867 - 21 Dec 1877), all buried in the Old Forest Home Cem, Hicksville, Defiance Co, OH.  Alfred’s parents were also buried there as W. Wilcox (15 June 1817 - 6 Oct 1893) and Margaret (died 28 Sept 1909).

Marriage for a third time was the order of the day for Eli Coy and Mary Mariah Doty, a next-door neighbor, on 1 June 1847, Wms Co (Marriages, V2 p98).  Mary was the daughter of Lyman Doty, (25 Mar 1795 - 1 June 1859), a carpenter from NY and wife Maria Briggs (15 Nov 1800 - 15 May 1895).  The ages of the couple were 60 for the groom and 24 for the bride.  Eli made a property settlement to Mary on the day before the wedding with the provision that if she did not conduct herself properly as his wife the 50 acres of property would revert back to his estate as fully as though the indenture had never been executed.  Eli did not want to take any chances on this marriage.

Mary Mariah Doty was born on 27 Jul 1823 in Richland Co, OH.  She became the mother of Ephraim Doty (14 Feb 1849 - 28 Mar 1853, Maple Grove Cem, Edgerton); Delila (May 1851 - 4 Feb 1938, Neligh, Antelope Co, NE; m1 John Troffer, 21 Apr 1867, Defiance Co; m2 Orville Delos Carey, 27 Aug 1874, Defiance Co); George Eli (15 Aug 1853 - 24 June 1915, Columbus, Franklin Co, OH; m Cora Emerson); and Lucy (24 June 1860 - 30 Apr 1931, Edgerton; m Elijah Beerbower, 7 Sept 1879, Defiance Co).

Eli's will, dated 1 June 1860, bequeathed sons Levi, Daniel, and heirs of deceased son, Jeremiah, $5 apiece; the rest of his estate was earmarked for wife Mary.  His youngest daughter, Lucy, was three days old when he died on 27 June 1860 @ 72Y 10M 21D.  He was buried in Maple Grove Cem, Edgerton.  His widow Mary later married Civil War veteran Benjamin F. Squires on 18 Jan 1863, Defiance Co, OH.  In the 1870 Milford Twp, Defiance Co, OH federal census p149, the Squires family was listed as B. Franklin 51 VT, Mary M 47 OH, Delilah Coy 19 OH, George E Coy 17 OH, Lucy Coy 10 OH, Andrew Squires 6 OH, Mary M Squires 4 OH, Melville Trofer 1 OH, and John W Bash 19 OH.  Benjamin later died of typhoid fever on 10 Feb 1874.  

Mary then married third groom, Adam Karnes, c. 1880, but later divorced him.  She died in Hicksville, Defiance Co, OH on 23 May 1901 @77Y 9M 26D of consumption and was buried beside her first two spouses, her father, and her small son, Ephraim.

Here's a link to more information on William Fee in Steuben County, Indiana.


Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Cox

John Cox v Anna L. Thompson Borton Cox (Journal 13 p473 – 2 Apr 1886; Roll 43 case number 1565 – 24 Nov 1885)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 4 Aug 2012)

The couple was married on 16 Apr 1867 in Amboy, Hillsdale Co, MI.  In the 1860 Madison Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census PO Pioneer p210A, the John Cox family was listed as John 33 PA, Eliza 35 PA, Jacob 13 OH, Abram 11 OH, William 10 OH, John 8 OH, Tena 6 OH, Daniel 3 OH, and Susannah 2 OH. According to the 1870 Madison Twp, Wms Co federal census, p23, the family was enumerated as John Cox 42 PA, Anna L. 40 PA, and children all born in Ohio, Henry 19, Tena 16, Daniel 14, Susan 12, Viola Levina 2, Arminda 7/12 (b Jan 1870), John F. Borton 20 OH, Margaret 14 IN, and Enos E 9 OH.  Apparently the two youngest children were issue from this marriage and John and Anna L had been married before. 

In the 1860 Otsego, Steuben Co, IN PO Hamilton federal census p478, the Borton family was enumerated as DM 45 NJ Blacksmith, Anna L 31 PA, John F 9 IN, Margaret A 4 IN, and Judson 3M IN. According to an online source John Cox was the son of Jacob and Esther Middary Cox.  Anna L. Thompson was born on 2 Oct 1829 in Erie Co, PA and had married Darling Haines Borton, son of Daniel and Tabitha Rodman Borton, in Defiance Co, OH on 27 Feb 1847.  They had seven children.  Darling died on 19 Sept 1866 in Amboy, MI.  Interestingly, one of John’s sons, William Henry, married one of Anna’s daughters, Margaret.

From the 1880 Madison Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p473, the Cox family appeared as John 52 PA-PA-PA, Anna L 50 PA-PA-PA weaver, Viola L 12 OH, and Arminda L 10 OH. 

From Journal 8 p48, on 5 June 1872 John Cox had appeared in court as guardian for Tena M. Cox in a bastardy case brought against Enoch Grindle.  Enoch was found guilty and a maintenance schedule was set whereby he had to pay Tena $600 for the care of their child.  If he defaulted, the court would award her $1200.  Enoch refused and was put in jail; later he declared insolvency.  Enoch had married A. Venoah on 16 July 1871 and the couple would later have seven children.  Shortly after this court case, Tena M Cox married John Stone in Ransom, Hillsdale Co, MI on 20 Oct 1872.

Anna Cox charged that John was harsh, angry, and violent to her, often using profanity; he would choke and beat her.  On 16 May 1885 he abandoned her and lived separately, providing no support.  Anna said she was a resident of Wms Co for 18 years; she was 57 years old and in poor health, unable to perform manual labor.  She was destitute and had no fuel.  She lived on Lot 61, Pioneer, OH.  She told the court that John owned in fee simple 100 acres of land in Amboy Twp, Hillsdale Co, MI plus Lot 63 in Pioneer.  He owned a considerable amount of livestock.  Anna wanted a divorce and reasonable alimony.  The case was dismissed. John Cox sued Anna L Cox for a divorce and was awarded a decree on 22 May 1890 in Hillsdale Co, MI on a complaint of Anna's desertion of John. On 17 June 1890 in Amboy, Hillsdale Co, MI, John Cox married Amanda Shaffer. In the 1900 Bridgewater Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p20, the Cox family was listed as John Dec 1827 (72) PA married 10 years with no children, Amanda Sept 1845 (54) OH-PA-PA.

Anna died in Malta, Montana c1904.  Please check out the comment for this divorce action as it contains a lot of helpful data.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Cowhick

Arilla/Rilla Fisher Cowhick v George G. Cowhick (Journal 11 p320 - 31 Dec 1881; Roll 37 case number 963 - 16 Nov 1881)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married on 29 Jan 1874, in Wms Center, Wms Co (Marriage V4 p323).  George was the son of William and Mary Jane Rex Cowhick who lived in Donegal, Washington Co, PA in 1860. George Cowhick 17 OH laborer was listed in the 1870 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census, p35, with the Milton Plummer family.  Closeby was another Cowhick family that could be relation: Dan 21 OH fireman, Jane Mary 57 PA, Elizabeth 18 OH, and Winfield 11 PA. 

Rilla was the daughter of James C. and Rebecca Mannon Fisher, who were married in Wms Co on 28 Sept 1852 (Marriages V2 p129).  According to the 1870 Center Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p38, the Fisher family was enumerated as James C. 42 OH stockman, Rebecca 36 PA, Jane 16 OH, Rilla 14 OH, Della 9 OH, Ella 7 OH, Addie 5 OH, Carrie 2 OH.  Rilla told the court that George had been absent for more than three years and she wanted a divorce, which was granted. In the 1900 Center Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census p14B, the Fisher family was enumerated as James C 69 OH, Rebecca 66 OH, Arilla (daughter, divorced) b Jan 1866 (34), and Charles 22 OH. Note that her birth year is not correct.  Arilla Fisher died in Center Twp, Williams Co, OH on 13 Mar 1946 at the age of 90.

21 September 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Cooper

Elizabeth Pool Cooper v Joseph Cooper

"I Can't Find My Husband.  He's Been Missing for 13 Years",
 Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1886

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

He's missing but not forgotten.  One wonders why an errant husband abandons a wife for 13 years and then the wife decides to sue for divorce.  The law only required a three-year absence.  Perhaps another man had entered the scene?  Perhaps the wife wants closure?  Perhaps the husband, even though missing, had property that must be secured?  Perhaps something else was in combination with these other suppositions?  This genealogical detailing deals with such a situation.

Joseph Cooper, parentage unknown, (possibly mother Nancy b. 1786, Delaware), was born c.1820, OH, and married Elizabeth Pool, 2 Jan 1845, Wms Co, OH (V1 p79) in Center Twp.  Elizabeth, the daughter of Bannister and Mary "Polly" Gregg Pool, was born 25 Oct 1825, Canton, Stark Co, OH.  Her parents and some of her siblings are found in the 1840 Center Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p233 and later in the same twp for the 1850 census, p68A as Bannister Pool 66 VA, Mary 47 PA, William 18 OH, Sarah 15 OH, Martha 11 OH, Ira 6 OH, and Nancy 5 OH.  Bannister, a War of 1812 Veteran, b. 19 Dec 1782, VA, married Mary Gregg, b. 31 Dec 1802, Franklin Twp, Adams Co, PA, on 5 June 1819, at Mary's birthplace.  They later moved to Canton, Stark Co, OH bef 1827 and again to Summit Co, OH bef 1831; eventually the Pools settled in Wms Co c. 1836.

The Coopers were not found in the 1850 or 1860 federal censuses of Wms Co, but in the 1860 Coloma, Hager Twp, Berrien Co, MI federal census, p30 there is a Joseph Cooper, brickmaker 35 NY, Elizabeth 24 OH, and Willie 4 MI listed.  The fact that three or four of the children were born in Michigan supports this find, but if this is the couple, where are the other children that would be older than four-year old Willie? Please note that the ages of the couple do not conform to other censuses and that Joseph was listed as a New Yorker, not an Ohioan. More census work needs to be done on this issue. During the Civil War years Joseph Cooper served as a soldier in Co F 38th Infantry Regiment, OH, to which he enlisted on 17 Aug 1861 and received a disability discharge on 6 Jan 1865 in Savannah, GA. 

Joseph and Elizabeth Cooper are found in the 1870 St. Joseph Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p31 as Joseph 50 OH carpenter, Elizabeth 44 OH, Jane Haskins 24 OH, John Cooper 12 OH, Amelia 19 MI, William Haskins 3 OH, and Nettie Haskins 2 OH.  Another son, Jerome, 16 OH, was working for the nearby Newman family as a farm laborer.

In the 1880 St. Joseph Twp census p16 Elizabeth is 54 OH-VA-OH, as head of house, along with Jerome 26 OH, John 22 OH, and Gertrude Cooper 8 OH-OH-MI, a granddaughter.  According to the Williams County Civil and Criminal Court Records (Journal 13 p411 - 11 Mar 1886; Roll 43 Box 143 case number1603), Elizabeth Cooper came to court requesting a divorce.  She stated that for 13 years her husband Joseph was absent and she could not find him; his last known post office address was Edgerton, OH.  She said she had been a resident here for the last 15 years, which would put her here c. 1870 in time for the 1870 census.

Joseph and Elizabeth Cooper had the following nine children: Calista Jane (8 Jan 1846, near Edgerton, Wms Co, OH - 22 Apr 1915, Ashley, Steuben Co, IN; m 30 Apr 1865, James Daniel Haskins, V3 p428, Wms Co); Francis M. b. MI - 9 June 1864, Chattanooga, TN, CW casualty; William b. MI - bef 1910; Amelia (Feb 1851 MI - aft 1915 pos DeKalb Co, IN, m 19 Dec 1880, Milton A. Bowman, V4 p728, Wms Co, OH); Joseph Jerome (31 Aug 1854 OH - 7 Aug 1909); John (1858 OH - c 1941); George W. (27 Nov 1860 - 28 Oct 1864); Alfred P. (1 Feb 1867 - 27 Aug 1869); and a deceased infant daughter.  On 10 Feb 1886 Elizabeth filed her petition for a divorce and all property relief. (The Bryan Democrat, 18 Mar 1886, p2 c5). The court granted Elizabeth her divorce on 11 Mar 1886 and several days later on 27 Mar 1886, she married William M. Boughan in Bryan, Wms Co, OH (Marriage V5 #811).  Her second husband died in Aug 1891 and after his death Elizabeth filed for a CW widow's pension due to William's enlistment as a captain in Co C 63rd Infantry Regiment, IL.

The twist to this story refers the reader back to errant first husband, Joseph Cooper who also applied for a CW pension on 21 May 1880 in which he stated that he was divorced from wife Elizabeth but he didn't have a copy of the divorce decree.  There was a very good reason for the missing papers; there was no divorce until 1886.  This in itself is relevant to the story, but there is more.  Within his pension application Joseph included information of his second marriage on 9 Jan 1876, Old Mission, Peninsula Twp, Grand Traverse Co, MI, to Mary Ann Warning, a native of Germany and the daughter of Fritz Warning, and the couple had several children.

Joseph never told his wife, Mary Ann, that he was not legally married to her.  Joseph died in Old Mission on 28 Apr 1899; after his death, wife Mary Ann applied for a widow's pension and learned the truth of Joseph's omissions.  Carole Gregory, a descendant of Cooper's oldest daughter, Calista Jane Cooper Haskins, supplied the information concerning this twist. 

Anna Cooper and sons were listed in the 1900 Traverse City, Grand Traverse Co, MI federal census as Anna b. Jan 1861, German immigrant to US in 1866, 39, widow with 4 of her 6 children living; Charles Eddie b. May 1883, 17, MI-OH-Germany (m Daisy Cornwall, 1915, Traverse City, MI); Albert b. Nov 1887, 12, MI-OH-Germany; Robert b. Dec 1889, 10, MI-OH-Germany (married Lovina Little, 1910, Traverse City, MI).  Anna/Roxanna was a laborer who rented her dwelling.  On 7 Oct 1900, Anna Warner Cooper married John Chapman in Traverse City, MI; they were living in Traverse City at least until 1920.

In the 1910 Peninsula Twp, Grand Traverse Co, MI federal census, p157, Albert Cooper was a general laborer for a Eugene Wait.  He was 22 MI-US-Germany and single.  More census work needs to be done to determine what happened to Anna and her children.

Elizabeth Poole Cooper Boughan spent the rest of her days with daughter Amelia Bowman in Steuben Co, IN.  She was enumerated in the 1900 Butler, First Ward, Wilmington Twp, DeKalb Co, IN federal census p105, as Elizabeth Boughan 75 OH with 5 of her 9 children living.  She was born in OH with father of VA and mother of PA.  Along with her son-in-law and daughter, Milton and Amelia Bowman, she resided with her deaf granddaughter, Gertrude Cooper, b. Aug 1872, OH-IN-MI. In the 1910 Union Twp, DeKalb Co, IN federal census Elizabeth "Bought" 84 OH with 3 of her 9 children living resided with the Bowmans.  Gertrude Cooper was also living in the household. Elizabeth died on 3 Apr 1911 @ 85Y 5M 8D, at Auburn, Steuben Co, IN; she was buried in Maple Grove Cemetery, Edgerton, OH as "Elizabeth Cooper".  Closeby rests her father Bannister Pool (d. 10 Sept 1869) and mother Mary (d. 21 Oct 1884).  Elizabeth's obituary in the Edgerton Earth, 14 Apr 1911, p2 c5, stated that she was here in Wms Co by the age of 11 (1839) and that at age 18 she joined the Methodist Episcopal Church to which she faithfully attended the rest of her life until sickness took her.  There was no mention of a divorce.