07 October 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Green


Ruth Ann Gaskill Green v William H. Green
A Case of Divorce Featuring the Seamy Side of Life: Williams Co, OH, 1868
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

This genealogical detailing features prostitution, suicide, adultery, and divorce from the seamy side of Williams Co, OH history.  Family researchers should always be prepared to find unpleasant details about their ancestors.  These people were real and true to their times.  I am sure they had good intentions but their emotions obviously clouded their better judgement.  Two couples and their children had their lives changed forever.  I will first introduce the reader to these couples and the other principals in the story.

Jared Griswold was born in Connecticut c. 1819.  Some twenty years later on 5 Mar 1839, he purchased at least 320 acres of land at the Bronson, Michigan Land Office. On 18 Oct 1846 Jared voted in a special election in Bryan. On 13 Feb 1848, Wms Co, OH, he married Harriet A. Eggleston, minor daughter of deceased Nancy Eggleston.  Harriet was born in NY on 16 Aug 1831.  Jared, the groom, was 29 years old while Harriet was only 16.  On 15 Mar 1847 the young girl was given the following three guardians by the Wms Co. Common Pleas Court (Probate #175; Roll 7 case number 1 – May 1847): William Stough, a carpenter; Reuben H. Gilson, a land agent; and George W. Durbin, a farmer.  It was stated in the court records that Harriet was to have these guardians until her 18th birthday and her relationship, if any, to these men has not been discovered to date.  She was, however, married presumably with the approval of these men.

According to the 17 Sept 1850 federal census for Pulaski Twp, Wms Co, OH p90B, the Griswold household was enumerated as follows: Jared, the merchant, (31 CT), Harriet (18 NY), and Ellen (1 OH).  William Stough, one of the guardians, lived next door to the couple.  In April 1850 Isaac Swagger sued both Jared and John Griswold over a property dispute.  Isaac's case was on appeal or certiorari, which was eventually settled.  John Griswold (1830 CT-23 July 1860), possibly Jared's brother, was a Past Master of the Masonic Lodge.  In 1859 the partnership of Plummer and Griswold ran a merchandise business in Bryan. 

By the 1860 federal census in Pulaski Twp, Wms Co, OH p52B, the household was listed as James, (39 CT), Harriet (27 OH), Henry (7 OH), George A. (4 OH), and Jane (2 OH).  The little girl, Ellen, had presumably died in infancy.  Note that Harriet's birthplace changed from NY to OH and will remain OH for the remaining census records concerning her, but on her death record her place of birth was listed as New York; also, Jared was listed as James and their youngest child, Jane, age 2 becomes Jared Jr., age 12 in the 1870 census mentioned later in the article.

William H. Green, the son of William and Margaret (Frederick) Green, both natives of PA, was born in 1827, OH.  He married Ruth Ann Gaskill, daughter of Josiah Gaskill, on 25 May 1850, in New Lisbon, Columbiana Co, OH.  Ruth was born in 1824, OH, making her approximately three years older than the groom.  According to the federal census of 1850 in Elk Run, Columbiana Co, OH p208, William H. and his bride were living with his parents and siblings as follows: William Green (60 PA), Margaret (57 PA), Margaret (20 OH), Arabel (18 OH), William H. (23 OH), Ruth (27 OH), and Presley (14 OH).  William Green had married Margaret Frederick in Columbiana Co, OH, 25 Jan 1811.  Josiah Gaskill had married Mary Davis on 11 Feb 1828 there as well, thus making Mary the stepmother of Ruth.  This couple was listed in the 1850 Center Twp for that county as Josiah Gaskill (45 NJ) and Mary (44 MD).

Sometime between this census and the 1860 Pulaski Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p36, the couple had moved here and was enumerated as follows: William, an engineer, (33 OH), Ruth (36 OH), Mary B. (8 OH), Ella A. (6 OH), and Dallas (2 OH).  William H. appeared to have real estate valued at $3500 and personal property of $150.  During the November 1860 Wms Co Common Pleas court records he was called to serve as a grand juror. Back in Columbiana Co, OH, William's sister, Margaretta had died on 30 June 1860 @ 30Y 7M 15D.

By court records in Journal 7 p96, 162 from 5 Nov 1867-10 Mar 1868; Roll 19 case number 47 and 115, Ruth Green sued William Green for divorce.  She stated that William committed adultery with Harriet Griswold.  They "went to a hotel in Gorham Twp, Fulton Co, OH" and represented Harriet "as his wife and they occupied the same room".

If that was not bad enough, Ruth further stated that on 29 Feb 1867 at the home of Samuel Burtsfield in Bryan, William committed adultery with Margaret Burtsfield, Samuel's wife.  William Green possessed the following goods and chattels: "one third of a livery stable consisting of 22 horses, buggies, and harnesses valued at $500 and seized in fee of real estate - Lot #264, Edgerton Add, Bryan, and the south 1/2 of the southwest quarter of Section 5 T6 N Range 3 E worth $5,000 and also notes and accounts valued at $1,000".  Ruth wanted the court to stop William from selling, disposing, and converting the proceeds into money and removing himself from Ruth's household with Harriet Griswold.

Ruth was granted alimony and custody of the minor child, Ella A. Green.  The youngest daughter of this couple, Laura L. (15 Aug 1860-17 Aug 1863) had died. Six months after the divorce, William H. Green's father, William, died in Columbiana Co, OH, on 20 Sept 1868 @79Y 2D.  He was an army veteran and was buried beside his daughter, Margaretta, in Lisbon Cemetery.

The exact time frame of the establishment of Harriet Griswold's "house of ill fame", aka house of prostitution, is not known, but a Bryan Press newspaper account of May 1868 gives the modern reader a sneak peak into the goings on of this establishment.  "Lucy Jones, an inmate of the Griswold house of ill fame, violently assaulted former deputy sheriff W. E. Calendar with a rawhide whip Tuesday at the northwest corner of the square, causing considerable flutter.  Mr. Calendar had testified in court that Lucy made immodest exhibitions of her person.  When she attacked him with a whip, he was carrying the machinery of a Little Giant sewing machine in his hand, and struck her over the head with it, felling her to the sidewalk.  No arrests."  From a listing of the court news in The Bryan Democrat, 26 Nov 1868 p3, one learns from the summary of proceedings that in the case of the State of Ohio v Jared and Harriet Griswold, the couple kept a house of ill fame and were fined $50 and costs.

Jared and Harriet Griswold remained married until Jared committed suicide at his home on 16 June 1869, with the Wms Co. Court certifying that "Dr. A. Snyder made a postmortem examination by dissecting and making a chemical analysis of the contents of the stomach on the body of Jared Griswold and was paid $35 for his services"; he also had a probate listing for his estate in Wms Co (#595).

The Bryan Democrat newspaper account of 17 June 1869 stated, "Jared took arsenic.  For years he had been troubled with too many friends by his wife's side (in bed) and in order to relieve his overcrowded bed of its portion of its pressure he took cold poison".  George Hart, the county corner, filed papers with Dr. Snyder's findings.  Jared Griswold was buried in the Old Pulaski Cemetery; he died at the age of 49.

In July 1869 according to the Bryan Press, "the house of Madam Griswold was completely gutted by a mob a few nights ago.  If she opens another crib, we will be strongly tempted to give the names of those males who cry aloud her names on street corners, but, after dark, keep the grass worn between her gate and doorway".

On 9 Dec 1869, Wms Co, OH, William H. Green married Harriet Eggleston Griswold (Marriage V4 p89).  The 1870 federal census for Pulaski Twp, Wms Co, OH p10, detailed on 26 Aug 1870 the Green household as follows: William, a livery stable keeper (42 OH), Harriet (38 OH), Dallas (13 OH), and Griswold children, George (15 OH), Jared (12 OH), and Sophie (10 OH).  Note that Harriet must have been pregnant with Sophie when the 1860 census was taken.  The oldest Griswold son, Henry, was not listed nor was the oldest Green child, Mary Belle, as she had married David Poast, a railroad laborer, 6 May 1870, Wms Co, OH. 

According to the federal census of 1870 New Lisbon, Columbiana Co, OH p55, Ruth Ann Green and daughter Ella, had returned home to her parents' household as follows: Josiah Gaskill a shoe shop worker (69 NJ), Mary (67 MD), Ruth (47 OH), and Ella (16 OH).  Ruth had real estate valued at $1500.  No one could blame Ruth for wanting to put some distance between herself and her former husband and his new wife. Ruth's father, Josiah, died on 14 Feb 1877 @83Y 2M 11D and was buried in Lisbon Cemetery.  The Bryan Press, 25 Oct 1877, ran a marriage announcement for William M. Mayhew of Bryan to Miss Ella Green of New Lisbon, OH, on 18 Oct 1877, at the residence of the bride's mother.

Harriet Eggleston Griswold Green may have died of consumption on 7 Apr 1878 in Bridgewater Twp, Wms Co, OH.  No obituary or tombstone inscription has been located to date to mark her passing, so we do not know what kind of life she led after her marriage to William H. Green who had disappeared from Bryan.  The 1867 personal property tax payers list showed William having real estate in Pulaski Twp.  The 1864 Williams Co, OH Atlas listed him as owning property in Section 5 of Pulaski Twp and Center Twp, but his name is not found in the 1874 Wms Co, OH Atlas.

The Bryan Press on 31 Jan 1884 gave a real estate transfer of Ruth and Ella Green who sold property, Lot #264, Edgerton and Trevitt's Add, Bryan, to Eliza J. Doughton for $817.  Apparently the ladies finally washed their hands of the property but certainly not the unpleasant memories of their connection to this county.  Ruth's stepmother, Mary, died on 31 Mar 1886 and was buried beside her husband.  On 29 May 1888 at the age of 94Y 3M 5D William Green's mother, Margaret, died and was also buried beside her husband, thus making both sets of parents of the divorced couple lying in repose in the same cemetery.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Greek


George W. Greek v Jane Greek (Journal 4 p563 - 19 Mar 1857; Journal 5 p336 - 30 Nov 1858; Roll 12 case number 29 - Nov 1858)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple married in Fairfield Co, OH on 15 June 1842.  George has land in fee simple in Harden Co, OH.  He said Jane had willfully abandoned him more than three years ago.  He was granted a divorce.  According to The Bryan Press, 10 Apr 1873 p3 c2, George W. Greek took out a marriage license to wed Mary A. Marlow.  Whether this is one of the principals in the divorce has not been established.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Graves


Mary A. Spake Graves v George Graves (Journal 10 p496 - 21 June 1880; p511 - 23 June 1880)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married in Wms Co on 30 Sept 1873 (Marriage V4 p293).  She said he was a habitual drunk and guilty of extreme cruelty to her.  Speculation exists that Mary A, possibly the daughter of Harmon and Martha J. Liggett Spake, was born c1857 pos in Wms Co, OH.

06 October 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Grasser


Quido H. Grasser, Jr. v Agnes M. Brown Grasser

Son of a Famous Bryan Celebrity and His Extravagant Wife, Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1881

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

Much has been written about the famous father of this divorced son detailed in the following story, but from all the accounts of this father there was not much recorded about his son and certainly nothing was mentioned about the divorce until now.  This again points out the importance of such records to obtain a more accurate picture of life in the county.

Dr. and Professor Quido H. Graser [sometimes Grasser], b. 1822, Hungary, emigrated to Baden-Baden, Germany in 1836 where he studied medicine.  Later he attended the Prague Medical School and graduated from this institution in 1847 whereupon Quido traveled to America and first located in Pittsburgh, PA.  From there his practice spread to other venues in Western PA and Eastern OH until 1862 when he and his family moved to Bryan, Pulaski Twp.  He wore five hats as a skilled physician, scientist, numismatist or coin collector, linguistic specialist of six languages, and writer.  At one time his zoological and geological specimens were unparalleled outside of the largest world institutes and his coin collection was the largest and most valuable of any private collection in the US. (Stories of Fountain City, Van Gundy, 1975, p178; History of Williams County, Ohio, Goodspeed, 1882, p561).

Quido married PA native Caroline Wannemaker (Feb 1823 - June 1906) in PA and started a family of three children: Quido H. Jr., (Apr 1853 - 1925); Matilda F. (1855 - 1912; m. Mr. Nesbitt); Amelia J. (1859 - 28 July 1878, buried in Bryan, Fountain Grove Cemetery).  The family lived in a two-story home on Main and Bryan Streets. According to the 1870 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census, p18, the family was enumerated as QH 41 physician Baden, Caroline 39 PA, Quito 17 OH, Matilda 15 OH, and Amelia 13 OH.  At one point in early 1872, according to Bryan newspaper accounts, Dr. Grasser did not feel fully appreciated here and moved to Leavenworth, KS, but he was back in Bryan by November 1872. 

He set up his museum in his home and continued his duties as a doctor.  One assumes that the family was rather well to do for the times, as his coin collection of 40 years upon his death comprised a princely sum for approximately 15,300 coins.  In the Williams Co, OH Directory, 1877, Q. Graser was listed as a physician and surgeon with his office at the Museum on Main Street in Bryan.

Son Quido married Agnes M. Brown on 29 Mar 1877, at the bride's home in Hudson, Lenawee Co, MI.  Agnes was b.1853, the daughter of Elisha and Barbara Lawson Brown.  Elisha was born in Pottsdam, St. Lawrence Co, Canada (NY) on 9 Jan 1817 and was married in Buffalo, NY on 29 Aug 1842.  He moved his family to Hudson, MI c1855, where he pursued the boot and shoe business until his death on 29 Dec 1884.

"Aggie" and Quido lived in his parents' home until 29 Aug 1878 when Aggie left and returned to her parents.  She later sent her brother and a drayman from Hudson to collect her property such as a piano, pictures, quilts, and bedding.  She did not plan to return.  From the 1880 Hudson, Lenawee Co, MI federal census p248, Agnes lived with her parents as Elisha L. Brown 62 NY shoe and boot merchant, Barbara 60 NY, and Agnes Graser 26 NY single.  Note that next door to the Browns, Agnes’ maternal grandmother, Catherine Lawson 88 NY resided along with her daughter Agnes Jones.

According to the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court records (Journal 11 p14, 223, 231 - Nov 1881; Roll 37 case number 941 - 12 Sept 1881), husband Quido Jr., stated that his wife never did any housework.  His mother got up in the morning and prepared his breakfast and cooked his dinner too.  During their marriage his sister Amelia was on the point of death and he would sit up with her at night.  Aggie gave no help whatsoever.  Later the family sent Amelia to a specialist in Leavenworth, KS, but she returned home and died there. One month later Aggie abandoned him.  Quido Jr., provided the list of all the items he had purchased for Aggie over the course of their one year four month marriage and read it in court.  The list contained the following: four fine dresses that cost between $20-$25, seven calico suits, two hats, a large trunk, and two bolts of fine white muslin cloth.

Quido Jr., stated that he worked for the Bryan Manufacturing Company and his daily salary was $1.50.  His father also appeared in court and said the family always treated Aggie with kindness but she did not perform any household washing or mending to help out.  The court after appointing a special master agreed that this couple should be divorced and granted such to Quido Jr.  (Bryan Press, 8 Dec 1881, p5 c3).

Quido Jr., married c.1885 Isabelle R. Wagner, daughter of Jacob and Catherine Wagner; she was born on 7 Jan 1853 pos in Bucyrus, Crawford Co, Ohio. Dr. Grasser died on 6 Dec 1885 of consumption and was buried beside his daughter Amelia. ("Bryan Democrat", 10 Dec 1885, p5).  In his will (Probate #2659 - 11 Dec 1885) Dr. Grasser left half the contents of his "National Historical Cabinet" to son Quido plus his gold ring and half the cabinet contents to daughter Matilda plus a silver watch.

The Grassers lived at 30 Main St and according to the 1900 Bryan federal census, p153, were enumerated as Quido Grasser 47 PA grocery clerk, Isabella R. 47 PA-Germany-PA, married 15 years with no children, mother Caroline Grasser 77 PA widow, and servant Belle Nunn 16 OH.  Quido Jr. died in 1925 and his wife Isabelle joined him at the Bryan Fountain Grove Cemetery on 25 Jan 1938. 

Agnes married Charlie Adams at mother's home in Hudson on 1 May 1891 and the couple made their home in Pittsford, Hillsdale Co, MI.  They had a daughter b 8 June 1893.  Several months later, perhaps after childbirth complications she returned to her mother where she died of consumption on 1 Oct 1893 @40Y. Her mother died on 28 May 1909 @89Y and was buried in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Hudson, as was Agnes. 

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Goff


Rhoda Hess Goff v George Alanson Goff
He Went Home to Mother, Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1883
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

This couple had no children.  The husband was extremely cruel, a habitual drunk, and a spoiled son.  He left his wife and went home to his mother.  For the sad wife, this was the last straw.

Rhoda Hess married George A. Goff in Amboy Twp, Hillsdale Co, MI, on 27 Oct 1874 (Marriages Lib E p162).  Rhoda b. 1857 OH was the daughter of Bridgewater Twp, Wms Co, OH residents, Conrad and Jane Hess, who appeared in the 1860 p93A, as Conrad 60 PA, Jane 45 PA, William J 18 PA, Elizabeth 15 PA, Mary 13 OH, John 12 OH, Joseph 6 OH, and Rhoda 3 OH.  This family was also listed in the 1870 federal censuses for that township p11, with Rhoda M. charted as 15 OH.

Rhoda appeared in the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court (Journal 12 p172 - 20 Dec 1883; Roll 40 case number 1218) and requested a divorce from George.  She stated that George was extremely cruel to her on 10 Apr 1878 at their home in Pioneer, OH, when he hit and struck her.  He left her three years ago, providing no support.  His mother, Julia Goff of Burr Oak, MI, had property and money to help Rhoda but she had chosen not to give her any assistance.  George as to Rhoda's knowledge was living with his mother.  He was a habitual drunk for most of their marriage.  Rhoda called the following men as witnesses of her plight: Daniel Stough, John Moore, and John Orewiler.  The court agreed that Rhoda should receive a divorce and be restored to her maiden name of Hess. Rhoda Hess married Duane Clow on 18 Oct 1892, Wms Co (Marriages V6 #784).  Nothing else is currently known of this couple.

In the 1880 Burr Oak, St. Joseph Co, MI federal census p259, George Goff 26 MI-NY-OH lived with his mother Julia 59 OH-CT-Unk and his brother Charles 30 MI-NY-OH.  George, born 16 Nov 1853, appears to be the son of Dorsitt J and Julia Terrill Goff.  The Goff household was enumerated in the 1860 Burr Oak, St. Joseph Co, MI federal census p as DJ Goff 44 NY, Julia 39 OH, Frank 15 MI, Charley 12 MI, George 6 MI, Ellen 4 MI, Julia Casata 18 Ire, and Lucretia Terrel 60 CT.  Prior to this census the Goff family lived in Coldwater, Branch Co, MI in 1850. In the 1900 Burr Oak, St. Joseph Co, MI federal census p5B, George Goff and his new family were listed as George 46 MI, Laura wife, born Sept 1855, married 1886 as 44 MI, and children Maggie A 9 MI, and Vern A 4 MI.  Laura Start, daughter of George Harvey and Martha Decker Start, was George’s new wife and together they had several other children who died at birth.  Laura died on 18 Jan 1929 and George died on 28 Jan 1905 in Burr Oak where he is buried.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Glore


Lucinda Hane Glore v Jacob Glore (Journal 7 p402 - 9 Mar 1870; p466-467 - 5 Nov 1870; Roll 22 case number 38)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married in Chatfield Twp, Crawford Co, OH; she said the date was 15 July 1852, but the record showed the marriage was on 24 July 1852 (Marriage V4 p129).  The couple had three children, Philetus (17), Jacob (9), and William (3).
 
Lucinda Hane, the daughter of John Wilson and Delilah Anne Farrow Hane, was born on 29 Apr 1839 in Ohio. This Hane family was enumerated in the 1850 Millcreek Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census p31B as John Hane 41 PA, Delilah 35 PA, Rubin 12 OH, Lucinda 11 OH, Margaret 8 OH, John 6 OH, and Mary 4 OH. Jacob Glore, the son of John and Mary Glore, was born in Erie, NY on 12 Feb 1829.  The Glore family was listed in the 1850 Chatfield, Crawford Co, OH federal census p6A as John Glore 50 Germ, Mary 52 PA, (John) Henry 17 NY, Sally 16 NY, and Frances 12 NY.

Jacob and Lucinda Glore were listed in the 1860 Florence Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census p27 as Jacob 28 NY, Lucinda 26 OH, and Philetus 7 OH.  They lived next door to Jacob’s parents, John and Mary Glore. Jacob served in the Civil War as a private in Co E 193rd Ohio Infantry.

Lucinda said that on 11 Aug 1869 Jacob was extremely cruel.  He had been guilty of gross neglect for the last eight years.  On 20 Apr 1870 at the home of Caleb Rakestraw near Metz, Steuben Co, IN he committed adultery with Diane T. Evans, and on 1 May 1870 he left with Diane and moved to Newton Co, IN.  Lucinda had no real or personal property of her own, but what she did have was accumulated by joint labor and industry.  Jacob had a large amount of property and real estate and he intended to defraud her out of her just rights.  He conveyed to Daniel Huntington some of his land for $1200 and he still owed Jacob $900 in promissory notes held by Alexander Collie.  Jacob took all the personal property except her clothes and some furniture.  She was granted a divorce plus alimony of $650.

Lucinda died on 30 Sept 1883 in Kingston, DeKalb Co, IL.  In Ohio Jacob Glore filed for a pension based on his CW service on 10 June 1901 and about two years later he died in Seneca, Lenawee Co, MI on 15 Aug 1905.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Gilbert (Nathan)


Effie M. Gilbert v Nathan A. Gilbert (Journal 11 p130 - 7 Mar 1881; Roll 36 case number 852 - Jan 1881)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married on 3 Oct 1861 in Bloomfield Twp, Lagrange Co, IN.  Nathan was the son of Elias and Roxey Gilbert; the family was listed in the 1860 Springfield, LaGrange Co, IN federal census p506 as Elias Gilbert 51 NY, Roxey 50 NY, Nathan A 20 IN, Charles H 15 IN, and Rachael 8 IN. Nathan and Effie were enumerated in the 1870 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census p37, as Nathan 30 IN miller, Effie M 29 MI, Alton 8 IN, and Anna B 6 IN.  He owned Lot 278 in Edgerton and Trevitt Addition in Bryan and Lot 50 in Pettisville.  On 16 Apr 1876 he abandoned them.  He lived in Ophis, Onway Co, Colorado.  She was granted a divorce.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Gilbert (George)


Mary E. Stover Gilbert v George B. Gilbert (Journal 12 p362 - 25 Nov 1884)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married in 1872, Hillsdale Co, MI (Marriage E p120).  In the 1880 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census, p631B, George Gilbert 32 VA was listed with wife Mary E. 32 PA, and son Clyde 2 OH plus Mary's parents, Henry Stover 56 PA and Lucy 54 PA. Prior to this in the 1870 Bryan federal census, p45, George was a 30-year-old OH teamster who lived with the A.T. Bement family.  From the 1870 Canton, Stark Co, OH federal census p73, the Stover family was enumerated as Henry 48 PA, Lucy 45 PA, Mary 24 PA, George 19 OH, and Charles 16 OH; the 1860 federal census for that location, p144, also listed the Stover family.  Note that Mary E Stover was 14 PA making her birth year c1846.  What makes this family interesting is that in the 1850 Pulaski, Williams Co, OH federal census p85B, the Stovers were enumerated as Henry 28 PA, Lucy Ann 25 PA, and Mary E 5 PA; therefore the Stovers moved from PA to Williams Co, then relocated to Stark Co, and by 1872 moved back to the Bryan area.

Mary charged George with being a habitual drunk for three years or more and gross neglect.  They had a minor child and Mary wanted alimony of $300 plus restoration of her maiden name.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Gilbert (Burton)


Mary E. Cunningham Gilbert v Burton O. Gilbert (Journal 8 p397 - 3 Nov 1875)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married on 2 Jan 1870 in Wms Co (Marriages V4 p93). Burton Gilbert appears to be the son of Orlando and Lucy Leach Gilbert, a couple who married on 3 Dec 1833 in Portage Co, OH. The 1850 Center Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p72, showed the listing for the Gilbert family as Orlando Gilbert 39 OH, Lucy 36 OH, Samantha 16 OH, Mercy 15 OH, Mary Ann 11 OH, Leander 10 OH, and Benton 1 OH. The 1860 Center Twp federal census p89, recorded the Gilbert family as Orlando Gilbert 49 OH, Lucy 44 OH, Cyrus 20 OH, Burton 12 OH, and Emma Miser 4 OH.  The 1870 Center Twp federal census p6 was dated as 22 July 1870 with the Gilberts listed as Orlando 56 OH, Lucy 52 OH, Burton 21 OH, Emma Maze 14 OH, and Mary Gilbert 17 OH.  Taking the marriage date as 2 Jan 1870, it would seem reasonable that Burton 21 (b 1848) and Mary (b 1853) would likely be this newly married couple, living with the groom’s parents.  Note the discrepancy in age for Mary in the next paragraph.

Mary E. Cunningham appears to be the daughter of Levi and Nancy Cunnigham.  This family was enumerated in Williams Co, OH as early as 1840.  From the 1850 Pulaski, Williams Co, OH federal census p86A, the Cunninghams were listed as Levi 41 OH, Nancy 35 OH, Lyrene 17 OH, Amanda 15 OH, Homer 12 OH, Lora 10, and Mary 4 OH.  In the 1860 Center Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census p86A, the Cunninghams were enumerated as Levi 50 OH, Amanda 25 OH, Homer 23 OH, Mary 15 OH, and Ida 2 OH.

Burton lived in Waterloo, DeKalb Co, IN and had been willfully absent for three years.  The records show nothing else.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Gibbens


Andrew Jackson Gibbens v Elizabeth A. Jobes Gibbens (Journal 9 p281 - 23 Nov 1877; Roll 31 case number 283 - Aug 1877)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married on 23 Sept 1867 in Camden, Hillsdale Co, MI (Marriage E p2).  Andrew, b 1844/1846 in Bronson, Branch Co, MI, was the son of Frederick and Ann Ferrier Gibbons. They appeared in the 1860 Florence Twp federal census, p16, as Fred 53 OH, Anna 40 OH, and Andrew 14 OH, along with his siblings.  He was a Civil War soldier, serving in Co D 129th IN Infantry.  Elizabeth, b 1849 OH, was the daughter of John and Permelia Jobes, who appeared in the 1850 Milford Twp, Defiance Co, OH federal census p81, as John Jobes 36 PA miller, Permelia A 34 NJ, Lewis 14 PA, Samuel 12 PA, Robert 10 PA, William 7 OH, and Elizabeth 8M OH.

Andrew, a carpenter, charged Elizabeth with being willfully absent for three or more years.  He sent her a letter on 2 Oct 1877 to Nettle Lake, NW Twp, informing her of his intention to divorce her.  He called as witnesses Charles Jones and John Oberlin. The couple had two children, Francis A (9) and Bertha Jane (4), whom Andrew wanted custody of and did receive such along with the divorce. 

Family lore says Andrew was married eight times with Elizabeth being wife #6.  If this is true, Andrew had to become a bridegroom five times from 1862-1867 before marrying Elizabeth.  While this is not impossible, it seems remarkable considering he also had a hitch in the military as well.  As a resident of Blakeslee, Wms Co, OH, Andrew received a CW pension of $8 per month as of Apr 1872 for the loss of his right index finger.  He married Adella Rachel Taylor on 26 Jan 1879 in Williams Co, OH; Adella was born on 11 Nov 1851 in Columbiana Co, OH, the daughter of James B and Sarah Priscilla Hall Taylor; by the 1870 federal census the Taylor family lived in Newville, DeKalb Co, IN.  The Gibbens were listed in the 1880 Edgerton, St. Joseph Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census p579 as Andrew Gibbens 35 OH-OH-OH carpenter, wife Della 28 OH-OH-PA, dau Bertha 8 MI-OH-OH, nephew Delbert 7 MI-OH-NY, and brother William 30 IN-OH-OH, a carpenter. Andrew and Della has a daughter, Ella T, born Sept 1880. This couple was later divorced by 1884.  Mother and daughter lived in York Twp, Steuben Co, IN according to the 1900 federal census p2B as Della Gibbens 49 OH, married 20 years with one child, and Ella 19 OH.  Note that this would not be true since Andrew and Della were divorced.  Adella died on 23 May 1903.

On 27 Apr 1884 in DeKalb Co, IN Andrew tied the knot with a widow, Mary Jane Baker Hendricks, whose first husband was John W. Baker.  Mary Jane, born Mar 1848 in OH, was the daughter of Samuel and Martha Jane Pritchard Hendricks, and in 1880 lived in Wilmington, DeKalb Co, IN with four children. In the 18 May 1883 issue of the "Montpelier Enterprise", p4, Andrew was mentioned as selling his stock of groceries to RA Leonard in Blakeslee, OH. He moved to Smith Center, Kansas in 1884 and then to Campbell, Franklin Co, Nebraska in 1886, where he died on 29 Nov 1904.  Andrew had three known sons, Vern V. (b 24 Nov 1884, KS), Henry F. (b Mar 1887, KS), and Orla A. (b Sept 1889, NE).  Martha Jane Gibbens applied for a widow’s pension and guardian of a helpless child in 1905 and again as supplement in 1910; she died c1925 in Hastings, Adams Co, NE.

05 October 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Geisz


Juliann Geisz v Henry Geisz
Unfair Odds, Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1861
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

If a husband and his alleged mistress commit acts of extreme cruelty on his wife, will the divorce court grant a divorce or will this action be the word of two against one?  This genealogical detailing handles such a case.  Add to the mix the fact that the wife, an immigrant, did not speak much English.  What's a lady to do?  In this case she calls upon neighbors to help her.

Not much is currently known about this couple, but here is what has been pieced together.  Juliana, parentage unknown, b.c. 1805, Germany, married on 1 Jan 1831, farmer Henry Geisz, Sr. The couple immigrated to the US and first appeared in the 1850 Florence Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census, p57B, as Henry Gire 44 DEU, Margaret Snidle 28 DEU, John Snidle 4 DEU, Henry Gire 18 DEU, John Gire 21 DEU, and Julia Gire 45 DEU.  In March Term 1851 Henry of Hesse Damstadt was naturalized in Wms Co (Clerk of Courts, V4 p128). The family again was enumerated there in the 1860 federal census, p25, as Henry Gwire 54 HD, Julia Gwire 65 HD, Margaret Buck 36 HD, and John Snider 13 OH.

According to the Williams County, OH Civil and Criminal Court records (Journal 6 p131, 175 - 31 May 1861; Roll 15 case number 38 - Nov 1861), Juliana Geisz stated that her husband committed adultery at their home in Florence Twp with Margaret Burke on 10 Feb and 1 Mar 1861.  Henry denied these allegations.  Juliana further testified that on 11 Mar 1861 Henry and his lover, Margaret, had connived to acts of extreme cruelty when Margaret struck and beat Juliana who was compelled to leave her home in her old age on 13 Mar 1861.  Henry had been cohabiting with Margaret in Juliana's home.  She asked for alimony of $65.

Juliana called neighbors into court to testify to this abuse.  Florence Twp neighbors Elijah Shaffer, Henry Gearhart, and Andrew Myer told the court that Juliana's version of the events was correct.  A Catherine Geisz, unknown relationship, also affirmed her account.  The court granted Juliana a divorce and reasonable alimony.

Roll 15 case number 37 of the proceedings showed another suit was happening at the same time between Henry Geisz Jr., and his father where the son wanted payment in land and cash.  Presumably Junior was afraid his dad would waste his economic resources on Margaret Burke and there would not be anything left for the heirs of his estate.  Junior claimed he had loaned his father money and had not been repaid.  It would appear that Juliana and Henry Geisz, Sr., were the parents of Henry Jr., b. 1832, but the other male in the 1850 census, John Gire, was 21 making his birthdate c. 1829; therefore, if the census was correct and if Juliana told the court the correct marriage date, this John may not have been her son. 

Juliana is not enumerated in the 1870 Florence Twp federal census, p22, but the rest of the family unit was as follows: Henry Guiss 64 BV, John Snider 24 OH, Catherine Snider 21 OH, Henry G. 2/12 OH, and Margaret Snider 47 BV.  Speculation exists that the 1850 Margaret Snidle is Margaret Burke with son John Snidle and the 1860 Margaret Buck is Margaret Burke with son John Snider and grandson Henry G. Snider.  Each of the three census records, 1850, 1860, and 1870, showed Henry Geisz and his mistress.  At this point several questions need to be posed.  Was Margaret related to either Henry Sr., or Juliana?  Did she come to America with the couple?

Edon Cemetery, Florence Twp records show a Margaret Burke, w/o Henry Snider, died 29 Mar 1873 @50Y 3M 10D.  Further along the burial row one finds Henry Geiss, 1806-19 July 1891 and further still one discovers the grave of John H. Snyder, a Civil War veteran of Co K 70th Reg. OVI, b. 12 July 1846, Stark Co, OH, s/o Henry and Margaret.  This John died 19 Mar 1929; he married Catherine E. Riemenschneider, 13 Mar 1869.  There was no marker found for Juliana; in fact nothing more is currently known of her after the divorce.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Gee

Sarah Gee v Edwin Gee (Roll 6 Box - 20 June 1846)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 10 Oct 2011)

The couple was married in St. Thomas Twp, Franklin Co, PA on 13 Sept 1837.  Shortly after this they moved to Williams Co, OH.  On 1 Feb 1842 Edwin left her without a reasonable or just case.  She filed this action on 4 Nov 1845 and a legal notice was published in the Northwestern, 6 March 1846 - 16 May 1846.  According to the Appearance Docket, Clerk of Courts 1846-1852, the divorce action was transferred to Issue Docket on 7 June 1846. Sarah received a divorce.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Gatchel


Laura A. Stevens Gatchel v William Gatchel (Journal 9 p11 - 14 Nov 1876; Roll 30 case number 49 - Nov 1876)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married in Wms Co on 8 Oct 1871 (Marriage V4 p190).  Laura, b Aug 1850, Wms Co, was the daughter of John and Mary B. Ackley Stevens.  The Stevens couple was married on 15 Jan 1842 in DeKalb Co, IN. The 1850 St. Joseph Twp federal census, p82, listed the Stevens family as John 40 NY, Mary 31 NY, Walter 11 IA, John 7 OH, Harvey 4 OH, and Russie 1 OH.  Again in the 1860 St. Joseph Twp federal census p113a, the Stevens family was listed as John 53 NY, Mary 42 NY, Walton 21 MD, John 17 OH, Russell 12 OH, Liann 10 OH, and Winfield 6 OH. By the 1870 St. Joseph Twp federal census p1, they appeared as John Stevens 57 NY, Mary 52 NY, Russel M 21 OH, Laura 19 OH, and Winfield 15 OH.   The Gatchels had a daughter Jennie F. (25 Nov 1872 - 27 Feb 1873, buried in the Maple Grove Cemetery, Edgerton, OH). 

Laura stated that William was guilty of gross neglect, providing her with no clothes or food.  The only child of the marriage died in infancy.  William had left the state.  A legal notice was published in Nov 1876 and a divorce was granted.  Laura married James D. Potter in Wms Co on 9 Sept 1877 (Marriage V4 p529).  The couple was found in the 1880 Hicksville, Defiance Co, OH federal census p167, as James Potter 28 NY-Eng-Eng, Laura 28 OH-PA-OH, and Flora Belle 1 OH; furthermore, the couple still resided in Hicksville according to the 1900 federal census p10A and were listed as James Potter 48 NY, Laura 49 OH, with children Flora, Earl, and Altha; Laura had five children with three living as of 1900; noe that Laura’s parents were both born in PA.  By 1910 the Potters has moved to Cleveland, Cuyahoga Co, OH.  Again by 1930 Laura, a widow, lived in McDonough, Chenango Co, NY with her son and daughter, Earl and Altha.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Garst/Gerst


Christian Garst/Gerst v Fredereke Hormer Garst/Gerst (Journal 10 p116  - 8 Mar 1879; Roll 34 case number 590 - Mar 1879)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married on 19 Oct 1876, Defiance, Defiance Co, OH.  The bride was the former Mrs. Hormer, with a son Adolph b 1859.  Christian, b 9 Jan 1830 in Germany, parentage unknown, was a Civil War soldier in the 55th Reg Illinois Infantry.  She said that between 1 Mar 1877 - 24 Oct 1877 Christian was an 'ugly drunk', and struck and pushed her often.  Her son Adolph, age 20, appeared in court to state that Christian wanted whisky and his mother would not get him any.  Christian was guilty of gross neglect and violently struck her.  His mother was a good Christian.  The husband, Christian, said on 1 Nov 1876 his wife committed adultery with Patrick Brady in Defiance.  The suit in this county was dismissed.  Christian Garst of Bryan, Wms Co, OH applied for and received a CW veteran’s pension of $72 per month; he was legally blind. 

Christian married a Susannah and they were enumerated in the 1880 Washington Twp, Defiance Co, OH federal census p8 as Christian Gerst 50 Prussia-Pr-Pr and Susannah 56 PA-PA-PA; they had a son Fred, b 8 Sept 1883.  Christian died on 12 Apr 1886 in Washington Twp, Defiance Co, OH of consumption @56Y 3M 3D and was buried in the Doll Cemetery, Washington Twp, Defiance Co, OH.  On 2 July 1887 widow Susannah applied for a widow’s pension based on Christian’s Civil War service in Co F 55th IL Infantry.  Susannah died on 30 June 1893 @ 72Y 11M 17D and was buried beside her husband.  This information was found in the cemetery records for Defiance Co, OH; note that if this were correct, Susannah would have been a mother at age 62.  

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Garrett


Ann M. Garrett v James M. Garrett (Journal 7 p456-457 - 2 Nov 1870)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

Ann stated that James committed adultery with Mary D. Zeigler.  Ann received real estate in fee simple on 1/2 of several lots in Bryan.  The couple had two minors, Flora A (12), and Cora Belle (6).  She received alimony of $500.  Nothing further is known.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Gambell

Rebecca J. Cline Gambell v Hugh Gambell (Journal 6 p291 - 4 June 1863; Roll 16 case number 51 - June 1863)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 15 March 2014)

The couple was married on 29 Nov 1849 in Richland Co, OH (Marriage V5 p178). 
Please note - 1824 Hugh Gambell of Ontario Co, NY purchased land in Sec 19 Richland Co, OH

According to the 1860 West Unity, Brady Twp federal census, p140b, the Gambells were enumerated as Hugh 35 NY wagonmaker, Rebecca 35 OH, and son Dexter 9/12 OH.  The couple had children MJ (f) (5 Dec 1850 - 2 Oct 1852, buried in Rings Cemetery), and Horace Dexter (1859 – aft 1889).

Rebecca said on 1 Apr 1860 Hugh was extremely cruel.  He was willfully absent for more than three years.  He owned Lots 37 and 38 in West Unity.

The Republican Standard, 31 Jan 1861 p2
Benjamin H Fisher v Hugh Gamble in the Williams Co, OH Court of Common Pleas
The Sheriff, Hiram Byers, will sell at the door of the courthouse in Bryan on 9 Feb 1861 (Sat) east ½ lot #5 in Ayer’s and Miller’s addition in the village of West Unity, appraised at $175 for cash.

Williams County Leader, 12 September 1861 - newspaper notice




1870 Grand Island, Hall, Nebraska; Roll: M593_830; Page: 11A; Image: 25; Family History Library Film: 552329.
Gamble, Hugh 46 OH farmer
Rebecca 46 OH
Horace 11 OH.

20 Apr 1871 Hugh Gamble had an interest in land of Merrick Co, NE Sec 26, 27, 34, 35 through a Damaris Munger, widow of Simeon Munger who received land from Militia Bounty

5 June 1875 Hugh Gamble purchased 80 acres in Sec 28 E1/2 of NW ¼ Grand Island, Hall Co, NE

1880 Grand Island, Hall Co, NE federal census p14, Rebecca was a widow, aged 53 OH-PA-PA, and son Horace 20 OH, a painter. 

30 March 1881 Alfred D Gable/Gamble purchased this land with additional acreage

In 1889 Mrs. Rebecca Gamble lived at 622 West Charles St in Grand Island; her son Horace D. also lived there on South Park with wife Kate.




04 October 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Fulmer


Caroline E. Marsh Fullmer v George Fullmer, Jr.
Her Family Beat Her, No Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1883
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

He conveyed to her a parcel of 30 acres and she discovered the deed was defective.  He gave her a cow and a horse and buggy and then he took them back.  He and her son plus a daughter-in-law beat her with sticks and clubs upon her hands and feet, driving her off her own property.  She was turned out to survive on the charities of the world after being a faithful wife for forty years.  She told this story to the Williams County Civil and Criminal Court but was denied a divorce.  Approximately a year later she died.

Caroline E. Marsh, b. 2 Oct 1822, NY, (Internet source says PA) was possibly the daughter of Johan Jacob and Mary Gortner/Gertner Marsh, PA natives.  Caroline became the bride of George Fulmer, Jr., in Medina Co, OH c1843.  The couple plus a son Jacob were enumerated in the 1850 Chatham, Medina Co, OH federal census as George 32 PA, Caroline 30 NY, and Jacob 3 OH.

George, born 19 Feb 1818, PA, the possible son of Adam and Susanna Wauck Fullmer, PA natives, brought his family to Florence Twp, Wms Co, OH before Nov 1852 and they were listed on the 1860 Florence Twp federal census, p31A, PO Springlake as George 40 PA, Caroline 37 NY, Lenore S 5 OH, Amelia 10/12 OH, and Maria Hackens 18 PA.  What if any relationship this Maria had to the family is not currently known.  The couple's son Vanderbilt Fulmer died and was buried in West Buffalo Cemetery, Florence Twp on 3 Nov 1852 @ 1Y 8M 24D.  Later a daughter, Amelia (25 July 1859 - 18 Aug 1860) would join him there.  What happened to older son Jacob is not currently known.

The Fulmers were again enumerated in the 1870 Florence Twp federal census, p32-33, as George 50 PA, Caroline 47 NY, Lenora 16 OH, and George S. 8 OH.  The 1880 Florence Twp federal census records, p567B, followed the family's stay here as George 60 PA, Caroline 58 NY, and George S. 18 OH.  Daughter Lenore married Oliver Oberlin and lived in DeKalb Co, IN.  Son George S. married Amelia A. Custer on 8 July 1883, Wms Co (Marriages V5 #367).

Caroline sought a divorce from George as found in the Williams County Civil and Criminal Court Records (Journal 12 p155 – 30 Nov 1883, Roll 39 Box 130 case number 1197 – 24 Aug 1883).  She stated that husband George on 20 Jan 1878 deeded land in Florence Twp to her but she had since discovered the land description was incorrect and the deed was worthless.  Caroline further told that George owned several outlots in Krathwell's Addition, Edgerton, and land in Section 35 of Florence Twp, valued at $7,000.  He had wheat, hay, sheep, cows, and wagons, which were valued at over $1,000.  George was extremely violent on many occasions such as on 1 Apr 1883 when he beat her.  The final straw for Caroline, who was almost 62 years old, a mother who could not read or write, was when she was beaten by her family on 20 Aug 1883.  She appealed to the court for help.  Whatever the court did about the alleged abuse was not recorded, but no divorce was granted.

Caroline M. Fulmer died on 13 Nov 1884 @62Y 1M 11D and was buried in West Buffalo Cemetery. According to the 1900 Garrett, DeKalb Co, IN federal census, George, b Jan 1820 PA, lived with his son George S. Fullmer, his wife Millie D, and their children. George W. Fullmer, age 92 years, died on 10 Oct 1910 in DeKalb Co, IN and was brought back to Williams County, OH for burial beside Caroline.  There is a George Fulmer and a Catherine Parker who married on 9 Dec 1887, Wms Co (Marriages V5 #1105), but whether this is husband George or son George has yet to be determined.  Obviously even in death Caroline could not escape her husband George.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Fritch


Mary Ellen Foust Fritch v Thomas Welker Fritch
A Drunken Doctor with No Patients, Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1883
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The physician conducted himself so badly that nobody had any confidence in him.  He had no patients; therefore, he had no means of support.  He married a Williams County native and proceeded to make her life and that of his two children a miserable existence due to his penchant for wine, women, and song.

Mary Ellen Foust, daughter of Benjamin Shoemaker and Priscilla Markle Foust, was born Feb 1858, in Wms Co, OH.  Her parents, natives of Berk Co, PA, came to this county in 1845, first settling in Jefferson Twp for the 1850 federal census (p27) and then moving to Bryan, Pulaski Twp in 1868.  The family was listed in the 1870 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census, p2, as BS Foust 46 PA, Priscilla 52 PA, Ella Jane 13 OH, Martha A 11 OH, and John A 19 OH.  The couple had seven children with one dying in the Civil War, two dying in infancy, and four surviving their parents' deaths.  Mr. Foust was a member of the coroner's jury who investigated the death of the little Schamp son who was killed by Mr. Tyler, the convicted murderer hung in the 1840's.

Mary Ellen married Thomas Welker Fritch, an Ohio native, on 2 Mar 1876, Wms Co (Marriages V4 p452) and the couple had two known children, Ralph, b. 21 Feb 1877 IN, and Eva Belle, b. 11 Apr 1881, Pulaski Twp (Births V2 p33).  Mary Ellen Fritch stated to the Williams County Civil and Criminal Court (Journal 12 p133 - 28 Nov 1883; Roll 39 case number 1194 - 18 Aug 1883) that she wanted a divorce from husband Thomas.  She told a tale of being taken to live in Indiana, away from her friends and family where Thomas failed to provide her with sufficient food, clothing, or fuel.  The winters of 1876-1877 and 1879 were extremely cold.  What money Thomas had he spent on drink and women.  Mary Ellen stated that on 10 May 1879 in Fostoria, Seneca Co, OH, Thomas committed adultery with a Mrs. Folliot and from that day through Sept 1879 he was with other women there.  During the years of 1882 and 1883 he lived in Kendalville, IN and had relations with this Mrs. Folliot there as well.

Mary Ellen called witness Will Jones, a 20-year-old man from Fostoria, to tell the court of Thomas' character.  Jones said he knew Thomas from Fostoria as an immoral physician who spent his money on whisky and prostitutes.  He knew Thomas was seeing Emma Folliatt, a known prostitute, in Aug 1880.  This evidence was enough for the court to grant the divorce.

Ellen Fritch married William Hartle on 20 May 1886 in Williams Co (Marriages V5 #836) and at the time of her father's death on 26 July 1902 she and her husband lived in Ft. Wayne, IN.  The 1900 (p27), 1910 (p106), and 1920 (p217) federal census records for Ward 9, Fort Wayne, Allen Co, IN reveal the Hartles with a daughter Catherine L., b Dec 1890.  William (born Apr 1862 IN with OH native parents) was a salesman; sometime between 1900-1910 the couple had another child but the infant did not survive.  Ellen’s son Ralph Fritch also lived in Ft. Wayne in 1900 as a coachman for a wealthy couple. The fate of the unfaithful doctor Thomas is not currently known.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Fries

Anna Beal Fries v Henry Fries (Journal 12 p436 - 22 Dec 1884, Journal 13 p85 - 27 Feb 1885; p188 - 26 June 1885; Roll 41 case number 1385  - 8 Nov 1884 and 1455)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married on 10 June 1873, Defiance Co, OH. The action was continued and then dismissed. In the 1870 Dayton, Montgomery Co, OH federal census p269, the Fries family was listed as Henry 48 PR, Anna M 40 PR, William 4 OH, and Benjamin Melze 19 OH printer.  In the 1880 Center Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p598, the Freas family was enumerated as Henry 60 GERM, Anna 50 WURT, Herman 14 OH, and Charles B 11 OH. In June 1885 Anna charged her husband with being a habiutal drunk for three years and more.  She was later granted a divorce and a strip of land in Center Twp containing 25 acres.  It would appear from the census information that Henry may have been married before to an Anna or the divorce petitioner Anna was the same Anna listed in 1870 and 1880 census records.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Friend


Julia Ann Richey Friend v Leonard Friend
An Abused Friend, No Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1875
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

Blatant abuse was well-documented with dates, witnesses, and circumstances offered, but the court felt this couple should stay together, possibly for the sake of the children, many of whom were grown and gone.  This genealogical detailing demonstrates what modern readers might call a dire need for anger management and utter disregard for the well-being of a spouse, the mother of ten of her husband's 14 children.

Leonard Friend was born in Ohio on 28 Feb 1807.  Some sources on the Internet claim his place of birth was West Bethlehem Twp, Washington Co, PA, but all census records showed his birthplace to be Ohio; if that is correct he may have been born in Stark Co, OH, where his family lived.  Leonard was the son of John Henry and Magdalena Mocherman Friend, both natives of West Bethlehem Twp, Washington Co, PA.  He first married Catherine Mocherman on 30 Sept 1831, Stark Co, OH (Marriages V1 p3 c2) and became the father of John (1832 - aft 1881), Henry (May 1839 - aft 1881; m. Lucy Merhling), Margaret (24 Nov 1842 Stark Co, OH - aft 1881, m1 Abraham Haynes, m2 Mr. Thomas), Elizabeth (? - aft 1881, Canton, Stark Co, OH, m Mr. Stimmel).  Leonard may have been listed on the 1840 Paris Twp, Stark Co, OH federal census roll, but this needs to be verified; sometime before Sept 1849 wife Catherine had died.

Leonard married his second wife, Julia Ann Richey, parentage unknown, in Stark Co, OH on 22 Sept 1849. He and his family were enumerated in the 1850 Nimishellen Twp, Stark Co, OH federal census, p467, as Leonard Friend 30 OH, Julia 24 OH, John 18 OH, Henry 11 OH, Margaret 8 OH, and Benjamin 1 OH.  Note that his daughter Elizabeth was not listed but a son Benjamin by his new wife was and Leonard was ten years younger than he should be.  The Friends moved to NW Twp, Wms Co, OH c1851-1853. By the 1860 NW Twp federal census, p9B, the family appeared as Leonard 50 OH, Julia A. 29 OH, Benjamin F. 10 OH, Mary A. 8 OH, Eliza 7 OH, Adam 5 OH, Frederick 4 OH, Electa J. 1 OH.  Again they were listed in the 1870 NW Twp federal census, p36, as Leonard 63, Julia 41, Benjamin 20, Mary 18, Eliza 17, Adam 15, Frederick (Louis) 12, Catherine 11, Jacob 9, Joseph 1, Abraham 4, (Sarah) Jane 6 with son Henry 30 and his family living next door.

Wife Julia b. 1826 OH, parentage unknown, could not read or write but she knew when she's had enough abuse, or so she thought.  Note that Julia was about 20 years his junior. According to the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court records (Journal 8 p393 - 2 Nov 1875; Roll 27 case number 52) Julia was 44 years old when she filed for a divorce charging Leonard with extreme cruelty.  She outlined the dates of abuse beginning in Williams County on 1 Mar 1853 when Leonard dragged her by her hair and administered violent blows to her head.  She stated that ever since then he would beat her up with his fists and hands.  This first date of abuse coincided with a time when she would have been pregnant, although from the list of children she seemed to have been in a perpetual state of pregnancy from about 1850-1869. 

The next date of extreme abuse was 15 Sept 1874 when he beat her, forced her out of the house on a cold and damp evening until she was allowed back in at midnight.  On 1 July 1875 Leonard would have killed her except for the intervention of others.  On 8 Aug 1875 he beat her again and on 11 Aug 1875 she left him due to all the wrongs and injuries she had sustained.  Julia listed the children by name and age ranging from 24-year-old Benjamin to 7-year-old Joseph.

Leonard had land held in fee simple in NW Twp, valued at $2500 plus a large collection of personal property, which she catalogued for the court.  She wanted custody of the six minor children who at that time were residing with their father.  About the same time Leonard in Roll 27 (case number 79) was being sued by Albert M. Pratt for a financial deal of $125.  The court decided there would be no divorce and dismissed the proceedings.

Leonard and Julia were the parents of the following children: Benjamin Franklin (1850-aft 1881; m. Ellen May); Mary A. (1852 - aft 1881; m. Clark M. Coblentz); Eliza (1852 - aft 1881; m. possibly Charles E. Pew; Orlando Ellis); Adam (1853 - 5 Feb 1909); Frederick Louis (1856 - aft 1881); Electa J. or Catherine (1858 - aft 1881; m. John Bordner, 7 Dec 1879, Wms Co [Marriages V4 p659]); Jacob (1861 - aft 1881); Sarah Jane "Jennie" (1864 - aft 1881; m. Levi Augustine, 9 Oct 1886, Wms Co [Marriages V5 #887]); Abraham (1866 - aft 1881); Joseph (23 May 1869 - aft 1881).

The couple did stay together as evidenced by the 1880 NW Twp federal census, p434A, as Leonard 73 OH-PA-VA, Julia A 50 OH-OH-VA, Jane 17, Adam 15, Joseph 11.  On 22 Sept 1881 at his home in Springlake Leonard Friend died of eryalpelas when he caught a cold in his foot, which he had injured a week before. ("Bryan Press", 29 Sept 1881).  Leonard was 74Y 6M 22D at the time of his demise and was buried in the Malcolm Cemetery in NW Twp. 

Williams County, Ohio Probate (#2346) showed his estate record as of 4 Oct 1881 where the letters of administration gave a laundry list of his heirs: widow Julia and children John, Henry, Margaret Thomas of Montpelier, Elizabeth Stimmel of Canton, OH, Benjamin of Semer, IA, Mary A. Coblentz of Montpelier, Eliza Pugh, Adam, Frederick of Burrall, MI, Catherine, Jacob, Jennie, Abraham, and Joseph.  Most of the children resided in Springlake with the above noted exceptions.

Widow Julia Friend needed to sell the property of 40 acres to satisfy Leonard's debts of $800.  His personal property was valued at $220, with Peter Friend and Lewis Mocherman providing sureties for the estate.  Julie died in 1892 and she was buried beside her husband; later her son Adam (1853 - 5 Feb 1909) who died in NW Twp when a tree fell on him would join them.

03 October 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Fox


Ezekiel Fox v Ann Catherine Sickles Fox
A Sly Fox, Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1874
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

In the early records of this county a divorce could be obtained more easily if one is the husband seeking to terminate his marriage to an unfaithful wife.  The trick seemed to be providing documentation by date, place, and name of third party in the accusations coupled with a large number of witnesses who were willing to testify in court or submit a deposition.  Such is the case with this affair.

Ezekiel Fox, son and eldest child of Thomas and Elizabeth Lyon Fox, was born in Knox Co, OH on 30 Jan 1835.  Thomas and his family were enumerated in the 1860 NW Twp, Wms Co, OH PO Nettle Lake federal census, p11, as Thomas 49 PA, Elizabeth 44 OH, Ezekiel 25 OH, John 20 OH, and Mary C. 9 OH. The Fox family suffered a loss with the death of Thomas Fox on 4 June 1863 @51Y 8M 2D, who was buried in the Columbia Cemetery.  Widow Elizabeth joined her husband on 15 Jan 1878 @62Y 1M 23D. 

Ezekiel married Ann Catherine Sickles on 17 May 1862, NW Twp (Marriages V3 p242).   Ann b. 6 Dec 1844, Wms Co, OH, was the daughter of John W. and Lydia Fisher Sickles of Steuben Co, IN. Ann Catherine's parents were Ohio natives with John b. 24 Sept 1819, Harrison Co, OH and wife Lydia b. 23 June 1824, Seneca Co, OH.  The Sickles married in Hancock Co, OH on 24 Sept 1842 and chose their final resting-place in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Steuben Co, IN with John dying on 24 Aug 1892 and Lydia on 22 May 1904.  Ann Catherine was the second of nine known children. 

Ezekiel and his bride became the parents of son Marion b. 1863.  The couple was listed in the 1870 NW Twp federal census, p21, as carpenter Ezekiel 34 OH, Catherine 24 OH, and Marion 7 OH.  Next door to them was another young couple, Thomas Fetterhoff 30 OH and his wife Lavina I. Miller 28 OH whom he married in Wms Co on 13 Mar 1859 (Marriages V3 p50) plus their daughter Marilla 10 IN.

On 27 May 1874 (Journal 8 p254 – 27 May 1874; Roll 26 case number 23) Ezekiel Fox appeared at the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court requesting a divorce.  He provided specific dates when wife Ann Catherine committed adultery with neighbor Thomas Fetterhoff at the Fox home at least five times between 10 Jan 1872 - 8 July 1872 when Ann left the home and fled to someplace in Henry Co, OH.  After listening to the testimony the court granted a divorce.  An interesting fact from the case showed the marriage date of Ezekiel and Ann Catherine as 19 May 1861, which conflicted with the marriage record cited above.  It also seemed that Ezekiel would wait two years before requesting a divorce after Ann abandoned her home, but the puzzle cleared up when one learns that Ezekiel had another bride in mind in the form of Almeda Russell whom he married after the divorce in 1874.

The Fox family was listed in the 1880 NW Twp federal census, p430C, as Ezekiel 45 OH, Almeda L. 36 IN-PA-CT, and son Frances T. 3 OH, who was born on 25 Jan 1877, Florence Twp (Births V1 p102).  Almeda b. 1844 IN, parentage unknown, survived her husband who died on 7 Jan 1910, NW Twp, and was buried in an unmarked grave in Columbia Cemetery.  His obituary, which appeared in the "Bryan Democrat", 18 Jan 1910, p4, mentioned that he came here in 1853 and "was a good man, a good citizen, and a man of sound judgement and honest purpose." 

Ezekiel as of 1887 was VP of the NW Twp Early Settlers to Williams County Association and owned land in Section 22 of NW Twp.  His son Marion went out west and nothing more is known of him.  Ex-wife Ann Catherine “Kate” married William H. Terpening  (1844-1929).  In the 1870 and 1880 Blackman and Spring Arbor, Jackson Co, MI federal censuses William Terpening was married to a Sarah and had several children but by the 1900 Clinton, Fulton Co, OH federal census the Terpening family included William b Apr 1844 MI, Kate b Dec 1844 IN, and mother-in-law Lydia Sickles b June 1824 widow.  The couple was married for 20 years and did not have any children. Ann Catherine later died in Morenci, Lenawee Co, MI on 14 Nov 1917 and was buried in the Canandaigua Cemetery, Medina Twp, Lenawee Co, MI.  William was a Civil War soldier, serving in Co E 68th OVI and a member of the GAR; he had enlisted on 7 Oct 1863 at the age of 19 and his military papers showed a distinquished service record.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Fountain


Ellen Fountain v Abraham Fountain (Journal 10 p441 - 31 May 1880; Journal 11 p99 - 18 Feb 1881)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The divorce action was dismissed and nothing more is currently known of this couple.  In the 1863 period there was a W. T. Fountain, formerly of Boston, MA who set up a barber shop in Bryan; whether this is any relation needs to be further researched.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Forrester


Betsey Ann Johnson Forrester v William Forrester
Extremely Cruel But No Divorce, Williams County, Ohio, 1859 – see Kriter (when posted)
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

Betsey Ann Johnson, b 1835 OH (possibly North Jackson, Mahoning Co, OH), married William A. Forrester, b 1827 NY, at Center Twp, Wms Co, OH on 20 Nov 1851 (Marriages V2 p118).  In the 1850 Center Twp federal census, p69B, there was a William Forrester 23 NY farmer along side his brother Amasa 25 NY.  Brother Amasa established a family in the 1860 West Jefferson, Jefferson Twp federal census, p175 A/B, and had a female, Jeridah Forrester 77 MA, living with him.  This could be the mother of Amasa and William, but this needs to be verified.

Betsey appeared in the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court (Journal 5 p556 - 29 Nov 1859; Roll 13 case number 69) stating that the couple had three children, William Henry (6), Charity Jane (3), and Nancy Maria (1).  Betsey said that on 11 Nov 1859 William was extremely cruel.  The court dismissed the case and on the 1860 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census, p45A, the family appeared as William 33 NY day laborer, Betsey 25 OH, William H 7 OH, Charity 4 OH, and Nancy 1 OH.  An Internet source states that Betsey was Elizabeth Johnson, the daughter of John L. Johnson and Anna Orr.  Betsey married James Davidson and was listed in the 1880 El Paso, Woodford, IL federal census with her husband; she died in 1917.

The Forrester son, William Henry (1853 – 1924, Nevada Mills, IN) married Catherine M. Hoover Kriter, a divorcee.