16 October 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Kent (Smith)


Smith Kent v Catherine Meyer/Myer Kent
Quick Entanglement, Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1860 – see John Duhamel
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

He made her acquaintance and nine days later he proposed.  He thought she was a person of fair and virtuous conduct.  He quickly found out that she was not.  Love at first sight had put blinders on his common sense.

Smith Kent, b. 1830 OH, the son of Ashford and Nancy Thompson Kent, lived in Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH according to the 1850 federal census, p103B, as follows: Ashford Kent 64 VA, Nancy 60 OH, Thomas 27 OH, Isaac 22 OH, Smith 20 OH, Elcy 18 OH, David 16 OH, Rachael 15 OH, and Louisa 11 OH.  Smith's mother, Nancy, died on 14 Nov 1855 @63Y 7M 10D and was buried in the Beaver Creek Cemetery, Pulaski Twp, Wms Co, OH.

According to his testimony in the Williams County Civil and Criminal Court records (Journal 6 p55 - 27 Nov 1860; Roll 14 case number 114), Smith Kent made the acquaintance of Catherine Meyer on 1 Mar 1859.  He proposed and was married to her on 10 Mar 1859, Wms Co (Marriages V3 p49).  Catherine turned out in four months time to be "a common prostitute" when on 11 July 1859 she was delivered of a full grown child which was not his, but that of an unknown Besconcon.  After the birth of the child Smith abandoned Catherine and had not lived with her since then.

The 1860 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census, p181A, bears out this fact that Smith Kent 30 OH was residing with his father Ashford 71 VA and sisters Rachel 24 OH and Louisa 20 OH plus an unnamed female 6/12 IN.  Who this child was is not currently known, but presumably she is not the child mentioned in the divorce. The court granted Smith a divorce after listening to the testimony of Polly Shoe, Louisa Kent, and Mrs. Charles Chapman.  Catherine did not appear in court nor did she contest this divorce.

In the 1850 Jefferson Twp federal census, p22B, there is a Jacob Myres 50 PA with wife Barbery 39 PA and children including Catherine 15 PA.  This may be the one time Catherine Myers Kent, but this needs to be verified.  A more likely match was found in the 1860 Stryker, Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p56B, a Myer family was listed as John 61 FR, Mary 61 FR, Catherine 22 FR, and Lewis 1 OH.  In the 1870 Springfield Twp federal census the Myer family appeared as John 72 FR, Mary A 72 FR, Peter Bruot 33 FR, Lewis 11 OH, Edwin 8 OH, and Catherine 33 FR.  Catherine may have married FR native John Duhamel in 1883, but this needs to be further investigated.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Kent/Kint (Simon)


Elizabeth Kent/Kint v Simon Kent/Kint (Journal 5 p360 - 4 Dec 1858; Roll 12)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married 13 June 1851 in Wms Co.  She charged him with being a habiutal drunk and being willfully absent for three years or more.  They had a minor daughter, Sarah J. bc1853.  She was granted the divorce. The record showed two different spellings for the surname.

15 October 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Kent (Edwin and Nathaniel)

Elizabeth Kent Kent v Nathaniel Kent
Irene Shaw Kent v Edwin S. Kent

Tumultuous Times in Old Bryan, Williams County, OH, No Divorce, 1869, 1872, and 1879 and Maybe Murder

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 13 July 2011)

As you, the reader, peruse the following detailing, ask yourself if it was possible for the husband to have murdered the wife?  He was dragged into court on numerous occasions and he may have had a further motive beside revenge – love.

Nathaniel Kent, b. July 1835, OH, was the son of Benjamin Kent, Jr., and Lucy Mankins.  The parents, both VA natives, were married on 19 July 1831 in Columbiana Co, OH.  They are found in the 1850 Pulaski Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census, p86, as Benjamin Kent 38 VA, Ancy 36 VA, Charlotte 17 OH, Nathaniel 15 OH, Angeline 14 OH, Alvina 12 OH, and Francis 7 OH.  Nathaniel's mother died and c. 1853 his father married Sarah Kearns.  In the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court records (#484 - 2 Oct 1857) Nathaniel Kent was granted a $500 bail for breaking and entering the storeroom of Bryan merchant, David Stauffer, on 12 Aug 1857.  Kent was caught stealing watches, $10 in change, and other items.  He was taken to jail on 20 Aug 1857.  The record does not tell whether Nathaniel was found guilty.  There was another later incident from case number 2132 on 16 May 1879 concerning theft but when I consulted the packet where the case information should have been, I did not find any papers.

In the 1860 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census, p18A, one finds this family enumerated as Benjamin, Jr., 46 VA, Sarah 29 OH, Nathaniel 24 OH plasterer, Francis 16 OH, Mary 3 OH, BF (m) 2 OH, unnamed male 3/12 OH, and Caroline Down 18 OH inmate.  Nathaniel’s brother, Francis M. Kent, died in Kentucky c. 30 Oct 1862 as a Civil War soldier in the 3rd Ohio Volunteer Cavalry.  Nathaniel Kent joined Co K 68th Ohio Infrantry and served as a private on 27 Oct 1861.

Nathaniel married Elizabeth Kent on 27 Dec 1860, Amboy, Hillsdale Co, MI (Marriages, Book C p191) as Nathaniel G. Kint and Elizabeth Kint. On 15 May 1869 Elizabeth Kent appeared in the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court (Roll 21 case number 17), requesting a divorce from her husband, stating that Nathaniel was a habitual drunk for the last three years.  Elizabeth said that Nathaniel was extremely cruel to her on 2 Mar 1869.  He had goods and chattel valued at $150 and was the owner in fee simple of real estate, Lot 60, Allen's Addition, Bryan.  He planned to sell this, convert the proceeds to cash for his own use, and remove from Ohio, leaving her destitute.  Elizabeth also bought real estate in Bryan from her own funds.  The court decided she was at fault in this domestic abuse case and awarded Nathaniel $100 in damages.  There was no divorce granted.  The couple was enumerated in the 1870 Bryan, Pulaski Twp, federal census, p178, as Nathaniel Kent 34 OH mason and Elizabeth 48 VA.

Again in 1870 Elizabeth appeared in court (Roll 24 case number 4) suing Samuel and Thomas Shorthill plus John Niederaur for giving Nathaniel intoxicating liquor.  Subsequently he got drunk and compelled her to leave their home.  She sought damages of $3,000.   No damages were awarded.

On 29 May 1872 (Journal 8 p41; Roll 26 case number 44), Elizabeth sued Nathaniel for a divorce using the same grounds, habitual drunkenness.  Here she stated that she paid for Lot #60, Allen's Addition, Bryan, and he was about to dispose of this property.  Again there was no divorce granted.

In June 1879 Elizabeth returned to court (Roll 34 case number 653) and said that Nathaniel neglected her.  On 10 May 1879 he was abusive, violent, drunk, and threatened to kill her.  She again wanted a divorce, money, and the assurance that he would not be able to sell her Bryan real estate.  No divorce was granted.

The couple was listed in the 1880 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census, p637, as plasterer Nathaniel 44 OH-VA-VA and wife Elizabeth 57 VA-VA-VA.  Since the Kent families involved here were originally from VA, one can speculate that they were related but todate no proof exists to this relationship.  Note there was apparently a 13-year difference in their ages, with Elizabeth being the senior.  On 17 Apr 1880 Nathaniel applied for a pension based on his Civil War service.

A newspaper account in the "Bryan Democrat", Mar 1886, gave an interesting account of Elizabeth's sudden death.  "Mrs. Kent, who has been confined to her rocking chair in their home on E. Bryan St., died under unusual circumstances on Sunday afternoon.  She observed the funeral of Simon Frazier passing the house, and spoke of it to her husband.  A short time later Fissell's hearse, containing the body of Potter, a suicide, passed the house.  She said, 'Why Nate, there's another one'.  A few minutes afterward Mr. Kent went to her for the purpose of helping her into a more comfortable position and found her dead."  Presumably the lady was buried in Fountain Grove Cemetery, Bryan, but there is no existing headstone or other information to support this.

When reading this account and knowing the tempestuous relationship between the two, one wonders if Elizabeth was given a little help with her death.  After all, she was not given any court assistance, and since the Kent family name was very prominent in the politics of this county and had economic and social status here, one might speculate that Nathaniel "got away with murder."  Also Elizabeth's obituary plainly stated "unusual circumstances in her demise."

What is learned next comes from the 1900 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census, p177B, with Nathaniel Kent, b. July 1835, OH, married 14 years to wife Irene, b July 1855 OH-VA-VA, with Kent children Gertie M. (Sept 1877, OH), Mary E. (6 Feb 1882, OH), Howard (4 Mar 1886, OH), and Pinkie (female, Aug 1890, OH).  They lived at 154 Enterprise Street, a different home from when Nathaniel was married to Elizabeth.

Nathaniel was "married" to Irene Shaw Kent Kent for 15 years according to the census, but they must have lived together shortly after his wife's death. 

The children's names and birthdates were included in this record which match up with the 1900 census info with the exception of daughter Olive, b. 20 Sept 1875, who was not living with Nathaniel and Irene Kent then, and daughter Gertie who according to the probate data was born 6 Dec 1878.  Olive was 16 at the time of the guardianship; there is a record for an Olive Kent marrying George W. Bostator, in Wms Co on 22 Mar 1894 (Marriages, V6 #1136).  Pinkie appears to be the issue of Nathaniel and Irene as the 1900 census listed the couple as having one child from the marriage.

Williams County Birth records (V1 p126) show a child born to ES Kent and Olive I. Shaw, named Burtie/Gertie, 6 Sept 1878, Bryan; another birth record (V2 p21) revealed a daughter Rosa born 1 Aug 1880, Pulaski Twp to ES Kent and Irena Shaw; a third birth record (V2 p33) listed daughter Flora Bell born 6 Feb 1881, Pulaski Twp, to ES Kent and Anna Shaw.  Further mudding the waters there is a fourth birth record (V2 p5) for Arlie D, born 13 Jan 1880, Jefferson Twp, child of Nathaniel Kent and Arminda Miser. There does not appear to be another Nathaniel in this county, so one can speculate that this was our subject; if that were the case, the child was born while Nathaniel was still married to Elizabeth.  According to the 1880 Pulaski Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census p627 one finds the Kent household enumerated as Edwin S Kent farmer 41 OH-VA-OH, Olive J wife 25 MI-MI-MI, Olive O 4 OH-OH-MI, and Gertie 1 OH-OH-MI.

Also in the civil records there exists a case where a Florence Jessie Kittredge came to court and stated that at the time of Dr. Thomas Kent's estate settlement on 10 Jan 1885, his widow Sarah Kittredge was willed Kent's house and lot in Bryan.  Upon her death Edwin S. Kent inherited this property and now that he was deceased the real estate fell to the minor heirs.  Since Nathaniel married Irene c.1887 and Edwin died in Jan 1891, it would appear that Irene must have divorced Edwin or lived in common law with Nathaniel. 

A further search of later divorce records proved that Irene Kent sued Edward S. Kent for divorce according to Journal 14 p39 - 1 Dec 1886 and Roll 44 case number 1678 for 9 Oct 1886 and also the divorce action of Irene Kent v Edward S. Kent was listed in Journal 15 p36 – June 1889 case number 1678; this must have been for the second filing with the judgment of a continuance. The couple was married in March 1873, at Bronson, MI. She charged him with gross neglect and being a habitual drunk for the last five years; she had to live on the charity of others for support.  She called a large number of people to support her claims, including Mrs. Peter M. Shaw, and Elizabeth Kent Mankins.  She received temporary custody of the younger children but the oldest daughter, Olivia Kent, was placed in the home of Mary Jane Kline.  The names of the children and their birthdates were included in this record as Olive (10 on 20 Sept 1886), Gertie M (7 on 5 Mar 1886), Mary E (4 on 6 Feb 1886), and Howard (b. 4 Mar 1886). 

ET Binns was the trustee of an account set up for the children on the basis of Edwin's father's will.  The trust contained $1200.  Irene quoted parts of the will as follows: "to Martin L. Ransom and heirs to receive w 1/2 of se 1/4 of Sec 23 T6 R3E and Lot 17 Dobbs First in Bryan in trust for rents, profits, etc, to support and maintain the family of my son Edward Summerton if after ten years my son is temperate and sober and a steady man abstaining from intoxicating liquor then Ransom may convey in fee simple the property to Edward; upon his death the property shall go to his wife and children".  The property was valued at $7500.  Ransom refused the trust and no one else has taken it.  Irene wanted the money for the children".

Edward charged in a crossfiling that Irene was guilty of adultery and listed dates ranging from 15 May 1886 through 1 Oct 1886.  With whom was she having an affair?  Edwin Kent charged the third party as none other than Nathaniel G. Kent.  They were together in Edwin's home, Nathaniel's home, hotels in Montpelier and Butler, IN, and private homes in Defiance.  Edwin stated that Irene's youngest child was not his. [Compare this time frame with the death of Nathaniel's wife Elizabeth, the birth of Howard, and the dates Edward chose to state in court.] He wanted custody of the other children, stating that she was unfit to have children.  She kept them out of school and did not properly care for them. Irene later in June 1887 stated that her children Olivia, Gertie, Mary E, and Howard, were entitled to a part of the estate of their grandfather, Dr. Thomas Kent.  On 3 Aug 1887 the Kent estate was sold and Irene received $100 from the proceeds.  She asked for more money on 15 Dec 1887 and continued to appear in court as of 1889 wanting a divorce and alimony. 

Irene, the former wife of Edwin S. Kent, sometimes referred to as Edward Kent, may be the same person who earlier in a Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court record (#2020 - 2 July 1878) was brought to court on charges of assault and battery with intent to kill Samantha Raynor.  John and Louisa Ebaugh, Mrs. Ester Newman, Bridgett Leavy, Mrs. Abe Grass, and Mero Rainey all appeared in court testifying against Irene.  The court requested a $100 appearance bond with both Irene and ES Kent paying this.  Later on 20 Nov 1879 James Leavy appeared in court fearing that Irene would kill his child, Margaret A. Leavy.  Once again Irene posted a bond.  In both cases the charges appear to have been dismissed. 

"Bryan Press" newspaper article, 17 Apr 1902, p5, announced the death of Nathaniel G. Kent who for sometime had been living in Toledo, Lucas Co, OH, where he died.   His body was brought back here and buried in an unmarked grave in Fountain Grove Cemetery.  The further particulars of Irene and the children are not currently known; however in 1910 Siloam Springs, Benton Co, AR p42, a family was recorded as Howard W. Kent 30 OH married 8 years with 3 children/2 surviving, wife Martha L 27 AR, and children Irene R 6 AR, and Howard E 6/12 AR.  The birthdate for this Howard is not consistent with Irene’s Howard, but the names are intriguing.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Kemp and Davis

Lavinna W. Parrish Kemp v John R. Kemp
William M. Davis v Mary Manda Chapman Davis
Married Doctor Hiding Property, Two Divorce Actions in Williams County, Ohio, 1868-69
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 30 May 2012)

One reads about physicians today who are accused of 'hanky panky" with their patients.  This is certainly not a new circumstance as evidenced by this genealogical detailing from the Wms Co, OH Civil and Criminal Court records (Journal 7 p174 - 8 May 1868; p183 – 19 May 1868; Roll 19 case number 84 – May 1868).

Dr. John Kemp, native of England,  (1822 - aft 1870) married Lavinna W. Parrish (1821 NY - bef 13 Apr 1872) on 26/30 Nov 1844 in Steuben Co, IN.  John R (Roper?) Kemp was the son of John and Mary Jane Roper Kemp.  The Kemps migrated from England to the US c1829 and spent a period of time in Hume, Allegany Co, NY. According to the 1850 Washington Twp, Henry Co, OH federal census p14A the Kemps were enumerated as John R 28 Eng plastering mason, Lavinna W 29 Canada, John B Ultly 50 PA carpenter, and Isaac Bowman 23 NY carpenter and joiner.

It is not currently known how and where John R Kemp received his medical training but the first record for Dr. Kemp in Williams Co is a newspaper article in the fall of 1852 mentioning John was an E flat cornet player in the original Bryan Band.  No one knows how well his musical abilities were but practicing with the band would have afforded him several nights away from his wife.  The 1860 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census, p37, enumerated the Kemps as John R. 38 EN physician, Lavina 39 Canada East, and Leonard 13 IN.  Kemp's office was located at 121 W. Butler St. in Bryan.

With regard to "son" Leonard Kemp, it appears that Leonard is really Leonora (7 Apr 1847, Angola, Steuben Co, IN - 2 Sept 1916 pos Perry, Dallas Co, IA), wife of Thomas Gilbert.  She was absent in the 1850 census but appeared in the 1860 census.  From probate mentioned below, Leonora was an adopted daughter.

On 27 Apr 1868 Lavina petitioned the court for a divorce stating that at diverse times from 1 July 1863 in his office her husband committed adultery with  "sundry women unknown to Lavinia."  On 24 June 1866 and 24 Sept 1866 Dr. Kemp committed adultery with Mrs. Amanda Davis and from this liaison he became a father of a male child born on 24 Mar 1867.  Almost a year later on 11 Mar 1868 Kemp left his home with Amanda and the child and eloped for parts unknown.  He took a wagon, one cow, books, furniture, and account books plus other provisions and headed to the state of Kansas leaving Lavina with nothing.  She also sued lawyer Samuel A. Treat whom she stated was in collusion with Kemp to hide property.  Dr. Kemp owned 10 acres of land (NE 1/4 NE 1/4 Sec 21 T6N 3E) and Lot #121 in Bryan.  She wanted a reasonable alimony and the real estate.

Lavina called the following witnesses who all attested to her charges: John B. Shouf, Alfred Plummer, David A. Wolf, and Dr. QH Graser (all local businessmen).  A legal notice of this suit was published in the "Bryan Union Press", Apr 1868.  The divorce was granted and Lavina did receive John's real estate.  Thanks to Hal Kemp (a descendant of John R Kemp's brother, George W Kemp) a new marriage record has come to light showing that John R Kemp married Clarissa Mary West on 2 Oct 1870 in Miller Co, MO; whatever happened to the doctor from this point is not currently known.  From the Bryan Democrat, 6 Oct 1870, p3, “Arm Broken: while descending a flight of stairs at the residence of A M Pratt (attorney) on Tuesday, Mrs. Dr. Kemp slipped and in the fall dislocated her wrist and broke her arm.”

By the 1870 federal census for Bryan, p34, Lavina W. Parrish, restored to her maiden name, was listed as 49 NY housekeeper living with Ann Moore 24 Baden, a domestic servant.  Williams Co, OH Probate (#1500) filed on 13 Apr 1872 showed an estate for Lavina, who had written a will on 6 Jan 1871 in which she left the house and buildings to an adopted daughter Leanora Gilbert, wife of Thomas Gilbert.  Lavina's sister, Mary F. Norse of Steuben Co, IN, received $100 to be paid one year after Lavina's death.  The First Regular Baptist Church of Bryan was also to receive $100 to be given two years after her death.

The 1870 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census showed Thomas Gilbert 25 OH and his wife Lenora 23 IN; she was Lavina’s adopted daughter. The 1880 York, Steuben Co, IN federal census showed a Mary A. Norse 56 NY divorced with son Loyd 18, niece Lora 19, and mother Elizabeth Stockman 79 US.  If this was Lavina’s sister, the mother Elizabeth Stockman could also be the mother of Lavina.

The other woman, Amanda Davis, was born Mary Manda Chapman.  She had married William M. Davis in Paulding, OH, on 25 May 1862 (Marriages, V2 p23).  William filed a divorce action in Wms Co on 16 Oct 1869 according to court records (Journal 7 - Nov 1869, and Roll 21 case number 40).  Davis stated that on 24 July 1867 Amanda committed adultery with John R. Kemp and that she left this state for Kansas with Kemp.  William did not mention Amanda having a child with Dr. Kemp.  Under old miscellaneous probate, which contained divorce cases for Defiance Co, OH (Defiance Co, OH Records Center) there was a case of William E. Davis v Amanda M. Davis (case number 265, undated index).

The 1850 Harrison Twp, Paulding Co, OH federal census p176B showed a Mary A. Chapman, age 5, as the daughter of Timothy and Sarah Ann Barnard Chapman.  From the 1860 Harrison Twp, Paulding Co, OH federal census p98 Amanda 15 OH lived with her uncle Miles Chapman due to the death of her mother Sarah; her father Timothy had married twice more and presumably the next wives did not want Amanda in the household. Chapman online sites claim Timothy was the nephew of John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed.

One does wonder why William Davis waited almost 1 1/2 years after Lavina Kemp received her divorce before he filed for one of his own.  Maybe he thought he and his errant wife would reconcile or maybe he found someone else.  There is always the possibility that Amanda separated from John Kemp since he married again in 1870 and did reunite with her husband or the following is not the Amanda Davis mentioned in the divorce proceedings above. The rest is a possibility but not a certainty; more research needs to be done.

According to the 1870 Ridge Twp, Van Wert Co, OH federal census p370A the Davis household was listed as William 37 Wales, Amanda 25 OH, Elizabeth A 3 OH and a teacher, Charles S. Crosby; in the 1880 Washington Twp, Van Wert Co, OH federal census p425 William M. Davis 43 Wales-Wales-Wales was enumerated with his wife, Amanda 35 OH-OH-OH, and their son Henry 11 OH-OH-OH.  From the 1900 Washinfton Twp, Van Wert Co, OH federal census p8A the Davis household was listed as William M farmer 67Y June 1837 married 33Y (1867) Wales, wife Amanda 55Y May 1845 OH mother of 1 deceased child, two servants, and an Addison niece and nephew, Auratta 16 OH and Harry 10 KS, noted as servant and farm laborer, respectively.  Wiliam immigrated to the US in 1841.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Jennings


David Jennings v (Anna) Sophia Powell Tharp Jennings (Journal 8 p343 - 12 Mar 1875; Roll 26 case number 111)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married in Farmer, Defiance Co, OH on 14 Mar 1868.  David charged Sophia with being willfully absent for three years or more.  He produced a witness, John Bale, to confirm his charge.

From the 1850 Farmer Twp, Defiance Co, OH federal census p75, a Tharpe family was enumerated as Alexander 45 PA, Sophia 27 OH, Mary J 8 OH, Wiliam 7 OH, Harriet A 4 OH, and George 3 OH. This shows that Sophia Tharp was a widow when she married David. Defiance Co, OH cemetery records show an Anna Sophia Tharp, (24 June 1823, Trumbull Co, OH - 12 Aug 1888 @65Y1M 18D) buried in the Lost Creek Lutheran Cemetery; she died in Hicksville, Defiance Co, OH.  Anna Sophia Powell and Alexander Tharp were married in Allen Co, OH on 1 Nov 1849.  Alexander Tharp was the son of John C and Rachel Perry Tharp.

According to the 1870 Center Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census p58B the Jennings couple was listed as David 55 OH and Sophia 47 OH.  Note that John Bale, divorce witness, was a neighbor.  Since there are several Jennings children living with a Susan Conklin in the Center Twp neighborhood in 1870, it is possible that the 1860 Monroe, Allen Co, OH federal census p390 may be the enumeration of this David who was 46 OH with wife Elizabeth 46 OH and several children who fit by name and age to those of the 1870 census.  More research is necessary. 

13 October 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Jefts


Sarah J. Berger Jefts v Harris S. Jefts (Journal 12 p89 - 28 May 1883; Roll 39 Box 128 case number 1133 - 4 Apr 1883)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married in Gorham Twp, Fulton Co, OH on 26 Oct 1865 (Marriage V3 p52).  Sarah, parentage unknown, was born in 1839 PA. Harris, born in Mar 1842 NY, was the son of Kitridge and Lucinda Monroe Jefts who were enumerated in the 1850 and 1860 NW Twp federal census, p53 and 6, respectively.  Kittridge owned property in Sec 9 of NW Twp and he and his wife were buried in the Billingstown Cemetery as Kitridge (15 Mar 1815 - 10 July 1903) and Lucinda (3 Nov 1820 - 23 Dec 1904).   Harris was a Civil War soldier serving in Co F 177th Ohio Infantry.  The Jefts couple was listed in the 1870 NW Twp federal census, p8, as Harris 28 NY, Sarah 31 PA, and William A 3 PA; however, from the 1875 Wichita, Sedgewick Co, KS State Census, SJ Jefts was listed with her sons, WA, O, and NK, a two month old.

Sarah stated in court that Harris was willfully absent for three years or more and she wanted a divorce, alimony, and custody of the minor children.  The couple had the following three sons: William A (b1867), Ottis (b1874), and Newton B (b1875).  The divorce was granted.  Harris S. Jefts married Caroline Beighey in Steuben Co, IN on 3 Oct 1894.  According to the 1900 Camden, Hillsdale Co, MI federal census p3B, the Jefts family was listed as Harrison, a carpenter, 58 NY, Caroline 42 MI, Newton K son 25 KS, and Margaret Beighey mother-in-law.  

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Jacobs


Almira Stuller Jacobs v George N. Jacobs

Constable's Daughter Pregnant and Abandoned - What's a Girl To Do?, Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1885

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

A marriage in name only does not often last as this genealogical detailing demonstrates.  A girl becomes pregnant and wants the child's father to marry her, which he eventually does about six weeks before the baby is born.  Prior to this birth the girl begins proceedings against him for bastardy, filing a complaint under Section 5614 of the Ohio Revised Statute.  He tries to evade and prevent these proceedings, promising to live with and provide for the girl and the baby.

Almira Stuller, b. 1865, OH, was the daughter of James and Phebe A. Foster Stuller.  James, a native of Carroll Co, OH, came to Wms Co c.1852, settling in Florence Twp.  On 11 Apr 1857 he married and raised his family of William, David, Abigail, John, and Almira.  He enlisted in the Union Army during the Civil War and served as constable for St. Joseph Twp where he owned a hotel known as the Arlington House plus he ran a feed and livery store.  The Stullers were enumerated in the 1860 Florence Twp, PO Lukes Corners federal census, p19, in the 1870 Florence Twp federal census, p17-18 where Almira was listed as 5 years old, and again in the 1880 Edgerton, St. Joseph Twp census, p580C, where Almira was recorded as 14 years old.

Almira was married on 12 June 1883 in Edgerton, Wms Co (Marriages V5 #356) to George N. Jacobs, parentage and particulars currently unknown; however in the 1880 Edon, Florence Twp federal census, p553A, there is a George Jacobs, age 15 OH, a harnessmaker who may be our subject.  According to The Bryan Press, 8 Dec 1881 p5 c3, there was a case of the State of Ohio v George Jacobs, who was fined $40 and costs for selling liquor to a person in the habit of getting intoxicated and for selling liquor to be drunk on the premises. 

George was the father of son James Harvey Jacobs, b. 29 July 1883, Edgerton, Wms Co, OH (Births V2p62).  Almira was falsely promised that George would take care of them, but she found herself in need of a divorce.  According to the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court records (Journal 13 p205 - 2 July 1885; Roll 41 Box 138 case number 1459 - 2 May 1885) Almira stated the facts mentioned above.  George did not treat her as his wife and neglected her by not providing any money or support.  She sought a reasonable alimony and her maiden name restored.  Almira called witnesses Neil Decker and Mrs. John P. Walter to support her statements.  The court granted Almira a divorce and alimony of $500.  About two months later she married Levi Hopkins on 13 Sept 1885, Wms Co (Marriages V5 #708).  About a year after this divorce, Almira’s parents moved to Butler, DeKalb Co, IN where her father later died in Mar 1898.  He was buried in Edgerton, Wms Co, OH. Nothing further is known of the principals of this case.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Jackson


Leah Weist Jackson v Silas Estelle Jackson
Rest Together for Eternity, Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1884
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

A divorce may be granted to a couple who upon their deaths are buried side by side.  Without benefit of divorce information a family researcher may erroneously believe that the couple was always married.  Even though supported by obituaries, census, and other sources, this stance would not be correct.  Here is an example of a couple, legally divorced who rested in peace forever.

Silas Estelle Jackson, b 18 Dec 1836 in Loudenville, Ashland Co, OH, was the son of John and Delila Whiteman Jackson. It is through his mother’s lineage that he was named after an early ancestor, Silas Estel.  He was married to Leah Weist in Pulaski Twp, Wms Co on 9 Dec 1858 (Marriages V3 p36).  Leah, b 1834 OH was the daughter of John and Rebecca Shoemaker Weist. Mother Rebecca was a PA native who lived with the married couple until her death on 30 Jan 1881 @70Y 4M and was buried in Floral Grove Cemetery, West Unity, OH, later to be joined by this divorced couple.

Silas and Leah were listed in the 1860 Brady Twp federal census, p157B, as Estell 26 OH, Leah 24 OH, Dora 7/12 OH, and Rebecca Weist 49 OH.  Estell joined Co I 86th OVI and served in the Civil War as a private.  The 1870 Brady Twp federal census, p8, showed the family as Estell 33 OH, Leah 35 OH, Dora A 10 OH, John W 8 OH, and Rebecca Weist 59 PA.  Again for that township's federal census, in 1880, p499B, the family was enumerated as Estell 42 OH, Leah 46 OH, Dora A 20 OH, Levi Mills 21 MI, and Rebecca Weist 69 PA.  The Jacksons had the following children: Dora A. (1859 - 1929; m Milton C. Shetler); John W. (1862 - ?); and Ira L. (22 Aug 1865 - 11 Aug 1868 @2Y 11M 20D, buried in Floral Grove Cemetery, West Unity).

According to the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court records (Journal 12 p241 - 25 Mar 1884; Roll 40 Box 132 case number 1286 - 21 Mar 1884) Leah requested a divorce citing extreme cruelty.  She stated that Estell assaulted her and pulled her hair on 1 Jan 1881 and on many other dates.  On 18 Mar 1884 Estell ordered her out of the house.  Keep in mind that Leah's mother died about two months before this.  Leah stated that in her own right she was the owner of property west of the turnpike from Evansport in Defiance Co to Lockport in Brady Twp.  Estell had between $10,000-$12,000 that he kept concealed along with two work horses, a wagon, harnesses, farm utensils, and a sleigh.  Both James Wirick, Jr., and Sr., were indebted to Estell for $180 and Lewis Altman owed him more than $40.  She believed that Estell might try to cheat her out of alimony and support by his secret plans to sell both his and her property.  The court gave Leah control of the chattel, goods, and animals plus awarded her a divorce.

Leah Jackson died on 29 June 1897 @64Y.  Estell Jackson was listed in the 1908 Enumeration of Soldiers in Williams Co, OH as he resided in West Unity at the time.  He died on 5 Aug 1915 @75Y 7M 17D in West Unity, Brady Twp, Williams Co, OH and was buried beside Leah in Floral Grove Cemetery.  Perhaps there was no money in the estate or a burial lot was vacant beside ex-wife Leah; more research needs to be done to verify this. 

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Iden


Abigail Bickford Iden v Thomas Iden (Journal 8 p75 - 29 Oct 1872; Roll 24 case number 77 - 29 Oct 1872)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

T. Jinkins married the couple on 9 Feb 1862 in Morrow Co, OH.  Abigail was an Ohio resident for ten years, three of which were in Wms Co.  She told the court that Thomas had been willfully absent for three years or more.  She called Rufus Dallas Bates as a witness. A legal notice appeared in the Bryan Democrat.  

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Hunter


John W. Hunter v Jane Ann Doty Hunter (Journal 5 p382 - Apr 1855; Roll 9 case number 59 - Apr 1855) - see Coy and Fesler

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married in Wms Co on 6 Oct 1850 (Marriage V2 p113).  Jane, born c1832 in Crawford Co, OH, was the daughter of Lyman and Maria Briggs Doty, natives of NY.  In the 1850 St. Joseph Twp, Wms Co federal census, p83, the Dotys appeared as Lyman 57 NY, Maria 50 NY, Jane Ann 18 OH, John W. 12 OH, and Lydia 9 OH.  John W. Hunter, b 4 Jan 1823, had an unusual household before this marriage as found in the 1850 St. Joseph Twp federal census p77B, as John W. 27 OH, Lucy Gray 50 NY, Nancy Hunter 18 MI, and Lucy Gray 5 MI. John was the son of William and Lucy Gardner Hunter, the former born in 1801 and the latter born in 1800, Salisbury, Montgomery Co, NY.  It would appear that the mother remarried a Gray after husband William died c1840 in Defiance Co, OH, or Sturgis, St. Joseph Co, MI, and had a child, Lucy Gray.  John W. and Jane Hunter had two known children, William E (18 July 1851 - 22 Sept 1854) and Cyrus (22 June 1853 - 13 Oct 1854). 

John W. Hunter stated in court that Jane was living in DeKalb Co, IN as of 13 Nov 1854 and he charged her with extreme cruelty.  She refused to cook, nor would she make, wash, or mend clothing.  Lucy Gray, who lived in the household, testified that Jane would never be willing to cook or do any mending.  Lucy made John's shirts.  The couple had two children who were both sick and they died c Sept 1854.  Jane was willful and lazy.  John bought calico and she would not use it.  She would not cook even though there was a cook stove and adequate firewood available.  John said Jane should only have her bed and clothing. He suffered from a liver disease and was in the care of Dr. J. Stough when she left him. He called the following witnesses to substantiate his claims: Alexander, Tobias, and Orphia Wright, Daniel Hunter, Harriet Parker, Margaret Miser, Calvin H. Everhart, Lorinda Davidson, and John McDonald.

Jane's brother, John Westley Doty, appeared in court and stated that John abused his wife and she ran away and took one of the children with her.  John came after her and said the cause of her leaving was his request for her to fetch a bucket of water.  Jane went into a fit and afterwards left the home.  John begged her to return, but her mother advised her to leave him. 

This divorce was granted.  On 10 Dec 1859 in Wms Co John married Mrs. Sarah Ann Fesler (Marriage V3 p79). Sarah, the ex-wife of Michael Fesler, had a daughter Sarah Amelia Fesler (9 Nov 1855 or 15 Oct 1856 - 12 Oct 1870) and a son William J. Fesler (12 June 1852 - 6 Oct 1854). John and Sarah had a daughter Susan A, b 20 Dec 1861.  The Hunters were enumerated in the 1860 St. Joseph Twp federal census p110b, as John 37 OH, Sarah 29 OH, Sarah A 4 OH, and Theador 14 OH.

John wrote a will on 6 Oct 1862 (Probate #784) in which he bequeathed Sarah A. Fesler, "daughter of my present wife $75 when she turned 18"; wife Sarah received his property of 56 acres with the bulk of his estate going to daughter Susan Hunter, who later married a Mr. Wartenbee.  The young girls were granted guardians by the court.  John was a soldier during the Civil War and died on 13 Aug 1863; he was buried in Shiffler Cemetery along with his young sons and his second wife's children.

After his death Sarah married David K. Bowersox on 27 July 1865 in Wms Co, OH, and together they had two children, Della J and Cyrus Bowersox.  The family was enumerated in the 1880 St. Joseph Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census; David died on 19 Sept 1881 and Sarah continued to live in Edgerton as of 1883; after that her whereabouts are not currently known.

Another case found in the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court (Roll 18 case number 4 - 25 Apr 1865 - Oct 1866) involved the housekeeper and mother, Lucy Gray who sued George E. Long, executor for the estate of JW Hunter.  Lucy said on 9 Feb 1850 John Hunter made a promissory note for payment to Lucy of $42.50 in one year, from Oct 1856-Oct 1857.  John did not pay her and later he died.  George Long said that John performed manual labor for Lucy and she should be satisfied.  He called Alexander Wright and Daniel Hunter as his witnesses.  The court decided that Long owed her $72.33 plus interest.  In the 1860 St. Joseph Twp federal census p111a, Lucy Gray 65 OH lived with the Daniel Hunter family; again in the 1870 St. Joseph Twp federal census, p10-11, the Daniel Hunter household included Lucy Gray 70 NY.  Lucy died on 18 Jan 1877 @ 77Y 6M 23D and was buried in the Maple Grove Cemetery.  Later the Daniel Hunter family was buried next to her.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Hughes


Isodene A. Disbro Hughes v David Thomas Hughes (Journal 9 p108 - 21 Mar 1877; p179 - 23 June 1877; Roll 31 case number 187 - 11 June 1877)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married on 31 May 1874, Wms Co (Marriage V4 p337). Isodene Adora, daughter of John and Hannah Jones Disbro, was born on 30 Sept 1855 in Williams Co, OH.  From the 1860 NW Twp federal census, p3A, the family was listed as John 32 NY, Hannah 24 OH, Julius C 8 OH, and Isadora 4 OH.  They again appeared in the 1870 NW Twp federal census, p24, as John 43 NY, Hannah 33 OH, Julius C 18 OH, Isodene 14 OH, and Clark 6 OH.  John  (28 Feb 1827 - 6 Oct 1910) was a native of Steuben Co, NY and his wife, Hannah, (1835 - 1914) grew up in Erie Co, PA.

David Thomas Hughes, born c1853, was the son of Andre W. and Clarissa Blair Hughes.  From the 1850 Delaware Twp, Defiance Co, OH federal census p57A the Andre Hughes family was listed with Andre 27 IN, Clarissa 26 OH and children Louisa, Charles W, and Lovina.  The Hughes family was enumerated in the 1860 Delaware Twp, Defiance Co, OH federal census p355 with David Hughes 7 OH.

Isodene informed the court that she wanted custody of their son Guy Disbro, born 15 Apr 1876, Defiance Co, OH.  David was extremely cruel to her.  She wants to stop him from seeing the child and selling the land.  She obtained an injunction against him because he wanted the child and the ability to dispose of some property.  The court granted her custody, alimony, and her personal property.  David received visitation rights on the third Thursday of the month for a half-hour between 3-5 PM in Isodene's presence or her designee. 

According to the 1880 NW Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census p442 the Disbros were listed as John 52 NY, Loana 45 OH, Isodene 20 OH, Clark 16 OH, Hannah Jones Mother-in-law 73 VT, and Guy Hughes grandson 4 OH-OH-OH.  On 20 Sept 1880 Isodene married Albert C. Disbrow and they had a son Ray, born 1884. 

Guy Hughes died on 6 Jan 1884 @7Y 9M 22D and was buried in Rogers Cemetery, NW Twp.  His Disbro grandparents would later join him.  On 20 Mar 1920 Isodene married Ira Curtis and lived in Jefferson, Hillsdale Co, MI.  She died on 14 Nov 1931 in Pittsford, MI at the age of 76Y.

12 October 2010

My Family - Russell John Hancock Pattison

My paternal grandpa, Russell John Hancock Pattison, was born on 12 October 1895.  If you are interested in seeing pictures of him and other data go to


Grandpa was born 105 years ago today.  He had an identical twin, Ralph Alexander Stewart Pattison.  I remember Grandpa as a warm and loving man who was always supportive of his family.  As I was the only grandchild, I was completely spoiled by him.  Whenever he would travel, he always brought back presents for me.  My dad would tell a different side of his father - he was very strict and ruled with a "don't spare the rod" attitude when dad was young.  This seems so unlike him but my dad and uncle were little devils growing up.  

Grandpa's hobbies were bowling, bowling, and more bowling.  He was very skilled and traveled around the country winning many trophies.  He had "a good eye" as they said of his bowling prowess.

Grandpa was diagnosed with cancer when I was about ten years old and I remember him being in the hospital at Christmas time.  Children weren't allowed in the rooms at that time, but somehow they made an exception for me and on Christmas Day I rode up in the elevator with my new life-sized doll.  People actually thought she was a real little girl.  I wanted to show Grandpa my new "friend".

Eventually Grandpa's condition got worse so the doctors sent him home to die.  My mom spent every day taking care of him.  We lived next door so we'd eat dinner and then go over to see Grandpa.  When he died, Mom was tending him and I remember staying up late to tell my dad of his father's death when he came home from work.

When Grandpa was "laid out" at the funeral home for visitation, his twin stood on one side of the casket.  A lady who did not know he was a twin (she was friends with my grandma) came into the funeral home, took one look at the deceased and another at his living twin, and passed out on the floor.  When she was revived, she saw the same scenario and fainted a second time.  As a ten-year old I found that sight quite comical; today I don't think I would feel the same - poor lady!

WCGS Meeting - October 11, 2010


The Williams County Genealogical Society hosted its general meeting on Monday, October 11 in the Harman Room of the Williams County Public Library’s Local History and Genealogy Annex.  A member panel of attendees of the April 2010 OGS Conference presented a round-robin discussion of highlighted sessions and entertained questions from the audience.

Presenters included Pat Goebel, Donna Myers, Alice Meuleman, Roena Bayes, and Alice Shaffer.  Each member discussed her favorite sessions and conference events such as the importance of writing a narrative of one’s ancestors, software updates, tidbits on Pennsylvania and Maryland research, important internet search tools such as Google, and Civil War research to name a few.

The next meeting on November 8 at 6:30 PM, which is open to the public, will deal with the Underground Railroad.  Presenters will be Savannah Eicher and Genevieve Eicher.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Hudkins

Mary Ann McElvy Hudkins v James Henry Hudkins

An Observant Census Taker and a Callous Court, No Divorce,
Williams County, Ohio, 1874


By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 20 October 2010)

It boggles the mind how callous a court and possibly a jury, comprised of men, could refuse to grant a divorce to an abused wife seeking basic needs such as food, shelter, and clothing.  Throw into this situation many children, some too young to testify to the physical and mental abuse perpetuated by their father.  Add to the mix the fear that tightly bound such a family as the one detailed here. Skeptics may feel that these abused women may be exaggerating their plight, but even an observant census taker can provide us a valuable clue to set our collective minds reeling about whether there was abuse. 

James Henry Hudkins, Sr., parentage unknown, was born pos in Westmoreland Co, PA, 23 June 1810.  A cooper by profession, James married Mary Ann McElvy, parentage unknown, in Westmoreland Co, PA, 23 Jan 1848.  Mary Ann, also a PA native, was born on 12 May 1824.  Together the Hudkins family moved to Pulaski Twp, Wms Co, OH sometime after the marriage and was enumerated in the 1850 federal census, p84B, as James 30 PA, Mary 26 PA, Sarah 1 OH, and George W. Meeks 6 OH, relationship unknown.  This Meeks youngster may have been a relative, perhaps Mary's son from a prior marriage, but he does not appear with this family in any other census through 1880. 

James, the father, was found in two probate cases as Ohio v. James H. Hudkins, 3 Mar 1879 (#2093) and much earlier in 10 Feb 1852 (#2382).  Both cases deal with money owed to others and assault.  By the 1860 federal census, Bryan, Pulaski Twp, p45A, and the 1870 federal census, p47-48, the Hudkins family had expanded.  James and Mary were the parents of the following children: Sarah Ann (29 Jan 1849 OH - 6 Mar 1908; m. David Basil Athy, 15 May 1870, Wms Co [Marriages, V4 p116]); Lucinda (1851 OH - ?; m. John Metzker, 1 May 1870, Wms Co [Marriages, V4 p113]); Margaret (1853 OH -1892; m. Archibald Gusler); Mary (23 Apr 1855 OH - 20 Oct 1921; m. Orville A. Whitney, 17 Oct 1875, Wms Co [Marriages, V4 p426]); John W. (1858 OH - aft 1890; m. Jennie McCafferty, 26 June 1880, Wms Co [Marriages, V4 p692]); Abraham (1859 OH - 10 Oct 1938; m. Katy Zigler); George Washington (1861 OH - 23 July 1921; m. Mrs. Eva J. Sperling Christman/Chrisman, 5 Aug 1897, Wms Co [Marriages, V7 #390]); James Henry Jr., (1863 OH - 21 July 1923; m. Fannie Blessing, 5 Jan 1887, Wms Co [Marriages, V5 #926]), and William (1866 OH - aft 1880).

On 12 Mar 1874 Mary Ann Hudkins petitioned the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court (Journal 8 p216; Roll 26 case number 9), requesting a divorce.  Mary said that on 2 July 1873 husband James had been extremely cruel to her by choking, kicking, and chasing her with a large hack whip.  She also cited him with gross neglect as she and her children had little food or clothing.  She specifically mentioned sons William and James Jr., as being in need of these basics of life.  James held property in Bryan and he was owed money by various men, such as William J. Bryan, who made a promissory note that had yet to be paid (Roll 26 case number 110).  The court dismissed her petition and declared "no divorce." 

Sometime between 1875-1880 the family moved to Noble Twp, Defiance Co, OH, where they were listed in the federal census, p126A, as James 60 PA, Mary Ann 56 PA, George 19 OH, and William 14 OH.  The census taker noted on the census form that mother Mary Ann had a broken arm.  Perhaps this was further abuse, perhaps not.  In any event the couple remained married until Mary Ann died on 3 Nov 1896 @72Y 5M 22D.  James died on 19 June 1897 @76Y 11M 26D and was buried beside his wife in the Bryan Fountain Grove Cemetery. Son John W. Hudkins sold his father's land in Pulaski Twp to his brother Abraham c. 16 Oct 1890.

The Last Will and Testament of James Hudkins, June 1897
Part 2

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Hubbard


Mary Satterlee Hubbard v John Hubbard
Two Mrs. Hubbards, Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1883
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

Mary Satterlee married John Hubbard, resident of Defiance Co, OH on 3 July 1879 in Defiance.  She appeared in the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court (Journal 12 p136 - 28 Nov 1883; Roll 39 Box 129 case number 1189 - 14 Aug 1883) and stated that John had abandoned her five days after their wedding.  Mary told the court as of 14 Aug 1883 John had another living wife and he had not offered Mary any support.  The court granted her a divorce.  The only other data from this case was at the time of the filing Mary stated she had been a resident of Ohio for 20 years.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Householder


Queen Altriver/Atkinson Householder v Louis Householder (Journal 8 p191 - 14 Nov 1873; Roll 26 case number 73 - Nov 1873)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married in Uniontown, Stark Co, OH on 12 Nov 1857, according to Queen, but a check of the marriage records there did not yield this information.  In the 1860 Center Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p91, the Householder family was recorded as Louis 29 Elser, Uran 21 OH, Sarah J 2 OH, and William 1 OH; a Jacob Householder 39 Elser and his family lived nearby.  The family increased and moved according to the 1870 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census p20 as Quiver C 32 PA, Louis 46 ELS teamster, Sarah J 13 OH, Milton 12 OH, Emma 6 OH, and Louis 3 OH. 

Queen stated that the couple had five children, Sarah J (16), Milton HW (14), Emma C (10), Louis A (6), and Anna Belle (b 6 Mar 1871).  She asked for reasonable alimony as Louis refused to furnish support for the children.  He left her on 30 June 1870.  Louis was ordered by the court to pay alimony of $100 and an additional $100 for six years.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Hollis


Amelia Clementine White Hollis v Charles Robert Hollis (Journal 11 p391 - 16 Mar and 20 May 1882; Roll 37 case number 986 - 3 Feb 1882)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married in Bryan, Pulaski Twp on 15 Nov 1863 (Amelia stated in court) but the record showed this marriage took place on 15 Jan 1864 (Marriage V3 p335).  In the 1870 Bryan federal census, p46, the family was listed as CR Hollis 33 OH auctioneer and Amelia C 24 OH.  In the Williams County, OH Directory, 1877, CR Hollis was a dealer in watches and jewelry in Bryan on the east side of the courthouse square; the business was established in 1862. In the 1880 Bryan federal census, p641B, the family expanded to CR 42 OH, father English; mother French; Clementine 35 OH; father PA; mother ME; Guy 3 OH, male infant 1 month OH, and his nephew Charles Winans 20 OH store clerk.

Amelia said her husband perpetrated a fraud on her, abandoning her and minor children, and leaving them destitute.  They lived in Bryan some 17 or 18 years.  On 6 Sept 1880 Charles bought $2,000 worth of goods from Mr. Siegler and asked her to give a warranty for this purchase.  Charles then sold the premises to Lucius W. Siegler.  Charles' brother, William J. Hollis, had his right leg amputated and Charles said he needed money to help his brother.  Charles answered the court about this divorce action and said Amelia slept with Matt Laser, an apprentice, and he (Laser) was the father of their baby.  Amelia said she did not want to live in Bryan any longer.  Their children were Guy E (b 13 Jun 1876) and James C (b 23 Apr 1880). 

Amelia gave a description of Charles' real estate.  She also said on 31 Jan 1882 he took $5,000 and left her.  She brought two witnesses, HJ Sigler and a Mr. Aulsbrook, to court to testify for her.  According to the record Charles was ordered to pay alimony and the divorce was granted.

Amelia, the daughter of Samuel and Lecta White, was enumerated with her parents in the 1850 Hanover Twp, Ashland Co, OH federal census p123A as Samuel White tanner 43 PA, LT 43 ME, William 14 OH, Parmela 13 OH, Samuel W 12 OH, Mary M 10 OH, Henry 8 OH, Amelia A 5 OH, and Melvin 4 OH; they were listed in the 1860 Hayesville, Ashland Co, OH federal census p154 as Samuel White 53 PA, Lecta 53 ME, William C 24 OH, Samuel W 22 OH, Permelia A 23 OH, Henry H 19 OH, and Amelia C 16 OH.

Charles was the son of Allen and Julia Barnes Hollis. The family was enumerated in the 1850 Sherman, Huron Co, OH federal census p110A as Allen farmer 40 VT, Julia A 40 VT, Mary A 18 VT, Sarah A17 OH, Luther A 15 OH, William 14 OH, Charles 12 OH, Elizabeth 10 OH, Chester 8 OH, Lucius 6 OH, Lucy A 4 OH, and Eugene 2 OH. Stories of Fountain City, Van Gundy, 1975, p165, mentioned a Hollis Jewelry Store on the north side of West High; Charles was the first jeweler in Bryan.  He left Bryan for Benton Harbor, Berrien Co, MI where he established CR and Son Jewelers and lived in Piepstone Twp;he died on 26 Dec 1897.  Interestingly, Amelia Hollis, born Nov 1845 OH, was listed in the 1900 Benton Harbor, Berrien Co, MI federal census p4A as Emelia C 54Y OH, mother of two living children (Guy and James); she was noted as a widow.  By 1910 Amelia was a housekeeper for Harl Dano in Pipestone, Berrien Co, MI.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Hodson

Robert Van Buren Hodson v Mary Ann Neil Hodson (Journal 8 p190 - 14 Nov 1873; Roll 26 case number 72 - Nov 1872)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 21 October 2010)

The couple was married on 17 Mar 1870 in Bryan, Wms Co (Marriage V4 p105).  Robert, b 8 June 1845, Richland Co, OH, was the son of John and Susan Jump Hodson, natives of England and Maryland, respectively. According to The History of Williams County, Goodspeed, 1882, p792, Robert was an orphan at a young age (father died in 1847 and mother in 1848) and was reared by his grandparents.  At age 21 he left Huron Co, OH and traveled to this county to settle on land left him by his father.   Mary Ann, b 11 Sept 1851 in Richland Co, OH, was the daughter of James and Mary Naggle Neil.  The Neil family appeared in the 1860 Jefferson Twp federal census as James 42 PA minister, Mary 45 OH, and children including Mary 8 OH.  By the 1870 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census, p20, the newly married Hodsons were listed as Robert 25 OH and Mary Ann 18 OH. 

Robert told the court that Mary Ann had been willfully absent for more than three years and he wanted a divorce.  The divorce was finalized on14 Nov 1873.  Speculation exists that several days later on 30 Nov 1873 Mary Ann married Anthony Dien in Wms Co (Marriage V4 p305).   The couple was enumerated in the 1880 Bridgewater Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census as Anthony 58 NY-OH-NY and Mary 1841, but the record shows her too old and born in IA. She died on 20 June 1881 and was buried in Shiffler Cemetery beside her parents.

Robert married Susannah A. Burns in Wms Co on 29 Mar 1874 (Marriage V4 p328) and they had the following children: Theodore S (b 25 Feb 1875), John G (b 10 Apr 1877), Cora H (b 2 Nov 1878), Thomas R (b 6 Oct 1880), Alfred W (b 28 Apr 1885), Zula Bess (b 11 Aug 1887), and Grace M (b 27 Jan 1891). Susan was the daughter of John Wesley Burns; she was born in Jan 1847 in MD. By Oct 1876 Robert and his family had moved to Bridgewater Twp on 80 acres. The "West Unity Eagle", 6 Jan 1880, mentioned that Robert Hodson, who lived one mile south of Cogswell Center, had a small child found dead.  Robert Hodson was listed as owning real estate in Superior Twp c1904.  He died on 14 Apr 1912; wife Susan passed away on 24 Nov 1932.

Robert V. Hodson



Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Hinton


Rebecca Ellen Haughey Riggleman Hinton v Charles Hinton

Older Postmistress Weds Itinerant Younger Farmhand, Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1885

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

For examples of an older man marrying a younger lady, one only needs to read the doings of modern "Hollywood style" couples or historical detailing of any age.  The reverse situation, while not unusual, seems to be rare in the annals of Williams County, Ohio divorce records.  Loneliness, mid-life crisis, or simply help on the farm may be some of the reasons for this 40-year-old widow marrying a man 12 years her junior.  She lived to regret her actions.

Rebecca Ellen Haughey, daughter of Robert and Hannah Wycoff Haughey, was born in Ashland or Wayne Co, OH, on 5 Feb 1840.  Her Delaware native father Robert was the son of a man who owned 90 slaves and served in the Revolutionary War.  Robert's parents died when he was young, so he was shuttled from one relative to another.  His first wife, Catherine Hammal, was the mother of two children.  Upon her death, Robert married 17-year-old Hannah Wycoff and together they had 14 children.  For a time the couple lived in Steubenville, Jefferson Co, OH, but by 1834 they moved to Wayne Co, OH.  Many of the family members enjoyed a love of reading spawned by their father and several of the children became teachers.

Their daughter Rebecca was married on 8 Apr 1858 in Medina Co, OH to George Riggleman, b. 12 Oct 1836, in Guilford Twp, Medina Co, OH, son of John and Rebecca Coleman Riggleman.  Sometime before Apr 1859, the Rigglemans moved to NW Twp, Wms Co, OH.  They were enumerated there in the 1860 federal census, p7, as George 23 OH, Rebecca 20 OH, and Willis 1 OH.  George decided to enlist in Co F 196th OVI as a private on 8 Mar 1865 and saw some action in the Civil War until his discharge two months later.  The family was listed in the 1870 NW Twp federal census, p7, as George 32 OH, Rebecca 30 OH, Willis 11 OH, John S 9 OH, James A 3 OH, and Bertie 8/12 OH.

George was the first postmaster in NW Twp and owned 80 acres one mile west of Gravel Hill.  He contracted typhoid, died on 21 Jan 1878, and was buried in the Billingstown Cemetery.  Rebecca took over his postal duties, a position she held for over 25 years.  She also applied for and received a Civil War widow's pension.

Rebecca and George were the parents of six known children: Willis M. (7 Apr 1859 - 20 Oct 1937, Fenton, Genesee Co, MI, m1 Lodema J. Knapp, 1879; m2 2 Dec 1895, Mrs. Georgia A. Rector); John S. (6 Apr 1861 - 11 Apr 1940, Camden Twp, Hillsdale Co, MI; m1 5 July 1884, Adella Neer, divorced; m2 Carrie Foster Newman); James Ashley (2 May 1867 - 15 Oct 1939, Columbia, Wms Co, OH; m1 Ora Cook, 9 Dec 1894; m2 Edna Miller Jackman); Bertie (8 Sept 1869 - 31 Oct 1955, Battle Creek, Calhoun Co, MI; m. Sarah Cook, 6 May 1893); Ella May (17/19 Apr 1872 - 13 Sept 1894; m Charles Wilks, 3 Nov 1889, divorced); and her twin Elmer (17/19 Apr 1872 - 28/29 Apr 1872).  The boys John, James, and Bertie were charter members of the NW Twp Brass Band.

In the 1860 NW Twp PO Nettle Lake federal census, p16, William Leget and wife Rebecca had an 8-year-old Charles Hinton living with them.  Again in the 1870 federal census for Springlake, Florence Twp, p7, the elderly Leggetts have 18-year-old Charles Hinton with them, listed as a domestic laborer.  By the 1880 federal census for NW Twp, p438D, this Charles Hinton had moved into the Rebecca Riggleman household as follows: Rebecca 40 OH, Willis 21, John 19, James 13, Bertie 10, Ella 8, and Charles Hinton 28 OH-OH-MD.  On 28 Aug 1880 in Reading, Hillsdale Co, MI, Rebecca Riggleman married Charles Hinton (Lib E p312).

According to the Williams County Civil and Criminal Court records (Journal 13 p351 - 23 Dec 1885; Roll 42 case number 1527 - 25 Sept 1885) Rebecca appeared in court requesting a divorce from husband Charles, citing his gross neglect of duty and willful absence for three years or more.  Even though Rebecca had the Riggleman farm and extensive personal property she wanted alimony of $300 as a lien on his real estate.  She also wanted to be restored to her former name of Rebecca Riggleman.  The court granted her a divorce and nothing further.  Apparently Charles did not have any tangible assets.

From the 1900 Butler, DeKalb Co, IN federal census records, Charles, a stone quarryman, was born in Jan 1852 OH and lived as a boarder in the household of Ezra and Alice Hopkins.  Charles was listed as married for one year (1899) but no bride was posted in this record.  By 1910 Charles was an inmae of the Williams Co, OH Infirmary; he was listed as being 56Y OH-OH-OH, a shoemaker, and had married two times but was a widower then.

Rebecca died on 7 Aug 1925 @85Y 6M 2D was buried beside husband George.  Note that two of their children were also divorced.  Rebecca was honored in several newspaper articles and Presidents, Soldiers, and Statesmen, 1905, p624-625, as the NW Twp postmistress and widow of George Riggleman, but she was never mentioned as being married and divorced from Charles Hinton.  

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Hinman

Calvin Jacob Hinman v Mary E. Kimmel Hinman (Journal 10 p183/234 - 25 June 1879; Roll 34 case number 639 - June 1879)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married by Joseph Showalter, MG for German Baptist Church, on 28 Mar 1859 in Berlin, Stark Co, OH (Marriage V5 p92).  Calvin told the court they were married on 15 Feb 1859.  He charged Mary with adultery on 30 June 1862 at the home of Jacob Kinsey in Portage Co, OH.  On 10 Jan 1866 she committed adultery with Ed Hunter at their home in NW Twp, Wms Co.  The couple had two children, Hollis 16 and Harvey 12, both of whom lived with their mother in Akron, Summit Co, OH.  

Calvin produced witness, SJ Ward, a physician from Suffield, Portage Co, OH, who told the court he had known both parties for twenty years.  He said in June 1862 Mary resided with the Kinsey family as their housekeeper.  In Oct 1862 Mary told him that Jacob Kinsey had come to her bed and slept with her.  Now she was in a family way by him and that as her husband, Calvin, had been gone a year in the service she was afraid she would have trouble about "it".  At the time she was 3 months pregnant.  Calvin also produced the following witnesses for his side: Milton B. Crist, Archibald Malcolm, and Josiah Boyers.  The court granted the divorce.

Calvin, born 22 Jan 1842 in Coventry Twp, Summit Co, OH, was the son of Orel Smith and Esther Sausaman Hinman.  Mary E. Kimmel, born 8 Aug 1839 in Lake Twp, Stark Co, OH, was the daughter of Jacob and Eliza Brumbaugh Kimmel. The couple was listed in the 1860 Lake, Stark Co, OH federal census p372 as Calvin J. Hinman 20 OH, Mary E 20 OH, and Almedia 1 OH.

According to the 1880 Akron, Summit Co, OH federal census p84, Mary Hinman was listed as ME Hinman 42 OH-PA-OH, Hattie 17 OH, Harvey 12 OH, and 4 boarders, all male.  Mary died on 19 Feb 1923 in Aspen, Pitkin Co, CO.  Her children were Alice Alameda, Hattie Mae, and Harvey Ellsworth, all born in Hartville, Stark Co, OH.  Apparently Mary married again as she was designated Harvey’s mother in the 1910 and 1920 Pitkin Co, Co federal census and her name was Mary A. King.

Calvin Hinman was listed in the Center Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census p611 as Calvin Hinman 38 divorced boarder OH-NY-PA; he lived with physician Jacob M Shutt 33 IN, Catharine A 34 (Calvin’s sister) and their children.

The West Unity Eagle, 14 Jan 1890, stated that Calvin Hinman and his brother-in-law Dr. JM Shutt, of Williams Center, were arrested for making moonshine.  The still was discovered when a fire broke out at the doctor's residence.  Revenue officers from Toledo drove to Melbern where Calvin lived and found a couple of jars of distilled liquor.  He and the doctor were taken to Toledo where Calvin was discharged.  Friends said that the still was only used for experimental purposes, but it was later claimed that the pair were about to open a drug store at Melbern and were making their own high wines in violation of the law."

From the 1900 Marlboro, Stark Co, OH federal census p10B the Hinmans were listed as Calvin 58Y Jan 1842 OH-OH-OH and wife Anna 56Y Mar 1844 OH-OH-OH, mar c1882 with no children.  Calvin died in Middlebranch, Stark Co, OH on 8 Mar 1920; his widow, Anna Wise Hinman, died on 11 Feb 1928 in Magadore, Stark Co, OH.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Himes (John W.)


John W. Himes v Viola K. Campbell Himes (Journal 10 p428 - Nov 1878/15 Apr 1880; Roll 33 case number 515 - 23 Sept 1878/ Feb 1880)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married on 30 Aug 1875 in Wms Co (Marriage V4 p415).  John was the son of Peter and Margaret Beavers Himes.  They were from Lawrence Twp, Tuscarawus Co, OH.  The Himes family was enumerated in the 1850 Pulaski Twp federal census, p89, and in the 1870 Pulaski Twp federal census, p11, as Peter 53 OH, Margaret 49 OH, William 30, Lovina 19, John 18, Marilla 16, Emery 14, Andrew 11, and Adeline 6.  Stories of Fountain City, Van Gundy, 1975, p50, tells of the shooting of father Peter Himes on 3 Dec 1873 by Benjamin Evarts; Himes was killed and there appears to be some mystery as to why he was hiding on the Evart property at nighttime.  Mother Margaret had lost a leg.  Nothing is known of Viola's parentage.

John claimed that Viola committed adultery with William Barnes or William Beavers at the home of Jacob Beavers in Bryan on 5 June 1878.  She left John and stayed at a house of ill fame in Bryan.  He called the following witnesses: Jane Crisman, Mary E. Leichty, Mary E. Maltby, and L. Campbell on 1 Dec 1879.  He received custody of children Martha A (b. 6 Dec 1875) and George (9M).  By the 1880 Bryan federal census, p658C, the divorced John was listed as 26 along with children Martha 4, and George 2, plus mother Margaret 57 and siblings Andrew 20 and Addie 15.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Himes (James)


James F. Himes v Mary Deakins Himes (Journal 12 p409 - 22 Dec 1884)see Deakins

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married on 2 July 1874 in Wms Co (Marriage V4 p342).  James was the son of FH and Matilda Himes, enumerated in the 1870 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census, p48, as FH 41 OH carpenter, Matilda 39 OH, Olive 21, James 17, Adaline 14, William 12, Alonzo E 7, and Alice C 4, all born in Ohio.  Mary was the daughter of James and Cynthia Hayes Deakins; the family was listed in the 1870 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census, p54, as James Deakins 59 PA, Cynthia 56 OH, Richard 19, William 17, Mary S 14, all born in Ohio.  By the 1880 Bryan federal census, p639B, the married couple was enumerated as James Himes 27 OH laborer, Mary 23 OH, Gertie 4 OH, with her mother Cynthia Deakins 67 WU, and brother Richard Deakins 29 PA.  Their daughter Edna Gertie Himes was born on 16 Oct 1875, Bryan (Birth V1 p85).

James charged Mary with adultery.  He received custody of their only child.  Mary later married Eugene Otto Brown on 21 Dec 1887, Wms Co (Marriage V5 #1124).  Eugene, born in Aug 1856 MN, was listed in the 1900 Wasioja, Dodge Co, MN federal census p2A as Eugene 44 MN, Mary S. wife 43Y Sept 1856 OH-OH-OH, the mother of 4 children with 2 living, and son Donnelly 7Y Oct 1892 MN. In the 1910 DeVoe Twp, Faulk Co, SD federal census p1B, the Browns were enumerated as Eugene 50 MN, Mary S 53 OH-OH-OH (mother of 3 children with 2 living), and son Donnelly 17 MN.  According to this census Mary had been married before.