23 October 2010

Black Sheep Stories of Williams County, Ohio - Loveless


Sensation at West Unity - Lucy Loveless

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

(I must be getting a reputation for pursuing unusual types of genealogical data; my friend Carolyn Pfiester found this article in The Bryan Democrat, 1 August 1878, p4 c3, and copied it for me.  Of course, I couldn’t resist nosing about and found a great deal of data on the families included.  Here is the genealogical detailing of the unfortunate mother who caused a sensation in West Unity.)

The usually quiet community of West Unity was thrown into a state of great excitement early last Friday morning (26 July 1878) by a report of finding a newborn babe in the vault of the water closet back of the residence of GW Grindle (on Jackson Street).  An investigation of the matter proved the report to be too true.  It appears that a short time since a young girl named Lucy Loveless was given employment in the home of Mr. Grindle where she remained without them having any knowledge of her being in an interesting state, until early Friday morning when her absence from the home excited suspicion and a hunt instigated which resulted in the finding of the child as above stated. Dr. Finch was called in but the girl who had returned to the house denied all knowledge of the child and it was not until the examination by the jury, impaneled by HH Peppard, Justice of the Peace, that she confessed her parentage.  The verdict returned by the jury was “that the child came to its death by drowning in the vault of the privy and it was thrown there by the hands of Lucy Loveless.”  The girl says she strove to keep the birth a secret through fear of her brother-in-law, who she claims is the seducer, saying that he threatened her life if it became known.  She also claims that he compelled her to accede to his foul and most unscrupulous demands. – Eagle. No record of this proceeding has been found in the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court Records for that timeframe; therefore, it would appear that there was no criminal charge lodged against anyone in this matter.

With the above newspaper article as a starting point, I discovered the following information concerning Lucy Loveless and her kin.  Again, we must not judge Lucy’s actions as we do not know all the circumstances, but here’s what we do know:

Lucy Loveless, b c1856 NY, was the daughter of Crandall and Anna Baker Loveless, natives of West Butler, Wayne Co, NY.  Crandall, son of Ransom and Mary Hodges Loveless, was born on 11 Oct 1827 and died 27 Dec 1872 in Amboy Twp, Hillsdale Co, MI.  His wife Anna Baker, parentage unknown, b1829-1830, married Crandall prior to 1850 and the family was enumerated in the 1860 West Butler, Wayne Co, NY federal census, p108, as Crandall 32 NY farmer, Ann E. 30 NY, Olive 9 NY, John C 7 NY, Lucy A 4 NY, Sylvia 2 NY, and James C 6/12 NY. Father Ransom Loveless was a lieutenant in the War of 1812 and lived out his days in West Butler, NY.

Crandall’s brother Hiram Loveless and his wife Sarah M. Proctor, daughter of Leonard and Loraine Proctor, had moved to Gorham Twp, Fulton Co, OH in time to be listed in the federal census of 1860; Sarah Proctor Loveless’ parents had moved to Gorham Twp in time to be enumerated in the federal census of 1850, so one can see that the Proctors came here first, followed by Hiram Loveless, and later by his brother Crandall.  The 1858 Fulton Co Atlas showed 70 acres owned by H. Loveless and 80 acres by Leonard Proctor in Sec 14 of Gorham Twp; by 1874 Hiram owned property in Sections 6 and 8 on the outskirts of West Unity and land in Brady Twp at various locations. Whether brother Crandall ever owned property here is not currently known.

Crandall Loveless and his family were again listed in the 1870 Millcreek Twp, Wms Co, OH PO Primrose federal census p129 as Crandall 43 NY farmer, Ann 41 NY, Olevia 19 NY, John 17 NY, Malissa 15 NY, Silvia 12 NY, James 10 NY, Ida 6 NY, and Alphonso 2 OH, leading one to surmise that Crandall and his family migrated to Ohio c1864.  Crandall and Ann had the following children: Susan Olive 1851 - ?; m Eugene Mattison/Madison; John Chester 1853 – aft 1870; Lucy Ann (our subject); Sylvia 1858 – aft 1870; James C. 1860 – aft 1870; David Oct 1862-7 Oct 1867; Ida Jan 1864 – aft 1884; Eva July 1866 – 13 Oct 1867; and Alphonzo 1869 – 1956; M. Jennie Mamie Howard. 

Lucy’s little sister, Ida, was taken into the David M. Webb household as evidenced by the 1880 West Unity, Wms Co, OH federal census p510A, living on Church St. as David M. Webb 50 OH, Nancy (Grant) 46 OH, and Ida Loveless 16 NY servant.  The Webbs according to Mr. Webb’s obituary treated Ida as a daughter.

The brother-in-law who appears to have been the father of Lucy’s child may have been Eugene Mattison whose parents were Nathan and Ardelia Matteson of Madison Twp.  Eugene’s father died c1854 and his widowed mother became the second wife of Michael Pifer of West Unity (whose unsuccessful divorce detailing stemming from charges brought by his third wife was recently included in this newsletter – Dec 2006 issue). There was a probate record for Nathan Matteson on 17 Oct 1854 (#1335) when Eugene’s mother Ardelia was named the guardian for her sons.  The Matteson sons were found in the 1870 Brady Twp federal census as Eugene Madison 18 OH harness maker, living in the household of Henry Shawley, and Frank Matteson 17 OH living in the 1870 Millcreek Twp household of the John Coleman family.  Eugene and Olena Loveless became the parents of daughter Della, b. 14 Sept 1873, Wms Co (Births V1 p61).  Little Della was probably named after her grandmother, Ardelia Matteson Pifer.  There was no marriage record in Wms Co for Eugene Mattison and Susan Olive Love It would seem that Lucy Loveless took the position of servant in the GW Grindle family sometime in 1878.  Her father had died and possibly so had her mother, making it imperative for her to secure such a position, especially since she was pregnant and would have to make a living for herself.

So what happened to Lucy after the inquest stated in the newspaper article?  In order to answer this one, must look at a Civil War pension record, a 1900 federal census enumeration, and an obituary from the West Unity Advance Reporter dated 1901. 

Andrew Jackson Cain, son of Francis and Sarah Cain, was born on 26 Jan 1837 in Scipioville, Cayuga Co, NY.  He and his family were listed in the 1850 Scipio federal census p178-179 as Francis Cain 44 NY farmer, Sarah 27 NY, Henrietta 19 NY, Andrew 17 NY, Ira 12 NY, Benjamin 11 NY, Sarah J 8 NY, David 7 NY, and Thomas 2 NY.  Andrew first married Nancy J. Merryfield in 1853.  They were enumerated in the 1860 Scipio, Cayuga Co, NY federal census p548 as Andrew Cain 27 NY farm laborer, Nancy 27 NY, and Mandessy 3 NY.  Andrew served in the Civil War when he enlisted as a private in Co D 75th NY Infantry on 21 Sept 1861; he was honorably discharged on 16 Oct 1862 at Camp Kearney, Alexandria, VA due to disability and later applied for and received a pension sometime after 26 Mar 1863.  Andrew and his family moved to Wisconsin by 1866 and according to the 1870 Jackson, Adams Co, WI federal census p25, the Cain family was listed as AF Cain 38 NY farmer, Nancy 33 NY, and Melissa 13 NY. 

Before the startling discovery of Lucy Loveless’ part in the death of her baby, Andrew Cain and family moved to West Unity from Jackson, WI, c1871, and were enumerated in the 1880 Brady Twp federal census p509D as Andrew Cain 46 NY carpenter and wife Nancy J 43 NJ.  His daughter Mandanna W., 23 NY, lived close by as the wife of George W. More, 23, also a carpenter, along with Andrew’s granddaughters, Gertrude 3 OH and Sylvia 1 OH (p508A).  Andrew’s wife Nancy died on 30 July 1884 in Wms Co (Death V2 p20).    

Sometime between 1885-1886 Andrew Cain married Lucy Loveless.  On 6 Sept 1891 they had an unnamed son born who later died either the same day or shortly after (Wms Co Births V2; Wms Co Deaths V2 p62). According to the 1900 West Unity, Brady Twp federal census p6B the family was enumerated as Andrew J. Cain 67 NY, wife Lucy (no age or b-date) NY, Robert Cain, stepson, 16 b Jan 1884 MI-unknown-OH, and son James 12 b Dec 1887 OH-NY-NY; the Cains were married for 15 years and had 1 surviving child.  An interesting side note was also found in this census: Lucy Cain could not read or write.
Andrew Cain died on 1 Jan 1901 @63Y 11M 4D of a stroke and was buried in Floral Grove Cemetery. West Unity.  His grave was decorated with a GAR CW marker.  Upon his death, according to his obituary in a random collection of obits from West Unity Advance Reporter, p12, Andrew had a son (unnamed) and a daughter, Mrs. Mandana Merryfield of Chicago.  His wife, children, 3 brothers and 1 sister in NY survived him.  Andrew was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church of West Unity and Reverend FM Money conducted his funeral service. AJ Cain’s estate was probated on 20 Aug 1901 (case number 4278).  On 7 Jan or July 1901 Lucy, the widow, applied for a widow’s pension based on her husband’s CW service.

By the 1910 Montpelier, Superior Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p9B, Lucy’s son Robert Cain was listed as Robert 26 OH-WI-NY foreman at the Round House along with his wife of 3 years Marie 24 Germany, and their daughter Ruth M 1 4/12 OH.  If the census information is correct, Lucy gave birth to Robert in Jan 1884 in Wisconsin; Robert’s father was born in NY.  

Speculation #1: Lucy had made the acquaintance of Andrew Cain sometime in 1883 in this area, became pregnant, traveled to Wisconsin to have her baby, and came back to West Unity or the area in order to marry the baby’s widowed father, Andrew Cain.  

Speculation #2: Lucy lived in Wisconsin after the incident here, became pregnant, came back to West Unity, met Andrew Cain, a recent widower, and married him.  He gave Robert, her son, his name, and later had two children by Lucy.  

Speculation #3: Lucy made up the story of being pregnant by her brother-in-law to cover up a relationship with Andrew Cain, who was living in West Unity at the time of these events. The secrets of this family may be revealed by further research of the sons, Robert and James Cain.  Nothing further is currently known of Lucy Loveless Cain after 1901, twenty-three years after the sensation in West Unity, Ohio.

The Proctors and Hiram Loveless

The Leonard Proctor family was listed in the 1840 Butler, Wayne Co, NY federal census.  According to the 1850 Gorham Twp, Fulton Co, OH federal census p348 the family was enumerated as Leonard Proctor 53 NY, Lorain 51 NY, Sarah 26 NY, Henry 25 NY, Arzlia 16 NY, and Wallace 4/12 OH.  A daughter Sally M. 22 NY was listed with her husband, Hiram Loveless, in the 1850 Butler, Wayne Co, NY federal census p323.  Once again the Proctors were found in the 1860 Gorham Twp, Fulton Co, OH federal census p417B as Leonard Proctor 63 NY and Loraine 60 NY; the were located not far from married daughter Sarah Proctor Loveless and husband Hiram as Hiram Loveless 34 NY, Sarah 32 NY, Sarah H. 7 NY, Viola 6 OH, Jessie (f) 4 OH, Anzalia 2 OH, and Matilda Fellows 18 OH.
Leonard Proctor, b c1797, died on 14 Mar 1863 and was buried in the Olive Branch Cem, Millcreek Twp, Wms Co, OH.  His will (Fulton Co, OH V2 p70) was signed on 6 Feb 1853 and probated 16 Mar 1863, in which he devises that his wife Lorain, in lieu of dower, received 70 acres of land (W ½ SW ¼ of Sec 14 in T9S, R1W in Gorham Twp), during her lifetime, being the home farm and at her death, the property would go to Henry Proctor and Sarah M. Loveless.
The Proctors were the parents of the following children: Sarah 1822 NY - ?, Henry 1825 NY - ?, Arzelia 1830 – 22 May 1857 @27Y 8M; m JH McIntire; William Wallace 1843 – 26 Apt 1870 @7Y 5M 8D.  There are discrepancies between the 1850 census and the tombstone inscriptions of the children, all with death dates buried with their parents in the Olive Branch Cem.  In the 1870 West Unity, Brady Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p12 we find Lorain Proctor 70 NY living with the Loveless family as Hiram B. 44 NY farmer, Sarah M 43 NY, Sarah H. 18 NY, Viola 16 OH, Jessie 13 OH, Hattie 8 OH, and Jennie 6 OH.  By 1871 Lorain Proctor died and was buried beside her husband Leonard as Lorain Proctor, 1799-1871. 
Our story now turns to the Loveless family. Tragedy befell this group as father Hiram, b 1826, died on 15 May 1874 in West Unity and was buried in Floral Grove Cem; his grave was decorated with a CW marker.  His estate was probated in Wms Co, OH (case number 1656) on 20 May 1874.  By 1 Apr 1875 (case number 1722) his children, Hattie, Hiram B, and Jennie Loveless were granted guardians. The Hiram Loveless children were: Mary 31 Mar 1850 – 19 Aug 1850; Sarah H. 1852 - ?; Viola L. 1856 OH – 25 Jan 1885; m James J. Theobold; Jessie 1860 – 18 May 1888; m Frank Barkdoll; Harriet 1862 – 1926; m Emitt G. Ely; Jennie 1864 – 20 Nov 1877; and Hiram Bird 9 Dec 1872 (Births V1 p45) – 9 Dec 1879 (Deaths V1 p45).  The History of Williams County, Ohio, Weston Goodspeed, 1882, p393, 405, and 523, plus the census information tell us that daughters, Hattie and Jessie Loveless, were both teachers in West Unity (1877) and Millcreek Twp (Hattie – 1881).  Daughter Viola Theobold in 1880 was listed as a dressmaker on North Street, West Unity, OH along with her husband James, a clerk; however she was buried in 1885 as Viola L. Loveless.
The 1880 and 1900 Brady Twp, Wms Co, OH federal censuses listed Sarah M. Loveless as of 1880 living with daughters Jessie and Hattie; by 1900 she resided with daughter Hattie, now wife to Emitt Ely and their family.  Sarah M. Proctor Loveless died in 1915 and was buried in the Loveless family plot in Floral Grove Cemetery, West Unity, OH, outliving her husband Hiram by 41 years.

GW Grindle and Family

Returning to the story in West Unity, the tragedy began in the home of GW Grindle.  Lucy Loveless was a servant in that home for a short period.  Who were the Grindles and why were they unaware of Lucy’s pregnancy?  The first part is known through research but the second question may never have an answer.

Goodspeed, p667-668, outlined the history of George W. Grindle, who was born in Wayne Co, OH, on 16 Mar 1863, the son of Abraham and Susanna Gill Grindle.  Abraham moved to West Unity in 1864 and presumably so did George, a Civil War veteran and a recruiter for both Williams and Fulton Counties, attaining the rank of lieutenant.  It is likely that George came here sometime before 1864.  He was married three times and ran a stationery business in West Unity.

After the Loveless tragedy one finds George W. Grindle and family in the 1880 West Unity, Brady Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p512B as George W. 45 OH a stationery merchant, Jane 38 OH, Lincoln 18 OH, Philo 16 OH, George 10 OH, and David 1 OH.  The family lived on Jackson St not far from George’s parents, Abraham 66 PA and Susannah 64 PA.   George’s wife Jane Chamberlain lived in Wms Co as early as 1850 as she was enumerated with her widowed mother Susannah Chamberlain in both the 1850 and 1860 Brady Twp, Wms Co, OH federal censuses. 

Jane Chamberlain, daughter of Samuel and Susannah Chamberlain, married GW Grindle in Wms Co on 11 Nov 1867 (Marriages V3 p728) and would be the mother of George and David Grindle mentioned in the 1880 census.  She was also mother to John Nelson Grindle, b 24 June 1874 (Births V1 p84) and Mary Jane Grindle, b 23 Mar 1877 (Births V1 p95).  Two and a half months after the Loveless tragedy, these Grindle children died, John N. on 18 Oct 1878 (Deaths V1 p50) and Mary Jane on 19 Oct 1878 (same source).  Perhaps the children were ill for a period before their deaths and this is why Lucy Loveless was retained as a servant in the Grindle household. 

Dr. and Mrs. George W. Finch

Dr. Finch was called to the scene of the tragic discovery and might have examined Lucy when she returned to the Grindle home, but the newspaper account implies he did not as Lucy only admitted her pregnancy before the inquest.  It seems to the modern reader that the physician would have insisted that Lucy be examined if for no other reason than to insure she was physically fit after her unexplained disappearance from the Grindle home and Lucy being a prime suspect in the tragic death of the baby.  However, this is all speculation as we have no way of verifying the chain of events aside from what the newspaper details.

According to Goodspeed, p667, when Dr. George W. Finch, son of Nathaniel Finch, born in Belmont Co, OH on 15 June 1819, first came to West Unity with his wife, Mary Morrow Finch, his two worldly possessions were a horse and $10.  From this he set up a medical practice, having graduate credentials from Delaware College; his practice thrived until his death on 13 July 1879 (Deaths V2 p1), about a year after the Loveless incident; his first wife Mary died in Sept 1865 and later he married Lucy Byers Eckis, widow of Dr. Samuel Eckis, on 1 Jan 1877; however Goodspeed’s info on this marriage is opposed to the marriage record of 1 Jan 1867 (Marriages V3 p641) and the 1870 census for West Unity. 

Lucy Ann was also trained as a physician, and became the principal of West Unity’s High School from 1865-1866; after Dr. Finch’s death she continued a medical practice. The Finch couple was found in the 1850 Brady Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p4 as George Finch 26 OH physician and wife Mary 25 OH. From the 1860 West Unity federal census, p155a, one locates the Finch household as GW Finch 39 OH physician, Mary 38 OH, George 9 OH, Maria 7 OH, Adaline 3 OH, Clinton 3/12 OH, and Harriet Leach 14 OH.  In the 1870 West Unity federal census the family is enumerated as George W. Finch 50 OH physician, Lucy A. 46 OH, George 18 OH, Maria 16 OH, and Clinton 10 OH. On 4 Sept 1886 in Wms Co (Marriages V5 #869) Lucy E. Finch married Stephen B. McKelvey; his first wife, Jennie Byers, was Lucy’s sister; therefore Stephen married his sister-in-law, a custom that was not uncommon for the time frame.

HH Peppard, Justice of the Peace

Hiram H. Peppard, a lieutenant in Co D 195th OVI during the Civil War, was a member of the GAR Royer Post in West Unity as was George W. Grindle as of 1882 (Goodspeed, p394-395).  He called the inquest jury to determine a cause of death for the Loveless baby.  One finds Hiram and his family living in Brady Twp as of the 1850 federal census p3 as Hiram Peppard 27 PA monthly laborer, Armatta 28 OH, Mary 9 OH, Harriet 5 OH, Amanda 3 OH, and Mariah 1 OH.  He had married Arminta Smurr, daughter of Solomon and Sarah Strieby Smurr, on 4 Oct 1844 in East Union Twp, Wayne Co, OH.  It would appear that he had been married once before as his daughter Mary was too old to be Arminta’s daughter from this marriage. Arminta’s father, Solomon, lived next door to Dr. Finch and his wife in 1850.

From the 1860 West Unity, Brady Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p140a, the family was listed as HH Peppard 38 PA tailor, Araminta 37 OH, Mary 17 OH, Harriet 15 OH, Amanda 13 OH, Elizabeth 11 OH, William 8 OH, Francis 6 OH, Durango 3 OH, and an unnamed male 4/12 OH.  By the 1870 West Unity federal census p5, the Peppards were enumerated as Hiram H. 46 PA tailor, Aramint 47 OH, Amanda 22 OH, Elisabeth 20 OH tailoress, William 18 OH, Frances 16 OH, Durango 13 OH, Hiram 10 OH, Ellsworth 7 OH, and May 5 OH.

Hiram died on 6 Jan 1900 and was buried in Floral Grove Cem, West Unity next to his son-in-law George Clinger, also a CW Vet, but Arminta, if buried there, had no tombstone remaining when the cemetery was read by WCGS in 1993.  Hiram’s obituary (West Unity Advanced Reporter, loose collection, p128-129) stated that Hiram was born in Washington Co, PA, but moved with his parents to Wayne Co, OH c1830 where he was apprenticed as a tailor in 1836; he and his wife Arminta moved to West Unity in 1847.  He was a member of the Free Masons.  His death was attributed to apoplexy.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Marshall


Nancy Jane Cosgrove Hesket Marshall v John Marshall (Journal 11 p193 - 21 June 1881; Roll 36 case number 879 - 7 Apr 1881)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married on 3 Feb 1863 in Cumberland, Guernsey Co, OH. This was his third marriage and her second.  John, a native of Guernsey Co, parentage unknown, was born on 10 Mar 1818.  He married Eliza Jane Magee in Hocking Co, OH on 29 Oct 1841. The Marshalls were enumerated in the 1850 Farmer Twp, Defiance Co, OH federal census p67, as John 30 OH, Eliza 29 IRE, Joseph W 8 OH, Robert M 6 OH, Thomas R 4 OH, and Martha M 8M OH.  By 1851 John became a widower. His second wife was Mrs. Rachel Tenor, whom he wed on 6 July 1858, pos Defiance Co, OH according to an Internet source, but a check of the Defiance Co marriages did not yield any such data.  They do appear in the 1860 Farmer Twp, Defiance Co, OH federal census p374, as John 41 OH, Rachel 38 VA, Joseph 17 OH, Robert 16 OH, Thomas 14 OH, and Ida 1 OH.

Nancy Cosgrove, the daughter of Henry and Nancy Brown Cosgrove, was born in White Hall, PA on 22 July 1834.  According to the 1860 Cumberland, Spencer Twp, Guernsey Co, OH federal census p226, Nancy J. Hesket 25 PA lived with her parents, Henry Cosgrove 55 PA master blacksmith and Nancy 44 PA plus their Cosgrove children James W 24 PA, Sarah F 14 PA, Henry E 21 PA, William B 12 PA, Catharine 9 PA, and John E 6 OH.  Nancy Hesket, a widow of Henry Hesket, also had a son William 3 OH residing with this family. Through the next two census reports this William Hesket’s name changed to James and back to William.

 In the 1870 St Joseph Twp, Wms Co federal census, p42, the family was enumerated as John Marshall 49 OH stave factory worker, Nancy 36 PA, Robert 23 OH, Joseph S 26 OH, Thomas 22 OH, Charles  (b 11 Feb 1866) 6 OH, James Heskett 13 OH, and Ida Marshall 11 OH.   Later they had a daughter Nina, b 25 June 1875 in Wms Co (Births V1 p90).  The family was listed in the 1880 St Joseph Twp federal census, p2, as John 62 OH, Nancy 46 PA, William Heskitt 23 OH stepson, Charles Marshall 16 OH, and Nina Mae Marshall 5 OH. 

Nancy told the court that she had three children with John, Lucinda Belle, Charles (17), and Nina Mae (5), and they lived in Edgerton.  Between 6 Apr 1881- 1 Nov 1881 John was cruel to her and failed to provide food, clothing, etc.  Lucinda Lind of Ft. Wayne, IN, stated that John was often angry and threatening at the time Nancy was sick.  John, who appeared in court, said his wife was in ill health in body and mind for the last few years.  He stated that Nancy had "figments of a mind diseased" and she had no property even though she brought a list of property to court.  The court dismissed this action.

John left Wms Co in the fall of 1882 and lived with his son Thomas Marshall in Rome City, Noble Co, IN where John died on 5 Mar 1884 (online Noble Co, IN obit, unnamed newspaper for 14 Mar 1884), and was buried with his first wife and son Matthew in the Floral Grove Cem, Pioneer, OH (no stones found). In 1910 son Joseph William Marshall lived in Clearspring Twp, LaGrange Co, IN while his brothers Thomas and Robert lived in Orange Twp, Noble Co, IN. 

Nancy Marshall according to the 1900 St. Joseph Twp, Wms Co federal census p192 lived alone as Nancy b July 1835 (65) PA widow with no children (obvious error on children). Upon her death on 9 June 1909 at Manchester, Adams Co, OH, she was buried in the Maple Grove Cemetery, Edgerton (1834-1909); her daughter Nina (1875-1946) and son-in-law Dr. George Bratten (1873-1959) later joined her.  Her son Charles Marshall (1866-1957) and his wife Della H (1874-1945) were also buried nearby. 

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Mankin

Emma Mary Nelson Mankin v Benjamin W. Mankin
Elizabeth Kent Mankin v Joseph W. Mankin

Other Divorces in the Family, Divorces in Williams County, Ohio, 1867, 1884 – see Green and Kent

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 9 Jan 2011)

Are some families predisposed to the situations that lead to divorce?  This genealogical detailing begs the question that one sees in modern times as well as old  - the father runs away with another woman and the eldest son, who had many financial and emotional burdens placed upon him in turn grossly neglected his wife.  Both father and son were the defendants in their respective spouses' divorce demands.

So much has already been written about the Kent family in Bryan, Williams County, Ohio (See Native Sons Gone Wrong, Lash, 2000).  Our story picks up with Elizabeth "Betsey" Kent, b 1812-1814, Loudoun Co, VA, the daughter of Benjamin and Sarah Kent, who married Joseph W. Mankin on 27 Nov 1836, Butler Twp, Columbiana Co, OH.  Joseph W, Mankin, b Dec 1817, Columbiana Co, OH, was the son of George and Charity Jane Wright Mankin.  The Mankins and the Kents were early settlers in this county; our couple showed up in the 1850 Pulaski Twp federal census, p85, as Joseph W 33 OH, Elizabeth 36 VA, Benjamin 12 OH, George 11 OH, Sanford 11 OH, Clinton 8 OH, Hiram 7 OH, Adaline 5 OH, and Silas 3 OH. 

This family was listed in the 1860 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census, p183A, as lumber dealer JW 45 OH, Elizabeth 46 VA, Benjamin 22 OH no occupation, George 21 OH blacksmith, Sanford 21 OH, Clinton 19 OH blacksmith, Hiram 17 OH, Adaline 15 OH, Silas 13 OH, Joseph 9 OH, and Lavina 7 OH.  Several of the sons later fought in the Civil War.

Trouble brewed in the Mankin household that forced Elizabeth to appear in the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court (Journal 6 p587, 592, 596-597 – 31 Oct 1866; p621-622 – 6 Nov 1866; Roll 18 case number 73 - Apr 1866/1867) requesting a divorce.  Elizabeth told the court that all the children had reached the age of majority except Joseph, Jr., (15) and Lavina (13), and she feared that her husband planned to liquidate his assets to keep her and the minors destitute.

It seems that on 9 Jan 1866 Joseph committed adultery at a local infamous house of prostitution with Harriet Griswold and Delphine Lloyd, both women of lewd and unchaste character.  Joseph willfully abandoned Elizabeth and traveled to White Rock, Huron Co, MI, where he committed adultery with Delphine Lloyd on 15 Jan 1866.  From 1 Feb - 26 Mar 1866 he established a home in White Rock, valued at $400, and openly lived with a Mrs. Ann Mack.  He squandered his property thereby depriving Elizabeth of her only means of support.  She gave a detailed list of real estate in Bryan, including Lots 73 and 78) plus the goods and chattel owned by Joseph, totaling over $2,000.  He had a great deal of financial resources tied up in his lumber business and a large amount of money owed to him by David Oxenrider, Solomon Gotshall, and Clinton Mankin.  The court agreed that Joseph's actions warranted a divorce, and after a legal notice appeared in the Bryan Democrat, Apr 1866, a divorce was granted to Elizabeth.  In the 1870 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census p20, Elizabeth was head of household as 59 VA, along with sons Joseph 18 OH, Sanford 30 OH, and Hiram 29 OH.

According to the 1880 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census Elizabeth Mankin 64 VA, a  divorced woman, resided with her son GW and his family. Elizabeth lived out the rest of her days in Bryan and Huntington, IN, dying on 29 Mar 1890, and she was buried there in the Fountain Grove Cemetery. 

The Bryan Democrat, 3 Apr 1890 p5
Mrs. E. Mankin, for many years a resident of Bryan but lately residing with her son at Huntington, IN, died Sunday at an advanced age.  The remains were brought to Bryan and the funeral took place Tuesday from the residence of Graham Scott.

From the 1880 Monterey, Allegan Co, MI federal census p186, Joseph W. Mankin was 63 OH farmer and mill man, living with wife Hannah 37 Ireland, and Franklin Mankin 8 MI nephew. Joseph died on 12 Sept 1903 in Hopkins, Allegan Co, MI.  Apparently he married a Hannah, unknown surname or parentage, who had several children of her own.  Whether he kept in touch with his own children is not currently known.

After this domestic upheaval, oldest son, Benjamin W. Mankin, b 1838, presumably Columbiana Co, OH, married Emma Mary Nelson on 1 Jan 1868, Wms Co (Marriages V 3 p748).  Emma, daughter of Josiah and Ellen Eleanor Byers Nelson, was born on 7 Aug 1844, Mahoning Co, OH.  The Nelsons were married on 24 Nov 1842 in Mahoning Co, OH and besides Emma they had one other daughter who died young. They moved to Bryan c1851 and were listed in the 1860 Pulaski Twp federal census, p41, as Josiah 41 VA, Eleanor 33 OH, Mary 15 OH,  James P 8 OH.  After Emma's marriage to Benjamin, the couple lived with her parents as evidenced by the 1870 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census, p26, as Josiah Nelson 52 VA, Ellen 44 OH, James C Byers 19 OH farm hand, Benjamin Mankin 32 OH worker in stave factory, Emma 26 OH, J. (f) 1/12 OH.

On 25 July 1870 in Wms Co (Births V1 p18) about a month before the federal census Emma and Benjamin Mankin became parents to daughter Ada Eveline.  According to the 1880 Pulaski Twp federal census, p621C, Emma Mankin was the head of the Mankin household, living with her father.  Benjamin had left her.

Emma filed for divorce in the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court (Journal 12 p202 - 4 Jan 1884; p221 - 27 Feb 1884; Roll 40 case number 1214 - 20 Oct 1883).  Benjamin owned property in Saline Co, Nebraska, valued at $1,000.  She told the court that he had willfully abandoned both her and daughter Ada (13) and Emma wanted a divorce and financial support.  She said her mother Ella Nelson, aged 56, was sick and Emma had responsibilities to take care of her.  She called many witnesses to support her cause such as Matilda Knight, George Mankin, Mrs. Frank Mott, and Mrs. Lorenzo Swift.  The court agreed in 1884 that Emma, who wished to be restored to her maiden name, should receive a divorce and the Nebraska property. Benjamin W. Mankin married Jerusha Franciea Bar(d)well on 30 July 1884 in Ada, Kent Co, MI; he  was father to two girls, Grace (Mrs. John R. Clarke) and Gertrude (Mrs. Edwin Reamer) and he died 18 Nov 1930 in Flint, MI.

Daughter Ada married Charles L. Shasteen on 10 Dec 1892 in Wms Co (Marriages V6 #837).  Emma Nelson died on 3 Sept 1897 @53Y 1M 10D in Bryan (Deaths V3 p96) and was buried in Fountain Grove Cemetery.  Emma's obituary (Bryan Press, 30 Sept 1897) recorded her life as that "amid changed plans and unfulfilled hopes and pain and wasting she seemed only to think of her aged parents and daughter who tenderly cared for her until the final summons came."  Mother Elenor Nelson died on 28 Dec 1898; by the 1910 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census Ada Mankin born July 1870 (30) OH lived with her grandfather; currently it is unclear whether Ada was a widow or divorced from Charles Shasteen. Josiah Nelson died on 25 Nov 1911 and both Nelson parents were buried in the Fountain Grove Cemetery.  Josiah had lived in Bryan for 60 years. Emma Nelson Mankin’s daughter Ada later married Frank Uran (1860-1938) sometime after her grandfather's death.  She also married a Mr. Mallory.  Ada died in 1941 and was buried between her Nelson grandparents.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Malcolm


Lucretia Stella Williams Malcolm v Charles A. Malcolm (Journal 12 p431 - 22 Dec 1884; Journal 13 p55 - 10 Mar 1885)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married in Wms Co on 9 Sept 1880 (Marriage V4 p701). Lucretia, born 30 Dec 1857 OH, was the daughter of Andrew S. and Mary Ann White Williams. In the 1860 Superior Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p200 PO Montpelier, the Williams family was enumerated as Andrew 33 OH, Mary 29 PA, Joseph 8 OH, Martha 6 OH, Rebecca 4 OH, Lucretia 2 OH, and Charles 6/12 OH.  From the 1870 Superior Twp federal census p6 one finds the Williams family minus father Andrew as Mary A. Williams 38 OH, Joseph W 18 OH, Martha E 16 OH teacher, and Lucretia S. 12 OH. Charles, born on 29 Jan 1857 in Ruggles, Ashland Co, OH, was the son of Robert M and Elizabeth Robinson Malcolm.

Lucretia charged Charles with adultery while he was in Chicago, IL.  Their daughter, Zoe, was born on 25 May 1881, Montpelier (Birth V2 p36). 

Lucretia died on 12 Aug 1887 in Wms Co (Death V2 p43) and was buried in the Riverside Cemetery, Montpelier, along with her brother, sister, and mother.  Her brother, Dr. JW Williams became the guardian for Zoe, a minor, filed on 8 Nov 1890; Dr. Williams represented Wms Co in the Ohio General Assembly from 1891-1893.  A news item in The Bryan Democrat, 1 Sept 1887 p5 c3, stated through a letter written by JW Williams, guardian of Zoe Malcolm, that his sister Lucretia Stella had life insurance through the firm of Union Central Life of Cincinnati, and the company paid Lucretia’s heir, Zoe, $1,000 just 12 days after her death; the policy was taken out 1 Nov 1886. Daughter Zoe Malcolm lived with her maternal grandmother, Mary A. Williams, as evidenced by the 1900 Superior Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census; both of Zoe’s parents were born in OH.  Zoe, a teacher, died in 1954 in St. Petersburg, Pinellas Co, FL.

Charles married Deborah Ann Patterson c1891 and they lived in Wolf Creek, Monroe Co, WVA and Fayetteville, Fayette Co, WVA.  Charles died on 10 May 1938 in Meadow Bridge, Fayette Co, WVA.

20 October 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Lucas


Ida L. J. Langley Lucas v John Quincey Lucas (Journal 12 p293 - 16 June 1884; Roll 40 Box 133 case number 1273 - 26 Feb 1884)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 29 April 2013)

The couple was married in Hillsdale Co, MI on 21 Jan 1872 (Lib E p97). John was the son of Timothy and Lydia Draper Lucas who were enumerated in the 1860 Springfield Twp, Wms Co federal census, Stryker PO p61-61B, as Timothy Lucas 29 Canada East, Lydia 29 Canada East, Abigail 13 OH, William 11 OH, John 9 OH, and James 7 OH.  In the 1870 Springfield Twp federal census p210 the Lucas family was listed as Timothy 44 Canada, Lydia 40 Canada, Converse 6 OH, and Luther 3 OH.  By the 1880 Van Wert Co, OH federal census p273C the family had moved; neither the 1870 nor 1880 federal census listed a John Lucas with this family.

Ida told the court that John had been willfully absent for three years or more.  She wanted restoration of her maiden name and a reasonable alimony.  The divorce was granted.

Ida L P Langley was born in Steuben Co, NY c1848.  John Q. Lucas was born in Cleveland, OH c1851.  This data was taken from their marriage license, dated as stated above for South Wright Twp, Hillsdale Co, MI.


Ida L P Langley (1848 Steuben, NY – aft 1884)

John Q Lucas (1851 Cleveland OH – aft 1884)  son of Timothy Augusts Lucas and Lydia Draper
1850 East Cleveland, Cuyahoga Co, OH

1860 Springfield Twp, Williams Co, OH – John 7 OH, James 5 OH

1870 Springfield Twp, Williams Co, OH

Married 21 Jan 1872, South Wright Twp, Hillsdale Co, MI; around the same time brother James Lucas also married there; same minister

Divorce action 1884

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Loomis


Diana Stayley/Stanley Loomis v Chauncey Loomis (Journal 7 p275- 16 Mar 1869; Roll 20 case number 80 - Mar 1869)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 30 April 2013)


Diana Stayley/Stanley Loomis v Chauncey Loomis (Journal 7 p275- 16 Mar 1869; Roll 20 case number 80 - Mar 1869)
The couple was married in Medina Co, OH, on 2 Mar 1841 (Marriage Vol A p248) as Diana Stanley, bride.  Chauncey was born on 15 Jan 1816 in Torrington, Litchfield Co, CT, the son of Alvin and Florilla Burr Loomis.  The parents died in Lodi, Medina Co, OH (Alvin in 1852 and Florilla in 1875).    Diana was born c1821 in Erie Co, PA, parentage unknown; she moved to Medina Co, OH when she was seven years old with her parents.  The Loomis family was enumerated in the 1860 Harrisville, Medina Co, OH federal census as Chaucey 48 CT, Diana 30 PA, Riley 10 OH, Alvin 8 OH, Florilla 4 OH, and Alena 3 OH.

Diana claimed that on 16 Mar 1868 Chauncey was extremely cruel and guilty of gross neglect.  The couple had four children: Riley (20), Alvin (17), Florilla (13), and Alvira (11).  The case was dismissed.

According to the 1870 Superior Twp federal census, p12, the family was enumerated as Chancy 56 CT, Diana 49 PA, Riley 22 OH, Alvin 20 OH, Florilla 15 OH, and Alvira 13 OH.  By the 1874 Williams Co Atlas Diana Loomis owned property in Sec 31, Superior Twp.  In the 1880 Superior Twp federal census, p16, the family was listed as Chauncey 67 CT, Diana 58 PA-Germ-Wales, Alvira 24 OH with sons Riley and Alvin plus their families.  Diana died on 17 Feb 1881 @57Y 4M 27D in Superior Twp as found in the death records (V2 p10) for date, but her age in the census and in her obit (Bryan Democrat, 14 April 1881) do not match; Chauncey died on 3 Jan 1888 according to an Internet source, but the Wms Co Death Record (V2 p49) stated his death occurred on 20 Jan 1889, Brady Twp.

1850 Harrisville Twp, Medina Co, OH
Loomise, Chauncey 37 CT farmer
Diana 25 PA
Riley 8/12 OH

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Longanecker


Benton Longanecker v Mary J. Page Longanecker – see also Amsbaugh
An Abandoned Civil War Veteran, Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1884
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

An obituary in the Bryan Democrat, 24 Mar 1908 p1, told a brief tale of Benton Longanecker, former resident of Bryan, and an old soldier "who died at his home in Pioneer recently.  His remains were buried in the Brown Cemetery, Center Twp.  He left a widow and two brothers, AR (Alfred) and (Francis) Marion."  The tombstone for Benton reads  "Co E 163rd OVI - Civil War, born 1846." Benton’s parents were Peter and Nancy Reifsnider Longanecker.

The Longenecker family resided in Blooming Grove Twp, Richland Co, OH and was listed in the 1860 federal census p363 as Peter 48 PA plasterer, Nancy 40 PA, Delila 21 OH, Alfred 18 OH, Laura 16 OH, Catherine 15 OH, Benton 13 OH, Oliver 12 OH, Maria 9 OH, Margaret Lindsey 20 OH seamstress, and Isabella Lindsey 21 OH domestic servant. By the 1870 Jefferson Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p92 the Longeneckers were enumerated as Peter 58 PA, Nancy 52 PA, Kaiah (f) 24 OH, and Oliver 21 OH.  Either Kaiah was incorrectly reported as female when in fact this was Benton or Benton resided elsewhere, but Benton, a plasterer, was enumerated with his parents in the 1880 Brady Twp, Wms Co federal census, p515D, as teamster Peter Longnecker 63 PA, Nancy 60 PA, Benton 34 OH.  He lived with his parents even though he was married but abandoned by his bride, Mary J. Page, whom he wedded on 19 Mar 1874, Montpelier, Wms Co (Marriages V4 p328).  Mary left Benton on 12 May 1880 and her last known address in the fall of 1880 was New London, OH.  Nothing further is known of her.  In 1881 Benton lost both of his parents who were buried in Shiffler Cemetery, Jefferson Twp.

Benton appeared in the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court (Journal 12 p342 - 15 July 1884; Roll 40 case number 1293 - 17 Apr 1884). The court agreed that Mary had neglected her duty as a wife and granted him a divorce.  About this same time frame Benton’s sister, Delilah Jenny was embroiled in her own divorce with Samuel E. Amsbaugh.

Benton later married Lilly Violet Saddoris on 2 June 1891, Wms Co (Marriages V6 #454). Lilly was the daughter of John and Susan Fulton Saddoris; John died in 1859 and his widow and family were listed in the 1870 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census p48 as Susan Saddoris 49 PA, Orlando 24 OH, Filmore 21 OH, Lemuel 18 OH, Joseph 16 OH, and Lilly 12 OH.  Lilly V. Longenecker died on 6 Feb 1893 in Wms Co (Death V 3 p76).  In the 1900 Brady Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p93 Benton Longenecker, b Mar 1847 (53) OH plasterer, was a widower, which was contrary to his above-mentioned obituary, unless he married again sometime between the 1900 federal census and his death in 1908.

Next to Benton's obituary there was another article, which does not involve divorce, but revealed a touching yet tragic story of another Civil War veteran, Peter Keller.  "Despondent over the loss of his family and the thought of being maimed, Peter Keller, 60 years old, ended his life on March 20, 1908, at night by shooting himself on the grave of his wife in the Pleasant View Cemetery, Fayette, Fulton Co, OH.  His body was found prone upon the mound in the morning."  The sexton, Horace Ford discovered the body when he went to the cemetery to dig a grave. 

Peter's wife died many years before but he never ceased to mourn her death and when his only daughter died in Morenci, Lenawee Co, MI, the year before, this Civil War soldier was broken-hearted.  Later working in a sawmill Peter had an accident, his foot was crushed, and it had to be amputated.  He did not want to be a burden to his sister, Mrs. Mary Looker, with whom he had resided. None of his friends and relatives realized that his depression would end with suicide.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Long


Ellen Bash Long v Joseph Long
Runaway Groom, No Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1885
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

Not much is known of the principals in this case but the story is touching.  Ellen Bash married Joseph Long on 2 April 1881 (no site stated).  She went to the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court (Journal 12 p265 - 12 Apr 1884; Journal 13 p66 - 16 Mar 1885; Roll 40 case number 1223 - 5 Nov 1883) requesting a divorce and the restoration of her maiden name.  In her request Ellen told the court that immediately after the marriage ceremony, even though he had pledged life-long fidelity to this marriage, Joseph departed from the room, had been absent for close to three years, had neglected her, and had refused to cohabitate ever.  The big problem was that a child was born to the couple.  Ellen was compelled to ask for public charity and she lived at the county infirmary where the child was born and subsequently died.  Ellen could not provide for herself due to impaired health and a delicate condition involving this pregnancy.  The defendant, Joseph Long, knew all this.

Ellen filed the divorce in 1883, the case was continued in 1884, and it appears the court dismissed her petition in 1885.  This is interpreted as no divorce.  What happened to Ellen Bash Long or her runaway groom is not currently known. There was a Joseph Homer Long, son of George (18 May 1833 Wayne Co, OH – 30 June 1905 Defiance Co, OH) Long and Nancy Van Vleet (19 July 1835 Rockford Co, IL – 3 Aug 1907 Mark Center, Defiance Co, OH), in the 1880 Mark Center, Defiance Co, OH federal census, p194D.  He was born 24 Feb 1854, Bucyrus, Crawford Co, OH, and could be the candidate for the runaway groom. An Internet source stated that Joseph who died in Nov 1930 was married to America Blair, b c1863 OH. In the 1870 Farmer, Defiance Co, OH federal census, p86, there was an Ellen Bash 6 OH living with Philip Silders and wife Hannah.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Lippy

John Lippy v Esther A. F. Lippy, 1863

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 7 May 2013)

According to the Bryan Democrat, 14 Sept 1863, John Lippy provided a notice to the readership of that newspaper that his wife Esther A. F. Lippy had left his bed and board without just cause or provocation; he wished to caution all persons trusting or harboring her that he will not pay any debts of her contracting.

In the 1860 Millcreek Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census p128 the couple was listed as John Lippy 33 PA and Esther 21 OH.  John was the son of John Lippy, SR., and wife Barbara Rhodes.  Ten years before in 1850, John was not married and lived with his parents in Franklin, Richland Co, OH.  Apparently a divorce was granted or Esther died as evidenced in the 1870 Millcreek Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census p130A as John was listed as 43 PA along with Mary 40 Ire, Barbara 14 OH, William 1 OH, Charles Bales 11 MI, and Frederick Bales 9 MI. The new wife, Mary Marming Balis/Bales/Boyles, was born in 1832, Ireland; she was the former wife or widow of John Boyles of Hillsdale Co, MI.

Note there was no reference in either the journals or rolls of Civil and Criminal Court records.


Barbara Elizabeth Lippy (10 May 1866 Millcreek Twp, Williams Co, OH – 22 June 1915) dau of John Lippy; married name Barbara Elizabeth Sherer; m1 John Wheeler; m2 Elza W Sherer
William David Lippy (13 Jan 1869 OH - ) son of John Lippy and Mary Manning

John Lippy died on 14 Feb 1887 and was buried in Primrose Cem, Millcreek Twp, Williams Co, OH

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Lingle (George W.)


Abbie Posey Lingle v George W. Lingle (Journal 12 - Nov 1886; Journal13 p514 - 11 June 1886; p580 - 21 June 1886; Journal 14 p57 - 15 Dec 1886; Roll 44 case number 1645 and 1714 - 21 June 1886)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married in Wms Co on 23 Jan 1877 (Marriage V4 p503).  George, b1855, OH, was the son of John and Catherine Lingle, who were buried in Boynton Cemetery on 2 Oct 1876 and 11 June 1898, respectively. The Lingles were listed in the 1860 Springfield Twp federal census, p68B-69 as John 46 PA, Catherine 46 OH, Sarah 23 OH, Jane 19 OH, Martha 16 OH, Benjamin 12 OH, George W 7 OH, William 3 OH, Serepthia M 3 OH, and Cyrus Conrad 4/12 OH.  They were enumerated in the 1870 Springfield Twp federal census p5 as John Lingle 58 PA, Catherine 56 OH, Thomas 21 OH, George W 18 OH, William 14 OH, Cyrus 11 OH, and Serepta 14 OH.

Abbie, born 7 Oct 1857, Marietta, Washington Co, OH, was the daughter of Benjamin and Mary Elizabeth Corner Posey, who were buried in Boynton Cemetery, Springfield Twp on 1918 and 1915, respectively. The Posey family moved to Wms Co sometime after the 1870 federal census and was enumerated in the 1880 Springfield Twp federal census p679D as Benjamin Posey 53 OH, Mary E 55 OH, Selina 22 OH, and Frederic 16 OH.  Abbie’s sister Selina/Celina married George W’s brother Charles Cyrus Lingle on 5 Mar 1885. The George Lingle family appeared in the 1880 Springfield Twp federal census, p663A, as George 25 OH carpenter, Abbie 21 OH, and Freddie 7/12 OH.  Their son Freddie was born in Stryker, Wms Co on 7 Oct 1879 (Birth V2 p71).

Abbie asked for a temporary injunction to keep George from disposing of his property or taking her personal property and also not to interfere with their son, who was seriously ill and should be with her.  She brought a physician to testify to this and stated that George had furnished tobacco to the child; he denied this.  She said on 24 Mar and 17 May 1886 George was extremely cruel and accused her of criminal intimacy with men, particularly with JF Roop for the past two years.  He gave her no money for clothing and fuel. On 17 May 1886 they separated.  Abbie stated that she was the owner in fee simple of Lots 4 and 5 in Allison's Addition, Stryker, valued at $800.  He was the owner of a machine that manufactured oars. The court stated that George was guilty of disobedience and the resistance to action and he was not to dispose of an undivided 1/8 of NW 1/4 of Sec 33 T6N R4E and lots in Van Behren and Shaffer Addition in Stryker.  She called the following witnesses for her side: Frank and Charles Posey, Emery Sullinger and William Lingle.

George answered that Abbie was guilty of disobedience.  He resisted the order of injunction and on 14 June 1886 he kept her possessions.  He denied that he allowed their young son to chew tobacco and he said Abbie did no own any real estate.  He repaid her father for money he borrowed for lot improvements.  He told the court that Freddie wanted to stay with him because she used profanity in the child's presence.

George alleged that Abbie was guilty of adultery with JF Roop for the past two years at his residence.  Abbie and JF went to Toledo around 11 May 1885 and stayed there for three months.  When they came back to Stryker he caught them at night in his shop.  They left but did not take the child.  He called as witnesses Jacob Henry, John Babinger, Evans Sullinger, and Augustus Von Beren.  At one point the case was dismissed; then he crossfiled and this action was dismissed.

Abbie was granted custody of their son.  George partnered with Fred Yunck in an oar factory on north shore of Lynn Run.  In the 1900 Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p211, the Posey family was enumerated as Benjamin Posey Jan 1826 (74) OH married 51 years, wife Mary Apr 1824 (76) OH 4 children with 3 surviving, daughter Abby Lingle July 1860 (39) OH widow one child, and grandson Fred Lingle Oct 1879 (20) OH.  Abbie Lingle died on 27 June 1937 in Geneva, Ashtabula Co, OH and was buried in Boynton Cemetery.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Lingle (David)

Mary J. Twiford Lingle v Daniel or David Lingle (Journal 5 p513 - July 1856; Roll 10 case number 160 - July 1857)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 28 April 2013)

The couple was married on 12 Oct 1848 in St Joseph Twp, Wms Co (Marriage V2 p102).  Mary stated before the court that the date was 4 Oct 1847 (double checked the date in Williams Co and it is clearly 12 Oct 1848).  She said she was an Ohio resident for the past ten years or more.  The 1850 St. Joseph Twp federal census, p78B, enumerated the family as David 36 PA, Mary 32 OH, John 7 OH, Nancy 5 OH, William 3 OH, and Emmanuel 1 OH.  David was born on 18 Dec 1812 in Kishacoquilla Valley, Armstrong Co, PA or Linglestown, Dauphin Cp, PA, the son of Paul and Mary Spohn Lingle.  

Mary told the court that Daniel had abandoned her on 15 Nov 1854.  He owned property in St. Joseph Twp, valued at $1200.  She requested alimony but the case was dismissed.  The couple had the following children: William, Emmanuel, and Andrew Jackson Lingle.  John and Nancy were issue from Daniel's first marriage or Mary may have been married before, if the marriage data is correct. In the 1870 Eldorado, Benton Co, IA federal census p74A the Lingle family was listed as David 57 PA, Mary J 42 OH and five children – Emanuel, Jackson, Thomas, Jacob, and Harman. The couple resided in IA as of 1895 (Moville, Woodbury Co, IA).  Daniel died on 16 Mar 1899 in Kalispell, Flathead Co, Montana; Mary Jane died between 1902-1904 in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.  


Mary Jane Twiford (2 Feb 1828 OH – 1902/1904 Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada or MT); pos dau of Isaac and Mary Tanner Twiford of Wayne Co, OH

M 4 Oct 1847 or 12 Oct 1848, St Joseph Twp, Williams Co, OH
1850 St Joseph
Lingle, David 36 PA
Mary 32 OH……..should be 22
John 7 OH (1843 OH)
Nancy 5 OH (1845 OH)
William 3 OH (1847 OH)
Emmanuel 1 OH (1849 OH)
ALSO – Twiford, William 17 OH and John 20 OH living with Thomas and Nancy Tanner Green/Greer in same township

1857 divorce action - this may have been dropped as Mary was pregnant.  The family moved to neighboring Fulton Co, OH before 1860.

1860 Clinton, Fulton, Ohio; Roll: M653_965; Page: 309; Image: 85; Family History Library Film: 803965.
Lingle, David 48 PA
Mary 32 OH
Asa 3 OH........really Andrew Jackson Lingle
Thomas 11/12 OH

1870 Eldorado, Benton Co, IA
Lingle, David 57 PA
Mary J 42 OH
Emmanuel 13 OH
Andrew Jackson (1858 Wauseon, Fulton Co, OH)
Thomas (1859 OH)
Jacob Biddle (1863 OH)
Harman (1866 IA)

1880 St Clair, Benton Co, IA

1895 Moville, Woodbury Co, IA

31 March 1901 Alberta Census - Lingle family must have immigrated to Canada c1900
Mary J Lingle b1828 USA, Irish Ethnicity

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Lindersmith


David K. Lindersmith v Angeline Hively Pew Lindersmith (Journal 7 p592 - 3 Nov 1871; Roll 23 case number 80 - Oct 1871) – see Avery

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married on 23 April 1871, Wms Co, OH.  By the 1860 Superior Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census, p188B, Angeline was married to John G. Pew 23 OH, and listed as Angeline 22 OH, along with Mary 3 OH, George 3 OH, Nancy Hively 14 OH, Beretha Pew 65 VT, and Arvilla McDaniels 46 NY. Angeline, born 4 Aug 1837, in Independence, OH, was the daughter of Isaac and Magdelena Bible Hively and John, born 1837 in OH, was the son of Joseph and Ruth Pew, who were enumerated in the 1850 Superior Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p42B as Joseph Piew 67 NJ, Ruth 58 CT, Mariah 16 OH, John 13 OH, and Arvilla McDaniels 3* NY. Husband John G. Pew died on 1 Apr 1866.  In the 1870 Jefferson Twp federal census, p21, Angeline Pew, a widow, 34 OH, had children Mary Pew 14, and George M. Pew 12, both born in OH; they lived in a hotel run by Osman Dolph.

David K. Lindersmith, the son of Daniel and Anna Cox Lindersmith, was born in 1837 OH; the family was from Carroll Co, OH.  According to the 1850 Superior Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p42, the Lindersmiths were listed as Daniel 34 OH, Ann 30 OH, David 12 OH, Joseph 10 OH, Peter 8 OH, George 6 OH, and Mary; by 1860 David was a teacher in Superior Twp as enumerated in federal census records for that township, p190, residing with his parents; he served in Co K 68th OVI during the Civil War.

David sued for divorce stating that on 11 June 1871 Angeline committed adultery with Allen Shaw at the home of Jacob Grubb of Jefferson Twp, whom he called as a witness along with wife Mary Grubb.  Angeline did not show up in court to confirm or deny this.  The court granted the divorce. Angeline’s sister, Nancy Hively Avery would later obtain her own divorce from husband Franklin Avery.  In the 1880 Superior Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p543, Angeline Pew was listed as 38 OH divorced.  By 1900 Angeline Pew Aug 1835 (64) was enumerated in the Montpelier, Superior Twp federal census as a widow with two living children; she lived with Mary Richardson Feb 1868 OH (32) also a widow.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Lightfoot


Mary Hughes Lightfoot v William Lightfoot (Journal 7 p433  - 17 May 1870; Roll 22 case number 13 - May 1870)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married on 1 Sept 1830 in Westmoreland Co, PA.  William, son of William and Esther Schmidt Lightfoot, was born c1808 in York Co, PA.  Mary "Polly" Hughes, parentage unknown, was born on 6 Nov 1810 PA.  The couple had the following children: Margaret, Alexander (b1838 PA), John (b1840 PA), Caroline E. (b1842 PA), Levi (b1844 PA), Lewis, Jacob (b1847 OH), Mary Jane (b1849 OH, and Lydia Alicia (b May 1853 OH).  The family appeared in the 1850 Brady Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census, p5B, as William 40 PA, Mary 36 PA, Alexander 11 PA, John 9 PA, Caroline 7 PA, Lewis 5 PA, Jacob 3 OH, Mary 1 OH.  Again they were found in the 1860 Brady Twp federal census, p158a, as William 50 PA, Mary 47 PA, John 19 PA, Caroline 17 PA, Levi 15 PA, Jacob 13 OH, Mary 11 OH, and Lydia 7 OH.  According to the 1870 Brady Twp federal census, p12, Mary was the head of house at 58 PA and Lydia 17 OH while on p18, William 62 OH, a farm laborer, resided with William H. Snow and his wife Mary. 

Mary charged William with extreme cruelty, gross neglect, and habitual drunkenness for more than twenty-five years.  She told the court that the couple had seven children but Lydia was the only minor.  William would get drunk whenever he could; for more than twenty years he neglected and refused to supply her with food, clothing, or shelter.  He threatened her by carrying a concealed weapon and often told her he would kill her.  He beat and choked her on occasion.  Sixteen years ago he put her life in great peril and she sought refuge elsewhere with daughter Lydia, an infant at the time.  She brought the following witnesses to substantial her claims: M/M Joseph Lantz, Henry Tuttle, and Moses Shoemaker.  A divorce was granted.

Mary Lightfoot died on 12 Feb 1889 @78Y 3M 6D in Wms Co (Deaths V2 p49) and was buried in the Lockport Cemetery beside her granddaughter Ada Luella Rittenour.  Nothing further is known of William.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Lewallen

Abner F. Lewallen, Jr., v Nancy (Garrison/Gunsler or Harrison?) Lewallen (Roll 9 Box 22 case number 9 - Apr 1848)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 10 Oct 2011)

The couple was married in Lexington Twp, Stark Co, OH c1836, but an Internet posting stated that the couple was married on 30 July 1834 in Portage Co, OH.  Abner was the son of Abner and Mary Bollenger Lewallen, Sr.; he was born in 1817 at Marlton, Burlington Co, NJ.  Nancy, parentage unknown but some sources claim her maiden name was Gunniser, was born c1818 in Ohio. They came to Wms Co and were listed in the 1850 Bridgewater Twp federal census, p45, as Abner 33 NJ, Nancy 32 OH, Elizabeth 13, Abigail 10, Mary 8, Elisa 8.  Later they had a son Eli born 1854.  Abner Sr died on 24 May 1867 @75Y and was buried in the Cogswell Cemetery.

Abner brought a divorce complaint stating that in Lexington Twp, Stark Co, OH Nancy had committed adultery with Levi Gaskill.  The couple had been married about 10 years.  According to the Appearance Docket, Clerk of Court, 1846-1852, the case of Abner Lewallen v Nancy Lewallen was settled and dismissed.  By the 1860 Crystal, Montcalm Co, MI federal census the couple was enumerated as Abner 45, Nancy 43, Elizabeth 18, Eli 6.  Again they were listed there in the 1870 federal census for that location as Abner 58 and Nancy 56.  Nancy died on 18 Jan 1877.  Abner married Sarah A. Perine on 28 Mar 1877 in Montcalm Co, MI.  Sarah was born c1860 in DeKalb Co, IN; note the age difference – Abner 64 and Sarah 17, and by the 1880 federal census the family unit was Abner 67, Sarah A 20, Abner Jr. 2.  Sarah, the mother of David and Abner Elton and Catherine May, may have divorced Abner as there is a marriage for Sarah Perine Lewallen, daughter of Tobias and Catherine Reese Perine, to Luther Pett on 10 Sept 1903, Grand Rapids, Kent Co, MI; Abner next married twice previously married Mary Lawrason on 29 July 1896 in Crystal, MI; the bride was 70 years old. Abner later died on 13 Feb 1899 @ 86Y 5M and he was buried in the Crystal Cemetery.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Leichty

Joseph John Leichty v Mary Jane Lehman/Guyman Leichty - alternate spelling Liechty
Mary Jane Bear Bohney Leichty v Joseph John Leichty

The Man Who Broke Faith with the Mennonite Church and Two Divorces, Williams Co, OH, 1879 and 1884 – see William Bear/Bair and Peter Laubaugh

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 3 February 2013) - Thanks to Larry G for the additional data

The Fountain City Argus, March 1878, ran an account of a man who in unusual circumstances sued six men for "enticing, coaxing, inducing, and compelling" his wife to forsake his bed and board and refuse to live with him and perform her duties as his lawful wife; he requested damages of $10,000.  The husband would win his case after the jury in the Williams County Common Pleas Court, after deliberating for five hours, returned a verdict against the defendants for $2500.  Later there was a second trial and the husband was awarded $2,000 against the elders.  The defendants, all members of the Mennonite Priesthood, were residents of Williams, Fulton, and Wayne Counties, OH, and the tone of the Argus article suggested that these men got off lightly for being heartless in their "arbitrary and foolish tenets" to break and destroy the "peace and harmony of the domestic circle." Perhaps there was more to this suit than church-inspired alienation of affections.

Joseph John Leichty, born 30 Jan 1835, Belford, FR, son of Jacob and Elizabeth Kaufman Leichty, married Mary Jane Lehman/Guyman, born 4 Dec 1832 in Estoben, Alsace-Lorraine, daughter of Christian and Mary Gearig Gaiman/Guyman, on 20 Apr 1861, Burlington, Fulton Co, OH.  Mary came to the US c1852. The couple resided in Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH and Joseph paid personal property tax there in 1867.  The couple became the parents of six children with the following known issue: Christian or Christopher (1861- pos 1944, Pettisville Union Cemetery, Fulton Co, OH); Joseph Jr., (7 May 1863 - 16 Dec 1881 @18Y 7M 9D, Boynton Cem, Springfield Twp); Elizabeth (1866 -?); and Rebecca (26 Mar 1873, Wms Co Births V1 p48).  In the 1870 Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census, p2, one finds Joseph Leichty, farmer 39 FR, Christian 9 OH, Joseph 7 OH, and Elizabeth 4 OH, but no wife.


According to records of the Williams County OH Civil and Criminal Court records (Journal 8 - Nov 1875, Journal 10 p119 - 143, 21 Nov 1879, and Roll 28 case number 46), Joseph came to court requesting a divorce.  In 1875 his suit was dismissed but after the above suit against the Mennonites of Feb 1878, he returned and did obtain a divorce in April 1879.  Joseph stated that Mary, his wife, had been willfully absent from his home due to his excommunication from the Mennonite Church and she had been guilty of gross neglect of her marital duties.  Church officials, John Holdeman, Conrad Haire, Max Seiter, Christopher Eisehelman, Christopher Gearig, and Frank Seitner, on 1 June 1875, formally excommunicated Joseph for failing to make himself a "useful, ornamental, or popular member of this Church."  The specific reasons were not shared in the records but a few days after this excommunication, Holdeman and others made a formal visit to Leichty's home, called him out of the fields, informed him of the church action, and instructed Mary, also a church member, that she was to hold no necessary conversation, not to eat at the same table, and not to sleep with or touch Joseph in any way.  From that time on she treated him as a heathen and a leper, but as the church dictated, Mary was forbidden to seek a divorce.

The couple separated and Joseph went to court for a divorce.  The suit was dropped but the church officials later told Mary she would suffer "everlasting punishment" if she did not comply with this excommunication directives, so Joseph sued his wife again for divorce.  Joseph stated in court that Mary refused him sexual intercourse and he wanted to end this sham marriage.  The court split up the children with Joseph retaining custody of Christopher and Joseph, Jr., while Mary assumed custody of the girls, Elizabeth and Rebecca.  Mary Leichty was enumerated with her girls in the 1880 German Twp, Fulton Co, OH federal census p118 as Mary Leichty 48 FR divorced, Elizabeth 14 OH, and Rebecca 7 OH, all living with the Solomon Brich family. In 1885 she moved to Allen Co, IN. By the 1910 Cedar Creek, Allen Co, IN federal census p5A, Mary Leichty widow 77 France resided with her son Christian S. Leichty and his family.  In 1913 Mary moved with her son Christopher S Liechty and daughter Mrs Daniel Witmer to Davenport, ND. Mary died in Addison, Cass Co, ND on 16 Feb 1915. Son Christopher S and daughter Mrs Daniel Witmer, both of Davenport, ND, and daughter Mrs. John Stuckey of Plevna, KS, survived her. She also left 24 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. Two grandchildren preceded her to the great beyond. She accepted her savior in early womanhood and remained faithful unto the end. The deceased was a member of the Mennonite Church for over 60 years. Funeral services were held at the Addison Evangelical Church, conducted by George Hoefs.


"The Widow Sister Mary Leichty died at Davenport, N. Dak. Feb. 15th.
The sister lived formerly in Fulton Co. O. and later lived with her
son at Grabil. Indiana.  From there she moved with her son to North
Dak. (Messenger of Truth, V13 #3)



About two months after the divorce Joseph married the widow Mrs. Mary Jane Bear Bohney on 15 June 1879, Wms Co, OH (Marriages, V4 p633).  Mary Jane, daughter of Samuel and Nancy Bear, was born on 12 Feb 1843, Crawford Co, OH, and came to Wms Co with her parents c. 1865.  She first married Captain John Bohney (b.c.1825, PA) on 10 Mar 1870, Wms Co, OH (Marriages, V4 p103) and the Bryan couple had two children, Kirtland E. (b.1871) and Martha M. (b. 1873).  At the time of this marriage Mary Jane was 27 and John was 45.   John was a member of the Co A 16th OVI and served in the Civil War from1861-1865.  He died on 13 Nov 1873 and was buried in the Bryan Fountain Grove Cemetery; his estate was probated in Wms Co (#1616).

Mary and her two children became part of the Leichty household and were enumerated in the 1880 Bryan, Pulaski Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census, p660C, as Joseph, tanner 48 FR, Mary 36 OH, Joseph 16 OH, Curtland 9 OH, Martha 7 OH, along with tannery helpers WN Daniels 22 Wurtemburg, and William Yates 17 OH. 

Joseph and Mary became the parents of son Earl Wayne, b. 21 Nov 1880.  In the probate proceedings of 9 Apr 1884 concerning an estate suit (Journal 12 p252) of John Bohney, deceased, Mary Leichty and husband Joseph were named in this suit brought before the Wms Co Common Pleas Court by a Louisa Gates v. Robert A. Scott, administrator of a will annexed by John Bohney.  Mary Jane exercised her dower rights on property in Sec 31 near Lick Creek.  Her minor children were mentioned as having Charles A. Bowersox as their guardian.  The following people were to be granted a 1/7th part of this land besides the two minor children: Martha Bohney, Elizabeth Searight, Wilhemina Laubaugh, Ann Copeland, and Caroline Pegg.  John Bohney's mother, Christina, was deceased and deeds of conveyance were passed from William Oxenrider to Nancy Oxenrider to John Bohney to the heirs of his estate.  It would appear that Mary Jane Leichty had some financial stability for her children and now it was time to get some help for herself.

According to the Williams County, OH Civil and Criminal Court Records  (Journal 12 p308, June 1884 and Roll 40 case number 1274, 29 July 1884), Mary Jane Leichty requested a divorce.  Her court statements shed a different light on the character of husband Joseph Leichty.  Mary stated that her husband was a habitual drunk for the last three years.   In April 1880, when she was pregnant, Joseph neglected her and refused to provide food, clothing, or shelter for her family.  During her confinement Joseph gave no support of any kind.  Since the birth of their son Earl she has depended on the charity of friends.  Mary Jane sought a reasonable alimony of $500, which the court granted, and custody of the couple's son. It is possible that his drinking increased about the time that his son and namesake, Joseph Jr. died on 18 Dec 1881. According to The Bryan Press, 29 Dec 1881 p1 c4, Joseph Leichty, Jr., aged 19, was drowned at Snavely Mill Dam on the 18th.  His body has not been recovered.  He was crossing in a boat above the dam when the boat was borne down by rapid water.  Joseph Sr. died on 2 Mar 1891 in Grabill, Allen Co, IN.

Mary's obituary in the Bryan Democrat, 21 Jan 1919, p1, told the story of her early years and did mention her marriage to Joseph Leichty as the father of son Earl.  Her other Bohney children, Kirtland and Mrs. Martha M. Calvin (Clyde), survived her when she died on 17 Jan 1919 @ 75Y 11M 5D.  Mary J. Leichty was buried beside her first husband, John Bohney, and next to her parents, Samuel Bear, a plasterer (1815-1891) and Nancy A. (1814 - 1917) plus brothers William H. (1837-1883) and Johial (1839 - 1917), a Civil War veteran of Co A Ft Band 64 and Company.  Incidentally, divorce was no stranger to the Bear family as Mary's brother William H. had been divorced twice before his death.  Her brother Johial had been a supporting witness for his sister during her divorce proceedings.  


Joseph Leichty and Mary Guyman
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