28 January 2011

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Amsbaugh (Roll 48)

Delilah Jennie Longanecker Hammon Amsbaugh v Samuel Amsbaugh (Roll 48, Box 164, case number 2118) – 12 October 1889 (see Amsbaugh and Longanecker divorces)

By Pamela Pattison Lash

This divorce detailing is a continuation of several earlier cases all dealing with Samuel Amsbaugh.  He was married and divorced three times, all recorded in Civil and Criminal Court records of Williams County, OH.  For more information on his earlier life check the divorce detailing under Amsbaugh, posted here.  Another tip with these divorces is to seek later records because as in this example, earlier statements are found.  Since the Civil and Criminal records are on microfilm, it’s possible that some earlier documents were filed with later proceedings.

An interesting aside before I discuss the divorce – by June 1878 there were multiple mentions in local Bryan newspapers of a fire at the dwelling of Samuel Amsbaugh, who was insured by the Brady Fire Insurance Group.  Roll 42 case number 1506 also sheds more light on some of the events found in Roll 48. 

Our story picks up with the third divorce proceedings found as late as 1889 but really beginning in 1879 with the marriage of Delilah Jennie Longanecker Hammon to Samuel Amsbaugh.  With new information gleaned from the afore-mentioned Roll 48 #2118 the story adds details and provides more insight into the character of Samuel.  The data in red is from what was known from other records.  The new data appears in black.  Hopefully, you as the reader will not be too confused, as I’ve tried to untangle this web of chaos.

On 24 Apr 1879 in Wms Co, Samuel married Delilah Jenny Longanecker Hammon, daughter of Peter and Nancy Reifsnider Longanecker. Delilah was born on 30 October 1838 in Ohio. Delilah had been married before to an unknown Hammon.  This marriage was not recorded in Williams County and since her family moved here from Richland Co, OH sometime between 1860-1870, it may be that she was married in Richland County.  In this detailing there is mention of two known daughters – Elnora b1865 and Mary Alice b1866. Mary Alice Hammon married Jacob A Marsh in Wms Co, OH on 15 Nov 1888 (Marriage V5 #1359). Williams Co, OH Probate has a guardianship case filed on 26 Apr 1881 (case #2310) for a Francis A and Mary A Hammon. If this case involves her children it may be that she needed to protect their financial interests or she was pressured to set up Samuel Amsbaugh as her children’s legal guardian.  This record would be good to consult. Delilah’s obit mentions her being the mother of two sons and one daughter as of 1892.  More research needs to be done to fill in her Hammon relations. From the 1880 Millcreek Twp federal census records the family was listed as Samuel Amsbaugh 58 PA, Delila 42 OH, Cletus P. 9 OH, and Elnora Hammon 15 OH as stepdaughter.

An interesting story appeared in the “Bryan Democrat”, 16 Sept 1886, “Friday’s Bee (Toledo, OH newspaper) published a report of a shooting scrap near Primrose (Millcreek Twp) in which it was stated that Sam Amsbaugh shot John Shaffer through the body; that the wound would probably prove fatal and that Amsbaugh had skipped the country.  Our officers say that no information of that kind has reached them and people from that neighborhood know nothing about this affair”.  From Journal 13 p212 - 2 July 1885; Roll 42 case number 1506, Sept/Dec 1885,  "Anna" Amsbaugh charged her husband Samuel with extreme cruelty and gross neglect and wanted $50 in alimony.  She claimed they had a daughter Mabel.  A divorce was granted.  That’s what the record stated but obviously there was a change of heart.  Another puzzle  - who is this daughter Mabel? In Journal 13 p230 - 5 Sept 1885 one learns that Delila Jane Amsbaugh came before a judge in Defiance County who ordered Samuel to pay her the sum of $100 and set up a fee schedule, which was recorded in Wms Co the next day.  Evidently the divorce was not granted as I found more information about the couple in Roll 48.  What a tangle!

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

Roll 48 #2118 (12 Oct 1889) data shows her recounting past details such as:

*Delilah restated the marriage data to Samuel, which corresponds with earlier findings.
*She stated that she had no children with Samuel.
*In Jan 1882 Samuel was cruel to her at their residence in Millcreek Twp where he threatened to kick her, and threw a large piece of wood and struck her; he used profanity.
*Between Aug-Sept 1882 he constantly swore at her.
*In the summer and autumn of 1884 he kicked her, beat her face and called her “a damned whore”.
*Sam in an answer to the court stated that in Apr 1884 Delilah and her daughter assaulted him with a whip and club.  Delilah threatened to shoot him with his loaded revolver.  Delilah left him and did not return for five days.  She used profanity toward him.
*She brought an action of divorce shortly after that but on 22 Dec 1884 she came to court and asked for a dismissal, which was granted.  At that time she stated that Samuel owned 160 acres valued at $7,000; she owned 20 acres in Millcreek Twp herself and had personal property and livestock as well.  She wanted alimony and desired to be restored to her former name of Hammond, but she changed her mind about the divorce.
*On 7 Aug 1885 Sam believed she had committed adultery with John Curlew at the home of James Curlew of Millcreek Twp.
*On 17 Aug 1885 Samuel “did strike and assault James Corlen”.  In court Jennie Amsbaugh appeared as a witness for the state and a Clinton Amsbaugh was a defense witness.  What happened to Samuel in regard to this assault is not known. Note that one record has the assault victim as James Corlen and this divorce record stated the name as James Curlew.

*On 10 Jan 1888 she needed to travel to Alvea/Albia, Iowa as her daughter was dying.  Sam gave his consent to this trip.  Her daughter died on 12 Jan 1888 and after the funeral she needed money to return home, but Sam refused to send her any.  He claimed he did not have as much money as she thought; he had debts.
*On 1 Mar 1888 she said he neglected and abused her.
*On 12 Nov 1889 Delilah filed new divorce proceedings and asked for $100 in alimony. *On 14 Nov 1889 Sam wanted her to stop these new proceedings. 
*She came back to court in June 1890 asking for more money.

The next part of story deals with three witness depositions found in Roll 48.

The first witness was Mary Alice Marsh, 23, housekeeper living in Bryan, OH.  She was Delilah’s daughter and when Mary Alice was 13 she came to live with her mother and Sam.  She stated these details:
*Sam was always cursing her mother and was cross.  He once raised a hammer to Delilah as if to strike her but “I grabbed it away and he slapped me.”  Another time after “my grandfather died, mom was sick.  She asked me to cook supper.  I burned the ribs as I never cooked much before.  He cursed me and his son went to mom’s room and threw a stick at her, and told her to get up and fix something to eat.”
*”One time I spoke to Norman Clay (Sam was always quarreling with him) and Sam later threw me out of the house for consorting with Norman.  He threw my clothes into the mud.  Before I left he choked my mother until her face burned black and her tongue hung out.”

The second witness deposition was taken from Everett Stonestreet who lived on Asher Manley’s farm.  He knew Sam for about 7 years. 
*Everett was working at Sam’s place raking hay when he heard Sam abusing his wife.  He saw Sam “take a butcher knife and ran her around the house and down the road”.
*Another time he saw the couple at the Lyceum in Kunkle.  Mrs. Amsbaugh appeared there in her stocking feet and when I asked her about this she said, “she didn’t have any shoes that fit”.  She said “he took her old pair to Coslet to fix and they were so old and not worth fixing so Sam bought her another pair for $2.50 but they didn’t fit.  I told him I was capable of buying my own shoes”.
*This deposition dipped back to the past as Everett talked about an event on 3 July 1884 when Delilah was gone for a month or two.  By 5 July 1884 Sam had a woman by the name of Vick Smith keeping his house.  Vick was between 27-30 years old.

Philip Wolf who was going to work for the railroad but had worked for Sam and knew him for 11-12 years made the final deposition.  He saw and heard abuse as Sam cursed his wife and hit her with a large chunk of wood.  When she ran from Sam “I stopped him from following her”.

There were documents on Roll 48 that stated after a divorce was granted in 1889 that in Nov 1890 Delilah came back to court and wanted more money.  The court granted her $25 more in alimony and later another $30 plus Sam had to pay court costs.

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

The following is a federal census timeline for Delilah:

1850 Cass, Richland, Ohio; Roll: M432_724; Page: 204A; Image: 226.
h/h 145/150 Longacher, Peter 30 PA plasterer
Nancy 30 PA
Alfred 8 OH
Delila 11 OH
Ruhema 5 OH
Kaziah 4 OH
Benton 3 OH
Oliver 1 OH

1860 Blooming Grove, Richland, Ohio; Roll: M653_1029; Page: 363; Image: 348; Family History Library Film: 805029.
h/h 1097/1130 Longanecker, Peter 48 PA plasterer
Nancy 40 PA domestic
Delila 21 OH domestic
Alfred 18 OH laborer
Laura 16 OH domestic
Catherine 15 OH domestic
Benton 13 OH
Oliver 12 OH
Marvin 9 OH
Lindsey, Mary Jane 20 seamstress OH
Isabella 21 domestic OH

By 1870 Peter and Nancy Longanecker and family moved to Jefferson Twp, Williams Co, OH; I have not found Delilah in 1870.

1880 Mill Creek, Williams, Ohio; Roll: 1077; Family History Film: 1255077; Page: 493B; Enumeration District: 4; Image: 0622.
h/h 232/237 Amsbaugh, Samuel 58 PA-PA-MD
Delila 42 wife OH-OH-OH
Cletus 9 son OH-PA-OH
Hammon, Elnora 15 step-dau OH-OH-OH
Marks, Marion 19 farmer OH-OH-OH

Bryan Press', Bryan, Williams, Ohio, Thursday 29 Sept 1892, p. 5

Deliah J. Amsbaugh was born October 30, 1838, and died September 23, 1892, aged 53 years, 10 months and 23 days.  She leaves two sons, one daughter, four brothers and two sisters to mourn her loss.  The funeral services were conducted in the English Lutheran Church by the pastor, on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Bryan Democrat', Bryan, Williams, Ohio, Thurs. 29 Sept 1892 p. 5

Mrs. Jennie Amsbaugh, a widow lady who was residing with her brother, Mr. Longenecker on Lynn near Butler Street, died Friday night after a brief illness caused by la grippe. (Note two things – she rated an obit in both rival Bryan newspapers and she was not a widow but a divorcee’.)

Fountain Grove Cemetery, Bryan, OH, WCGS, p26:
Marsh, Jacob A 1859-1923
Mary A, w/o Jacob 1866-1951
Amsbaugh, Delilah J no stone

Here are two records for further study:
Williams Co, OH Probate – Delilah J. Amsbaugh – 30 Jan 1893 – case number 3369 – estate
Civil and Criminal Court Records Roll 52 case number 3189 – Delilah J Amsbaugh estate

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