09 February 2011

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

Elizabeth Bratton Hughes v Oliver Hughes (Journal 15 p150 – Dec 1889; Roll 48, Box 158, case number 2124 – Nov 1889)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 19 December 2011)

The couple was married on 7 Oct 1856 in Williams Co, OH (Marriage V2 p171).  Elizabeth stated they were married in 1887 and their children plus ages were as follows: Laura A 28, Thomas F 23, James 20, Dora M 15, and Glen 8.  Oliver has refused to support her or the minors and was guilty of gross neglect, adultery, absence for more than three years, and consorting with various lewd women and prostitutes.  He was worth $1000 and she wanted custody of minors and alimony.

Oliver by deposition stated that Elizabeth was wrong on the marriage date and the ages of the children; in particular the true ages of sons are James aged 22 and Glenn aged 10.

He denied any gross neglect of duty or any adultery.  She was guilty of extreme cruelty for more than 10 years.  She was a “scold in bed” and often he would leave the house and sleep in the barn.  On 23 Nov 1885 he had 130 acres of land in Superior Twp plus livestock.  Elizabeth tried to defraud Oliver by attempting to deed land to William Bratton.

Oliver further stated that she would have thrown their child Dorah into a well as she threatened many times to do; he has managed to stop her but she’s scratched his face and pulled his hair.  In the summer of 1884 she grabbed son Glenn and was about to throw him in the river and was stopped again, but not before she struck the child and hid his clothes.

Oliver told the court he had lost his left arm in 1879 and it has been difficult to earn money.  In June 1888 Elizabeth ordered Oliver out of the house.

In Dec 1889 Elizabeth stated that she owned 36 acres in St Joseph Twp; Oliver removed his cross petition. The court granted Elizabeth a divorce and she received the property.

Now if you didn’t know that this couple was divorced and that Oliver had remarried, you might think they stayed together because they are buried together in West Buffalo Cemetery, Florence Twp, Williams Co, OH. 

First we’ll take a look at the Hughes/Bratton family.

Oliver Hughes (30 Sept 1833 Licking Co, OH – 9 Oct 1893 Williams Co, OH; burial in West Buffalo Cem, Florence Twp) was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth McCracken Hughes.

The History of Williams County, OH, Weston Goodspeed, 1882, p638 – Oliver Hughes’ family came to Seneca Co, OH c1833 and his father, Thomas, died there on 14 June 1865.  Oliver had located c1854 to Superior Twp, Williams Co, OH where he owned a sawmill.  His children are Laura, Thomas, James, Dora, and Burr W.

Elizabeth Bratton Hughes (20 Oct 1837 PA – 15 Dec 1914 Mishawaka, IN; burial in West Buffalo Cem, Florence Twp) was the daughter of James and Mary Hackenburger Bratton.

The History of Williams County, OH, William Shinn, 1905, p300-301 – James Bratton, Elizabeth’s grandfather, was born in Mifflin Co, PA and was a veteran of the War of 1812; he settled in Florence Twp, Williams Co, OH c1847.

1850 Florence, Williams, Ohio; Roll: M432_741; Page: 61B; Image: 125.
h/h 842/845 (next door to his parents – James and Hannah) Bratton, James  47 PA
Mary 48 PA
John 22 PA
Rebecca 19 PA
Nancy 15 PA
Elizabeth 13 PA
William 9 PA
Andrew 7 OH

1850 Liberty, Seneca, Ohio; Roll: M432_728; Page: 407B; Image: 239.
Hughes, Owen 18 OH with parents and siblings

Oliver Hughes married Elizabeth Bratton, 7 Oct 1859.  They were the parents of:
1. Joseph (1859 Superior Twp – bef 1870)
2. Laura A (1862 Superior Twp - )
3. Thomas Forrest (4 Jan 1865 Superior Twp - )
4. James D. (7 Aug 1867 Superior Twp – 17 Feb 1945 Defiance Co, OH)
5. LaDora M aka Dora (30 July 1874, Superior Twp – 18 Apr 1891 Superior Twp @ 16Y 8M 11D; buried with parents)
6. Glenn aka Burr W (29 June 1879 Superior Twp – unnamed son of Oliver Hughes and Elizabeth Batton)

1860 Superior, Williams, Ohio; Roll: M653_1052; Page: 190; Image: 385; Family History Library Film: 805052.
h/h 941 Hughs, Oliver 23 OH farmer
Elizabeth 22 PA
Joseph 5/12 OH

1870 Superior, Williams, Ohio; Roll: M593_1282; Page: 260B; Image: 526; Family History Library Film: 552781.
h/h 85 Hughs, Oliver 37 OH sawmill
Elizabeth 32 PA
Laura A 8 OH
Thomas 5 OH
James 3 OH

1880 Superior, Williams, Ohio; Roll: 1077; Family History Film: 1255077; Page: 535A; Enumeration District: 7; Image: 0704.
h/h 42/44 Hughes, Oliver 46 OH-OH-OH sawyer
Elizabeth 41 wife PA-PA-PA
Thomas 15 son OH-OH-PA
James 13 son OH-OH-PA
Dora M 6 dau Oh-OH-PA
Infant son 11/12 (June) OH-OH-PA

The couple is divorced c Dec 1889.

Oliver Hughes married Susannah Fleckinstein on 2 June 1890 at Branch Co, MI; he was 58 and she was 40.  Susannah was the daughter of Wilson and Abigail Bl****).

Oliver Hughes died on 9 Oct 1893 as a result of a sawmill accident and was buried in West Buffalo Cemetery.

1900 St Joseph, Williams, Ohio; Roll: T623_1332; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 114.
h/h 100/103 Hughes, Elizabeth (Feb 1845) 55 wid 4/6 ch PA-PA-PA farm owner
Glen son (June 1879) 20 single OH-OH-PA farm laborer

Note that Elizabeth’s birth date is wrong but all other vitals check out; she is described as a widow rather than divorcee’.

1910 Superior, Williams, Ohio; Roll: T624_1241; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 0135; Image: 1063; FHL Number: 1375254.
h/h 209/213 Hughes, Elizabeth 78 widow PA-PA-PA (I think living next door to her son Fir J)

Elizabeth Bratton Hughes died on 15 Dec 1914, possibly at Mishawaka, IN and she was buried next to her former husband in West Buffalo Cemetery.

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