James Herbert Letcher v Flora “Mary J” Hamilton Letcher (Journal 15 p13 – 28 Mar 1889 case number 2027; Roll 47 Box 155 case number 2027 – 7 Jan 1889)
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 13 July 2011)
The couple was married on 26 May 1880 in Wms Co (Marriage V4 p688). James charged Flora with being willfully absent for more than three years and being unfit to have custody of their child, Harold H, born 28 Feb 1882, Bryan, OH (Births V2 p33). A notice appeared in the Bryan Press on 21 Feb 1889 and ran for six consecutive weeks. A divorce was granted. Note that Harold must have decided his mother was “fit” as he resided with her for decades (see below). James is to pay court costs and Flora is to have custody of child Herbert Letcher with James given a visitation schedule. There was mention of attorney Gustavus Baylis of New York City.
James H. Letcher, the son of Amos and Lydia Peck Letcher, was born on 3 Mar 1850 in Summit Co, OH; he died on 28 Aug 1930 in Ottawa, Putnam Co, OH and was buried in Gilboa, OH. Father Amos Letcher was related to President James A. Garfield.
Flora Hamilton was born in Syracuse, NY on Dec 1861, parentage unknown.
The Letchers appeared in only one census as husband and wife.
1880 Bryan, Williams, Ohio; Roll: 1078; Family History Film: 1255078; Page: 656C; Enumeration District: 12; Image: 0173.
h/h 544/569 Letcher, JH 30 OH-NY-NY printer
Flora 19 NY-NY-NY
James filed divorce action in Jan 1889 with a divorce granted c21 Feb 1889.
JH Letcher and Ella York/Yerk/Haspethorne/Hospelhem were married on 26 Feb 1891 in Wood Co, OH and they had a daughter Nina Louise Letcher, born 30 Jan 1892 in Pualski Twp (Births v2 p152). Ella was married once before to *** York. In the divorce action there was mention of son Herbert alive in 1889.
Ella Haspethorne was the daughter of George and Marie Bamber Haspethorne; she was born on 22 Aug 1858 in Grand Rapids, OH and died on 23 Sept 1928 in Ottawa, Putnam Co, OH with burial in Blanchard, OH. Father George was once the postmaster in Gilead, Wood Co, OH. Mother Marie died on 30 July 1911 in Wood Co, OH and was buried in Otsego, OH. The family appears to stay in the Grand Rapids, Wood Co, OH area for many years.
The Letchers moved around a great deal as evidenced by the following census records:
1900 Washington, Warren, Indiana; Roll: T623_411; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 126.
h/h 61/62 Letcher, James H (Mar 1850) 50 OH-NY-NY editor
Ella wife (Aug 1858) 41 mar 9Y 1/1 ch OH-MD-NY
Nina L dau (Jan 1892) 8 OH-OH-OH
1910 Toledo Ward 4, Lucas, Ohio; Roll: T624_1208; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0059; Image: 653; FHL Number: 1375221.
23 Bancroft St
h/h 55/84 Letcher, James 59 mar 2x mar 19Y OH-NY-NY printer in printing office
Ella 51 wife mar 2x OH-MD-NY
Nina L 18 dau OH-OH-OH
1920 Franklin, Ripley, Indiana; Roll: T625_462; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 157; Image: 13.
h/h /37 Letcher, JH 68 OH-NY-NY editor of Milan Commercial
Ella wife 59 OH-MD-NY
James died in 1930.
What happened to errant wife, Flora? Flora Hamilton Letcher and her son Harold resided for over forty years in Brooklyn, NY with Flora being a missionary, a pysohorthropist, a magazine writer, and a housewife while Harold devoted his working years to selling insurance. They traveled to Bermuda together in 1923.
1900 Brooklyn Ward 25, Kings, New York; Roll: T623_1062; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 435
h/h 43/198 Fletcher, Flora H (Dec 1861) 38 widow 1/1 missionary
Harold (Feb 1882) 18 OH-OH-NY general clerk in insurance company
1910 Brooklyn Ward 1, Kings, New York; Roll: T624_955; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 0005; Image: 195; FHL Number: 1374968.
h/h /97 Letcher, Harold 28 OH-OH-NY agent for life insurance company
Florence sister 48 NY-NY-NY pysohorthropist office
Hyatt, Alvin boarder 31 NY-NY-NY correspondent for Mercantile ??
1920 Brooklyn Assembly District 21, Kings, New York; Roll: T625_1178; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 1340; Image: 294.
h/h 61/446 Letcher, Florence 58 widow NY-NY-NY writer for magazine
Harold son 38 OH-OH-NY manager of life insurance company
23 July 1923 USS Port St. George to Hamilton Bermuda
Florence Letcher born 1861 in Syracuse, NY of 379 Ocean Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Harold Letcher born 1882 in Bryan, OH the same address
1930 Brooklyn, Kings, New York; Roll: 1538; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 861; Image: 90.0.
Letcher, Florence H 69 widow NY-NY-NY housewife
What happened to Flora and son Harold after 1930 still remains a mystery, but what an interesting life Flora led.