19 January 2014

Divorce Action - Elizabeth J Reese Van Buskirk v Leander Perry Van Buskirk

By Pamela Pattison Lash

This posting began as a tidbit from an old Williams Co, OH newspaper coupled with a divorce action and then led to the discovery of a tragic end for the lady in this story.


Bryan Democrat, 7 August 1884, p5 c2
Jailed – Leander Van Buskirk is now in jail.  A month or so ago he came to Montpelier claiming to be a deputy US Marshal and authorized to look after pensioners and pension claims.  He cut a wide swath for nearly a month.  A few days ago he went to William Brubaker, a pensioner, and told him that he was drawing more pension than his disabilities entitled him to, pointed out the enormity of the offense, and the severity of the government in similar cases.  Brubaker became alarmed, said he did not want anything that did not belong to him, and expressed a desire to settle the matter on the best terms possible.  Van Buskirk told him he had overdrawn about $40, that for that amount he would settle the case and the government would never trouble him.  Brubaker was willing to pay but had no money.  Van Buskirk said he would take his note for the amount and did execute to Van Buskirk a note for $40 payable in thirty days.  Van Buskirk sold the note to a party at Montpelier for $38.  The transaction became public and Saturday afternoon Sheriff McGraw arrested Van Buskirk.  Justice Drake gave him a hearing and the deputy US Marshal takes his meals at the jail in default of $300 bail.


Elizabeth “Lizzie” J. Reese VanBuskirk v Leander Perry VanBuskirk (Journal 14 p136 - 7 June 1887; p235- Nov 1887; p333 - 28 Mar 1888)
The couple was married on 20 Oct 1872 in Wms Co, OH. The case was continued twice and finally she was granted a divorce.  He was charged with gross neglect but the children were divided up with Eugene and Maggie (Margaret b 15 May 1878, Florence Twp, V1 p121) living with Leander's parents, Emma living with Lizzie, and Amanda living with John Walter.  Lizzie paid court costs.

Leander Perry Van Buskirk (1852 Florence Twp, Williams Co, OH – 29 Nov 1893 South Bend, St Joseph Co, IN) s/o Joseph Van Buskirk and Mary Reilly

Elizabeth J Reese (1 Apr 1851, Seneca Co, OH – 30 Nov 1923 South Bend, St Joseph Co, IN; bur Highland Cem, South Bend, St Joseph Co, IN); d/o Hermanius J Reese and Rachael Sechman/Seckman

1860 Florence, Williams, Ohio; Roll: M653_1052; Page: 31; Image: 65; Family History Library Film: 805052.
Leander Van Buskirk 8 OH living with parents Joseph and Mary Van Buskirk plus siblings

1870 Florence, Williams, Ohio; Roll: M593_1282; Page: 81A; Image: 165; Family History Library Film: 552781.
Leader Van buskirk 19 OH living with parents Joseph and Mary Van Buskirk plus siblings

1880 Florence, Williams, Ohio; Roll: 1077; Family History Film: 1255077; Page: 563A; Enumeration District: 008; Image: 0760.
Van Buskirk, Leander 28 OH-PA-Germ carpenter
Elizabeth 29
Alta M 7
Jefferson E 5 (Eugene)
Alice E 4 (Emma)
Mary M 2 (Maggie)
Amanda J 2M

M1894 Patrick J. Paul Walsh

1900 South Bend, IN
Walsh, Patrick J 36 IL-Ire-Ire- laborer in plow company
Elizabeth 49 OH-OH-OH mar 6Y 6/4 ch
Several boarders
Van Buskirk, Amanda step dau 20 OH-OH-OH

1910 South Bend, IN
Walsh, Patrick J 40 IL
Elizabeth 50 OH

1920 South Bend Ward 1, St Joseph, Indiana; Roll: T625_463; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 220; Image: 633.
Walsh, Paul 50 IL-Ire-Ire assembler in plow company (born Dec 1864 IL) so his age is 56
Elizabeth J 68 OH-OH-OH

Checking on her parents, I was led not only to her mother’s identity but also the tragic accident that befell Elizabeth:

Herman J Reese, Williams County Death Record Vol 3 p110
13 December 1894, cause of death: Cancer; Occupation: farmer

Bryan Press, 20 December 1894
Hermann J. Reese was born March 25, 1827 in Stark County, Ohio and died in Edon, Williams County, Ohio, December 18, 1894, aged 67 years 8 months and 18 days. In July 1850, he was married to Rachel Sechman. One daughter was born to this union and the young wife died when the child was 10 days old. In 1853, he was united in marriage to Francis A. Merchant, who still survives him. Eleven children were the fruit of this marriage, eight of whom are still living. He has been a resident of this county 37 years. In 1860 he experienced religion, and joined the UB church and made his home with that denomination until 13 years ago. He left his farm and moved to this village where he united with the ME church and during all these years he has been an active and energetic Christian.

Bryan Democrat, 20 December 1894
Herman J. Reese was born in Clark County, Ohio, December 25, 1827, and died at Edon, Williams County, Ohio December 12, 1894. He was married July 1850 to Rachel E. Sechman. One daughter was born to this union. When the child was 10 days old, the young wife was laid in her grave. April 3, 1853, he was joined in wedlock to Francis A. Merchant, who survives her [sic]. Eleven children were the fruits of this union, eight of whom are still living. Mr. Reese was a resident of this county for 38 years. In 1860 he experienced religion and joined the UB church and made his home with that denomination until 1881, at which time he left his farm and moved to Edon. He then became a member of the ME church and during all these years he lived an acitve energetic life. In his worldly intercourse he was always kind and obliging; charitable to the poor and ready to aid the distressed; honest and prompt in his business transactions; he will be missed at home, in the church and by his fellow men. He was a member of the village council, and as a token of respect, the town hall was appropriately draped in mourning. He was laid to rest in Edon Cemetery, five sons and one grandson acted as pallbearers, and Rev. F.M. Gordon conducted the burial services.

Obit part for Frances Reese in 1912:
She leaves to mourn their loss, one step-daughter, Mrs. P.J. Walsh of South Bend, Ind.; two daughters, Mrs. A.J. Stuller of Mishawaka, Ind., and Mrs. Ida Kollar of Bridgewater Township, Williams County; five sons, J.H. and D.H Reese of Steuben County, Ind.; C.A. and D.J. and A.E. Reese of Williams County, 23 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren and a countless number of friends.

South Bend Tribune, 30 November 1923 Section 2 p1
"WOMAN IS KILLED BY FAST NEW YORK CENTRAL TRAIN-Mrs. Elizabeth Walsh is Victim of Mishap-CROSSING NOT GUARDED-Watchman Testifies She Ignored His Signal to Stop-Locomotive Pilot Strikes Glancing Blow-Mrs. Elizabeth Walsh, age 60, 1803 Marine Street, wife of P.J. Walsh, died at 9 o'clock this morning in the St. Joseph hospital from injuries sustained at 7:57 o'clock this morning when she was struck by a fast west bound mail train at the intersection of Leer Street with the right of way on the New York Central railroad company. Mrs. Walsh, whose body was struck a glancing blow by the pilot of the locomotive and hurled across the crossing more than 40 feet from the point of impact apparently did no know of the approaching train, according to Theodore Davis, 610 East Ohio Street, the crossing watchman, who stated she paid no attention to his warning signal to stop. The train, in charge of Conductor C.E. Rextrew and Engineer I. Wells, both of Elkhart, Ind., was stopped immediately following the accident ad was released when the police arrived with the ambulance. Mrs. Walsh was taken to the St. Joseph hospital promptly, but died from the effects of a skull fracture. Her right leg and right arm had also been splintered."

South Bend Tribune, Saturday Evening, 1 December 1923
"Funeral Services for Mrs. P.J. Walsh, 1802 South Marine Street, who was killed by a New York Central train at the Leer street crossing, will be held Monday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the residence. Rev. A.E. Monger, of the First Methodist Episcopal Church, officiating. Burial will be in Highland cemetery. Mrs. Walsh was born in Williams County, Ohio, April 1, 1852, and has been a resident of South Bend for 33 years. She is survived by her husband and the following children: Mrs. M.C. Kale of LaPorte, Ind.; Mrs. C.E Mason, Goshen, Ind., and J.E. Van Buskirk, Oklahoma City, Okla. Several brothers and sisters residing in Ohio also survive her.

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