26 April 2019

He Killed His Father and Began a Partial Life of Crime – Jackson Wonderly

He Killed His Father and Began a Partial Life of Crime – Jackson Wonderly
By Pamela Pattison Lash

     There are so many real crime stories found in old newspapers.  This particular one deals with a man who started a decade’s worth of crime in a big way – he was seventeen when he shot his father to death.
Here are the newspaper snippets:

Defiance Democrat, 20 July 1876, p3 c5
Mrs. Elizabeth Wonderly was indicted for murder with a bail of $2500.  Her trial will be in September.  Jackson Wonderly was indicted for murder of his father with a bail of $2,000.

Defiance Democrat, 20 July 1876, p3 c1
The trial of Jack Wonderly attracted more ladies than any other trial in the county.  One lady gave him a gold ring.  Jackson was 17 years old; he shot his father to death in a domestic quarrel last November.  The trial was from July 5-15 with many witnesses.  He was given seven years of hard labor for manslaughter instead of the original charge of first degree murder.

Defiance County Express, 7 March 1878, p3 c7
Under application of Seneca Wonderly and others to the Governor of Ohio on 2 April 1878 there was a plea for pardon for Jackson W. Wonderly, convicted of manslaughter at the May Term 1876 in Defiance County, OH.  His sentence was seven years.

Defiance County Express, 24 October 1879, p5 c4
Jack Wonderly returned from the penitentiary, having served 3Y 11M out of seven years.

Defiance County Express, 5 January 1882, p5 c4
Jack Wonderly was locked up in Hicksville jail for cattle stealing and forgery.

Defiance County Express, 12 January 1882, p6 c4
Jack Wonderly probably would have added a second murder to his list of crimes if allowed to run at large.

Defiance County Express, 19 January 1882, p6 c3 and 5
There is much sympathy for Jack Wonderly that was wasted a few years ago when he was on trial for killing his father.  He was arrested along with John Wonderly and George Sewell for cattle stealing.

Bryan Press, 26 January 1882, p5 c2
Jack Wonderly stole cattle and plead guilty at Defiance; he was same youth who was tried a few years ago for killing his father.

Defiance County Express, 26 July 1882, p6 c 3 and 5
Four men were taken to the penitentiary by Sheriff Foust and Coroner Aldrich.  Jack Wonderly was one of them.  He had changed his plea to guilty.

Defiance County Express, 26 November 1885, p6 c4
Sheriff Wonderly and Marshall Hepler took Jack Wonderly who was convicted of grand larceny to Columbus; he was sentenced to four years.

Defiance County Express, 10 December 1885, p3 c3
Abner Coy of Mark Twp. lost two valuable colts as friends of Jack Wonderly may have had something to do with this.  Abner’s evidence had sent Jack to the pen again.

Defiance Daily News, 8 July 1898, p4 c3
Jack Wonderly and his wife of Cygnet came here for funeral of his mother, Mrs. Lemon.

Defiance Daily News, 27 December 1899, p5 c2
At Mark Center Jack Wonderly came to spend Christmas with his relatives.

     By now the reader has a fair idea of the criminal activities of Jackson Wonderly, but who was he?
The following is what I have been able to piece together for Jack and his family:

Jackson Wonderly was born in May 1859 in Loudon Twp., Seneca Co, OH, but grew up in Mark Center, Defiance Co, OH, the son of Civil War Veteran, Joseph W Wonderly, and beloved mother Elizabeth Thom.  The parents were married on 15 December 1853, Seneca Co, OH.  They would have a large family of children – Seneca, Melissa J, Jackson, Peleg, Emma, John Madison, Chauncey, and Marietta.

Joseph, the father, was a carpenter who enlisted on 30 August 1862 – 30 June 1865, in Co K 101st Ohio Infantry.  Elizabeth, the mother, would also be indicted for her husband’s murder, but it does not appear that she was sent to jail.  She applied for and received a pension through her husband’s service on 28 June 1880.  Sometime between 1884-1887 Elizabeth married Samuel Chambers Lemmon, a hotel clerk from Garrett, DeKalb Co, IN; Samuel was also a Civil War Veteran, a musician with the WVA 1st Cavalry.   Elizabeth died July 1898 and was buried in the Forest Home Cemetery, Hicksville, Defiance Co, OH.

At some point when Jackson was no longer in prison he married Bardie Gansley, 24 November 1894, Miami Co, OH.  The couple had a daughter, Ladonna Wonderly, who would later marry Welcome Dalrymple.  Bardie died in April 1928 and later Jackson would pass away in 1932; they are buried in Shiloh Cemetery, Shiloh, Montgomery Co, OH.

Aside from the newspaper articles, other sources were employed to provide data for this tale.
1860 Loudon Twp, Seneca Co, OH
1870 Milford Twp, Defiance Co, OH
1880 Mark Center, Defiance Co, OH
Miami County, OH Marriages (1885-1895), p458
1900 Sidney, Shelby Co, OH
1910 Dayton, Montgomery Co, OH
1920 Dayton, Montgomery Co, OH
1930 Dayton, Montgomery Co, OH

31 December 2018

Pool Room Proprietor Divorce - Gause v Gause - Williams Co, OH, 1906

Bertha M Gause v Bert D Gause, Williams Co, OH, 1906
By Pamela Pattison Lash

Bryan Democrat (Bryan, OH), Thursday, 27 November 1906, p1 c7
Ordered to Leave Home
So Says Mrs. Bertha M Gause in Petition for Divorce from Bert D Gause
Charging among other things, that her husband, Bert D Gause, ordered her to leave home before the next afternoon, or that he would hire a dray (wagon) and move her and her clothing, Mrs. Bertha M Gause, prays for a legal separation of the marital ties that now bind her to an alleged recreant spouse.

In the petition filed in common pleas court, and sworn to by her, Mrs. Gause charges that her husband has been guilty of extreme cruelty and gross neglect of duty.  She says that for two years Mr. Gause has refused to give her any affection or attention.  That he refused her money, unless she would tell him for what purpose she wished to use it.  Mrs. Gause also says that the defendant would take his meals at a hotel and that on several occasions from the slightest provocation, cursed her before large crowds of young people.

Mrs. Gause says her husband has property in Montpelier valued at $2,000.  She asks for a divorce, suitable alimony, and that she be restored to her maiden name of Bertha M Daughton.  DA Websterr of Montpelier is her attorney.  Mr. Gause operates a pool room in that town.  The couple was married at St Joe, MI on September 27, 1903.

Here’s what I found about this couple:
Bert D Gause (31 July 1878, Roan, Wabash Co, IN – 7 December 1960. Elkhart, Elkhart Co, IN), was the son of George Gause and Kate Corder; he is buried in Rice Cemetery, Elkhart, Elkhart Co, IN.
Bertha M Daughton/Doughton (13 December 1884, Montpelier, Williams Co, OH – 24 February 1979, Toledo, Lucas Co, OH), was the daughter of Cassius/Caius Doughton and Emma S Wingert.
As stated in the newspaper article the couple was married on 27 September 1903 in St Joseph Co, MI.

Other marriages included

Bert D Gause married Mae A Deal , daughter of Silas Grier on 24 December 1920 in Elkhart Co, IN; Mae had been divorce twice before, once in 1911 and the other shortly before her marriage to Bert.  The couple had a daughter, Emeline, born 1931.

Bertha married William M Lane on 14 May 1908 in Lucas Co, OH and divorced by the 1910 federal census. She married Daniel J Rehklau in Lucas Co, OH on 4 April 1915.

From South Bend and Indianapolis, IN newspapers , starting on 9 January 1915 -5 March 1915 one learns that Bert was a naughty boy.  Melvin Long, a tramp, was arrested for stealing $200 worth of cigars from freight car on route from Florida to Chicago.  William Long, his brother, a Lake Shore trainman, is charged with receiving stolen goods.  Bert D Gauze, poolroom owner, is accused of buying some stolen cigars and Clyde Deller, laborer, is held under investigation in Elkhart, IN.

Bert had to pay a cash bond on $500 for his appearance in court.  It has been said he purchased stolen items from a gang of loafers about his place.  Bert was convicted of receiving stolen goods and fined $50 plus served 30 days in jail.

In South Bend and Indianapolis newspapers of 1916 Bert placed several ads in newspapers – he has a first class mail order or hardware specialty, full of merit, dies ready for manufacturing, price $5,00.
Free inducements offered you to locate in MI, OH, IL, and IN with some capital furnished as going concern.

Cigar and billiard room, part cash, seven years in business, will stand strict investigation, no junk, good business, well located, best reason for selling…………….Bert D Gause.

One also learns that Bert has a brother, William who was the owner of William Gause Shows and Italian Band (carnival) that toured principal cities in US, plus in 1909 had a first class restaurant in Peru, IN.

Elkhart Co, IN Marriages V 29 p593
1880 Roan, Wabash Co, IN – Bert 3 IN with parents
1900 Paw Paw, Wabash Co, IN – Bert D 21 IN with parents
1900 Montpelier, Williams Co, OH – Bertha M 15 OH with mother
1908 Toledo, Lucas Co, OH Marriages, p213 – Bertha says she’s never been married before
1910 Elkhart, Elkhart Co, IN – Bert 31 In with brother
1915 - Lucas Co, OH Marriages (1914-1917) – Bertha says she’s been divorced once from Lane; Rehklau is six years her junior
1917 WWI Draft Registration – Bert D of Elkhart Co, IN
1920 Elkhart, Elkhart Co, IN – Bert 42 IN roomer
1930 Elkhart Co, IN – Bert D 50 IN/Mae A 42 IN living with her parents
1940 Elkhart, Elkhart Co, IN – bert 60 IN/Mae 52 IN
1942 WWII Draft Registration – Bert of Elkhart Co, IN

21 November 2018

Divorce in Defiance Co, OH - Heacock, 1849

Larkin Heacock v Mary M Sherrod Heacock - Divorce in Defiance Co, OH, 1849
By Pamela Pattison Lash

From a newspaper account one can begin to do some research on the couple known as the Heacocks or Haycocks.

Defiance Democrat (Defiance, OH), Saturday, 23 June 1849, p3 c4

Petition for Divorce
-         Larkin Heacock v Mary M Heacock

-        The defendant will take notice that on 1 February 1849 a bill was filled in the Court of Common Pleas of Defiance, Oh by the said Larkin Heacock, praying to be divorced from the said Mary M Heacock, his wife. The cause was neglect of duty, willful absence, and at the next term of said court an application will be made for a decree divorcing said complaint from said defendant.

So what do we know about this couple?  Here’s what I found:
Larkin Heacock, son of Samuel Heacock and Esther Antrim, was born on 11 April 1812 in Washington Co, PA and died on 16 October 1887 in Holgate, Henry Co, OH.  He was buried in Riverside Cemetery, Defiance, Defiance Co, OH. Larkin appears to be a Quaker

Mary M Sherrod, the daughter of William Sherrod and Mary Polly Nicholas, was born on 18 October 1815 in Orange, Carroll Co, OH, and died c1880.  The couple was married on 20 November 1834 in Carroll Co, OH. 

In 1840 the couple lived in Warren, Tuscarawas Co, OH with head of household Larkin Haycock having the enumerated as 1male under 5, 1 male 20-29, 1female under 5, 1 female 5-9, and 1 female 20-29.  They were living next door to a John c Haycock and a Caleb Haycock.  Ten years before Mary’s father, William Sherrod, Sr was enumerated in Warren, Tuscarawas Co, OH.

On 3 October 1842 in Carroll Co, OH a will was brought to the court for probate.  The will belonged to William Sherrod, Mary’s dad.  The will was signed by his mark on 4 September 1842, giving out bequests to his beloved wife, his youngest son David B Sherrod as his executor, and his youngest daughter, Mary Haycock, wife of Larkin Haycock, in addition to what I gave her, $200 starting on 17 June 1844 setting up a promissory note and each year $25 to be taken from this sum for her, and my son-in-law Larkin Haycock is NOT to use or have any contact with the aforesaid money.

Well it looks like Larkin did not have a great relationship with his father-in-law.  Perhaps Mary was no longer living with Larkin by that time.  Larkin’s obituary stated that he moved to Defiance from a farm near Evans port about 1845 and was  for a number of years head miller at the Defiance Mill.  Later he was proprietor of the Russell House and afterwards had charge of the Larkin and Empire Hotels.

In 1850 Defiance, Defiance Co, OH shows Larkin Heacock 39 PA miller $300 real estate living with Frederick and Elizabeth Stevens.  Frederick was also a miller. 

On 19 May 1853 in Defiance Co, OH he married Susannah Hamilton.  Susannah Clarissa Iler, was born on 14 April 1824 at Kirks Mills, Washington Co, PA and died on 21 September 1894; she is buried next to Larkin in Riverside Cemetery.  She had two children from her marriage to Mr. Hamilton – John Hamilton and Emma Hamilton Booth (George).  Her obit stated that she came from Columbiana Co, OH with her widowed mother, Jane Iler and her two children to Defiance in 1854.  After a few years she married Larkin Heacock who had two children, Sherrod and Martha. Together they had Edward Byron, Ambia B, Victoria, Ulysses Grant, Alice K, and Tecumseh Sherman. 

Obviously when one examines the vital records, one finds that this narrative is incorrect as she had already married Larkin in 1853.

On the 1860 federal census for Defiance, Defiance co, OH one finds Larkin Heacock 48 running a boardinghouse PA with Susannah 36 PA, Sherrod 20 OH law student, John Hamilton 11 OH, and Heacock children Emma 8 OH, Edward 6 OH, Ambia 2 OH, and Victoria 4/12 OH.  Again Larkin was listed in 1870 Defiance, Defiance Co, OH as 58 hotelkeeper PA, Susan C 46 PA, Sherrod 30 OH, Edward B 16 OH, Ambia B 12 OH, Ulysses G 8 OH, and Hamiltons John 21 OH farm laborer and Emma J 18 OH milliner/dressmaker.

By the 1880 Defiance, Defiance Co, OH federal census L Heacock 69 PA was hotel keeper along with Susanna 56 PA, Sherrod 40 OH lawyer, EB 25 OH traveling agent, AB 22 OH, and Grant 18 OH.  In 1882 the couple moved to Holgate, Henry Co, OH where Larkin died. More information is needed about ex-wife Mary M Sherrod Heacock.

14 November 2018

Buried Alive in Williams County, OH, 1902 - Warburton/Warberton

Buried Alive in Williams County, OH, 1902
By Pamela Pattison Lash

The following account appeared in the Bryan Democrat (Bryan, OH), Thursday, 4 December 1902, p1 c8:

Uncle James Warberton, one of the sturdy pioneers of this section, was buried alive last Friday forenoon and lives to tell the tale.  Mr. Warberton descended into an old well near his residence to remove the brick from the wall, it being no longer used as a source of water supply for the family.  He went down into the well by means of a ladder, and was engaged about his task; without a moment’s warning the earth caved in from all sides.  Before Mr. Warberton was cognizant of what had happened he found himself buried under two or three feet of very compact sand.  Fortunately, for Mr. W. members of his family were near the scene of the accident, and immediately set to work with all their might and main at exhumation.  The dirt was removed from around his head in a remarkably short time, but some moments elapsed before he was entirely extricated from his perilous position.  His escape from suffocation is considered miraculous, and he owes his life to the prompt assistance of the rescuing party.  Mr. Warberton is past eighty years and a well preserved man for one of his advanced age. – Edgerton Earth.

Here is some additional information on this survivor and his family:
James Warburton (25 September 1822, Lancastershire, England – 7 January 1907, of dropsy, Edgerton, St Joseph Twp, Wms Co, OH); buried in Maple Grove Cemetery, Edgerton, St Joseph Twp, Wms Co, OH; came to the US c 2 May 1842 and married first – Dinah Salter (1824 England -1860, Medina Co, OH).

The couple had five children – Albert H, Mary E, Allice A, Frank C, and Eliza J, all of whom were born in Summit Co, OH, and all but Mary E lived in Summit Co, OH.  Mary E married Enos Vallen, 15 April 1866 in Summit Co, OH but later moved to Williams Co.

Sometime after Dinah Warburton died, James moved to Williams Co, OH c1864 and settled on 240 acres in Section 12 of St Joseph Twp.  He married Mary A (Hudson) Morris, widow of Charles Morris, on 9 December 1879, Wms Co, OH, and the couple continued to live on the Warburton homestead until about 1894 when James sold half of his land to son-in-law Enos Vallen; by 1903 Enos owned it all but James and wife Mary Ann continued to live there until James’ death.  Mary later moved to Toledo, Lucas Co, OH, until her death on 13 July 1908.  There is a stone for the couple in Maple Grove Cem, but no dates were inscribed to signify either birth or death dates.

I noted that the surname can be Warberton or Warburton.  When the above described incident happened James was just 80 years old and the rescuing party (his family members) most likely were his wife, his daughter and son-in-law, Enos Vallen.  Perhaps this event was the reason why by 1903 Enos owned all the homestead.  

1850 Bath, Summit Co, OH – James 26 Eng/Dinah 26 Eng - miller
1860 Northampton, Summit Co, OH – James 40 Eng w/children – common laborer
1870 St Joseph Twp, Wms Co, OH – Mary Morris 35 OH with daughters Hannah and Ida
1880 Edgerton, St Joseph Twp, Wms Co, OH – James 57 Eng/ Mary A 47 OH – retired miller
1900 St Joseph Twp, Wms Co, OH – James 77 Eng/ Mary A 65 OH no occupation
Medina Co, OH Marriages 1841-1855 p79 – James and Dinah Salter
Williams Co, OH Marriages V4 p660 #1962 – James and Mary Ann Morris
Williams Co, OH Atlases, 1864, 1874, 1894, 1903
Williams Co, OH Death, V3 p146

08 November 2018

Williams County, Ohio Naturalization Record, 1836-1839, 1842, 1866 and 1860-1874

Williams County, Ohio Naturalization Record, 1836-1839, 1842, 1866 and 1860-1874

Probate Court
Microfilm Roll 37 – loose papers

Alien Name                  Arrived/Filed               Witness                 Allegiance           Resident From   Page

Kuenh, Conrad                  22 December 1836           -              King of **            Fairfield Co, OH                 A

Wrinberge, Conrad         22 December 1836           -              Hanover               Fairfield Co, OH                 A

Neidhardt, Jacob              14 June 1837                      -              France                  New York                            B

Loburen, Frederick          August 1832                       -              King of Prussia   Stark Co, OH                       C

Nees, George                    15 April 1839                       -              Alsace, France   Oneida Co, NY                   D

Schone, Rudolf                 Baltimore/June 1833      -              Hanover               Montgomery Co, OH      E

*, George                            17 November 1842          -              Republic of         Columbiana Co, OH         F

Bodell, Alexander            25 March 1866                   John Doe             -              Williams Co, OH                G

Naturalizations 1860-1874
Page Number/Alien Name
Allegiance/Resident From

P2/Boos, John
17 January 1860
Predeger, Valentine/Pifer, Conrad
Hesse Darmstadt/Erie Co, PA

P3/Fehlman, Frederick
June 1852
Hellman, William/Rinkel, Frederick

P4/Younk, Philip
6 March 1860
Anwlith, PG/Anwlith, Christian
France/Stark Co, OH

P5/Schaberg, Stephen
Arrived January 1830
Youse, Jacob/Wibist, Joseph

P6/Gates, Frank
9 March 1860
Gates, Joseph/Anwldt, PG
Bohemia/Seneca Co, OH

P7/Pike, Richard
13 March 1860
Lees, William/Bush, Joseph
Great Britain/Williams Co, OH

P8/Radenbaugh, Jacob
19 March 1860
Greisop, John/Grub, Peter
Prussia/DeKalb Co, IN

P12/Harbaugh, John
18 April 1860
Gise, Henry/Dirk, George
Prussia/Williams Co, OH

P14/Dirk, George
18 April 1860
Gise, Henry/Harbaugh, John
Belgium/Williams Co, OH

P16/Mentz, John
19 May 1860
Goll. George/Planson, Peter
France/Williams Co, OH

P18/Krommiller, Ludwig
2 June 1860
Coy, Andrew/Berey, John
Wurtemberg/Williams Co, OH

P19/Collenberger, Conrad
Arrived September 1846
Plummer, MB/Gearhart, Henry
Hesse Darmstadt/OH

P20/Snider, Henry
15 June 1860
Rinkle, F/Grub, Peter
Bavaria/Williams Co, OH

P21/Housnich, Jacob
Arrived April 1824
Plummer, MB/Lucts, E

P22/Bavin, John
16 June 1860
Copeland, John D/Miller, BR
Great Britain/Ireland/Williams Co, OH

P23/Carey, Julius
Arrived June 1840
Planson, Peter/Carey, Valentine

P24/Besey, John
23 June 1860
Coy, Andrew/Benner, Samuel
Switzerland/Williams Co, OH

P25/Dorriot, John
Arrived May 1840
Willet, BR/Doriot, Gustave
Switzerland/Williams Co, OH

P26/Doriot, Gustave
30 June 1860
Willet, BR/Doriot, Julius
Switzerland?Wayne Co, OH

P27/Dorrson, Henry
Arrived March 1853
Sheridan, William/Curm, Charles

21 June 2018

Ice Pick Stabbing in Alvordton, 1933

Tri-State Alliance (Pioneer, OH), 29 June 1933, p1 c7

Stabbing Affray at Alvordton

Herbert Cassaday Attacks Hubert Stahl With Ice Pick

As the results of troubles extending over several years and in particular on Halloween night two years ago, Herbert Cassaday, 64, of Alvordton waited in the post office for Hubert Stahl, 28, last Saturday morning and when he entered the door attacked him with an ice pick, stabbing him 16 times and only from the fact that the instrument was dull Stahl would undoubtedly have been seriously wounded.
Stahl was surprised and stunned and was finally able to turn and use his fists and several vicious jabs, one on Cassidy’s head that caused him to break away and run down the CN tracks where he was overtaken and captured by Marshall Lester Borton who called Sheriff Siders who took Cassady to the county jail, where he was charged with assault with intent to kill, the affidavit being made by Mayor Wyrick of Alvord ton.  He was given a hearing in Justice Fogelsong’s court at Bryan and bound over to the grand jury under $300 bond which was furnished and he was released Tuesday.
This stabbing is the climax of a bitter feeling that has existed between the men for some time.  Two years ago on Halloween night Cassady claimed that Stahl and others came to his house, flashed a light in his face, pounded and otherwise injured so that he has not been well since and at that time he had Stahl arrested and charged with assault.  The case was tried in Justice court at Bryan and Cassady lost and was compelled to pay the cost of $11.  He has harbored a bitter feeling toward Stahl since that time and threatened to get even.

New Project at Local History Center, WCPL, Bryan, OH

New on the Shelf at LHC
Williams County, OH Marriages V8 – 1899 – every name data plus a family group sheet for each couple.  A researcher will be able to utilize this in conjunction with the older Volume 8 Marriage Book that is currently on the shelf. This book will act as an index for the new book.  Here is an example of what additional information one can find. (old data is underlined)

Williams Co, OH Marriages V8 p1/cert1 – m 11 Jan 1899
Stephenson, William Henry (2 Nov 1870, West Unity, Wms Co, OH – 1955), s/o James A Stephenson and Lorinda Radabaugh, farmer, age 28
Coulon, Ida (29 July 1875, Stryker, Wms Co, OH – 11 Nov 1979, Romulus, Wayne Co, MI), d/o Louis Coulon and Louise Gentit, farmer, age 23
Both buried in Shiffler Cem, Jefferson Twp, Wms Co, OH
Children: James Olen, Charles Vernon
1880 Brady Twp, Wms Co, OH – William 9 OH w/parents
1900 Brady Twp, Wms Co, OH – William H 29 OH/Ida 24 OH w/his parents
1910 Brady Twp, Wms Co, OH – William H 39 OH/Ida 34 OH
1920 Brady Twp, Wms Co, OH – William 49 OH/Ida 44 OH
1930 Stryker, Wms Co, OH – William H 58 OH/Ida 54

Williams Co, OH Marriages V8 p1/cert2 – 8 Jan 1899
Erney, Benjamin (26 Feb 1876 Seneca Co, ON or Sandusky, Erie Co, OH – 19 Aug 1944 Stryker, Wms Co, OH), s/o Frank Erney and Elizabeth Sprow, basketmaker, age 22
Kaiser, Louise (17 July 1876, Wms Co, OH – 28 Sept 1967, Wms Co, OH), d/o Lewis Kaiser and Mary Keinhart, housekeeper, age 22
Both buried in Oakwood Cem, Stryker, Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH
Children: Arthur Frank, Edward Benjamin, Paul Jacob
1880 Sandusky, Erie Co, OH – Benjamin 4 OH w/parents
1900 St Joseph Twp, Wms Co, OH – Benjamin 24 OH/ Louise 25 OH w/her mother
1910 Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH – Benjamin 34 OH/Louise 35 OH
1918 WWI Draft Registration – Stryker, rr telegrapger
1920 Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH – Benjamin 44 OH/Louise 45 OH
1940 Stryker, Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH – Benjamin 64 OH/Louise 65 OH

07 February 2018

Mother Sues Daughter - Grace Harper v Mary Alice Mills, Wms Co, OH 1909

Mother Sues Daughter - Grace Harper v Mary Alice Mills, Wms Co, OH 1909
By Pamela Pattison Lash

Sometimes I see a newspaper article that is definitely unique and this is one such item.  Here is the article:
Bryan Democrat (Bryan, OH), Thursday, 19 January 1909 p1 c4
Mother Sues Her Daughter
Says Offspring Refused to Keep Agreement to Support Her for Property

In a petition filed in common pleas court last week a mother sues to have the property restored to her that she had transferred to her daughter who the mother charges has failed to fulfill an agreement to keep and support her during her natural life.

The action is brought by Grace a Harper past eighty years of age against her daughter, Mary Mills, of Springfield Twp.  Mrs. Harper says in her petition that on august 17, 1903 her daughter agreed to keep and support her for the remainder of her natural life, in consideration of which Mrs. Harper avers she deeded to her daughter some property in Ridgeville Township, Henry Co, OH, and gave her certain personal effects named in the petition and $80 in cash.  

The aged plaintiff charges that shortly afterwards Mrs. Mills refused to fulfill the verbal agreement.  By reason of this Mrs. Harper says she was forced to become dependent on other relatives and friends.  She asks for an order of the court setting aside the transfer and the return of the personal property and money.  RL Starr is attorney for Mrs. Harper.

This is what one can learn from a little research concerning the family:

Grace A Hively (17 May 1829 Ross Co, OH – 19 November 1915, Ridgeville, Henry Co, OH); daughter of James W Hively and Henrietta Easterbrook; buried in Locust Grove Cem, Ridgeville, Henry Co, OH; spouse of James Wesley Harper (19 May 1828 Lenawee Co, MI – 23 September 1900 Defiance Co, OH); buried in Locust Grove Cem, Ridgeville Corners, Henry Co, OH; married 28 June 1849, Defiance Co, OH

Their children were two boys who died early, one unknown, Arthur A, Hattie E, Mary Alice, and William EP.  It is Mary Alice that figures into this story.

Mary Alice Harper (13 Feb 1863 Henry Co, OH – 20 February 1928 Wms Co, OH); buried in Boynton Cem, Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH; spouse William Arthur Mills; married c1881.
According to federal census records we get a sense of the geographical dynamics of this story:
1900 Ridgeville, Henry Co, OH – Grace Harper 71 widow no occupation, mother of 7 children with 4 surviving; she is living alone

1900 Ridgeville, Henry Co, OH – William Mills and wife Mary are living there; he is a farmer; not living close to mother

1910 Adams, Defiance Co, OH – Grace Harper 81 is living with son William E P and his family

1910 Springfield, Wms Co, OH – William Mills and wife Mary are farming and residing there

The conclusion using just the census is that Grace has been taken in by her son William, presumably sometime between the agreement of 17 August 1903 and the court date of 19 January 1909.  She is living with her son in Adams Twp, Defiance Co, OH in 1910 but dies in Ridgeville in 1915.  Whether she retrieved her personal and real estate property needs to be researched further.