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Marriage & Divorce Articles from the Kokomo Newspapers
(Howard County, Indiana)

An Elopement

A Kokomo Couple Temporarily Frustrated by an Irate Father

The Peru Journal of Tuesday contained the following: "Last evening about 5 o'clock Marshal BOZARTH received the following dispatch:

Kokomo, July 13, 1885
Arrest my runaway daughter, Anna OSLER, sixteen years old, short, chunky girl, light hair, accompanied by young man, Ben HOSTETLER, eighteen, height 5 feet, both ticketed to Michigan City. Enquire of conductor on north bound train due there at 6.
David OSLER.

In an interview had by a Journal reporter with the would be benedict he said he was 20 years old, was a farmer, that he was living with his father on a farm four miles west of Kokomo. He said he met Miss Anna three weeks ago at Mrs. Woodworth's meetings, that he took her home and had been with her nearly every night since.

He says she is a poor girl, who has earned her living by working out since she was seven years old. Her father, he says, is a worthless sort of a fellow and did not treat his daughter Anna in a fatherly manner. He says her father told her last Sunday that she need not come home any more. He also claims that the father has $15 of her money which, if they are taken back to Kokomo, she will sue him for.

He says he could not bear to see the girl treated so shamefully by her father and being in love, they concluded to get married and failing to procure the necessary license in Kokomo, bought tickets for Michigan City, where they intended to remain over night with his uncle, when they would skip over to Michigan and be married the next day. He says he is pretty well fixed in this world's goods and he could and would take care of her.

The irate father of the would-be bride arrived on the 10:30 train and the matter was talked over. At first the stern parent was obdurate and would take his daughter back home and let the young man go to the d---l, but the officers advised and the young folks coaxed and finally he consented that they might return to Kokomo, where he would procure the license. Accordingly the party returned on the next train and ere this are reveling in connubial bliss.

The Journal's prediction of connubial bliss is doubtless correct, as the parties were granted license by Clerk Sailors on Tuesday morning and it is supposed were duly made man and wife, though by whom the knot was tied we know not.

--Kokomo Gazette Tribune, Tuesday, July 21, 1885

A Midnight Marriage

At midnight Monday, at the office of Mayor MOULLER, Mr. Edward DERVAUX and Miss Julia WERY, Rev. C.H. Brown presiding. The circumstances of the affair as may be inferred from the unseasonable hour of its consummation are a little out of the usual order, in fact, quite unusual and remarkably peculiar.

Miss Julia is an attractive little dame of French-Belgian extraction, and for a time, acted as a saleslady at one of our dry goods emporiums. Of late, she has been acting in the capacity of a domestic at Amos HAWKINS’.

Monday afternoon, she complained of not feeling well and asked to go to her home at the Junction for a few minutes’ stay. Late in the evening, Amos, alarmed by her prolonged absence, invoked the aid of Marshal SECRIST and a search was made for the missing girl, in which her parents joined. It was suspected she might be in the house at the Junction where her prospective liege lord boarded and the domicile was thoroughly searched and the erratic Julia found in a closet, somewhat less than half clad, though thoroughly frightened by the unexpected advent of the midnight intruders.

The parents insisted on an immediate marriage and all hands decided that was the proper thing to do under the circumstances. Accordingly, they came downtown to the Mayor’s office, and Clerk MOULDER and Rev. BROWN were routed from their peaceful slumbers, a license procured, and the ceremony uniting their hands and fortunes was performed. Tom SECRIST acting as the groom’s right hand man. Julia, we understand, was in no wise averse of the marriage.

-- Kokomo Evening Tribune, 24 Apr 1888, page 5

From the WPA Index to Howard County Marriages, page 187
DERVAUX, Edward to July WERY -- married 24 April 1888. Entry in Ledger C5 - page 495

Gone With a Handsomer Man

Mrs. Ed. Phillips Skips the Town with Truman Hobson - The Abandoned Husband Ask for a Divorce

Last Saturday, when Ed. PHILLIPS took his noonday meal and returned to the Armstrong, Landon & Hunt factory, he had a wife. When he returned in the evening, the wife was not to be seen and the home which for him had been none too cheerful was more desolate than ever. A short investigation demonstrated that the star lodger of the premises, Truman HOBSON, was also among the missing.

HOBSON and the woman took the train that evening, the former giving out word that he was going to Danville, Ill., but it is safe to say that the fleeing couple went in another direction.

The fugitives are both well known in Kokomo, the man having gained his notoriety by killing a man in a fight four years ago at a political rally, the circumstances of which are well remembered by our readers. HOBSON was drunk, going through the crowd hurrahing for Jeff DAVIS and making other taunting remarks, when Albert MILLER, an aged pensioner of the late war, assaulted him, and in the fight MILLER was knocked down and kicked to death. The grand jury at the first sitting failed to indict HOBSON, but at the next session a true bill was found. After a delay of many months the case came to trial and he was acquitted.

Mrs. PHILIPS was a Miss Ollie BOWERS, a sister of James MCCARTY'S divorced wife and is a fine looking woman. She and PHILIPS were married December 2, 1882, and of late have lived in what is known as the "Flat Iron" district, near Hunt's factory. HOBSON, who formerly worked with Deck MOORE at blacksmithing, has of late been assisting Jesse GORDON in the gas well drilling business, and when in the city lodged at the Philips home.

This morning the deserted husband, by Attorneys BLACKLIDGE, SHIRLEY & MOON, began action for divorce. In his complaint it is alleged that defendant during the past three or four years has been wholly unmindful of her duties as a wife, was cruel and inhuman, declaring she had no love for plaintiff and thought a divorce would be the proper thing; that defendant seem to enjoy the company of lewd and boisterous men [missing line] other men, and in many respects deported herself as a lady would not; that plaintiff, in hope of final reformation, clung to defendant until it was no longer in his power to do so; that finally on February 27 defendant left for parts unknown, in company with Truman HOBSON, saying she never expected to return.

--Kokomo Gazette Tribune, March 1, 1892

They Can't Agree

John DeWEESE , of Elwood wants a divorce from his wife, Barbara. They were married at Kokomo December 25, 1888 and lived together until two years ago. Then they separated. It is alleged she took the household furniture and vamoosed, leaving the premises deserted. John says Barbara has a violent temper and makes no effort to control it.

-- Kokomo Dispatch 20 July 1896

Divided the Property

Both Contestants Get a Divorce in SAWYER vs. SAWYER

As indicated in this paper Saturday. Judge KIRKPATRICK ruled in the divorce case of Eugene W. SAWYER vs. Laura A. SAWYER late Saturday evening. By his ruling a divorce is granted to the plaintiff on his complaint and to the defendant on her cross-complaint, finding that the plaintiff and defendant are owners by entireties of lot 61, original plat of Kokomo; that the same is of value of $4000 and that upon payment of $2000 by the plaintiff to the defendant within forty-five days the defendant is ordered to execute a deed for her interest in said property to plaintiff and in default thereof, W.C. OVERTON is appointed a commissioner to execute such deed.

If the plaintiff fails to pay the money as above set out, the defendant has the right to take the said property upon the same terms within thirty days thereafter, and in case neither party so takes it, said commissioner will sell the same and divide the proceeds equally between the parties to the suit.

The defendant is to take the piano, secretary, nut-picks, cake-knife, cake-stand, spoons, urn and tea set, and all bedding and the bedstead in her room, the plaintiff is to take all other property. The plaintiff is to pay [in] $200 attorney fees in forty-five days and a judgement for $300 alimony except in case she takes the property as above set out, then she [is] to take said sum out of the payments.

In this ruling one of the most interesting divorce cases of recent years is concluded and each of the parties interested is free to go his or her way. Dr. SAWYER has a splendid practice in his profession and will be able to meet all the demands of the court, though he, as is usually the case in such matters, feels that he has not had the best of it by any means. Mrs. SAWYER has a good business in the insurance line and is also secretary of the Merchant's Protective association. The finding of the court permits her to share in the profits of the doctor's practice during their nine years married life, and leaves her well prepared to meet the battle for bread and butter single-handed.

--Kokomo Dispatch, Thurs., November 19, 1891

Stepfather's Bride

Florence STONEBAKER, by D.A. WOODS, attorney, has filed suit in the circuit court for a divorce from Michael STONEBAKER. Plaintiff says she was driven on the fifth day of April from the defendant's home by his threats to do her bodily injury. The parties were married February 16 1891 and the plaintiff says at the time she was less than fifteen years of age, while the defendant was forty-five years old. The defendant was the stepfather of the plaintiff.

Defendant, it is alleged, has repeatedly cursed the plaintiff and called her vile names. He is said to be lazy and possessed of a violent temper which has driven his children by a former wife from his home.

Mrs. STONEBAKER asks the custody of the two children.

-- Kokomo Dispatch 27 Sept. 1902

Wants A Divorce And Ten Thousand

Wife of Wealthy Monroe Township Farmer Wants to Quit Him and Take Half of His Purse.

A divorce suit, that for a variety of reasons is one of the most interesting that has ever found its way into the courts from Western Howard, has been filed by the local firm of BLACKLIDGE, SHIRLEY & WOLF. The plaintiff in the case is Sarah BURGIT, wife of Fred BURGIT, one of the wealthiest of Monroe township's farmers and one of the best known men in that quarter of the county. The wife charges cruelty and asks that she be awarded alimony in the sum of $10,000 and that she be given the custody of two minor children, girls, one aged eight and one aged one.

Twenty-one years ago Fred BURGIT, then a man of forty-five years of age and known throughout the country-side as an eccentric bachelor and recluse, became smitten of the charms of seventeen-year-old Sarah LA DOW, a young woman of French parentage who lived near he village of Forest. The garrulous old bachelor proved a gay bean and it took him not over long to woo and win the impressionable, but pretty Sarah.

The good season came the wedding and then the couple settled down with much promise of fair weather on the broad acres that the groom owned and that still stretch to the southward from the village of Shanghai. By-and-by there came a daughter. She grew apace and she, too, is married now. With the passing years enter two other children and a multiplicity of other cares to the young wife. She insists that she tried to meet them with diligence and with proper spirit and that she labored early and late, long and earnestly to make her home a pleasant and happy one.

There came a time, however, when the disparity in years and the former habits and eccentric inclinations of the husband began to toll. Three score years found him a soured and fractious old man. Constant abuse and threatened violence, the wife says, became her daily lot, but for the sake of her children and in the hope of avoiding notoriety she possessed herself in patience till like with her husband became unbearable and she determined to seek relief in the courts.

It is estimated that BURGIT'S holdings are easily worth $20,000 and the wife, in her plea for alimony asks for half of that amount. The final separation of the parties occurred Monday, the husband abandoning his home after a quarrel that day. The wife immediately came to this city, retained attorneys and lodged her complaint with the court.

-- Kokomo Daily Tribune, October 9, 1902

Man, Aged 80 Weds Woman 30 Yrs Old

While two unhappy couples were getting the complaints on file in circuit court yesterday, asking for legal separation, a couple appeared at the clerk's office and asked for the necessary papers to make them husband and wife.

The groom-to-be was John H. FISSE, bowed with more than four-score years, he having been born in Germany, March 2 1837. He was compelled to get about with the assistance of a cane and was also assisted up the stairway to the clerk's office by the bride-to-be, Martha GRAHAM, aged 30 years.

The necessary document was soon prepared by the clerk and the couple left the office apparently as happy and light hearted as possible.

-- Kokomo Dispatch 10 October 1917

Ate All The Bacon

Mrs. Josephine JONES Accuses Her Aged Husband in Divorce Suit

Sitting as special judge, Attorney B.C. MOON this afternoon heard the evidence in the divorce case of Josephine JOHNSON-JONES, 53 years old, against John K. JONES, 75 years of age.Mrs. JONES said that her aged husband ate up all the bacon and potatoes that she had on hand as well as the sugar in a gallon can and finally while she was moving from her own home in Greentown to one he had bought her, he ordered her to leave him and said he wanted a divorce.Mrs. JONES said she could not live with her husband whom she married March 10, 1919, separating from him in May following.JONES, it was said, would neither buy anything nor furnish her any money.

Judge MOON heard the case of Mary JOHNSON against Alvin JOHNSON. The evidence was not completed in either case.

-- Kokomo Daily Tribune, 15 May 1920

Monument at Crown Point Cemetery
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