Ann Richey Friend v Leonard Friend
An Abused Friend, No Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1875
Blatant abuse was
well-documented with dates, witnesses, and circumstances offered, but the
court felt this couple should stay together, possibly for the sake of the
children, many of whom were grown and gone.
This genealogical detailing demonstrates what modern readers might call
a dire need for anger management and utter disregard for the well-being of a
spouse, the mother of ten of her husband's 14 children.
Leonard Friend was born in Ohio on 28 Feb 1807.
Some sources on the Internet claim his place of birth was West
Bethlehem Twp, Washington Co, PA, but all census records showed his birthplace
to be Ohio; if that is correct he may have been born in Stark Co, OH, where
his family lived. Leonard was the
son of John Henry and Magdalena Mocherman Friend, both natives of West
Bethlehem Twp, Washington Co, PA. He
first married Catherine Mocherman on 30 Sept 1831, Stark Co, OH (Marriages V1
p3 c2) and became the father of John (1832 - aft 1881), Henry (May 1839 - aft
1881; m. Lucy Merhling), Margaret (24 Nov 1842 Stark Co, OH - aft 1881, m1
Abraham Haynes, m2 Mr. Thomas), Elizabeth (? - aft 1881, Canton, Stark Co, OH,
m Mr. Stimmel). Leonard may have
been in the 1840 Paris Twp, Stark Co, OH federal census rolls, but this needs
to be verified; sometime before Sept 1849 wife Catherine had died.
Leonard married his second wife, Julia Ann Richey, parentage unknoen,
in Stark Co, OH on 22 Sept 1849. He and his family were enumerated in the 1850
Nimishellen Twp, Stark Co, OH federal census, p467, as Leonard Friend 30 OH,
Julia 24 OH, John 18 OH, Henry 11 OH, Margaret 8 OH, and Benjamin 1 OH.
Note that his daughter Elizabeth was not listed but a son Benjamin by
his new wife was and Leonard was ten years younger than he should be.
The Friends moved to NW Twp, Wms Co, OH c1851-1853. By the 1860 NW Twp
federal census, p9B, the family appeared as Leonard 50 OH, Julia A. 29 OH,
Benjamin F. 10 OH, Mary A. 8 OH, Eliza 7 OH, Adam 5 OH, Frederick 4 OH, Electa
J. 1 OH. Again they were listed
in the 1870 NW Twp federal census, p36, as Leonard 63, Julia 41, Benjamin 20,
Mary 18, Eliza 17, Adam 15, Frederick (Louis) 12, Catherine 11, Jacob 9,
Joseph 1, Abraham 4, (Sarah) Jane 6 with son Henry 30 and his family living
Wife Julia b. 1826 OH, parentage unknown, could not read or write but
she knew when she's had enough abuse, or so she thought.
Note that Julia was about 20 years his junior. According to the
Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court records (Journal 8 p393 - 2 Nov
1875; Roll 27 case number 52) Julia was 44 years old when she filed for a
divorce charging Leonard with extreme cruelty.
She outlined the dates of abuse beginning in Williams County on 1 Mar
1853 when Leonard dragged her by her hair and administered violent blows to
her head. She stated that ever
since then he would beat her up with his fists and hands.
This first date of abuse coincided with a time when she would have been
pregnant, although from the list of children she seemed to have been in a
perpetual state of pregnancy from about 1850-1869.
The next date of extreme abuse was 15 Sept 1874 when he beat her,
forced her out of the house on a cold and damp evening until she was allowed
back in at midnight. On 1 July
1875 Leonard would have killed her except for the intervention of others.
On 8 Aug 1875 he beat her again and on 11 Aug 1875 she left him due to
all the wrongs and injuries she had sustained.
Julia listed the children by name and age ranging from 24-year-old
Benjamin to 7-year-old Joseph.
Leonard had land held in fee simple in NW Twp, valued at $2500 plus a
large collection of personal property, which she catalogued for the court.
She wanted custody of the six minor children who at that time were
residing with their father. About
the same time Leonard in Roll 27 (case number 79) was being sued by Albert M.
Pratt for a financial deal of $125. The
court decided there would be no divorce and dismissed the proceedings.
Leonard and Julia were the parents of the following children: Benjamin
Franklin (1850-aft 1881; m. Ellen May); Mary A. (1852 - aft 1881; m. Clark M.
Coblentz); Eliza (1852 - aft 1881; m. possibly Charles E. Pew; Orlando Ellis);
Adam (1853 - 5 Feb 1909); Frederick Louis (1856 - aft 1881); Electa J. or
Catherine (1858 - aft 1881; m. John Bordner, 7 Dec 1879, Wms Co [Marriages V4
p659]); Jacob (1861 - aft 1881); Sarah Jane "Jennie" (1864 - aft
1881; m. Levi Augustine, 9 Oct 1886, Wms Co [Marriages V5 #887]); Abraham
(1866 - aft 1881); Joseph (23 May 1869 - aft 1881).
The couple did stay together as evidenced by the 1880 NW Twp federal
census, p434A, as Leonard 73 OH-PA-VA, Julia A 50 OH-OH-VA, Jane 17, Adam 15,
Joseph 11. On 22 Sept 1881 at his
home in Springlake Leonard Friend died of eryalpelas when he caught a cold in
his foot, which he had injured a week before. ("Bryan Press", 29
Sept 1881). Leonard was 74Y 6M
22D at the time of his demise and was buried in the Malcolm Cemetery in NW
Williams County, Ohio Probate (#2346) showed his estate record as of 4
Oct 1881 where the letters of administration gave a laundry list of his heirs:
widow Julia and children John, Henry, Margaret Thomas of Montpelier, Elizabeth
Stimmel of Canton, OH, Benjamin of Semer, IA, Mary A. Coblentz of Montpelier,
Eliza Pugh, Adam, Frederick of Burrall, MI, Catherine, Jacob, Jennie, Abraham,
and Joseph. Most of the children
resided in Springlake with the above noted exceptions.
Widow Julia Friend needed to sell the property of 40 acres to satisfy
Leonard's debts of $800. His
personal property was valued at $220, with Peter Friend and Lewis Mocherman
providing sureties for the estate. Julie
died in 1892 and she was buried beside her husband; later her son Adam (1853 -
5 Feb 1909) who died in NW Twp when a tree fell on him would join them.
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