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Custody of the Brown Mare, 

Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1881

By

Pamela Pattison Lash

Divorce proceedings may tell a great deal about the living conditions of the couple, their real estate description, the date and place of their marriage, and the birthdates of their children. Such is this example gleaned from the divorce records.

Daniel David Havens, b 1844 IN, NY parentage unknown, married Julia Ann Stickney on 7 Jan 1864 in Reading Twp, Hillsdale Co, MI.  Julia, b 1845 OH, was the daughter of NY natives William and Harriet Smith Stickney.  The Stickneys came to Wms Co c1844 and were enumerated in the 1850 NW Twp federal census, p51B, as William 31 NY carpenter, Harriet 24 NY, Louis 11 OH, Julia 6 OH, and Benjamin 1 OH.  They appeared in the 1860 NW Twp federal census, p8, as William 44 NY, Harriet 33 NY, Julia 16 OH, Edward 8 OH, Elephalet (m) 6 OH, and Frances 1 OH.

The Havens family appeared in the 1870 and 1880 NW Twp federal census, p4 and p447D, respectively, but the divorce proceedings told the specific dates for the birth of the five children (Journal 11 p321 - Dec 1881; Roll 37 case number 923 - 25 July 1881.  These children were Norman W. (13 Nov 1864), Alpheus R (6 Aug 1867), Sherman (15 Oct 1870),  Jennie V. (13 Aug 1873), and Charles H. (1 June 1876).

From the above-cited divorce record one learns that Julia sued her husband, charging gross neglect and cruelty.  She said Daniel transferred her real estate to John F. Carl without her knowledge and the income from this property, deed to her by her mother, Harriet Stickney, in 1872 was hers.  She stated that on 1 June 1878 Daniel kicked and struck her; he provided no food or clothing for the family.  This physical abuse stemmed from an argument over a brown mare.  The court awarded her a divorce, reasonable alimony, and visitation rights so Daniel could see the children for two hours every Saturday.  In addition to this Julia was awarded custody of the mare in question.  Prior to the divorce the county sheriff arrested Daniel, but the record did not state the reason. (Probate #2342).

 

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