Renaissance Man of Williams Co, OH - Divorce c. 1846
Pamela Pattison Lash
A Renaissance Man by definition is a fellow who is a "jack of all trades." This genealogical detailing pertains to a man who at one time in the Williams Co area followed the occupations of physician, lawyer, soldier, and newspaper editor.
Roll 6 Box 20 of the Wms Co, OH
Civil and Criminal Court Records gave some details about our Renaissance Man
that the local history books failed to mention.
Dr. Thomas H. Blaker, b.1820, PA, parentage unknown, married Elizabeth --
in Philadelphia, PA on 1 May 1839. Six
months later the couple moved to Cincinnati, OH and lived there until Aug 1842
when they traveled to Henia, Green Co, OH, and stayed there until moving to
Bryan, OH in Oct 1845. According to
The History of Williams Co, OH, Weston
Goodspeed, 1882, p267, Thomas established The
Northwestern, a newspaper that ran from 31
Oct 1845 to November 1846. This was
reported to be the first newspaper in the county and Blaker's partner was
another well-known physician, Dr. Thomas Kent.
Testimony in this divorce case stated that Dr. Thomas Blaker sued his
wife, Elizabeth in June 1846. In
this Thomas charged that between Feb and Mar 1846 Elizabeth had
"prostituted herself to the purposes of adultery with Dr. Thomas Kent of
Bryan", his newspaper partner, and that Elizabeth threatened to destroy Dr.
Blaker's personal property. On 30
Mar 1846 Elizabeth assaulted her husband with a club.
On the next day he summoned the following women to court to testify to
the shabby treatment he had received at her hands: Mary Monow, the mother of the
newspaper printer, Sarah Connin, Mary Athy, Lucinda Casatt, and Betsey and Nancy
Kent. He was later granted his
Whether this ex-wife Elizabeth went back home, possibly to Philadelphia,
or stayed here is not definitely known, but there is a Defiance Co, OH marriage
of an Elizabeth Blaker to a Robert Randall, 11 Apr 1847.
This Robert, a Virginia native, was a voter of Highland Twp in Defiance,
1845; he died in Defiance Twp, 18 Oct 1874 @73Y.
He is reported to have married an Elizabeth Arter, 8 Mar 1830 in
Muskingum Co, OH, and had six known children. In the 1850 Defiance Twp, Defiance
Co, OH federal census p16, the Randall family was listed as Robert 49 VA farmer,
Elizabeth 30 PA, Alexander 19 OH, Felix 12 OH, Isaac 10 OH, and Henry 7 OH.
The family was enumerated in the 1860 Defiance Twp federal census as
Robert 59 VA, Elizabeth 40 PA, Isaac 20 OH, and Henry 16 OH. Further research
needs to be done to determine if our divorcee' was his second wife.
Thomas Kent, the former partner, published a notice in the Sept 1847
issue of The Northwestern, stating that
he had sued his former employer (Blaker) and received a judgement for a total of
$700. He wanted to be paid what was
due him. In the 21 Jan 1848 issue
of that paper there was a notice to remove Tom Blaker from the list of
representatives to the Ohio General Assembly as he had removed from the county
and returned to his former residence in Green Co, OH.
Dr. Blaker healed his broken heart by marrying Mary Ann Huyck on 11 Nov
1849 (Wms Co, OH, V2 p108) and was enumerated in the 1850 German Twp, Fulton Co,
OH federal census p357 on 4 Oct 1850 as Blaker, Thomas 30 physician PA and Mary
Ann 20 OH. By the 1860 Bryan,
Pulaski Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p67 the family had grown: Blaker, Thomas
H. 40 lawyer, PA; Mary A. 30 OH; Charles E 5 OH; and Albert P 2 OH.
Mary Ann Huyck was born c. 1829 in Huron Co, OH, the eldest child of
Lucinda Basil and John T. Huyck, natives of Connecticut and New York,
respectively. By 1844 Lucinda died
after John Huyck moved his family to this area.
He later married Mrs. Elizabeth B. Gibbons Ferrier, widow of Andrew
Ferrier, on 5 Mar 1844 (Wms Co, OH V1p73).
When the Civil War called men to service, Dr. Blaker joined the 80th
OH REG as assistant surgeon and died 13 Nov 1862, Battle of Corinth.
His Wms Co, OH probate (#756) filed on 9 May 1863 left all his goods to
widow Mary and even though he supposedly had legal training, he did not leave a
will. In 1863 Mrs. T.H. Blaker was
the President of the Bryan Aid Society, doing her part for the war effort.
Further probate (#1204) showed the court set up guardianship for sons
Albert and Charles on 23 Mar 1868.
Mary Ann Blaker married Bryan butcher Eli R. Bennett, 14 Sept 1863 (Wms
Co, OH V3 p323). In the 1870 Bryan,
Pulaski Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p13, Charles Blaker 14 OH resided with
E.R. Bennett and his sons Joseph Bennett 16 OH and Fred Bennett 3 OH. What
happened to Mary Ann now Mrs. Bennett is not known at this time, but there is a
land transaction whereby Thomas Clodfelter and wife sold land to Mary A. Blaker
Bennett (Wms Co Deeds V26 p596). In
the Bryan Democrat, 12 Feb 1891 p5, Al
Blaker was badly crushed between two railroad cars; this could be the son of Dr.
Thomas H. Blaker.
Our Dr. Thomas Kent, son of Benjamin and Sarah Kent, was born in Loudon
Co, VA, 30 Mar 1806 and was married four times.
The alleged affair would have taken place after his first wife died (27
Aug 1845) and before he married a second time in 1851.
He had seven children from his first wife, Elizabeth Garretson.
His other wives were Susan Amanda Carter, Hannah M. Edgar, and Sarah
Kittredge. Dr. Kent was a physician
in Unity Twp, Columbiana Co, OH before setting up practice in the Pulaski area
c. 1839. He died in Bryan on 20 Mar
1883. Drs. Kent and Blaker
dissolved their newspaper partnership in Nov 1846, about five months after Dr.
Blaker's divorce. There is no known
record as to whether the two ever associated with one another after this, except
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