Two Physicians' Children
Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1884
The notion that divorce is more prevalent back in
the day by people with little education and few resources is definitely false.
This genealogical detailing concerns two Williams County, Ohio doctors
who had social status and more resources than most in the 1870-1880 period.
Their respective son and daughter married but money became an issue that
landed them in divorce court.
In the 1870 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census, p36, one finds JH Everett,
a physician, 59 VA with family of wife Rebecca 44 OH, Mabel 18 OH, and Charles
13 OH. Jonathan Everett died in Wms
Co, OH on 9 Feb 1877 (Deaths V1 p41) leaving his son Charles as head of the
house. In 1874 he owned property in
Bryan and his widow, according to the 1894 Wms Co Atlas, owned land in Center
Twp, Section32. Mrs. Rebecca
Everett was also a leading member in the Bryan Library Association as of 1882.
In the 1870 Center Twp federal census, p39, another physician was
enumerated as Daniel Caulkins 46 NH, Lydia 46 VA, Mary 16 OH, Alice 14 OH, John
M 12 OH, Lucy 10 OH, and Rose 2 OH. Dr.
Caulkins, b. 1824, NH, received collegate training at the school of Bishop Peck
while working his way through college. He
earned degrees in medicine, law, and theology.
He read a poem during the county's Centennial Celebration on 4 July 1876.
The Caulkins family had lived in Greenvile, Knox Co, OH before settling
in NW Ohio. He practiced medicine at Farmer (Defiance Co), Bryan, and Williams
Center for many years; he was listed in the 1860 Washington Twp, Defiance Co, OH
federal census p815, as Daniel Caulkins, physician; he had served in the
Mexican-American War, and also taught medical courses after the war.
He also began designing airships in the 1860's and tried to construct a
flying machine. While fever was
prevalent in the county in 1860 he never lost a patient, treating each fever
case as "typhus fever."
Within their social circles both families would get together and form
tight friendships. Possibly upon
the death of Dr. Everett, Dr. Caulkins took on the role as protector of the
family. Charles Everett married
Lucy J. Caulkins in Bryan on 31 Aug 1879 (Marriages V4 p642).
In the 1880 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census Charles Everett was listed
as 23 OH clerk along with wife Lucy 19 OH and his mother RC 53 OH.
In the 1880 Washington Twp, Defiance Co, OH federal census p237D,
Lucy’s father, Daniel Caulkins, was listed as Daniel 53 NH doctor.
Mother Lydia had died and Daniel remarried a Caroline M (unknown maiden
name) sometime after the 1880 census was taken.
All was not
a happy alliance as discovered in Journal 11 p571, Roll 38 case number 1088 for
29 Dec 1882 of the Williams County, Ohio Civil and Criminal Court.
Lucy requested a divorce from Charles citing gross neglect.
She stated that in Aug 1881 Charles had abandoned her and refused to
offer any financial support. She
told the court that he was worth $1800 and Lucy wanted a reasonable alimony.
Charles appeared in court disputing his net worth, saying it was much
lower. The court allowed Lucy
separation money but denied her a divorce.
Journal 12 p28 Lucy appeared in court again on 1 March 1883 and said she had
been to the Paulding Co, OH divorce court on 4 Jan 1883 requesting a divorce and
more alimony but the court told her to petition the Williams County court again,
which she did. The court found
Charles had abandoned her and a separation existed.
It set permanent alimony of $300 and from a later record (Journal 12 p354
- 24 Nov 1884) the court finally granted her a divorce.
This came almost two years after the initial filing.
further is directly known of this couple, but in 1895 Lucy's father, Dr. Daniel
Caulkins, moved to Toledo and spent his remaining years practicing medicine,
designing his airship that used gas, and publishing a book, Aerial
According to the 1900 Toledo, Lucas Co, OH federal census p220, Daniel
was enumerated as Daniel July 1824 (75) NH physician, married 20 years, and wife
Caroline M May 1843 (57) no birthplace. He died in Toledo in 1905.
The Neil Armstrong Space Museum at Wapakoneta, Ohio had a display as of
1975 honoring him for his interests in flight.
According to Dr. Caulkins' obituary four daughters and son, JM Caulkins
of Bryan, survived him. The daughters listed were Mrs. AB Replogle, Mrs. Perry
Humbert, and Mrs. Fred Cress, all of Toledo, and Mrs. Martin Zimmerman of Bryan.
Checking the 1900 and 1880 census I was able to place Mrs. Perry Humbert
as Rose Annette Caulkins, Mrs. Replogle as Mary Ellen Caulkins, and Mrs. Martin
Zimmerman as Alice Caulkins; this leaves Mrs. Fred Cress as the candidate for
Lucy, but currently there is no further information.
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