Jackson County, Iowa

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Divorce Notices and News


Source: Every Woman Her Own Lawyer by George Bishop, Dick & Fitzgerald, New York, 1858, transcribed by mkk.

IOWA. – Divorces from bed and board are not granted in this State. A divorce from the bonds of matrimony will be decreed,
1. For adultery;
2. Impotency;
3. Wilful desertion for one year;
4. When either party has been convicted of an infamous crime;
5. Habitual drunkenness;
6. Cruel and inhuman treatment;
7. When itt is apparent that the parties can not live in peace and happiness together, and that their welfare requires a separation.
- Suit must be brought in the District Court of the county where the petitioner resides.
- The petitioner must have resided in the State six months prior to presenting his or her petition.


The Late Horrible Murder.

BELLEVUE, Sept. 26, 1854
Messrs. Swigart: -
Sirs: I promised you that upon my arrival in this place, I would endeavor to place before you the particulars of the late murder of Mrs. Barger. But after consultation, it is thought best not to do so, for fear of prejudicing the public mind and thus thwarting the true aim of justice, and making it difficult to obtain a jury. It appears however that Mrs. Barger had applied for a divorce from her husband on the ground of ill treatment and threats of her life, which divorce was granted at the last term of the District Court, giving her the right to the children, which right to the children Mr. Barger much desired for himself. On Saturday prior to the murder, Mr. Kirkpatrick, with Mrs. Barger, went to the former residence of Barger after the children, and were to return on Sunday. Barger left Bellevue Sunday with a rifle and proceeded in the direction of Mr. Keister’s for the purpose it is supposed, of waylaying them; but as they returned by a different route, he was foiled in the attempt. He however returned to Bellevue during the night, and secreted himself behind a close board fence facing the door of Mr. Kirkpatrick’s (where Mrs. Barger then was) and cutting a hole through the crack of the fence sufficiently large to thrust his rifle, and upon her appearance at the door in the morning deliberately shot her through the heart.

The above is all which would be proper to bring before the public at present.
Yours in haste. T.
[Maquoketa Sentinel – Maquoketa, Iowa, September 28, 1854, submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]

Jennie Mae Springer Bremmer and Arthur H. Bremmer

Excerpt from a Tiernan-Bremmer-Rash Bigamy Scandal:
MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa, Nov. 27.-

About three years ago, a local farm implement firm was in need of some one to demonstrate tractors, and the tractor company sent Arthur H. Bremmer here. With Bremmer was his wife. After remaining here some months, Mrs. Bremmer was taken ill and went to Chicago to a hospital. After Mrs. Bremmer had gone to Chicago, it is said that Mrs. Blanche Hawn Rash appeared here. She had a child and not long afterward Bremmer and Mrs. Rash disappeared. Bremmer severed his connection with the local firm, and it was the understanding here that Bremmer and Mrs. Rash had been married.

After Bremmer's disappearance the first Mrs. Bremmer returned to this city and took up the case of her husband's disappearance with the county attorney. Bremmer then was in Colorado.

The first Mrs. Bremmer was Jennie May Springer, of Maquoketa, Iowa, and was married to Bremmer there October 17, 1913. She brought suit for divorce here and the decree was granted.

[Source: New Orleans States (New Orleans, LA) Monday, November 27, 1922; transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman]


George P. Sharp and George Butt have filed for divorces for desertion from their respective wives in circuit court.

In Sharp's bill it is claimed his wife, Lena, deserted him March 1906, and that she is now living in Chicago. The couple married at St. Josephs, Mich., Aug. 24, 1904.

Velma Butt deserted her husband Aug. 1, 1924, according to the bill filed by her husband. They married at Maquoketa, Ia., Dec. 11, 1923.

[Morning Star (Rockford, IL) Thursday, December 9, 1926, transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman]


Two suits filed Friday charge desertion by the husband. Mary Ann Coomber alleges that she lived with her husband Robert, from the time of their marriage Dec. 13, 1940 at Maquoketa, Ia., until April 6, 1947 when he left her. She asks that he provide support for herself and two children. Nancy Ann, 6, and Phillip Luther, 5, and that she be given custody of the children.
[Register-Republic – Rockford, Illinois, Saturday, September 11, 1948, submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]


Through her father, Reuben Roos, Betty Lou Emerson, a minor, yesterday filed suit for divorce from Donald C. Emerson in Circuit court on grounds of cruelty.

The Emersons were married Aug. 12, 1940, at Maquoketa, Ia., and have a child six months old. The plaintiff charges her husband has never supported the child or paid medical expenses incident to the child’s birth. She also alleges her husband is keeping company with a woman residing in Dubuque, Ia.
[Register-Republic – Rockford, Illinois, Thursday, September 18, 1941]

. . . 6 weeks later. . .

Betty Lou Emmerson, 16-year-old mother of an eight-month-old child, was granted a divorce from Donald C. Emmerson by Circuit Judge William L. Pierce yesterday on grounds of cruelty. The plaintiff, represented by Attorney Wilbur E. Johnson, filed suit through her father Reuben Roos. The marriage took place Aug. 12, 1940, at Maquoketa, Ia. The defendant was ordered to pay $35 a month alimony.
[Register-Republic – Rockford, Illinois, Saturday, October 25, 1941, submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]


Old Edgerton, of Bellevue, Iowa, decided to get rid of his wife and marry a younger woman. This he accomplished by means of an irregular divorce and with the consent of the original wife, who remains in the Edgerton establishment as housekeeper, while the bride plays the idle lady.
[Daily Commercial – Vicksburg, Mississippi, Friday, February 10, 1882, submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]


Lottie Horton
Benjamin C. Horton

To Benjamin C. Horton, you are hereby notified that on or before the 16th day of September, 1868, a petition will be filed by said plaintiff, Lottie Horton, in the office of the Clerk of the District Court of said County of Jackson, Iowa, claiming of you a decree of Divorce from the bonds of matrimony and a dessalution of the marriage contract existing between you and her for the Reasons set forth in the petition to wit: on the ground of desertion for over two years without cause.

And that unless you appear thereto and defend before upon the second day of the next term of said Court, commencing at Andrew in said County, on the 29th day of September, 1868. Default will be entered against you and a decree rendered hereon, as prayed.

Dated this 10th day of July A. D. 1868
J. S. DARLING, Plaintiff’s Attorney
[Maquoketa Sentinel – Maquoketa, Iowa, July 21, 1868, submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]


Original Notice

In the District Court of the State of Iowa, in and for Jackson County, September Term, A. D. 1920.

Grace M. James, Plaintiff
Austin R. James, Defendant.

To the above named defendant:
You are hereby notified that on or before the 28th day of August A. D. 1920 the petition of plaintiff in the above entitled cause will be filed in the office of the Clerk of the District Court of the State of Iowa, in and for Jackson County., Claiming of you a divorce from the bonds of matrimony that now exists between you and this plaintiff on the grounds of desertion, and cruel and inhuman treatment. And asking for the care and custody of the minor child, the fruit of said marriage, viz: Margaret Mary James, now of about the age of three years; for further particulars you; are referred to said petition. And unless you appear thereto and defend before noon of the second day of next term, being the September term of the said Court which will commence at Maquoketa, Iowa, on the 7th day of September, 1920, default will be entered against you and judgment and decree rendered thereon as provided by law.
Dated this 5th day of July, A. D. 1920.
Attorney for Plaintiff.
[Jackson Sentinel – Maquoketa, Iowa, Tuesday, July 20, 1920, submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]


Court House News
A divorce was granted Helen Johnson from Howard Johnson, June 13.
[Source: Jackson Sentinel (Maquoketa, Iowa) Friday, June 17, 1921, transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman]


Margaret B. Mahnke alleged that her husband, James K. Mahnke, deposited her and her personal belongings on a Rockford street corner Aug. 31 and announced he was leaving her permanently. The formal complaint is cruelty, however. They were married Aug. 19, 1940, at Maquoketa, Ia., She is represented by Attorney Wilbur E. Johnson.
[Register-Republic – Rockford, Illinois, Thursday, September 4, 1941, submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]


Adultery with Mary Doe in Rockford was charged by Frances G. Morton in a divorce action against Nelson J. Morton. The Mortons were married March 8, 1841, at Maquoketa, Ia. Custody of two children, aged 2 and 4 years, is involved. Attorney John E. Goembel represents the plaintiff.
[Morning Star – Rockford, Illinois, Sunday, September 9, 1945]

. . . another paper . . .

A charge of adultery also was made by Florence G. Morton in a divorce action filed against Nelson J. Morton. The Mortons were married March 8, 1941, at Maquoketa, Ia. Mrs. Morton, represented by Attorney Goembel, asked for custody of a daughter four years old and a son two years old.
[Register-Republic – Rockford, Illinois, Monday, September 10, 1945, submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]


Paul E. Person yesterday filed suit for divorce against Betty Person on grounds of desertin. The plaintiff alleges his wife has refused to live with him since Sept. 2, 1939, the day they were married at Maquoketa, Ia. He is represented by Attorney Carl A. Swenson.
[Register-Republic – Rockford, Illinois, Tuesday, December 17, 1940]

. . . 6 months later.

Charging desertion, Betty Person filed suit for divorce from Paul K. Person. The persons were married Sept. 2, 1939, at Maquoketa, Ia., and separated April 8, 1940. Mrs. Person, represented by Attorney Davis, asked permission to resume her maiden name, Betty Brown.
[Register-Republic – Rockford, Illinois, Tuesday, June 10, 1941, submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]


Late Suites Docketed. Margaret A. Prindle has filed a suit for divorce against George C. Prindle on the grounds of desertion. She is represented by Attorney B. H. Garrett. The marriage was solemnized at Maquoketa, Ia., April 21, 1892. The date of the alleged desertion is in April of 1918.
[Daily Register Gazette – Rockford, Illinois, Tuesday, April 1, 1919, submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]


Mrs. Betty Rankin, Morrison, formerly of Maquoketa, Ia., was granted a divorce from Kenneth Rankin in Circuit court Wednesday afternoon on grounds of drunkenness. She was awarded custody of one child and $10 weeky support. The Rankins were married Oct. 14, 1939, and separated Dec. 15, 1942.
[Register-Republic – Rockford, Illinois, Friday, April 9, 1943, submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]


After seven separate applications, Mrs. Redfern of Maquoketa has succeeded in getting a divorce form Mr. Redfern.
[Sioux City Journal – Sioux City, Iowa, Saturday, February 7, 1874, submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]

--The Mrs. Redfern who obtained a decree of divorce from her husband last week had applied for a divorce six times before. Each of the other six times that the suit was about to come on for trial, Redfem came into court and settled with the lawyers, paid all costs of suit, and promised to live peaceably with his wife.. But every time as soon as Mrs. Redfern would go home from the court room with her husband, he would forget his promise and give her an unmerciful beating. But now the wife has been granted n divorce and the custody of the minor children. The amount of alimony is still in discussion.
[Jackson Sentinel – Maquoketa, Iowa, Thursday, February 12, 1874, submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]
Note, this couple is likely George and Ann Redfern. In 1876 there was a “children vs. George Redfern” case on the court docket.


Ruth Riebsamen filed suit for divorce from Jack Riebsamen, charging desertion since Aug. 1, 1943, and asking custody of a 2-year-old child. They were married Jan. 11, 1941, at Maquoketa, Ia. The plaintiff is represented by Attorney B. J. Knight.
[Morning Star – Rockford, Illinois, Tuesday, September 19, 1944, submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]

M. L. and F. E. TICHENOR

A Divorce Suit.
Mrs. F. E. Tichenor, who was married in Maquoketa, Ia., in July last to M. L. Tichenor, now wants a divorce, her petition for the same having been filed yesterday in the district court here. She alleges that shortly after their marriage Tichenor became addicted to habitual drunkenness and finally deserted her. She wants her maiden name also.
[Omaha World Herald – Omaha, Nebraska, Friday March 17, 1893, submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]

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