Champaign County, Ohio
Pleas at Urbana before the Hon. I. L. Torbert president, William Patrick, John West and E. L. Morgan his Associates, Judges of the Court of Common Pleas of the County of Champaign and State of Ohio of the Term of March AD 1857 to wit:
Be it remembered that on the 1st day of November AD 1857 came the Petitioner by her Attorney John H. Young, Esq and filed the following petition to wit:
To the Hon. The Court of Common Pleas of Champaign County in Chancery.
Your Petitioner Mary Sceva, who resides in Champaign County respectfully represents unto your Honors that on the 28th day of June 1835 she was married to Aaron Sceva. The marriage took place in the State of New Hampshire; subsequent to the marriage they removed to Champaign County OH, where they continued to live together as husband and wife until the 2nd day of April AD 1848, when the said Aaron Sceva having joined the Mormons and become a Preacher of that sect, left your petitioner and his family and went off with that people to the great Salt Lake beyond the Rocky Mountains, where he has aided the Mormons in building up their city known as Salt Lake City; that (he) built himself a habitation in that city and has become permanently settled there; that on his way to the Salt Lake he married a woman by the name of Jenny, that since his settlement in the Mormon City yielding to a barbarous custom of that people, he has married another wife, and is now and has been for many months living and cohabitating with two wives. That the said Aaron Sceva has thus been guilty of gross neglect of duty to your petitioner and has also been guilty of adultery open and conf. continued in his marriage and cohabitation with his said two wives. The exact day on which he married either of said wives your petitioner does not know, but he was living with both said women during the past spring and summer, he as husband and they as wives to him, to whom he is married petitioner does not know. As the fruit of the marriage between your petitioner and said Aaron Sceva they have four children to wit: Mary Jane aged 14 years, George Augustus aged 11 years, Angeline aged 9 years, Charles Henry aged 4 years who are all living and who with petitioner have resided in Champaign Co. 8 years last past.
Your petitioner further states that her husband, the said Aaron Sceva, has the title to a small farm in this county described as follows to wit: The undivided half of a tract of 130 ¼ acres of land part of survey No. 6195 in the name of Thomas Ruffin. Also the whole of a tract of 2 ½ acres of land part of survey No. 4211 in the name of P R F Lee's Representatives the said Aaron Sceva has also personal property perhaps $100.00 or $150.00. Petitioner further states that she is fearful that the said Aaron Sceva will put his property out of his hands or will sell and dispose of it so that your petitioner and her family will be deprived of support and thrown "heartless and houseless" upon the world. Your petitioner therefore prays that the said Aaron Sceva may be made defendant to this petition and that your Honors would decree that your petitioner shall be divorced from the said Aaron Sceva and that your Honors will decree to your petitioner for her support and for alimony such portion of the property of her said husband as they shall deem proper that the said Aaron Sceva may be restrained from disposing of any part of said property, that your Honors would decree that your petitioner may have the custody and care of her said children and for such other and general relief as may be proper. John H Young Atty. for petitioner.
And at the march Term of said Court AD 1851 to wit:
Monday April 7th…the court find the allegations of said petition to be true and that the said Mary Sceva is well entitled to the relief prayed for. It is therefore ordered, adjudged and decreed by the Court that the said marriage contract and relation between the said Mary Sceva and Aaron Sceva be forever dissolved and annulled and that the said Mary Sceva be forever freed from the obligation thereof. And the Court in consideration of the premises do further adjudge and decree that the household and kitchen furniture in possession of the petitioner be held and kept by her absolutely as her own property and as further alimony the Court do further adjudge and decree that the said Aaron Sceva do within thirty days from the date of this decree pay onto the said Mary Sceva the sum of one thousand dollars, and in default thereof that the execution do issue then for as upon judgments at law, and that the sum of decreed do stand and operate as a lien upon the land of the said Aaron Sceva from this date. And it is further ordered by the Court that the custody of the said Mary Jane Sceva, George Augustus Sceva, Angeline Sceva and Charles Harry Sceva during their minority be assigned to said Mary Sceva petitioner. And it is further ordered by the Court that the said Aaron Sceva do within ten days pay the costs of this proceeding.