Transcribed by Karen Raichle

Source: Jackson County, TN Chancery/Circuit Loose Records
Roll #70

Ellis, Susan
Ellis, W. H.

Chancery 1866
State of Tennessee

Chancelor of the 7th Chancery Division of the State of Tennessee Presiding at Gainesboro Jackson County Tennessee

The Bill of Complaint of Susan Ellis a citizen of Jckson County Tennessee against Woodsen Ellis a citizen of the same state and county.

Humbley complaining your oratrix would respectfully represent and state to your honor that she and the defendant Woodsen Ellis were married on or about the ____ day of _______ 1848 and lived together from that time up to some six weeks ago except a short interval

She will state to your honor that they lived hapiley together for some three or four months at which time the said defendant comenced a course of inhuman & cruel treatment towards her & that too without any cause as complainant had at all times treated defendant affectionately beleving that it was her duty so to do & hoping that defendant would reform in his treatment to her as she was vary desierous to live with him according to her undertaking at the marriage alter

Complainant has at all times treated defendant as a dutiful wife & vary much deplores the fact that his treatment finally became so inhumane & cruel to her that she was forced to abandone him after living with him near eighteen years which abandonment occured on or about the 1 day of January 1866

Complainant will further show to the court that she & the defendant have no children & that by incessent labour they have accumulated property sufficent for them to live comfortably upon if she had been permitted to remain in Peace & safty at her home

Complainant will state that she is now in the decline of life some 45 years old & turned out with out one cent of property to support uppon The ill & cruel treatment that she has recieved from defendant for allmost 18 years was of the most cruel & inhuman kind boath personal & otherwise

Complainant will further state that some time since she left her home with the intention of not returning She however concluded to return to her home and once more try to live with defendant but instead of defendant receiving her kindly he forcably and violently put her out of the house and shut one door & stood in other door & guarded her out and other wise treated her most cruelly and forced her to leave again & take up her abode with her Son - a child by her former husband - Wade Price She having been married & her husband having died previous to her intermarriage with the defendant Ellis

Complainant further shows the court that her said son is verry poor and therefore unable to provide her with the necessary support and unless she can obtain Relief in your honorable court she must inevetably come to extreme want

Complainant further charges and alleges that some years ago - towit about the ________ day of _________ 185___ the same defendant beat & abused her and tore & striped all her clothing off of her Striping her naked - and otherwise acted toward her in a most cruel & inhumane manner Whereupon she withdrew herself from his society and filed her Bill for Divorce & Alimony That before said suit was determined the defendant persuaded her to dimiss her said Suit & return home to live with him promising her at the time that forever thereafter he would treat her Kindly and act towards her as a husband should do Which promices the said defendant has wholly failed to keep & perform but on the other hand in a very short time thereafter he again returned to his brutal course of cruel & inhumane treatment toward her & has continued to grow worce as he grows older In fact the defendants course towards complainant has become so intolerable that it is unsafe for her to live & cohabit with him

Complainant shows that when she left home about six weeks ago She was forced to leave & driven off by the defendant Complainant further Shows to the court that the defendant - Woodson Ellis her said husband is now the owner and has in his possession the following property Real & personal towit. a tract of land lying upon the watters of Flyns creek whereon he now lives containing several hundred acres the true amount of which compt can not state which is bounded by the lands of James M Richmond James Draper & William Davidson Which land is of considerable value to wit of the value of about _________ dollars - also one mule three milch cows & calves two yearlings about forty head of Stock hogs - between two & three thousand pounds of Slawtered pork some corn amount not known forty or fifty bee gums three beds - bed steads & clothing & furniture fifteen or twenty gallons of honey one clock one cupboard & table ware some cooking utensils farming utensils &c Said complainant is informed that the defendant has loaned out on interest in the hands of James M Richmond & Wm M Ragland between three & five hundred dollars in money & probably other sums of money owing to him by other persons not known to complainant - Your oratrix shows that she & her husband have both been citizens of Jackson County Tennseess ever since and before there said marriage

Complainant further charges that she fears that the defendant Ellis will remove or so dispose of his property as to defeat her claim for alimony out of the same and she charges also that she is informed that he is about to fraudulantly convey & dispose of his property

In tender consideration of the premices your oratrix prays that the said Woodson Ellis together with the said James M Richmond and William M Ragland be made defendants to this Bill for which purpose let copy & process issue cause the defendant Woodson Ellis to make full true and perfect answers on oath to all & singular the allegations herein contained let him answer how much the defendants Richmond & Ragland are indebted to him & how much he has owing to him from other persons & who those persons are let him file a full & complete Schedule of all his property & effects both Real & personal and let him file with his answer a his land titles papers &c

let the defendants Richmond and Ragland answer on oath how much they and each of them are indebted to defendant Woodson Ellis let writ of injunction and attachment issue to the end that all the property both Real & personal mentioned in this Bill be attached and held subject to the further orders of this honorable court & let the Said moneys in the hands of Richmond & Ragland be attached & held subject to the further orders of the court let the defendant Woodson Ellis be enjoined from selling transferring or in any manner disposing of any of the property mentioned in this Bill either real or personal and let him be enjoined from receiving from defendants Richmond and Ragland or from any person for them any moneys he may have in their hands and let the defendants Richmond & Ragland be enjoined from paying the same to defendant Ellis or to any person for him and on a final hearing of this cause your oratrix prays that the Bonds of Matrimony now and heretofore existing between her and defendant Woodson Ellis be dissolved by decree of your honorable court and that her name be changed back to Price instead of Ellis and for a decree for Alimony in all the property and effects either Real or personal belonging to or in the possession of the defendant Ellis and for such other further and general Relief as the nature of her cause may entitle her to in a court of Equity and good conscience as in duty bound she will ever pray

This is the first application for support & attachment in this cause
Draper Cox & Dewitt sols for

State of Tennessee }
Jackson County }

Before me this day Susan Ellis makes an oath that the matters & things contained in the foregoing bill stated of her own knowledge & those stated on information & opinions she believes to be true and that her complaint is not made out of levity or by collusion with the defendant Woodson Ellis but in Sincerity and truth for the causes mentioned in the Bill and subscribed before me this the 6th day of Feby 1866

L S Clements
C & M

Susan Ellis (her mark)

State of Tennessee
To the Sherriff of Jackson County greetings

Whereas Susan Ellis has this day filed her Bill in the honorable Chancery Court at Gainesboro against Woodson Ellis James M Richmond & Wm M Ragland praying for Divorce & allimony & for Relief in the prenuces & for attachment to issue among other things which is granted. Now therefore you are hereby commanded to attach & hold - subject to the further orders of the honorable court in the premices the following property both Real & personal Now in the possession of defendant Woodson Ellis towit the tract of land whereon the defendant Woodson Ellis now lives lying upon the watters of Flyns creek containing by estimation ________ hundred acres & bounded by the lands of J M Richmond James Draper and William Davidson - also one Mule three milch cows & calves two yearling about forty head of Stock hogs - between two & three thousand pounds of pork slawtered and in the smoke house All the corn on the premises forty or fifty Bee Stands three beds bed steads & clothing - about twenty gallons of honey one clock one cupboard & table ware &c all the cooking utensils & farming utensils on said premices whereon the defendant Woodson Ellis lives You will also attach in the hands of defendants J M Richmond & Wm M Ragland whatever amount of Money they or either of them owes to the defendant Woodson Ellis supposed to be about from three to five hundred dollars Said property when so attached unless (resslined??) you will so secure as to have the same subject to the further orders of this honorable court in the premices and have you this writ before the chancelor at the court house in the town of Gainesboro on the Second Monday in February next & show how you have executed the same

Witness Leroy S Clements Clerk & Master of our said Chancery Court at office in Gainsboro the 2nd Monday in August 1865(sic)
L S Clements
C & M

Susan Ellis

vs } attachment writ

Woodson Ellis

issued 6th Feby 1866
L S Clements C & M

Came to hand the same day issued

Executed by leaving this attachment on the within described tract of land the same whereon Woodson Ellis now lives bounded by the lands of J M Richmond Jas Draper & Wm Davidson on the 6th Feby 1866 - Also on the same day executed the within attachment on Jas M Richmond on two cows and calves and about three hundred pounds of pickel pork two yearlings about forty bee stands about twenty barrels of corn four gallons of hunny 1 clock 1 cupboard 1 table 3 bedes and beadsteds 1 (pail?) 1 (uven?) (bic bench?) as the property of Woodson Ellis this the 7th day of Feb 1866

J Roberts D Sheriff

Know all men by these presents that we Susan Ellis James Draper R A Cox & A W Dewitt are held and firmly bound unto Woodson Ellis James M Richmond and William M Ragland in the sum of two thousand dollars to be void if in case Susan Ellis shall successfully Prosecute her attachment suit that she has this day comenced in the Chancery Court of Jackson County Tennessee against Woodsen Ellis praying for attachment amongst other things other wise to remain in full force & effect
Feb 6th 1866
Susan Ellis
by Cox sol
R A Cox
James Draper
A W Dewitt

Know all men by this presents that we Susan Ellis James Draper R A Cox & A W Dewitt are held & firmly bound unto Woodson Ellis James M Richmond & Wm M Ragland in the sum of two hundred & fifty dollars to be void however on condition that the above bounden Susan Ellis Shal prosecute with effect her suit which she has this day commenced in the Chancery Court at Gainsboro for Divorce & Alimony &c or in case of failure to pay all costs which may accru in this cause this the 6th day of Feby 1866

Susan Ellis
C & M
by Cox Atty
R. A. Cox
James Draper
A. W. Dewitt

The seperate answer of Woodson Ellis to the bill of complaint of Susan Ellis filed in the chancery court at Gainesboro in said Sate against the defendant and others

Saving and reserving to himself the benefit of exceptions to the many errors & untruths in complainants bill set first for him to answer unto answers that he admits that he and the complainant intermarried to & with each other several years ago

Your respondent regrets to be compelled to say that he and the complainant did not live as hapely together as he desired and ardently hoped for at the time of said marriage and he owns that this disagreement has grown out of complainants bad temper and ungovernable tongue and a disfunction on her part to stroll and wander about in the neighborhood keeping bad company and associating with women of disolute habits and bad character

Respondent further owns that for several years she has been an idle indolent and unhospitable and disagreeable companion that she has often attempted by provoking and unbecoming language to him attempted to cause him to strike her and she has said that she did so provoke him with that intention but your respondent owns that while she has been pretending for your part to be so feeble in body & health she does not pretend to do a single thing to aid him in housekeeping Your respondent is doing his own cooking working milking churning and all other housework

She the compainant would leave home of her own free will and walk for miles over steep hills and hollows to seek the society of others & to leave your Respondent to toil day by day in the field and then do his own housework Your respondent kept a plenty of such food as was common in the county and supported her well and would have been much delighted if complainant would have used reasonable industry and assisted your respondant in making a living But this she has wholly failed to do

The charge that she treated respondent affectionately is false and it is also false that she acted towards him as a dutiful wife and he also says that the charge that his treatment towards her was cruel & inhuman as forced her to abandon him is false It is true the complainant abandoned respondent about the 1st day of January 1866 and this was a premeditated thing upon her part as he is informed and believes in order to get control of his property accumulated by years of hard labor and economy

He admits that complainant has no children by him and he is glad of it unless she would more carefully guard their reputation than she has her own He denies that she has been the means of making or accumulating one cent of the little property of which respondent is the owner He denies that he forced complainant to leave his house or that she desired to stay or that she left on account of fear She only desired to transfer his property over to her son who has made his charges that he would have one half of it and he as respondent believes is now using his mother through the agency of the court to accomplish his purpose

Complainant is about the age stated as he supposes and perhaps in the turn of life but she has not been turned out of doors by this respondent Complainant admits that she left him and this defendant says she done so often and after she returned on one occasion he did say to her if she desired to quarel to not quarel with him in his own house but he showed her no violence nor did she aprehend any but went off of her own choice

He does not know whether son can provide her with the necessary support or not This respondent always has done so since he married her but he does not want his hard earning to go towards keeping her son who is about as much offered to work as his mother has been for some months back

Respondent and complainant several years ago did have a difficulty on account of some complaint respondent was making at her affections and manner of getting along She is a very aggrevating woman with her tongue and greatly provokes him and he did on that occasion give way to his passion and come at her but not to the extent charged and she then filed her bill against him but both of them agreed to do better in the future and she dismissed her bill & went back home and did better for some time but soon returned to her original course but respondent has born with her and determining to never touch her in anger again nor has he done so or attempted to do so

He admits that he is the owner of aboundancy of hill lands as described in complainants bill and the other property worth but little and he has in the hands of his codefendants between three & four hundred dollars they can state the true amount

Respondent is now also in the decline of life he has by hard labor & strict econemy accumulated this little property to have something to rely upon for his declining days for he has no son and no one upon whom he can rely nor any thing except what he has accumulated by years of labor under adverce circumstances

If complainant would return and amend her course he promises he will also do right and keep for their mutual benefit their little estate & haveing fully answered he prays to be (unreadable) dismissed
A B & W H Botts

State of Tennessee
Jackson County

on this 9th day of February 1866 came before me W. W. McCue a Justice of the Peace for said County Wootsin Ellis and made oath in due force of law that the forgoing answer is true to the best of his knowledge & belief and entered in my presence this affedavit

W.W. McCue JP
W. H. Ellis
his mark

State of Tennessee

The separate answer of James Richmond to the Bill of Susan Ellis filed against Woodson Ellis this Respondent & others in the Chancery Court at Gainesboro - Respondent answering as much of complainants bill as he is advised is proper and ordered for him to answer unto answers and says that he has in his hands two hundred sixty dollars of defendant Woodson Ellis money in his hands and no more and having fully answered he prays to be hence dismissed
Lyhe & Botes Sols

State of Tennessee}
Jackson County }
on this 12th day of Feb 1866 came before me Leroy S Clement C & M Chancery Court at Gainesboro James M Richmond the foregoing respondent and made oath in due force of law that the foregoing answer is true to the best of his knowledge and belief and subscribed in my presence this affidavit
L. S. Clements

James M Richmond

Susan Ellis


Woodson Ellis

Witness William Jas Ragland Claim 2 days James Lawson 2 days James Loch 2 days A L Wheeler 2 days Taton(?) Keith 2 days T D Young 2 days A M Stafford 2 days Thomas Young 2 days Wm Davidson 2 days

State of Tennessee} to the Sherriff of JAckson Greetings
Jackson County} Summons Elijah Price. Tash Keuff Patsey Keith

Betsy Keith Ann Price & Anderson Adcock - Sallie Price & Wm Davidson & Jas Lawson D H Fink(?) & Ramona Davidson Carel Price To appear before the Chancelor of the 7th Chancery division of Tennessee at the court house in Gainesboro on the 2nd Monday in Febuary 1866 to give evidence on behalf of the complainant in a suit pending before said court wherein Susan Ellis is complainant & Woodson Ellis & others are defendants. Under the penalty of $125 each in case of failure Witness L.S. Clements Clerk & Master of said court at office in Gainesboro the 2nd Monday in August 1865(sic) L.S. Clements C & M

State of Tennessee} To the Sheriff or any constable of said county
Jackson County} I command you to summons Thomas Carden

William Chaffin Razon Price Penelope Allen to appear before the Judge of the Chancery Court at Gainsboro fourthwith to give Evidence in a suit now pending in Said court wherin Susan Ellis is plantiff & Woodson Ellis is deffendant hince fail not given under my hand and seal this the 11th February 1866
L S Clements C & M

In the name of the State of Tennessee To the Sherriff of Jackson County Greeting
in the suit
Susan Ellis} Bill for Divorce
vs You are hereby commanded to summons
Woodson Ellis} Lafayett Wheeler Narcissa Wheeler James Lawson
Malinda Lawson Manerva Davidson William Davidson R. C. Kirkpatricke\ Elizabeth Kutty(?) William Lawson to make there personal appearance before the Judge of the Chancery Court of Jackson County at the Court House in the Towne of Gainesboro on the 2nd Monday in Febuy 1866 to give evidence in behalf of the deft under the penalty of $225.00 herein fail not and have you then and there this (Sped?) witness L.S. Clements Clerk of said Court at office on the 2nd Monday in August 1865(sic)
Leroy S. Clements C & M
By W A Morrow D.C.

Susan Ellis
Woodson Ellis

Be it remembered that this cause came on to be heard on this 15th day of February 1866 this cause came on for hearing before his honor Thomas Barry Chancellor &c upon Bill (unreadable) and proof from which it appears to the court the complainant and defendant Woodson H Ellis intermarried with each other some time in the year 18__ that they (unreadable ______________________) Jackson County Tennessee ever since their said marriage That the defendant has been guilty of such cruel and inhuman treatment towards the complainant as rendered her condition intolerable and renders it unsafe and improper for her to cohabit with him & to be under his dominion and control That he had turned her out of doors and refused to provide for her necessary support That complainant is an industrious woman of good Character That complt has by her industry aided in making what estate they have Complt is a weak and feeble old woman who has no means of support It is therefore ordered adjudged and decreed by the Court that the bonds of Matrimony now and heretofor existing between complainant and defendant W H Ellis be disolved and that she be divorced a vincalo Martimonia and restored to all the rights of a Single woman That her name be changed from Susan Ellis to Susan Price and that defendant Ellis pay all the costs of this cause & that execution issue It further appeared to the Court that at the time of filing this bill defendant Ellis was the owner of the following estate Real and Personal (towit) one tract of land whereon defendant Ellis now lives containing __________ acres also one mule 3 milch cows and calves 2 yearlings about 40 barrels of corn 40 or 50 bee gums 3 beds and bedsteads clothing &c 15 or 20 gallons of honey 1 clock 1 cupboard table & table ware some other household & Kitchen furniture & farming utensils It further appearing that defendant Richmond has in his hands attached in this case the Sum of three hundred and sixty dollars in gold and Silver Coin which was left in his hands on deposit by deft Ellis It is ordered and decreed that the Said Richmond pay to complainant one half of the identical money (unreadable) by deft (unreadable) with him and the injunction upon as to the ballance shall continue until after the division of the other property unless relieved by complainants Solicitor in that event execution shall issue to compel Said Richmond to pay the Same over to deft on his order

It is ordered that Daniel M Morgan Surveyor or Jackson County together with James M Richmond and John Gipson be appointed commissionors to divide the estate of Said Woodson H Ellis between him and complainant In making siad division it is decreed that complainant shall have seven fifteenths and the defendant eight fifteenths The commissionors are however directed to divide the personal estate including the money in Richmonds hands equally and lay off enough in value of the lands of defendant over and above what is laid off to complainant to give him one fifteenth the advantage in the Division of the entire estate Defendants part of the land must include his residence Defendant Ellis is directed to deliver the property in this decree to the commissioners for division and if he fails to do so they are directed to value the property retained by him and charge him with its cash valuation & lay off to complainant enough land to make up her share The commissioners will enter upon the discharge of their duties at once and make their report to next Term unless defendant will elect to pay her for her share of the land in cash which he may do on or before the day the commisssioners meet to divide the land The personal estate they will divide and deliver to each their chare as herein directed and they must lay off to complt her share of the land and value the Same Compts Solicitors Cox & Dewitt & Draper have a lien on the one half of the funds in Richmonds hands to Secure their fees and defendants Soliciters A.B. Botts & W H botts have a lien on the balance for their fees agains deft in this case All questions herein adjudicated and resolved until the coming of said report
A True Copy of Decree
LeRoy S Clements C & M

State of Tennessee} To Daniel M Morgan
Jackson County} Surveyor of Said County

You are hereby commanded to summons James M Richmond and John M Gipson to act with you as commissioners and proceed without delay to divide and apportion the real & personal property of Woodson ellis between Susan ellis and the said Woodson Ellis in accordance with the decree pronounced by the honorable Chancery Court at Gainesboro at the February term of said court 1866 in the case of Susan Ellis vs Woodson Ellis & others bill for divorce & Alimony a certified copy of which decree accompanies this order and you will also make a true report of your action in the premices to the next Term of this Court to be held at the courhouse in Gainesboro on the 2nd Monday in August next Witness Leroy S Clements Clerk & Master of our said court at office in Gainesboro this the 22nd day of Feby 1866

L S Clements C & M