Divorce record of Jacob and Elcia Sleecman of Whitley, Indiana in 1904 (selections)

header of divorce papers An abstract of facts, as well as a downloadable PDF of key images from this divorce record for Elsie (Hettinger) and Jacob Sleeseman of Whitley County, Indiana, United States in 1904.

Citation and File

Divorce papers of Jacob and Elcia Sleecman, filed 23 August 1904, case number 4933, September Term, Whitley County Circuit Court, 83rd Judicial Circuit; Divorce Packets; Whitley County File Management Office, 220 West Van Buren Street, Suite Lower Level 2, Columbia City, Indiana, United States. [Selected images from divorce papers (PDF, 19 MB)]

Abstracted information

I did not photograph all the papers in this divorce record during my research, and the final judgement in this case is unknown to me.


  • Plaintiff: Elcia S. Sleecman
  • Defendant: Jacob Sleecman
  • Lawyer for plaintiff (Elcia): John W. Orndorf of Churubusco, Indiana
  • Lawyer for defendant (Jacob): William H. Kissinger
  • County clerk: Jesse A. Glassley
  • County sheriff: E. L. Gallagher
  • Children of marriage (three living and older than 21 years of age):
    1. George S. Sleesman
    2. Sadie Long
    3. Maud Zolman
    4. Cora Sleesman (long since dead)
  • Grandchildren: names not given
  • Men accused of intimacy with Elcia
    • Augustus W. Jeffries
    • Walker Jeffries
    • Albert Jeffries


  • Marriage: 17 March 1863
  • Residency in state of Indiana: 22 August 1902 (2 years prior to filing, at least this long)
  • Residency in county of Whitley: 22 Feb 1904 (6 months prior to filing, at least this long)
  • Separation: 22 August 1904
  • Complaint filed by plaintiff's attorney: 23 August 1904
  • Summons served to defendant's residence by sheriff: 25 August 1904
  • Court hearing scheduled: 5 September 1904
  • Response filed by defendant's attorney: 6 September 1904 [denies each and every claim]

Details of Complaint

  • Failure to make reasonable provisions for wife and family, though able to do so, for past 15 years
    • compelled her to wash and clean house for neighbors in order to support the family [occupation: housekeeping and common labor]
    • not purchased any clothes for wife
    • not furnished any provisions for family except some corn and potatoes (raised on small parcel of land belonging to Elcia)
  • Cruel and inhuman treatment of wife for past 10 years:
    • cursed and swore at her
    • threatened to kill her
    • drew a knife on her and threatened to take her life
    • charged her with being too intimate with men after she returned from cleaning jobs [untrue] and called her names unbecoming a gentleman (in presence of grandchildren)
    • laid violent hands on her and tried to choke her (July 1904)
  • Infirmity: Wife becoming too old and infirm to perform manual labor sufficient to support them both
  • Property: all furniture, household goods, and poultry were purchased by and belong to wife; the couple jointly owns one cow and calf
  • Requests: ownership of furniture, goods and poultry, as well as stock that Court deems proper and right; final and absolute dissolution of their marriage