A Sad End to a Short Marriage

The Stufflebean family is quite extended and I’ve written about several of the branches. Recently, I came across a newspaper article dated 15 September 1898. It was published in The Butler Weekly Times in Missouri and the information was noted as St. Joseph, MIssouri.

One of the family branches is my husband’s, that of Michael Stufflebean, son of John the Revolutionary War soldier. Michael had a number of children, including John, who is my husband’s ancestor, and James, who married a young lady named America Pulliam.

James and America were the parents of Thomas Jefferson Stufflebean, subject of the news article. He was a first cousin of my husband’s great grandfather, John Henry Peavler Stufflebean. By 1898, Thomas had apparently moved away from Linn County, Missouri, where the family had lived for half a century and was farming in Garrettsburg, near St. Joseph, Missouri.

Hugh Harless was born in Missouri about 1877. The 1880 census of Buchanan County shows him to be part of a blended household that included a natural child, a step child and Hugh, described as an “adopted” son.

Hugh married Eva Margaret Stufflebean, daughter of Thomas Jefferson and Phebe Stufflebean,  on 24 December 1896. Both were very young, as Eva was only 15 years old at the time, born in December 1881. Apparently, their marriage was quite rocky and she left him in August 1898.

HughHarlessShootingStufflebean1898
Source: Chronicling America

On 7 June 1900, Eva M. Stufflebean was enumerated twice, first as a servant in the John and Elizabeth Bennett household in Polk township, Sullivan County, Missouri and second as a child in her parents’ home. In both cases, she was enumerated as single. Thomas was listed as the head of household, so it appears he either was not charged in the shooting of Hugh Harless or else he was tried and acquitted.

There were no other newspaper articles found concerning the shooting.

What happened to Eva? She married George B. Sherman in Sullivan County, Missouri about 1903. In 1910, they were enumerated in Polk Township. He was a laborer, doing odd jobs. Eva had not given birth to any children.

Neither George nor Eva Sherman has been located after the 1910 census.

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