Cora  May  Burton
Robert  Burton

Shelby Circuit Court

Box 689 Filed March 21, 1907
J.H. Deitzer Clerk

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State of Indiana County of Shelby SS                 In the Shelby Circuit Court
Complaint for Divorce March Term 1907

Cora May Burton  VS  Robert Burton

The plaintiff Cora May Burton complains of the defendant Robert Burton and says, that the plaintiff now is and all her life time has been a bona fide resident continuously of the state of Indiana, and that she now is and for Nine years last past continuously she has been a bona fide resident of Shelby County in said state.
            The plaintiff further says, that she and the defendant were legally married June 25th 1898, and lived together as husband and wife until the 19th day of March 1907, when they separated and since said date she has lived wholly separate and apart from the defendant.
            That Two children have been born as the result of said marriage towit:  James Burton,  aged Seven Years and  Ralph Burton  Aged Four Years and the plaintiff since said separation has had and still has the custody and care of said children. The plaintiff says that she is entitled to a divorce from the defendant by reason and on account of his cruel and inhuman treatment of her and the causes herein after set out.
            That during all the time she lived with the defendant as his wife she treated him kindly and affectionately and performed all her martial duties to the best of her ability, but that about two years ago the defendant began and has continued a course or extreme cruelty and inhuman treatment of the plaintiff until her life with him became unbearable.
            That about two years ago the defendant began to work and tend bar in a saloon in the town of St. Paul, where he has been working as a bar tender ever since. That at the same time he began and has ever since continued to drink intoxicating liquors to excess and has become so addicted to the habit of drinking intoxicants and the excessive use of them until he became and is an habitual drunkard; That he is in the habit of getting drunk once and sometimes twice every week and that he spends a good portion of his earnings in drinking intoxicating liquors and in carousing with other persons. That for the last two years of their said married life and ever since he began his work as a bar tender in a saloon and began to drink intoxicating liquors he has treated the plaintiff with great cruelty and has shown no respect and very little consideration for her as a wife. That very frequently during said period and so often that it is impossible for her to give the number of times and the dates thereof, he has come home to the plaintiff when he has been drinking and sometimes drunk and abused her in the most profane and shameful manner. That at such times and also at other times, and on other occasions frequently when he was not drunk during all of said period he has cursed the plaintiff and called her vile and insulting names, such as "Damned Nigger," "Damned Whore," "Bitch," "Damned Liar," "Damned Fool", and other vile names of like character and that during the last few months before said separation the defendant has grown worse in such conduct and treatment towards the plaintiff. That a day or two before said separation he profanely abused her and applied such vile names and epithets to her. That during said period of two years and especially during said last few months of said married life the defendant frequently became angry and would not speak to the plaintiff for days at a time but treated her with the utmost contempt.
            That he frequently would leave said town of St. Paul and be gone till the hour of midnight and later and spend his money in drinking and carousing and having a "good time" as he called it and informed her at such times that he had been to Shelbyville or Greensburg or Indianapolis and at such times this plaintiff and her two small children aforesaid would be left alone at their home. That all of such conduct and acts of the defendant were without any fault of provocation therefore on the part of the plaintiff.
            That frequently during the last six months of their said married life the defendant has brutely cursed the plaintiff and told her to take her clothes and leave his Home and that a few days before said separation in such a manner he ordered her to leave, that he did not want her about.
Plaintiff further says, that during the summer of 1906, the exact date of which she is now unable to state, the defendant unlawfully and in a rude insolent and angry manner struck the plaintiff with his fist and violently pushed her down in a chair and cursed her and called her vile names all without any excuse and without any cause or fault on her part for so doing.
            That the said conduct of the defendant and his said treatment of her so continued and was repeated so often that she was unable to endure it longer and live with the defendant.
            That the plaintiff now is and for Eight months last past has been pregnant with child by said defendant and in a weak, delicate and nervous condition of health and during said time, and while she has been in said condition said defendant has many times repeated his drunken abuse of her and his brutal treatment as herein above stated until the plaintiff was compelled to leave him and go to the Home of her Mother on the date above mentioned where she has since lived separate and apart from him.
            The plaintiff further says, that she now has the custody and care of their said two children and can provide a Home for them with her Mother in the town of St. Paul and with her Motherís assistance that she is able to care for them and provide them a home and give them a motherís care and send the said children to school in said town of St. Paul if said defendant is required to contribute something to assist in their maintenance and support. That this plaintiff is without any property or means but is destitute of the means for the support of herself and said children or to provide for herself medical attendance and supplies which will soon become necessary for her, but is now being assisted for such support of herself and children by the charity of her widowed mother, Melissa Wilder, and her brother, and that she should have some assistance from her said husband for such purpose. She further says, that she is wholly without means, property or money with which to prepare her cause of action herein for trial and pay the costs, expenses and attorneys fees necessary to do so without such assistance. That the defendant is a middle aged man in good health and able to earn good wages and this his earnings are of the value of Twelve Dollars per week, as she is informed and believes, and that he is able to contribute money for the purposes above named if required by the Court to do so.
            And the plaintiff therefore says, that upon the trial of this cause she is also entitled to a judgment against the defendant in the sum of Two hundred dollars as and for alimony herein in her behalf.
            The plaintiff therefore asks and prays, that an order be made requiring the defendant to pay to the Clerk of this Court for her a reasonable sum. In such payments or on such terms as the Court may direct, for the support and maintenance, medical services and supplies for herself and the support of said children during the pendancy of this action, and such sums as may be necessary to enable her to defray the necessary costs, expenses and her attorneys fees in prosecuting this action and the preparation of this cause for trial.
            The plaintiff further says, that the defendant, while he lived with plaintiff on several occasions took the said children with him to said saloon where he worked and had on several occasions declared his intention to her of teaching said children to do things which he did when they grew up and that frequently at their Home he has given said children whisky to drink.
            That the defendant on account of his violent disposition and his profane and vulgar and foul language which he habitually used and would use in the presence of said children and his habits of drinking intoxicating liquors and getting drunk is not a fit and proper person to have the care and custody of said children. That he has no home where said children could be properly cared for and could only place then in the hands of strangers where they would be deprived of a motherís care and affection.
            Wherefore the plaintiff prays for a decree of absolute divorce from the defendant, and for a judgment against him in the sum of Two Hundred dollars as and for alimony in her behalf to be paid as the Court may direct and she further prays for the order and judgment of the Court that she have the care and custody of said two children, and for such other orders herein as the Court shall deem proper in the premises.
Wray & Campbell Attorneys for the Plaintiff

Transcribed by Barb Huff

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