With our ancestors sometimes the stories are sadly, not so pretty.

Charles W. McCaustland was born in Wisconsin, abt 1871. His parents were Robert E. McCaustland and wife, Jennie Lovell.
Marriage to Mrs. Jennie (Jane) T. Mills took place in Westfield, Iowa, on January 1, 1896
Bride: Mrs. Jennie T. Mills, age 46, maiden name: Robinson. 3rd marriage for the bride. Her parents were: George Robinson & wife, Sidney A. Quick.

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Facts re: Jennie T

Born: Indiana; Daughter of George Robinson & Sidney A. Quick; Married to Samuel B. Hummer at Elkhart, Indiana, on 12 Mar 1857; Jennie T. Robinson Homer (sp?) married David Milan Mills on 10 Jul 1883, in Woodbury County, Sioux City, Iowa.
Jane T. Mills nee'Robinson, (father, Geo. Robinson) died at the age of 73 on 26 July 1910, Blaine, Whatcom, WA.
~Jennie T. (or Jane T.) often did not state the truth about her age apparently. Since the death record states she was 73 in 1910, that puts her birth year likely as 1837.

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Research uncovered several more marriages for Charles. In the 1910 Census, he was living in Cass Co. Iowa, with a wife named Julia & her son, Harry age 2.

Charles was married in Jackson County, MO...on March 21, 1917 to a Grace Aston. His res at the time was given as Cass County, Atlantic, IA.

By the 1940 Census Charles was still in Cass Co., but now living with a wife named, Lulu.

Yester Year Stories, Backed with Today's Research


LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel
February 7, 1895

The Draft Was Bad.
Sioux City Tribune: Deputy Sheriff Anderson went to Akron this morning to arrest Charles McCaustland on the charge of obtaining money under false pretenses from G. Rehms, of the Merchant’s  hotel.  McCaustland presented a draft payable to himself and drawn in favor of the Kirby Mercantile agency.  When the draft was presented for payment, the money was refused.  McCaustland will be brought to the city tonight and will be arraigned for preliminary hearing tomorrow before Justice Dunkelberg.

LeMars Sentinel, January 9, 1896

AKRON: (From the Register)
Married, Jan. 1, 1896, at the residence of the bride, Westfield, Iowa, by Rev. P. Mac Leod, of Akron, Mr. Charles McCaustland and Mrs. Jennie T. Mills. The wedding was largely attended by guests from Westfield, Akron and Sioux City.

LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel
July 5, 1897

Thursday’s Sioux City Journal contained a rumor that Mrs. Chas. McCaustland, her stepson, Frank Mills, and the servant girl had been killed by lightening striking the McCaustland home near Westfield, Sunday night. The Sentinel telephoned to Westfield and found that the rumor was unfounded.

LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel
July 8, 1897

Sioux Township: (Special Correspondence)
It was somewhat surprising to Mr. and Mrs. McCaustland when their friends and neighbors congregated at their home for the purpose of burying them. The McCaustlands were still alive and well and hearty. It seems very strange how such reports can get started. It had been reported that the whole McCaustland family had been killed by lightning. Charles says he wishes to inform the public that himself and wife are very lively corpses.

Dubuque Daily Telegraph – June 2, 1901

Sioux City, June 1. – Mrs. Jane T. McCaustland of Plymouth County, and the owner of farm property valued at $60,000, bitterly rues her marriage to an ex-convict whom she met as a tramp, and has begun an action for divorce in the district court. Mrs. McCaustland first gave the man employment and proposed marriage. He refused for some time, but finally consented only on condition that she permit him to sign a contract waiving all his rights to share in her estate. He said all he wanted was a happy home. After the ceremony was performed she said he immediately began a course of abuse, squandering her money and making love to the hired girl. She complains that he openly kissed the girl in her presence at will, and cheered when the hired man struck her. They were married six years ago. The wife is 64 and the husband 31 years of age.

LeMars Globe-Post
June 15, 1901

L. T. Martin who went to Sioux City on Monday to present the application of Chas. McCaustland for $600 alimony in the divorce case which his aged wife has commenced against him in the district court of Woodbury county was successful for his client, the court making an order that Mrs. McCaustland pay the amount into court to enable her husband to pay the expenses of defending himself against the sensational charges brought against him. Mrs. McCaustland has property valued at about $60,000 and, of course, her husband has a dower right to some and the application for temporary alimony was very stubbornly contested by her attorneys. It is trifle tough to have to pay the costs on both sides, but that is what Mrs. McCaustland will have to do and something more if she is successful in securing her freedom from her young husband.

LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel
November 7, 1901

Mrs. McCaustland Wins.
The sensational McCausland divorce suit came to a sudden termination late yesterday afternoon, ending rather ingloriously for the young husband, she sought to get a liberal slice of his aged wife’s alleged fortune of $60,000.  Mrs. McCaustland gets her divorce and he gets nothing.

At the conclusion of Mrs. McCausland’s evidence in her suit for divorce, the defendant’s attorney admitted the hopelessness of his case by asking for a consultation for settlement.  An agreement was reached whereby Mrs. McCaustland gets her divorce without condition or the payment of a dollar except the costs of the present proceedings and the lawyers fees in one or two cases brought by her husband in Plymouth county. In addition to those she is pay the balance of a grant of $600 temporary alimony given by the court some time ago.  McCaustland agrees to dismiss his two cases in Plymouth county, one of which was to compel a division of the valuable homestead farm and the other to compel her to pay him wages amounting to $2,500 for service rendered during their married state.

The defendant was swamped yesterday afternoon by the perfect claim of evidence presented by Mrs. McCaustland.  Her attorneys, Geo. W. Argo and Sargeant & Ferguson, showing that McCaustland had spent most of the past summer at various South Dakota towns, Delmont and Tripp among the number, with a mysterious woman whom he held out to be his wife.  Half a dozen or more witnesses were brought from South Dakota to establish this ground for divorce, and they did it completely.

All of the sensations that were produced in the preliminary pleadings materialized yesterday, and more, too.  Very ardent love letters that passed between McCaustland and a niece of his aged wife soon after their marriage were read in court by Attorney Argo with much rhetorical effect.  In them McCaustland sent carloads of kisses and love.  Late in the afternoon, Mrs. McCaustland tried to show by her testimony that this niece and her young husband conspired to poison her and get her fortune and then marry.

The story of marriage of Mrs. McCaustland and her youthful husband is somewhat unusual. She met him in 1895.  He was tramping along a highway near her farm in Plymouth county, hungry, dejected and cast down after a short term in jail.  As he trudged along, the young fellow hit her fancy.  She stopped him and offered him work. He accepted, climbed into her buggy and drove back to her house with her.  He worked hard and seemed to grow into the woman’s favor until she proposed marriage to him and the knot was tied New Year’s day, 1896.

On their wedding trip some time later, the old lady took her strapping young husband back to Indiana with her to exhibit her catch to her folks, but this proved to be the beginning of the trouble.  He met her niece, Mrs. Belle Leedy, and fell in love with her.  Later she visited the Plymouth county farm and the love grew still more and led to an ardent correspondence which lasted until the young woman’s death some time later.

Tired of the marriage, both husband and wife fretted under the bonds and had quarrels without number.  Both wanted to be free, but the wife wanted to keep her fortune intact for herself, while the young husband wanted a share of it, claiming that he had earned it by hard work.  She commenced to harass him with criminal prosecutions and filed two different charges against him in Plymouth county, one charging him with forgery and the other with an assault with an attempt to murder.  Later she brought divorce proceedings.  In the divorce suit she was taxed with a $800 alimony fee before the suit was dismissed.


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