The Lawsuits of Jane Bowles Shanks


The Lawsuits of Jane Bowles Shanks

Generously transcribed & submitted by Delores Panzer, thanks Delores!



The following is information taken from microfilm at the National Archives, Jane Bowles Shanks was my ggggrandmother, and her daughter Elizabeth (Lizzie) Stütz and husband Conrad (Coonrod) Stütz (Stitts, Stitz, Stits) my gggrandparents.  These are Pendleton County Court Records.
I have not attempted to change the spelling.  Where I was not sure of something I have either entered a ? or an *,  rather than try to guess.  You will note that the spelling of names changes throughout, but I have not corrected that either.  Delores Panzer

Shanks, Jane
Archibald Logan
125 Acres
Deed Box  #204

Jane Shanks                                                                 P Cir Ct.   Prg 226
Vs./Pet filed Sept 24, 1867  by Marshall & Lee
Anton Leismann

Plff is owner & entitled to poss of tr land on M. Lkg. River, in Patent of Col Danl Coleman; & cont. 41 2/3 acres, bounded on No. by Michael Crawley, on E. by deft., on So. by Brandywine creek which separates sd. land from the land of John Logan; and on W. by the lands of Plff. John Shanks.  Deft holds poss of sd land without right .
Ans x P(?)  Oct 26, 67, by Ireland & D(?)
Denies allegations in pet.  Several years ago plff gave sd land to her son O.M. Shanks and put him in possn, and afterwards, at the solicitation of plff. – he purchased sd land from O.M. Shanks.  The plff was present when sd purchase was made and directed its terms; & then she promised to convey sd land to deft.  Afterwards on 5 day of Mch 1863 the plff & her son O.M. Shanks did deed sd land to deft (deed filed). The land sued for is a part of that described in sd deed. That on 5th day of Mch 1863 the plff with her son O.M. Shanks executed & del to deft a writing that for considr of $492 they had convd to deft the 2/5 int of O.M. Shanks in his Mother's land – a tr of 125 A (descripn in Bk M – 204) – the land sued for is a part thereof.  The pur money was pd & deft is entitled to a conveyance.

The deft entered, took possn & made lasting improvements; has cleared 25 A & built fence – worth $600. – has lien for improvements.  Prays case be transf to Equity, title quieted, & plff be compelled to convey – or jdgt for value of improvements.

Reply Apr 21, '68  Denies allegations of the (?).  That deft entered on sd land as a trespasser; plff asks for rent at $125 per year; claims $500 for waste by cutting timber & c
Oct 22, '68 Plff is not ready to submit case for trial – she can prove & c.
Oct 23 '68 Amended Reply  She is informed that deft has filed copy of purported deed from her to John W. Shanks, Obediah M. Shanks, David Shanks, & Wm S. Shanks, made Aug    1858.  If there is such a deed it was obtained by fraud – has no knowledge of such a deed; she did make a deed to John W. Shanks, but to no other person; that plff cannot read writing; that she was a poor widow woman; with large family children – mostly small; she pur the land from Archibald Logan; that  John W. Shanks was her oldest son & he worked out, and assisted her in paying for the land, and she aimed to deed to him 20 A.
Jane (X) Shanks

Shanks Jane Shanks
Vs/ P Cir Ct  pkg 226
Anton Leismann
Depositions Mch 18, 1868 at Fal.
John R. Logan  I have known Jane Shanks 16 or 17 yrs., and A Leismann ab 8 yrs.  I have lived near neighbors to them all that time.  Jane Shanks told me that Leasman bought the land of her son Obediah Shanks.  She said she had given the land to Obediah, & he had bought David Shanks' land – this was before Leasman bought the land. Ab. Mch 1, 1860, when Leasman moved onto the land.  She said she was glad Obediah had sold it to Leasman as he was a good Dutchman & would make a good neighbor; also thought she could sell her own land to him.  Obediah's land was in woods – no cleared ground.  Land was selling in the neighborhood at $7 to $8 per acre.  Most of the land is cleared up now & in good fix; only 10 A. in woods, the whole tr is enclosed with a good fens.  It is worth $20 per a. to clear the land & make the improvements.

Q. of what nationality is Mr. Leasman. A. He is called a Dutchman.  I don't think he can read writing in English.  In 1860 he could not understand spoken English very well.  I was present at time Servey was made – ab 2 yrs ago.  James Shanks came for me to see the land run off.  He was living on Mr. Johnson's land at the time.  Mr Leasman was along & Coonrod Stitts, Mr. Courtney, and a Dutchman who lived a C. Stitts.  The land is Hill land, on Brandywine branch, corners near the Brooksville Rd., cont. 41 A.  The land is worth $10 or $12 per A. now.  Leasman began clearing the land in 1863.  The land is worth $4 per yr rent.  The land that O. Shanks sold to deft. is now worth $25 per a. No wood land has been sold in that neighborhood since 1860.  Leasman has not put any bldgs on the land in controversy.

Michael Crawley, Have known the parties ab. 6 yrs.  Have known the land 6 yrs.  I live adjoining it.  Ab. 2 yrs ago Mrs. Shanks sd she signed a deed, but it was no good – she would take the land away from Leasman.  It was worth ab. $7 per acre, but Leasman pd. $12 per A. for it.  I think Leasman owns 61 ½ A. where he lives; his bldgs. are on his land not in controversy.  Ansel Johnson owns land in that locality.
Coonrod Stitts, I have known the land in dispute 21 or 22 yrs.  I was present when Mrs. Shanks had the land surveyed ab 2 yrs ago; also Jno R. Logan, Mr. Leasman, Mr. Courtney, John Stuck, James Shanks & John Shanks.                    Conrad Stütz

Lizzie Stitts  Mch 19 '68  Mrs. Jane Shanks is my mother.  I am not related to Mr. Leasman.  I was present when Jane Shanks made her cross to deed to Leasman.  My bro. Obe Shanks was present.  Conrad Stitts is Mrs. Jane Shanks' son-in-law, & is my husband.  He is no kin to Leasman.  When my mother talked of giving the land to her sons, they were to pay us girls some money – sufficient to make us equal.  She always refused to convey the land until her sons paid us girls.  The money has not been paid.  The deed was not read to my mother by Jdg. Ireland.  I never read it.  After my mother signed the deed she said she never would acknowledge it.  My mother has lived with me most of the time since 1860.  She has been afflicted with palsy about 9 yrs.  I live ab. ¾ mi. of Leasmans
Elizabeth Stütz

Joseph Dunstall  I have known Mrs. Shanks 14 yrs., & Mr. Leasman 9 or 10 yrs.  I live ab. ½ mi from Leasman on joining farms; & live ¼ mi. of Mrs. Shanks home
Heard Mrs. Shanks say Obe had sold 2 parcels land to Leasman, Dave Shanks share & his.  She told me this in my house, & several places                Joseph (X) Dunstall

Thomas Sheehan  I have known Jane Shanks 10 or 12 yrs.  Mrs. Shanks had the land run off to see if it would would (?) out.  The land was all in open woods when Leasman bought it.  It is all fenced in now and ab. 30 A. cleared                                            Thomas (X) Sheehan

William Dunstall     Farmer    I live on my fathers farm, near Leasman, clearing land ought to be done for $17 per acre, but I don't know much about what it is worth.  It ought to rent for $3.5 per acre.  I am son-in-law of Jane Shanks
G W Jameson, Epr (?)

Chas Bishop   I have known the land 40 yrs.  I have never lived over 4 ½ mi from it; & have lived within 1 mi of it.  The land is ab. 3 ½ mi of Fal.                   Chas (X) Bishop

John Shanks   I have known the land 17 yrs.  Jane Shanks is my mother
                                                                             John W. Shanks

Elizabeth Stitz (Sept 29, 69)   I am dau of Jane Shanks, & sister to John W.; Obediah M.; David; & Wm Shanks.  I lived on Little Kincaid in 1858 & live there now, my mother was living with me in 1858 – while I was nursing my second babe.  Leasman came to this county in 1855 or 1856
Elizabeth (X) Stütz

Depositions  Apr 9-68 at Fal.
Henry B. Bovar  At the instance of plff. son James (who was living at the Johnson farm then) I was called upon in the year 1866, I think, to survey for Mrs. Shanks.  Mrs. Jane Shanks told me, when I went there, that her son James would show me the land & c.  I ran a line showed to me by Leismann.  Mrs. Shanks pd. me for surveying.

Thos. J. Oldham Sr.  Apr 15, 1868  I am a farmer, tob. Dealer and general trader.  The worth of clearing & preparing ready for the plow, for average oak land in this Co. is $10 to $12 per acre.  The Leismann farm is good tob. Land when fresh cleared, and rental value $5.00 per acre.  5 years rent is customary lease for clearing land, but if subject to washing without protection then 4 years.  I value it for tobacco.  For variety of crops, rental value would be $4. Per acre.

J.J. Roberts  Farmer, have lived 3 mi of Fal. for 3 yrs.  I cleared some oak land for Jno. Jounting this Spring a year ago. It is worth $10 per acre to grub it, pile & burn the brush, cutting all for a foot & under; rolling the logs & burning them and getting all ready for the plow.  Five years rent is also a customary price for clearing land; the lease would not be so long if no buildings are to be put up.  A good hand could grub & cut, pile & burn the brush & timber off an acre in 8 days.

D.W. Yelton  Farmer  So far as I know, it is worth $13 per A. to clear oak land of this Co. ready for the plow.  I was pretty much raised in this Co.; have lived within 1 ½ mi of Fal. 4 yrs.  Four years rent would be fair for clearing land, if used for general rotation of crops.  Cash rent value $3. per year.  It is worth $2 per hundred for making rails & putting up fence.  It takes about 800 rails per acre to fence.  

Shanks Jane Shanks
Vs/ P Cir. Ct.  Pkg 226
Antony Leasmann

Depositions  Oct. 5, 1869 at Fal

M. Mullins   I have know Jane Shanks since she first came to the County 12 to 15 yrs.  In Aug. 1858, I was Clerk of both Circuit & County Court.  On Aug 24, 1858, I took her acknowledgement to a deed for land to John W.; Obediah M.; David; & Wm. Shanks (Wm S. Shanks).  The deed was written by me, & read & explained to her – is my recollection.

James M. Watson  I have known Leasman since fall of 1859.  He moved here in Spring of 1860, but was here in fall of 1859 in Pend. Co.

Archibald Logan & Prudence Logan of Mason Co.
To}M204 May 4, 1855  $750 Pd
Jane Shanks of Pend. Co.
On Brandywine Crk a Branch of M. Lkg. R. pat. in name of Daniel Coleman for (?) 4*** ¼ A & that part  beg at *** cor to lands of R. McCarty, to * on sm island in J** Good**** old ** Lkg. Co to so McCarty's orig tr of 789 A. **** beg cont. 125 A * in Mason Co.  Robt. A. Cochran Clk.

Jane Shanks
To}        Aug 24, 1858, $1.00 & love & affection to her sons John W. Shanks, Obediah M. Shanks, David Shanks, & Wm S. Shanks  83 1/3 A. on Waters of Brandywine Crk  part of tr. pur. Of Archibald Logan  sd 83 1/3 A to lay adjoining the 41 2/3 A. this day deeded by grant to James G. Shanks, & being bal of land pur of sd Logan.
Jane (X) Shanks

O.M. Shanks
To}   Mch 5, 1863 $492 pd
Anton Leisman
Being OM Shanks' 2/3 int in his mother's, Jane Shanks tr. Of land, which tr. could(?) 125 A. for descrip said deed of Archibald Logan in Bk M. 204 O.M. Shanks

Suit dismissed  Oct 1869


Shanks, James G

Jane Shanks P Cir C   Pkg 311
Vs} Petin filed Apr 12, 73 Jno H. Fryer Atty.
James G. Shanks

On Aug 24, 1858 plff convd by deed (Bk N 111) to deft fal tr. land, on waters Brandywine Crk being part of the land deeded to the plff by Archibald Logan, cont 41 2/3 acres to be laid off on lower end of sd place adjoining the lands of Joseph Dunstall & John Logan & as as to include the improvements and house on same.  The considr is expressed and was the understanding of deft to support plff during her life.  
In a short while afterwards deft abandoned the land & his contr. To support; he pretended to sell his int in the land, but has never convd the leagal title to anyone.
Plff has had possn of the land for 16 years past controlling it as her own, deft has asserted no claim to it.
There has been a failure of considr. Plff says she is old & infirm; & has been deprived of comforts of a home in Defts. Family, and compelled to live best she can among her children.
Prays for rescision of contract, & deft compelled to convey sd land to plff.
                                       Jane (X) Shanks

Ans. May 28, 73   Lee Atty:
Since his mother made the deed, his part has been laid off by meters and bounds.  At same time, plff deeded to each of her other sons 21 ½ acres without compensation.  Deft has supported plff, & willing to support her all the time; denies that he abandoned the land or his contract.  Deft has not always lived upon the land, but has always provided her with a good home; she sometimes goes to visit – go and come as she pleases; deft has permitted her to use & rent the land & collect & use the rents off the land she is sueing for; & is receiving all the rents at this time.         James Shanks

Amended ****17, 74
Deft sold his int to his bro Obadiah Shanks & he to his bro David Shanks

Depositions  Apr 16, 74 at Fal.
Obediah M. Shanks  age 41  distiller & farmer  Plff is my mother.  In Spring of 1858  Mother and James came down here & Mother deeded to James 41 2/3 acres.  I bought the int of my bro James by verbal contr.  I pd on it a silver watch & gold chain for $25.  I sold him on bbl whiskey on sd land in 1861, & we settled in Summer of 1861.  I gave him my note think it was for $12 which I pd off to Turley, Constable of Nicholas Co.  The whole amt. I was to pay was $100.  I assumed his obligation to support mother, with her consent.  I sold the land to my brother David Shanks & afterwards he sold it to his mother.  James Shanks occupied the land in 1858, I occupied it in 1859 & in fall of 1859 I transferred it to D Shanks.

Jane Shanks  May 27, 1874, at Fal.
I am 67 yrs old; I am living among my children; mostly with Conrad Stitz.  The deed was made for him supporting me and 3 younger children under age living with me.  James put in a crop and went off & left it.  John Shanks came in & finished the crop.  Deft has lived in the city about 7 yrs; been living in Fal. Since he came from City.  I staid most of the time at Sarah Dunstalls and at Stitzs (Conrad Stitz).

I put one of the children to a trade; kept one with me, and one went to the army & died there.
I have 7 children living; one dead.  The oldest is 45 yrs old , the youngest, 28 if he was living.  It has been about 25 yrs since I moved to this County.  I did own 125 acres land this Co.  My son James is about 38 yrs. Old.  All my children helped me pay for the land.  John was near of age when the land was paid for.  I deeded the balance of my land to my four boys, John, Obediah, David and my youngest child was 14 or 15 yrs old when I made the deeds.  James married 1 or 2 years after that.  Mr. Reeves went on the place after I left. After James married, he first lived in Nicholas Co. and  carried on a distillery for 6 months.  I was there with him only while his wife was confined.I lived with James one winter in Cinti (?) I staid there from Oct 8 to April.  I got sick or I would have come back sooner.  I couldn't live there.
The house on the land I deeded to James, was a large hewed long house – 1 room below & 1 room above.  I have 3 daughters; all are married.  When Ideeded the land to my sons, 2 of my daughters got nothing.  One got some household goods. Jane (X) Shanks

Sarah J. Dunstall  age 32; live in Pend Co.  Plff is my mother  deft is my brother
Since James sold the land, he has lived in Nicholas, Harrison & Pend Cos & in Cincti.
My mother has rented the land to Leaseman; and Alfred Carroll for 5 yrs at $90 a year.  Mautz rented 2 years; he is on it now.
Sarah J. Dunstall

Elizabeth Stitz  I will be 49 the 20th of August.  I am daughter of plff; sister of deft. when my mother staid at my house, she did some weaving before the war

Conrad Stitz  age 51  Son-in-law of plff.

John W. Shanks  Jan 6, 74  I am 43 yrs old; reside in Pend. Co.  Plff is my mother
John W. Shanks

James Shanks  June 11, 74
My father was dead when mother pur. the land from Logan-think she pur the land in 1850.  She was to pay $7 per acre.   The first payment was by John Shanks with money he earned in the upper counties.  The last payment was made about 1855.  When the deed was made to me (1858) there was about 30 acres cleared (out of 125 acres)

Obediah and I worked together at the distillery of Jim Howards, we were in Bourbon Co.  We had a horse and took it to Nicholas Co. & sold it and bought another to farm with, but it was not a work horse, and traded it to Bob Bradford and gave him $40 to boot.  I got married ab 1½ years after I bought the land from mother.  While my mother staid with her daughter Mrs. Stitz, my mother she spun flax and wool, done their weaving and took care of the children and helped do the housework, and did the sewing.
James Shanks

Wm Dunstall  I am son-in-law to plff.  After James left and went to Nicholas Co. his (?) bro moved there, and one of his younger bros. lived with his mother.
William Dunstall

El(?) Lightfoot  June 12 74    I moved down by James Shanks, this is the 3(?) year.  Did not know him before  that.  I live on the other side of the street nearly oppisite him ( James Shanks)  We both live on Main Cross (?) St in Fal                                       E. Lightfoot

Anthoney Leassman  I lived (?) Mr. Shanks place, 1860-65 & since then I bought a place.  Land in the woods is worth more than farming land. Anton Liesman
(The deed from Jane Shanks to James G. Shanks on Aug 24 1858)

Shanks, James

John Otzel P Cir Ct Pkg 275
Vs} Peti filed Feb 27/74 J T Simon
James Shanks Admin of
John Graves Decd

James Shanks admin owes plff $70.12 on a Replevin Bond dated Mch 11, 72 executed by Jo Gawthorn as principal & John Graves as surety.  John Graves died   1872, a res. of Pend Co and James Shanks apptd his Admin.  That Gawthorn is insolvent
Ans  Mch 27-74  Lee
There has already been a jdgt vs Joseph Gawthorn in favor of Jno Otzel, & debt replevied with John Graves as surety, & no exceution ever issued.
No knowledge re whether his intestate exceuted the bond, or whether paid or whether Gawthorn is insolvent.  Deft took letters of adm in July 1872; the entire personal estate was only $242.20; not enough assets to pay more than 20 or 25ø on the dollar

Replevin (?) Board Mach 11 1872
Attest Joseph Gawthorn
Otis Adams John (X) Graves

Thomas J. Oldham Jane Shanks  Pet filed April 30 1853   P Cir C. pkg 110

Jane Shanks states that the deft Thomas J. Oldham is debted to her $72.25 for work and labour done and performed for plff. by her, by & through her sons David, John, Obadiah and James, infants under the age of 21 years.                                    Jane Shanks

Thos J. Oldam Dr. to Jane Shanks   Account

To 6 months work of my son David Shanks at $7 per mo. $42.00
16 days work by my son John at 62 ½ Cts. Per day $10.00
{6 days work making & putting up rails at &1.00 by Obediah Shanks $ 6.00
11 days halling rock & driving team by my son James
75 cts per day $ 8.25
8 days pulling corn by James at 65 cts per day $ 6.00

Ans  June 9, 1853

He admits that David worked for him 6 mo. At $7 per mo.  He hired John to work 6 mos. at $10.  He worked a few days only and abandoned the deft.  For the other labour charged in pffs. account, he paid when rendered.  The plff owes deft $106.52 for monies paid out for her, for goods, flower (flour), beef, ferriage, hawling, with wagon & team.  Pleads setoff and counter claim


Jane Shanks Dr. to Thad J. Oldham
70 lbs Sugar at 8 1.2 cts $5.83
145 lbs flour at 2 ½ cts  3.62
16 lbs coffee 12 1/2 cts lb                  2.00
40 lbs flour 2 ½ cts lb   1.00
3 bu corn at 40 cts   1.20
Sept  Sundrys bouth of Carny        $16.00
Jan 1 years ferriage   5.00
Sept 4    52 lbs beef at 4 cts  2.00
        7    44 lbs beef at 4 cts  1.76
      14    85 lbs beef at 4 cts  3.40
      25    27 lbs beef at 5 cts  1.55
 Oct 9    80 lbs beef at 4 cts  3.20
Nov 30  174 lbs beef at 4 cts 6.96
              115 lbs at 5 cts 5.75
Dec 1852 halling of one load of corn              1.75
               Team and hands getting corn
               3 days at $4.50                                13.50
September  1 hat from Robbins                       2.00
July            I pair of shoes from Rollins ?        1.40

Archibold Logan

The plff. recovered a jdgt at Dec term 1853 of this court agains Jane Shanks for $87.50 wit int from Dec 8,. 1853 & ?.75 costs.  Execution returned no property found.  Jane Shanks is owner of 120 acres, which she bought from Archibald Logan who yet holds the legal title.  She holds a title bond for the land and has paid part of the purchase money.  The land adjoins the lands of John & James Logan, on Main Licking river, and is in posession of Jane Shanks.
Prays for a sale fo the land
Sumns. Exc on Jane Shanks                        J.A. Moore SPC

Sumns to Mason Co. Exd on Archilbald Logan  April 29 1855
S T Forman DS for JA Clark SMC

Tes of Archibald Logan  May 8, 1855
About Mch 3, 1853 Archibald Logan sold to Jane Shanks the land mentioned in the petition, for $750, payable in four installments ($200, $100, $200, & $250) Jane Shanks has paid each of them except part of the first & the whole of the 4th.  James Logan was the agent of his brother Archilbald Logan who resides in Mason Co.  Prays for lien, and sale of the land.               Archibald Logan

Sworn to & C M. Mullins, Clk.,
Note $250.  Mch 3, 1853 to Archibald Logan, due Mch 1, 1855 fourth payment on land      Jane (X) Shanks
Att James T. Rankin

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