Where Was Fannie? Part V–Wrapping Up

On 10 February 1908, the Hancock County Sheriff said that my great-grandmother “could not be found in Hancock County, Illinois” and left a summons with her husband, Charles. This post concludes the series on where I think Fannie was in 1908.

While it is possible that she was out of the area (perhaps visiting a pregnant sister), I’m inclined not to think so based upon the following reasons:
  • The Neills had two small children of their own in February of 1908; Cecil and Ralph, both under the age of five. It seems unlikely that Fannie would leave Charlie alone with the children.
  • The Neills were tenants on the Rampley farm that was the subject of the partition suit filed in 1907 and, if they couldn’t purchase it, would be forced to move. It’s doubtful the young couple would have been able to purchase the 205 acre piece of property.
  • William Rampley (one of the plaintiffs in the 1907 partition suit) obtained a separate judgment while the partition suite was in process from a Justice of the Peace against Fannie Neill totalling $186.98. This amount was garnished from her interest in the Rampley farm. It’s possible that this case was already “brewing” in February of 1908.
It seems very reasonable that, given the situation, when the sheriff came to the door Fannie either refused to answer or Charles told her not to. You can’t force someone to answer the door and the legal matters involved are not criminal in nature–she wasn’t avoiding arrest. It isn’t very difficult to imagine, given the situation, that she simply didn’t come to the door.
If the only information I had was the fact that Fannie “couldn’t be found,” I wouldn’t be so quick to draw this conclusion. But given the items in the second and third bullets, it seems reasonable that Fannie was in Hancock County in 1908.

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