Land Dispute

Have you seen newspaper articles discussing a court case to divide land? If so, did you assume that these disputes was for the division of land among siblings after the death of a parent or step-parent? I have to admit that I made such an assumption when I encountered articles involving James C. Foster of Ross County, Ohio in a dispute over land.

The first article was int he 29 May 1893 issue of the Chillicothe Gazette of Chillicothe, Ohio.

He Wants the Land Divided
Albert Douglas, Jr., in behalf of John C. Foster, Saturday, filed a suit in partition in which 110 1/12 acres in Pike county, and 10 acres in Franklin township, this county, are involved. The defendants in the suit are James C. Foster, Martha F. Foster and George C. Foster.

“He Wants Land Divided,” Chillicothe Gazette (Chillicothe, Ohio), 29 May 1893, page 1; digital images, ( : viewed online 10 July 2023).

From the above article, I assumed these were siblings fighting over land. Then in the 15 June 1893 issue of the Chillicothe Gazette, one finds the decision of the court.

The land will be divided
Partition has been ordered in the case of John C. Foster and James C. Foster, Martha Foster and George C. Foster, in which the severalty of the plaintiff was asked to be set off. The plaintiff, John C. Foster, claimed a one fourth interest in two tracts of land, situated in Ross and Pike counties, and containing 110 and 10 1/12 acres respectively, as an heir at law of Hannah C. Foster, deceased.
The court appointed John W. Higby, William Landrum and W. L. Lynch, commissioners for partition.

Again, I’m thinking siblings. With the wording ‘heir at law of Hannah C. Foster,’ I’m also assumed that Hannah is the mother of John C., James C., Martha F. and George C. Foster. So, I try finding this family on FamilySearch. When that search proves unsuccessful, I start looking for a Hannah Foster who died around 1893. That’s when I find the family of Thomas Coke Foster with children named Martha, James, Hannah, John, William and George.

Hannah’s obituary confirms that she is the sister of James, John and Mattie.

Chillicothe Gazette (Chillicothe Gazette)
25 Feb 1893

Death of Miss H. C. Foster
Miss Hannah C. Foster, residing near Higby’s station, a sister of Major Jas. C. Foster, Mr. John C. Foster and Miss Mattie C. Foster, constituting one of the best known families in that portion of the county, died this morning, after a period of illness which traces back a couple of years.
Her ailment was acute indigestion, which resulted in a catarrh of the bowels and extreme debility and emaciation.
The funeral will occur at 11 a.m. Monday, and the interment will take place at the graveyard at Higby’s.

“Death of Miss H. C. Foster,” Chillicothe Gazette (Chillicothe, Ohio), 25 February 1893, page 1; digital images, ( : viewed online 10 July 2023).

For additional proof, I will need to find land records or a probate record in Ross or Pike counties, Ohio for Hannah Foster.