Edith Ralston Wife Number 2

Edith Ralston and William  Sutherlin were married 5 November 1886. She was the daughter of Lewis and Rachel VanFerson. Born 5 Feb. 1869 in Indiana. I do not have a marriage date at this time but during their marriage she witnessed crimes and unhappiness.

During the murder trial she would sit dutifully behind her family, often with a child or two, thus showing he was such a kindly and lovingly family man.  Shortly after he was convicted, not once but twice, she decided to divorce William and turned to another man, William Henry Redman.

The courts allowed the divorce but William fought it, even taking it to court and eventually fought for the children Lawrence and Nellie.  Even after Edith and Bill Redman married and moved to Scotland, South Dakota he fought for custody of the children making Edith return to Indiana to fight for her rights.

He was still in Indiana State Prison while fighting for his rights to the children. He was listed as widowed in the 1900 census.  The court papers accuse William Redman of running a brothel.  Even after this the courts ruled in favor of the mother Edith.

After following the trail of everyone concerned I do not think he saw Lawrence or Nellie again…..But the trail continued for me and William Sutherlin’s  children.

After marriage Edith and William Redman headed to Scotland, Bon Homme, South Dakota and changed the childrens names to Redman….probably not legally.  They went to school and live lives like we would hope for any child.

William Redman is found in the local newspapers as a building contractor with many jobs for cement or concrete. Taking on job after job and making a name for himself in contracting.

William, Edith and the children seemed a happy family, the children attending school and Edith in womanly activities.  But not all was happy, so it seemed.  In a small mention in the local newspaper, 02 December 1909, William Redman was escorting his daughter, Nellie and wife, Edith to South Bend Indiana where Edith would be entering a sanitarium.  William was going as far as Chicago Illinois. But in the 1910 census Edith and Nellie were back to South Dakota.

Looking at William Redman’s own early life can tell a lot about the man.  His mother was Jemima Smith.  Jemima was married at least 3 times. The first was to Adam Gandy. To that union there were two children. According to the divorce papers Jemima was abusive and left the marriage, leaving the children behind to be raised by their father.

She next married Silas Redman/Redmond, their son, William Henry Redman was born Oct 1871 in Marshall county, Indiana.  This marriage ended in divorce and Jemima moved on to the next husband Franklin Osborne/Osbourn.  To this marriage came two children, Harrison and Josephine (Margaret Ann).  Franklin ended up going to prison and Jemima attempted to have divorce papers served on him there but the prison authorities could not find him. Was he released or did he escape?

In the 1880 census Jemima and her three children, William Redman, Franklin and Josephine are found in two different places in Plymouth, Marshall Co. Indiana. First living in a home where is shows Jemima is a servant.  The next place is the poor house in Marshall county Indiana.  Even though she came from a large Smith family it appears that none of them would take Jemima and her children in to their homes.

Jemima disappeared after the 1880 census and according to a distant family member William was cared for by an uncle but there may have been abuse.  He kept running away from his uncles home and the farm he had to work on.

Shortly after the 1910 census it seems Edith had had enough of William and traveled back to South Bend Indiana to stay.  In the South Bend New-Times on 28 August 1933 the following was printed

SEED DIVORCE  Charging that her husband gambled away the money she earned, Edith Redman sued for divorce Thursday from William H. Redman.  The coule were married July 2 1898, and separated May 20 1911.

The date of the marriage was incorrect by a year. They had been married 1899 not 1898.

The next William Redman is seen is in North Dakota and now married to a much younger widow, Mary Ellen Montague Welch, nearly 20 years Redman’s junior.  Mary’s first husband was suddenly killed shortly after they married, crushed between two railway cars during his job.

To the marriage of William and Mary Redman came 5 children.  William died in North Dakota in 1951 but he never gave up his gambling ways. Mary was always careful to keep a close eye on her husband and the money for their entire marriage.








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