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Beulah Crafton
Austin Crafton
December 29, 1919

Loose records:  #1176

Transcribed by Jan J. Barnes
© 2002

To the Honorable J. W. Stout, Chancellor, Presiding and Holding The Chancery Court at Gallatin, Tennessee.

Mrs. Beulah Crafton, a resident of Sumner County, Tennessee
Austin Crafton (& Brandon Lane), a resident of Sumner County, Tennessee

Complainant would respectfully show unto the COURT:


      That she and the defendant were married in Sumner County, Tennessee, December 7th, 1904, in which state they have lived ever since they were married; and as a result of this union there were four children born to complainant and defendant as follows:  One boy and three girls who's names and ages are as follows:
Leo Crafton, a boy, age 14 years old;
Nellie Belle Crafton, age 11 years old,
Nina Belle Crafton, age 5 years old,
Estelle Crafton, age 3 years old,
     The last three named children are girls and in the custody of complainant; but she is not advised as to where the boy, Leo, is, but supposes him to be with his father, the defendant.


     Complainant would show to the court that the defendant is guilty of such cruel and inhuman treatment or conduct toward her, as renders it unsafe and improper for to co-habit with him, and be under his dominion and control.
     That he has cursed and abused her, calling her bad names, such as "damn devil"; "damn fool" etc; and when she was sick in bed, and unable to comply with his desires and wishes, with regard to their family relations, he would curse and abuse her, and wish her dead, and threaten to leave her and go to see some other woman, since he has told complainant that he did go and spend money and time with another woman -- for many years defendant has carried on his mistreatment of complainant, almost every day, until it has wrecked her health, and now she is an invalid.  Defendant is guilty of teaching their son, Leo Crafton, to dis-obey her, and to say ugly things to her, telling the child not to "mind his mother" that he will take him and leave home with him, and not leave his mother and the little girls "a bite to eat" and will not spend a "penny on them" and many other things which will more fully appear in next paragraph.


     Complainant would show to the court that defendant has offered such indignities to her person as to render her conditions intolerable, and thereby forced her to withdraw, and leave her home.
     Complainant would show to the court that about one year ago, she went to St. Thomas Hospital, and underwent an operation for female trouble and tumor, and since that time she has been wholly unable to comply with his wishes and desires as to sexual relationship, and that she has refused to accede to his demands, because of her bad health and physical condition and for other reasons which she can not set forth in this bill.         Complainant would show that his conduct towards her in this regard is simply unbearable; that his treatment of her in this regard is not above that of a brute; that he has no regard for her feelings, and does not respect her wishes and when she does not do as he wishes, he becomes enraged at her and says he will go "hunt for some other woman" who will be what he wants her to be; and who will let him do as he pleases.
     Complainant would show to the court that defendant does leave home and stays out late at night, but complainant does not know where he goes nor who he is with when he is out.
     She further states that since she had the operation above mentioned, that her health has not improved, and the defendant has grown worse and worse in his treatment of her for no other reason or excuse; than because she is unable to comply with his wishes; and complainant can not account for his misconduct and cruel and inhuman treatment of her, except her bad health and physical condition.
     She further states that she have always been nice and good to him and did every thing she could do, to make their home happy and to keep their children together and raise their family right; and that she has not given him any cause or excuse for his mis-treatment of her; but silently borne with it until she has lost her health and is almost a nervous wreck.
     Complainant would show that on Christmas day she harnessed a horse and hitched it to the buggy to go to her father's who lives a few miles distance, and informed her husband that she would not return; that her life was a wreck and that his treatment was so cruel and inhuman that she could stand it no longer, the defendant replied to this:  "that you are a damn fool if you ever come back; and that I hope you will stay; and if you do come back you and the children will not get a penny from me".  Defendant told complainant that he hoped she would die, when she had another operation, and said he wished she had died when she was operated on a year ago"; and stated that he would not pay for another operation if she did die, and that he would not pay for and he never intended to pay for the one that was necessary a year ago.
     Defendant has recently told complainant that if she did not die he would kill her; that he was going to get rid of her.


     Complainant would show that she has the three girls children in her care and custody, and that they live with her father J. M. Smart, a farmer, who is able and willing to care for and to support her and her children, and will educate them, and she alleges that defendant is wholly unfit to have the care and custody of the little girls; as he has often boasted in their presents that he had committed adultery with women; and that he is guilty of such immorial conduct with other women as renders him unfit, and it is not to the best interest of the children for him to have the care and custody of them; but complainant would not object to him seeing them at such times and places as the court would deem proper for him to see them.

Complainant would show to the court that defendant is the owner of the following described personal property:
1 roan horse about 5 years old, 15 1/2 hands high, named "Rex".
1 black horse mule; 5 years old, 15 1/2 hands high named "Dick".
1 yellow jersey milk cow 6 years old
1 yellow jersey heifer 2 years old
1 brindle calf 3 months old
8 bbls. corn in crib.
15 bbls corn in field not gathered
5000 pounds of air cured dark tobacco, in barn on farm herein after described, part of it stripped and part. not stripped
3000 pounds of tobacco, air cured dark, in barn on the farm of Paul Crafton, herein after described.
1 brood sow and five shoats red and black spotted
25 bushels of wheat or flour in mill at Portland, Tennessee, in the custody of Mr. Brandon Lane
1200 pounds of meat or bacon
40 quarts of can goods in glass jars
100 qts. can goods in tin cans
150 pounds of lard
45 hens and chickens
11 geese
1 writing desk; oak
2 dining tables
house hold and kitchen furniture
1 cook stove
1 heater stove
4 beds and bed clothing, including quilts and counterpaigns, featherbeds and sheets, pillows
12 chairs, 2 rockers
1 2-horse wagon and leather harness
1 surry with leather harness
2 harrows, 2 plows

     Defendant is also the owner of an equitable interest in the following described real estate or farm.
Located in 16th Civil Dist. of Sumner County, Tennessee and bounded as follows:
On the north by the lands of Paul Crafton;
On the East by the lands of Paul Crafton;
On the South by the lands of Cockran and Albert Johns;
On the West by the lands of Tom Searcy, or Dick Baty.
     Complainant is not advised as to how much defendant still owes on said land, but says that it is worth about $2500.00 or $3000.00 and there is a lien on said farm but is not advised who holds the lien nor for how much; but so soon as complainant can ascertain these facts she will seek to make those holder liens on the farm parties hereto.
     All of the personal property mentioned in this bill is in the possession of defendant, is located on the above described farm; except the 3000 pounds of air cured dark tobacco, which is in the log barn of Paul Crafton, a brother of defendant, which farm is described as follows:
Located in the 16th Civil Dist. Sumner County, Tennessee, and bounded on the North by Ab Short.
On East by Haas and Jos. Short.
On South by Austin Crafton and Dick Baty.
On the West by Sam Short.
Said 3000 pounds of air cured dark tobacco is in a barn where Paul Crafton has some "fire-cured" tobacco; but same is not mixed with defendant's tobacco; defendant's tobacco being air cured.

     Complainant would show to the court that defendant is about fraudulently to dispose of his property so that the ordinary process of law can not be served on it and unless writs of attachments and injunction issue and be served on defendant, he will do so.
     Complainant charges and avers that defendant is making every effort to fraudulently to dispose of his property; and that he will fraudulently dispose of his property for the purpose of hendering and delaying the payment of alimony to complainant.
     Defendant stated to complainant on same day she went to her father's house, that "she would never get a penny out of him" and that he would get his property cut out of her reach, and where she could not do any thing with it.

     Complainant would show; that part of the corn herein mentioned is yet in the field, and not gathered, and that unless some one takes charges of it, same will soon be worthless.  Also part of said tobacco crops or yet unpaired for market, is damaging every day, and needs to be on the market and is hanging up in the barnes where it is easily damaged and wasted.

Premises seen and considered complainant prays:
     That proper process be issued and served upon the defendants requiring them to answer; but the oath of defendant to his answer, Austin Crafton is especially waived.
Let Mr. Brandon Lane answer on oath as to how much wheat or flour defendant Austin Crafton has in his possession; and that he be required to hold same pending the further orders of the court.
     That at the hearing the bonds of matrimony subsisting between complainant and defendant be absolutely and perpetually dissolved, and that complainant be forever freed from the obligations thereof; and that she be restored to all the rights and privileges of an un-married person.
     Let complainant have the care and custody and control of their four children, and especially the three girls; with privileges to defendant to see them at such times and places as the court may deem proper.

     Let complainant have decree for alimony pending this suit and a reasonable attorneys fee for prosecuting this suit; she says a reasonable alimony and support during the pending of this suit would be about $50.00 per month.
     And at the hearing of this cause give complainant a decree for alimony a suitable support and a maintenance for her and her four children.
     That attachment is issued and levied upon all or enough of defendant's property, real and person to satisfy complainant's claim for alimony; she says $50 per month is justly due her on said claim.

     Let an injunction be issued and served on defendants, prohibiting and injoining him from disposing of any of his property either personal or real, and injoining and prohibiting him from attempting to carry, or carrying any one of the children out of jurisdiction of this court.  And also injoining and prohibiting defendant, Brandon Lane, from turning over to defendant, Austin Crafton, or anyone for him, any of the wheat or flour, now in his mill in the town of Portland, or to any one else except upon orders from this court.

     Complainant prays that a receiver be appointed to take charge of the property to be levied on, and to care for, handle and market, sell or do any other thing that is necessary to preserve it for the use and benefit of her and the chidlren, and to prevent it from wasting or going down in value.

     At the hearing of this cause, grant complainant all such other further and general relief that she may be entitled to under the facts in the case.

This is the first application for writs of attachment and injunction, or receiver in this case.
B. D. Bell & W. L. McKinney
Attys. for complainant

State of Tennessee
Sumner County
     Mrs. Beulah Crafton, being duly sworn, makes oath that the facts stated in her foregoing bill are true to the best of her knowledge and belief, and that her complainant is not made out of levity, or by collusion with the defendant, but in sincerity and in truth, for the causes mentioned in the bill.  And that owing to her poverty she is unable to bear the expenses of this suit which she is about to commence in the Chancery Court at Gallatin, Tennessee, and that she is justly entitled to the relief sought and pryaed for in her foregoing bill.
Mrs. Beulah Crafton
Subscribed and sworn to before me,
This Dec. 27th, 1919
Lois McMurry N. P.

To the Clerk & Master, at Gallatin.

     The complainant having taken the oath prescribed by law for poor persons you will issue the writs of attachment and injunction as prayed for in the foregoing bill.  This December 29, 1919.
A. G. Rutherford

Mrs. Beulah Crafton                 In Chancery Court at
Vs.                                              Gallatin, Tennessee
Austin Crafton, et al.
     In this cause the Court is pleased to appoint Mr. J. D. G. Morton, Receiver, to take charge of care for and sell the personal property described in the foregoing bill, the said Morton being all ready C. & M. of this Court, it is deemed proper to appoint him as such receiver.  He will proceed to gather the corn, finish stripping the tobacco and put same on the market and sell either at public auction or privately and he will also take charge of the live stock and other personal property described in the bill and sell the same for cash, either at auction or privately as in his judgment may appear to be for the best interest of the parties.  Said Receiver may act upon his official bond if this is a provision in same qualifying him as Receiver in cases like this, otherwise he will execute a receiver's bond in the sum of Fifteen hundred dollars, before proceeding with the performance of his duties.  Said receiver will make his report on or before the following term of the Chancery Court, at Gallatin and until the coming in of which all other matters are reserved.
This December 29, 1919.
A. G. Rutherford

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