Honey, I Have Something to Tell You…

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I have been hopping around doing research on various cousins in no particular order. Just basically whatever I get a hit on. Some interesting things have come up while doing this bit of house hopping.


Some of my Zuver kin had moved towards Iowa. One in particular Joseph R Zuver, born 1833, son of Jacob Zuver and Catherine Claypool was born in Pennsylvania, lived in Iowa and died in Colorado. At 15 he was helping to support his 7 brothers and sisters in Pennsylvania following the death of his father. He was listed early on as a boatman in the Census, working his craft on the Alleghany and Ohio Rivers until into his 30s.  He eventually became a Judge of the Circuit Court of Iowa by first studying the law in Missouri in 1868 and then being appointed as interim judge in 1874 by the exiting judge, the Honorable Addison Oliver. The inhabitants of Iowa were so impressed by him that they re-elected him back into office for the next full term.


Judge Zuver had married Mary Richardson in 1861 and had 5 children, from 1863 to 1871, until her death prior to his marriage to Josie Marshall in 1872.  The next 18 years seemed to have been blissful for the judge in both his marriage and work until one day he figured something out. His wife of 18 years had never divorced her previous husband. The newspaper carried this bit of information.


Hawarden Independent, Hawarden, Iowa


November 20, 1890


It may be of interest to many old settlers to learn that Judge J. R. Zuver, for a number of years circuit judge in this district, has recently discovered that his wife had another husband living, and immediately brought action and obtained a divorce. He gave his divorced wife some valuable property and has departed for Colorado.


1 comment

  1. Thanks, very interesting! I was looking at him as a collateral relative today. After Josie, he married widow Eleanor (Merrill) Brown Blake on 21 Feb 1892. She was the widow of Orris Blake who was a lawyer in Boulder; also the widow of an unknown Brown. J. R. Zuver died in 1896 in Boulder, she died in 1909.

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