When Nimrod Thacker died in 1893 he owned land. Whether a man has a will or not, land means there is something of value to be divided from his estate. Hiram Thacker made application of letters of appointment on behalf of his mother. It reads “The undersigned, whose Post Office address is Hawks, Ohio asks that the widow, Francis J. Thacker be appointed Administrator of the estate of said decedent.”
Notice once again that Frances is referred to as Francis J. not Mary Frances, or Frances Mary on this legal document. If she is really Mary Frances (or Frances Mary) wouldn’t she have been referred to as Mary Frances Thacker?
The next logical question is how did the marriage certificate read? Below is the copy of the marriage record found in Jackson County, Ohio.
As you can see on June 6, 1840 Nimrod N. Thacker and Frances Thacker applied for a marriage license and on July 23, 1840 Ellery Bascom certifies that he has wed Nimrod N. Thacker and Frances J. Thacker.
None of this is new information. However, notice once again no “Mary” appears on the document but she is clearly listed as Frances J. Thacker.
Several of us have speculated that Frances may have been previously married and that is why her last name appears as Thacker not Grover. If you believe that her year of birth was either 1822 or 1823 as the census and death records would indicate, then she would have been either 17 or 18 at the time of her marriage to Nimrod. It is still possible that she could have been married previously, but the time frame is certainly diminished.
When Frances applied for a widow’s pension after the death of her husband it required her to prove that she was indeed the widow of Nimrod Thacker. This necessitated several affidavits from people who could claim to have known both Frances and Nimrod.
Though Frances made an affidavit of her own (December 9, 1893 and stated her age as 72) it did not touch on the issues that we are trying to resolve, with the exceptions of stating her age and that instead of signing her name to the deposition, she put an “X” confirming that Frances could not write. However, there were three other depositions that were made that same year that are of interest.
On October 13, 1893 Cassmir Hawk gave a deposition in the matter of Frances J. Thacker, widow of Nimrod Thacker. Among the statements he made:
That she has been confined to her bed for five years past, and unable to perform any labor. Has not been married since her husbans (sic)death… Neither she or husban (sic) previously married … have known Numrad (sic) and wife for thirty years.
Clearly if Cassmir knew the Thackers for thirty years, he was not around to witness their wedding and he is merely going on hearsay. Still it is interesting to note that at the time of Nimrod’s death, it was thought that neither of them had been previously married.
Finley Hartley who also made his deposition on October 13, 1893 made similar remarks stating that Frances had been confined to a bed for five years and was unable to do work. That neither she nor Nimrod had married previously, and that he had known the couple for about “thirty years or more.”
The most interesting of the depositions given by William Burk and Ivory Thacker from oral statements. The written deposition is written as if both men gave the same statement, which reads:
Some 60 years ago Frances J. Thacker’s father came to this county when she was a young woman and settled near where I reside. Also Nimrod N. Thacker and by being intimately acquainted with both know that they were not previously married to (sic) their marriage to each other.
This affidavit was taken November 11, 1893 and the oral statements were made in the presence of O.F. Hawk who was the notary public. What’s interesting about this is that it clearly states that Frances was not married before her marriage to Nimrod and that she and her family came to the Wilkesville area sometime in the mid 1830’s.
So, what does all this research mean? Tomorrow we look at the conclusions based on our research.
1. Application of Letters of Appointment, Vinton County Probate Court, Estate of Nimrod N Thacker, from the Private Files of Judy Oiler, emailed to Teresa Snyder 28 Sept 2008.
2. Jackson County, Ohio, Marriage Register, Probate Court, Volume 1, Page 116, Nimrod N. Thacker and Frances J. Thacker, 1840, Jackson County Probate Office, accessed and photographed by Teresa Snyder, 20 May 2008.
3. Frances J. Thacker, widow’s pension no. 582204, certificate no. 404166, service of Nimrod N. Thacker (Pvt., Co. D, 194th Ohio Inf., Civil War), Case Files of Approved Pension Applications, 1863-1934, Civil War and Later pension files, Dept of Veteran Affairs National Archives, Washington, D.C.