The Dallas Journal, Volume 51, 2006 Page: 1
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Early Twentieth Century Divorce:
Annie M. Nelson vs. B.C. Nelson, Jr.
Transcribed by Elizabeth Nelson Thurmond
The following documents in the divorce case of Annie M. Nelson vs. B. C. Nelson, Jr. were copied as
they were typed or written with all of the incorrect spelling, punctuation and spacing and including
hand-written insertions in some of the documents. Since the typewriter was fairly new in offices in 1900,
it can be imagined that the typists (also called typewriters back then) were not highly skilled. The
originals of these papers have been filmed and are in the Civil Court Cases of Dallas County, Texas on
the seventh floor of the J. Erik Jonsson Library.
I found these documents while working on a Dallas Genealogical Society project to prepare court
records for filming. The records had been rescued from a fate of certain destruction. While the records
appear not to have a great deal of specific genealogical information, they serve as a good example of
how hard it used to be to get a divorce. If the plaintiff and defendant were truthful in their allegations,
I'm inclined to think they probably deserved each other.
The defendant was our family black sheep, and I had heard about the grief he had given my father (the
youngest sibling but the major support of the family after their father died) over the years past. I was
disappointed that the name of the child born before the final decree was not given. Here was a first
cousin whose existence was known to me, but it wasn't a matter that we discussed at Sunday family
dinners. And since she was born a generation before I was, I didn't give it much thought until recent
years. I have some possible leads about my cousin's identity, so that's an on-going project.
THE STATE OF TEXAS IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF
COUNTY OF DALLAS } DALLAS COUNTY, TEXAS
TO THE HONORABLE DISTRICT COURT OF
DALLAS COUNTY, TEXAS
Your petitioner Annie M. Nelson plaintiff complaining of B. C. Nelson,Jr. Defendant, respectfully
represents that Plaintiff is an actual BonaFide inhabitant of the State of Texas, and has been a resident of
the County of Dallas, for more than six months next preceeding the filing of this suit; That defendant
resides in Dallas County, Texas, that Plaintiff and Defendant intermarried in the County of Dallas on, or
about the 16th day of July 1899, and ever since have been and now are husband and wife.
Plaintiff now represents to the Court; that shortly after their marrage defendant began a course of
cruel treatment,wholly unprovoked by any act of hers,which was next to insupportable,but Plaintiff
Dallas Journal 2006 1
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Dallas Genealogical Society. The Dallas Journal, Volume 51, 2006, periodical, October 2006; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth186865/m1/5/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Genealogical Society.