“LEFT HIS FAMILY- SAMUEL GUFFNEY
Does the Desertion Act
HE LEAVES HIS WIFE IN DEBT
Charges His Wife With Infidelity –
Leaves a Good Situation and Five Children
Mrs. Guffney Talks of the Affair
Samuel Guffney, whose family resides on East Street, East Defiance, has gone to parts unknown. He deserted his family Sunday and left with the parting remark that he would never return. He is the father of five children, two of them grown to men and women. The other three are small and the family is not in the best of circumstances, to say the least.
Mrs. Guffney was seen this morning. She said her husband had threatened to leave her on several occasions. She said she had been in the habit of going to the neighbor to do washing and on several occasions he had charged her with being untrue to him, which was false in every particular. She is now in a delicate condition and needs a husband’s care truly. She said Guffney had a steady situation at the Turnbull Wagon works, was earning $1.16 per day. He had scolded considerably concerning the current expenses of the household which she said was barely sufficient to live on. Last Sunday, they had some words and he left. She thinks he is at Bryan.
The oldest girl, Cora, is far from well, having recently returned from the Toledo asylum for the insane. She is now able to help her mother who must do washing for the support of the family. The little home where they live is not paid for and $200 will soon be due on the last payment. Guffney left his family with a large grocery bill to pay.
The case is a deplorable one, owing to Mrs. Guffney’s health, but she says she is satisfied the family will get along when she is able to work, if the creditors will be lenient with them. He is a strong man capable of taking care of his family and his actions have caused the people of East Defiance to condemn him in the most emphatic terms.”
April 26, 1894
Samuel and Cecelia Guffney began their married life in Center Township, Williams County, but at some point moved to Defiance. William worked at the Turnbull Wagonworks as a night watchman. Apparently, the bills became too much for him, and he also questioned his wife's fidelity when pregnant with their sixth child, so he left. At some point however, he did returned to his family, only again to experience a tragedy in 1905, when his daughter, Bessie, died a horrific death.
The story is told in the Defiance Crescent News on January 9, 1905:
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Just a few years later, in June, 1908, the world became too much for Samuel Guffney, and he committed suicide. Perhaps because of his manner of death, he was not buried in Defiance in the sacred grounds of the Catholic church, but instead interred in Bryan.
From the Defiance Crescent News, June 23, 1908:
Mrs. Guffney lived on until 1937. She lost her son, Emery, in World War I when he died of scarlet fever in camp. She had endured much in her lifetime. She was buried in Riverside Cemetery.
From the Defiance Crescent News, March 29, 1937: