Hello Forest County Residents!
This week’s great archival find was actually uncovered by one of my amazing volunteers, Goldie, as she was assisting me in cataloging the Civil Court records from Forest County. The case pertained to an annulment between Louis Mortiz , the plaintiff and Rose Moritz, the defendant who resided in Laona in 1932. Louis was a 51 year old foreign sawmill worker who resided either at the boarding house or at the Taylor residence. Rose was a 41 year old divorcee bent on being married again and used every means necessary to make that happen. Louis claimed that Rose called the sheriff to force him to Crandon in front of an attorney to marry her under false pretenses. The attorney said that Louis had to marry her because they had slept together or he would go to jail. Louis claimed that Rose would always force him to drink copious amount of alcohol then ask him if he wanted to sleep with her. Once he sobered up he would run away from her house but she would trap him in situations so they would interact and then shower him with alcohol. Louis did not speak or write any English and was just complying with the wishes of an officer of the law. He never wished to enter into a marriage but did so out of fear for his life. Rose admitted that the sheriff did escort Louis to the attorney’s office but claimed that he did so voluntarily and had been asking her for her hand for some time. Rose also asserted that she gave Louis over one hundred dollars for safe keeping and now she wanted that money returned. The verdict of the trial was not present so we may never know if Louis was released from the marriage or if he was forced to honor his nuptials vows and Rose kept him drunk for the rest of his life in order to prevent him from running away.
I would like to thank all my wonderful volunteers for their amazing work! Without their help I may never discover great stories like this one. I am encouraged by their love of history and dedication to the preservation of Forest County’s past. I hope this encourages others to volunteer and learn something new about the times gone by!