Friday, December 30, 2016

Poor Walter Woodington, Jailed Again


My 2nd great grandmother, Mary Ann Munson's sister Henrietta and her husband Moses, had six
children I could find. The baby, Walter Amos Woodington, was born 21 Aug 1880 in Cassville, Grant County, Wisconsin.

Elevated view of Eau Claire, WI
I found evidence that he did marry in Indiana on 02 Jan 1906 in Warren County to Minnie Kirkendall, who was born in Ohio. I know nothing about her beyond that. I believe she died prior to 1920, possibly in South Dakota. In 1910, the Woodington's were living in Firesteel, Aurora County, South Dakota. Many people had headed to South Dakota for the free land grants, but many returned quickly as the life was hard and rarely prosperous.

There is evidence to suggest that upon his return to Wisconsin, which occurred by at least 1915, that he had a serious alcohol problem. In June of 1915, he received a 30-day sentence for being a drunken vagrant and panhandling. His job in the article was listed as "farm hand."

In May 1916, he was caught up in a sweep by police of chronic panhandlers and drunkards, and received another 30 days.

The only positive thing I found in news articles was on July 18, 1920, he sold Lots 46, 47, and 48 in the Lincoln Park addition in Eau Claire to John Goulette for $150.

The 1920 census has him listed as age 42, widowed, working as a laborer in a rubber company, and living with his brother George in Eau Claire. The place he worked was most likely the new Gillette Safety Tire Company that had opened in 1916 in Eau Claire. I can't imagine he held the job for long.

The Eau Claire Leader published on 18 Aug 1921 that Woodington was again arrested. This time for 90 days in County jail after just coming off a stint of 10 days in jail.

The judge said, "Well, you're not much of a stranger, are you," as Woodington greeted him upon entering the court room. Woodington was by then drinking wood alcohol.

I don't have any proof of death, but the articles end around this time and I would guess he did not live much longer. I'd be interested in any proof of what happened to Walter after that time.

No comments:

Post a Comment