Saturday, November 28, 2009

Query: Grace Lufkin

New member Michelle Gatz writes that she has been searching for over three years for any information on a Grace Lufkin and would very much welcome any clues. Below is a summary of what she knows at this point:

Moses Lufkin from Phillips, Maine - his father was James Lufkin and his mother Alice Marrow. Moses is listed as Grace's father and I am not sure who was her mother or where she was born in Maine, it does show her date of birth as 1864 when she is living in Shetck, Murray County, Minnesota. When Moses lived in Phillips, Maine, he was married to one Mary Susan Mitchell on June 19th, 1860. Moses filed for a divorce saying she had run away and she was a bad wife. The date of divorce was May 15th, 1863.

After Moses divorced Mary he would go to revivals and bring women home to convert them in his bedroom. Grace is not listed on the 1870 census with Moses. I cannot find her anywhere under the name of Lufkin, so I figure she has a different name. The newspaper article said that Grace came from Iowa to live with her father, again I can find no Grace Lufkin in Iowa.

Grace had a hard life with Moses, he raped her many times, in 1886 she married one Barney Benjamin only to find out his real name was Chris Nelson and after only 6 days of marriage, she kicked him out of the house. The judge would not grant Grace a divorce as he had had many dealings with her father Moses and did not care for the man. In the denial of the divorce the judge wrote that she had taken a vow for better or for worse and she would not be granted her request based on those grounds.

In February of 1888, one William Rose tried to blow up their house at Shetck, Murray County, the bomb did not go off. In August of 1888 we find that Grace has gone back to Iowa and her father is living with Eli Slover in Redwood County, town of Gales. Here he is shot in the back while leaning against the window. After he is shot he stands up and says, "I've been shot, and I am deader than hay." He falls to the ground dead.

Grace only testifies once at the trial and the jury could not come to a verdict as to William Rose's guilt. So they tried him again and found him guilty this time and he appealed the decision, this went on for two years and when they finally did hang him the rope broke and he had to be hung twice.

During this time Grace has gone to Chicago to live with her sister Minnie Foster. It is here that she cuts her throat with a razor on May 1st 1890. I cannot find any records in Chicago of where she was buried or a death certificate as that time period is lost.

If anyone out there has any information on this woman, please contact me.

Michelle Gatz, 2389 540th Street, Granite Falls MN 56241


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