The State of Texas

Wharton County

District Court

November Term 1884

To the Hon. Wm H. Burkhart, Judge 18th Judicial District of Texas.

The Petition of Eliza J. Habermacher a married-woman, resident of said Wharton County of which County she has been an actual resident citizen for more than six months next before this date, complaining of her husband Thomas J. Habermacher, Defendant herein, also resident of said Wharton County, alleges: that Petitioner, herinafter called Plaintiff and Defendant were lawfully married in Austin County, Texas, where Plaintiff then resided, in May 8 1873, since which time Plaintiff has been a faithful, obedient and discreet wife to the Deft, laboring for and with him and for their children through these eleven years of married life, doing her full share of the marital duties, and to the very best of her ability fulfilling the many and various responsibilities of a a wife and mother; that the fruits of this marriage are three children, Anna aged eight, Kitty [Susan]aged five, and Andrew aged two years, all of whom are now with and in the care of Plaintiff; that, passing over in silence the conduct of her husband towards her, she alleges that at different times, since January 1st 1884, the Deft charged Plaintiff with infidelity to him, making this charge both by insinuations and in direct language, stating at one time that Mr. Tom Taylor had told him that was a child running in his (Deft) yard which child was not Deft’s and at other times directly accusing Plaintiff of infidelity by saying that their youngest child Andrew was illegitimate; that these accusations so utterly untrue and unfounded greatly shocked Pltf, and outraged her feelings, but she was loth to believe them seriously made, and after having made them Deft begged of her not to disclose his action in this respect, to her friends and so it was that for some months she suffered her wrongs in silence, still striving to do her duties as a wife and mother; that on Sunday August 3rd 1884, she, Pltf, was on a visit to a neighbor, Mr Hudgins, where Deft himself had carried her and their children to spend a few days, and on that day Pltf received a letter from Deft, which is attached hereto as part hereof, in which Deft stated substantially that he had abandoned Plaintiff forever, and that it was on account of the belief in the accusations already referred to, which Pltf submits as a legal proposition, renewed from that time the outrages and ill treatment aforesaid; that since then Plaintiff has had no communication whatever with Deft and has never since then seen him, inasmuch as he at once left their home, and has remained continually away making no provisions whatever for Plaintiff or their children; that upon receipt of said letter Pltf showed it to her brother Wm E. McKinney, who about the 4th of August 1884 called on Deft at Spanish Camp in said Wharton County, and demanded of Deft if he Deft had made the accusations aforesaid against his wife; the Plaintiff, the Deft stated that he had and that they were true; that Deft has so often and so openly made these accusations against Plft since August 1 1884 and between that time and January 1st 1884 that it has become neighborhood gossip, and Plaintiffs fair name has thus been made the property of the public; Plaintiff submits to your Honor that these acts of cruelty, ill-treatment and outrage by Deft towards Pltf, have rendered their living together any longer as husband and wife insupportable and impossible. Pltf prays citation to Deft who is temporarily in Wharton County, Texas, and on a trial hereof for a judgment divorcing Plaintiff and Defendant from the bonds of Matrimony, and decreeing the care and custody of their children to Pltf, with a suitable allowance for their maintenance and education.

Plaintiff alleges that all the property in their possession is Community Property, having been acquired since marriage by their joint labor and exertions; that Pltf cannot be accurate about the property but it consists she believes of the following:

1156 acres David Wade grant, Wharton Co.

with store-house, mill and homestead on it 3500.00

454 acres, Kiry Kendal grant, same Co. with 7710.00

growing crops on it = 15$ per acre 11210.00

630 acres J. W. Moore grant, Wharton Co. 2$ 1260.00

227 acres Alex Jackson grant, Wharton Co

75 acres Alex Jackson grant and storehouse at Quinan 454.00

¼ interest in the Bordray Plantation

Mill and 3 lots and Hungerford 500.00

100 acres at E. Bernard Crossing 100.00

All in Wharton County save the last tract which is in Fort Bend Co. The Bordray place and the 227 acres are encumbered by Deed of Trust to Jno D. Rogers and Co., Galveston in the sum of $1000.00 and interest.

Amount brought over 11.210.00

Debts due----about 1.000.00

Note Due for stock of goods 1.184.00

100 head of Cattle 1.500.00

22 head of horses 880.00

Wagons etc. 200.00

Household and Kitchen Furniture 300.00



Plaintiff alleges that their Homestead is so remote from neighbors and public thorough fares that it is unsafe and inconvenient for her and her children to reside there alone; that there is a large crop now matured and ready to be gathered on the Kiry Kendal land; and that the Mill on the Wade tract and the Mill at Hungerford ought to be operated through the present cotton season, that it would be manifestly unjust to Plaintiff to leave the proceeds of the farm and of the Mills to come into the hands of Defendant pending this suit. Considering the premises Plaintiff prays your Honor in order to preserve her rights in the community to issue your gracious writ of Jurisdiction restraining Defendant his agents and all others from selling any of the Community Property aforesaid, and from interfering with in any way the mills personally any growing crops, pending this suit; that Henry Compton of Wharton County be appointed receiver to take charge of the farm and crops and of the Mills, and of all the personal property, to gather and sell the crops and beeves, and run the Mills, and generally to manage the farm, the mills, cattle and horses ___, and collect the debts due, and to pay all monies received into the hands of the clerk of your Honor’s Court, to abide the result of this suit, allowing said Receiver 5 per cent on monies received and no more, as his compensation, and that he be required to give Bind in the sum of $2500.00 for the faithful discharge of all his duties as receiver. Plaintiff further prays that she be allowed the use of all apparel, household and kitchen furniture necessary and proper for herself and children; and that the Receiver be ________ to raise and pay her $75.00 per month for the maintenance of herself and her three children pending this suit, and that said Receiveer be also ordered to pay to her or to her attorney the sum of $250.00 as present costs of conducting this litigation, as soon as the same can be raised with ________________________________________________ That said Receiver make at once an inventory and appraisement of all the property real and personal of every kind of Pltf and Deft, and report his acts to the next term of your Honor’s Court, and on final trial Pltf prays for a partition of the property of herself and Deft, and that he be decreed to pay a reasonable sum annually towards the maintenance and education of their children, making the same a charge on the property allotted to Deft, and for general and special relief in law and Equity.

And thus ____ she will ever pray Peareson and M. Canily Attys for Plaintiff

I declare on oath that the facts stated in the foregoeing Petition are true as stated on my own knowledge, and that I believe them to be true as stated on the information of others.

Eliza J. Habermacher

Subscribed and sworn___- before me this the 21st day of August AD 1884 H. T. Compton

L.P.W.C. P_______

Letter mentioned in above document


Black Branch, July 27 1884


I will let you know that I have left home to day, with the expectation of staying away. I let you know this so that you can get your advice before you undertake to do any thing as I feel sure that you live very th as you can get advice about as to what you better do. If you wish any business transacted between you and myself, I would recommend Ms. T. W. Taylor as a ______ man. If you need any thing for yourself or the children you may tell Tommy and if I can I will send it when I send for the children I want you to let them come to see me, and I will send them back again, I guess I will be in the neighborhood for a few days

T. Habermacher

In Chambers at Richmond August 29th 1884 The clerk of the District Court of Wharton County will issue the writ of injunction as prayed for and he is also ordered to issue to the defendant herein, notice instanter____ of plaintiff’s application for the appointment of a receiver, requiring him (the defendant) to appear at the Court House of said Wharton County at 12 o’clock M. September 5 (Friday ___ 1884, to contest said application, if he should see proper, as on that day the Court will proceed to a hearing thereof. The defendant will also be notified that at same times will be disposed of the prayer for alimony and such other matters as may legally be presented in connection with her petition Wm H. Burkhart Judge 18th Judcl Dist. Tex.

This document transcribed and donated by Bill Plagemann,a descendant of Thomas Habermacher.

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