Malinda Divorces Charley Hogue, Part III

Hello and welcome back to The Hogue Connection! I’m looking to wrap up this subject with another deep dive into my thoughts about Charley Hogue’s first wife, Malinda Jane Williams. In the last two posts, I’ve presented information based on facts verified to this point. I’ve also done a bit of speculating about other things that need more investigation.

We’ve discussed the inconsistencies in her birth dates and the spelling of her name, which happened quite a bit to folks back then. I also found some other Malindas that were born around the same time and in the same place. The Malinda or Martha who married James Prince had amazingly similar life statistics. I have always believed that Charley married Malinda Jane, but I have some doubts about her being the one born in Conway County, Arkansas. Unfortunately, I have not been able to track down someone who is a better fit.

When Did Charley and Malinda Meet?

I wish somebody knew! We have to look at some circumstantial evidence. We know they married 6 May 1885, but we are not sure where. I have always believed that Charley moved out to Indian Territory with his family sometime in 1880. Here are some facts that suggest that:

-Charley’s father, William M. Hogue sold his 50 acres of land in Stecoah, Graham County, NC for $150 on 3 Oct 1879.

-William filed his application for his Invalid Pension due to injuries suffered in the Civil War on 11 Mar 1882. He lived in Courtney, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory at that time. He filed the document in Saint Jo, Montague County, TX.

So, sometime between 3 Oct 1879 and 11 Mar 1882, Charley Hogue was either in the Indian Territory or living somewhere else, but not with his family. He would have been between the ages of 14 and 17 at this time, based on his birth date of 15 Jan 1865. Known census records aren’t much help; he is only on the 1870 census at age 5 and the 1900 census age 35.

How about Malinda? If we assume she is the daughter of Morton W. Williams and his wife Mathilda C. Polk (which is the current belief), she was recorded on the 1880 census of Lick Mountain, Conway County, Arkansas with her family, age 10:

Malinda in 1880 Census Conway Co., AR

She was on the 1870 census, age one, which works if we use her birth date as 5 Jan 1869, but with that same birth date, she would have been 11 in 1880 census. Let’s go with 5 Jan 1869 as the correct date, since she deposed her age as 32 on 1 Nov 1901. She would have turned 33 in Jan of 1902.

Why Pinpointing Their Ages is Important…

Three of Malinda’s character witnesses that were deposed on 1 Nov 1901, said they had known the parties of this divorce for ten years, nine years and nine years respectively. These three men were neighbors. Their statements put both Malinda and Charlie in the Indian Territory in 1891 or 1892, at the latest. In the divorce petition, Malinda was deposed as saying:

“she and the defendant were duly and lawfully married on the 6th day of May 1885 and lived together as husband and wife until the first day of September 1901, when they separated”

Since no other locale is mentioned in these papers, I think it’s safe to assume that they lived together in the Indian Territory since their marriage.

So based on the birth dates and timelines I have set up here, Charley Hogue, age 20, married Malinda Jane Williams, age 16, in the Indian Territory on 6 May 1885.

Unless they got married in Arkansas.

This possibility is what makes me crazy about this whole thing! For this to have happened, either our Hogues would have stopped in Conway County, AR on the way to the Indian Territory between 1879 and 1882, or Malinda’s family would have had to come out to the frontier during that same period of time.

Let’s Look at the First Option…

Stecoah to Courtney Modern

It’s not too far-fetched of an idea for the Hogue wagon to have stopped in Lick Mountain in 1880 or 1881. Above is a map of the route using today’s roads. Lick Mountain is only about 20 miles north of Morrilton, AR. As I mention in RED RIVER TRAILS, it is difficult to pinpoint travel lanes west in the 1880’s. The road from Stecoah to Memphis was a straight shot. Cattle trails were likely used the rest of the way from Fort Smith, AR.

I’ve been through the entire 1880 census of Conway County, AR. I did find two Hogue families there but have yet to make a connection to ours. William picked Courtney as a destination because his oldest son Jackson (by his first marriage to Sarah Strawn) moved there in 1876. There has been no evidence, besides Malinda Jane’s family, linking our Hogues to anything in Lick Mountain, Arkansas. I believe there must have been a more direct route in 1880, which would have put Lick Mountain too far out of the way.

Did Malinda’s Family Move Out to the I.T.?

Most likely…not. We know they were in Lick Mountain in 1880 as evidenced by the census noted above. Her particular branch of Williams was very well established in that county, going back to the settlement of her grandfather, Captain Thomas Jefferson Williams and his siblings back in 1834. Her father, Morton, was born there in 1846, served in the Union Army during the Civil War, and died there in 1888. He is buried in the Grandview Cemetery near Lick Mountain.

We also have this piece of evidence:

M.W. Williams Land Grant Partial

…a 160 acre land grant that he received on 10 Sep 1883. To obtain grants like these, based on the Homestead Act of 1862, a person had to live on the land and improve it for about five years, in most cases. I think it was three years in Texas.

I’m certain that Morton Williams, the man presumed to be Malinda Jane’s father, lived his entire life in the same place. I learned that Conway County, wasn’t a very pleasant place to live from the Civil War through Reconstruction. A couple of Morton’s other children left Arkansas, one to Texas and another to Oklahoma.

So, I Guess We’ll Have To Leave Malinda Alone For Now…

No doubt there are still questions I have about Malinda Jane Williams’ early life. I’ve looked at other Williams families in the area of Courtney, but they didn’t fit. One family, here:

Other Williams Census

…also lived in the Chickasaw Nation in 1900. The ages and places would have fit as Malinda’s family, but further research eliminated them as a possibility. I should have asked the old caretaker of Rubottom Cemetery, Lonnie Williams, about it. We visited him in 1987. I really don’t think Malinda was on my radar at that point, however.

It just makes more sense to me that Charley would marry a local girl from the Indian Territory. Sure, it’s possible he could have passed through Conway, AR, married Malinda, and then moved to Courtney later. Perhaps he stayed in Stecoah for a couple of years, then went on to Arkansas and the I.T. That makes more sense than a teenage girl traveling to the Indian Territory without her family in 1880. There must be a logical explanation that might surface someday.

How cool would it be to have a Time Machine for this kind of stuff?

Anyway, I’m not really sure I proved anything with this three part series. It did help me to take a closer look at Malinda’s life. That is a good thing for my cousins who are descendants of hers:

Malinda Descendant List

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