04 July 2013

Philip Troutfetter--A Wife and Two Girlfriends

We've discussed Philip Troutfetter in this blog before. The Illinois native migrated with his parents to western Kansas in the late 1800s. Philip travelled throughout the Americas and was involved in several exploits.  Most of my work on Philip has centered on his time in Cuba and South America. Philip's legal troubles actually centered on his time in Colorado and on money that his mother-in-law loaned to him during his marriage. Philip was cleared of those fraud charges brought against him by his mother-in-law, but after reading this item from the Rocky Mountain News, it is easy to see why his in-laws might have been none too happy with him.

According to the newspaper account, Troutfetter's wife remained in Colorado Springs after their 1896 marriage and he was living in Denver where he passed himself off as a single man and "was supporting two women." It is unknown how accurate the newspaper account is, but there may have been a grain of truth to the accusations.

Date: Friday, May 6, 1898  

Paper: Denver Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO)  


Page: 5--obtained o Genealogybank 

A reporter apparently went the residence but was unable to obtain further information. The phrase "all the people in the house" makes me wonder who else might have been living there and what sort of dwelling it was.

Date: Friday, May 6, 1898  

Paper: Denver Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO)  


Page: 5 --obtained o Genealogybank  

The newspaper account does not name the in-laws of Troutfetter. Their names are known to me, but newspapers are not known for providing all the details we'd like to have and the information they do provide may or may not be reliable. Troutfetter's divorce record may provide details of his Denver exploits. The newspaper account does not imply he was divorced--that is known from other records. One cannot assume simply based upon the newspaper account that there was a divorce, although it would appear to have been likely.

Moving Forward

City directories may also be helpful in this case (as the parents may be listed there before they apparently moved) and all the relevant individuals should be located in the 1900 census. Even if the family is not at the 1343 St. Charles address in 1900, viewing the household entry in 1900 may allow me to determine if it was a multiple family dwelling or not.

You never know what you will find when you search for your own family o Genealogybank.