07 November 2013

Refusing the Letter Means Denying the Father?

Is this letter proof there was some sort of an estrangement between Ella Shipe and her father?

This refused letter was in the insanity case file for William Ira (Ira) Sargent in Adams County. Ira was committed to an Illinois state hospital in 1907 by the Adams County Court. 

Court records indicate that Ira was sent to the state hospital that was located near Bartonville, Illinois. In 1911, he was injured. Letters were sent to his next of kin, including this one that was refused by his daughter. The letter to Ira's wife was returned as "unable to find" and letters to his other two daughters were apparently delivered.  The envelope to Ella Shipe is marked "refused" and was in case packet with other papers regarding Ira's case.

Is this "refused" letter evidence that there was some estrangement between Ella and her father? Court papers indicate that Ella's husband was instrumental in bringing the insanity case against Ira. Perhaps their relationship was already strained when Ira was institutionalized.

All I know from the letter is that Ella (or perhaps even her husband) refused it. While it doesn't make a direct statement, the refused letter does raise the question that the the relationship between Ella and her father may have been problematic.

The material used to create this post was obtained from:

Adams County Circuit Court, Probate Case Packets, Wm. Ira Sargent, Box 307, 1907.

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