Friday, December 26, 2008

James Austin Davis was insane

My maternal 3rd great grandfather, James Austin DAVIS, was insane, according to the 1880 census of Clay Township in Owen County, Indiana. In that census, he is an inmate of the Owen County Asylum, listed as insane as well as crippled, bedridden or otherwise disabled. His name was listed as Austin Davis, aged 30, married, born in Indiana.

As of yet, I have not discovered all of the details about his life and why he ended up in the asylum. In the 1900 census, he is a resident of the Northern Indiana Hospital for the Insane in Logansport, Cass County. In that census, he was listed as James A. Davis, born 1851 in Indiana. He died while still an inmate of the hospital on June 12, 1909.

Interestingly, in the 1880 census, he was shown as married. James had married Mary Ellen SWAFFORD on July 2, 1873 in Monroe County, Indiana. I have not found a record of their divorce, though they must have, as Mary Ellen eventually remarried. However, in the 1880 census, she is shown living with her father, Peter SWAFFORD, in Washington Township, Owen County, Indiana, as his 24 year old single daughter. Austin and Mary Ellen had two daughters, Ida and Dealie, that should have been living with some relative, but I have yet to locate them in the 1880 census.

James Austin Davis was born circa 1850 in Indiana, probably Monroe County, the son of Austin and Fanny (RUNNELS) DAVIS. Mary Ellen SWAFFORD was born August 30, 1854 near Stinesville, Monroe County, Indiana, the daughter of Peter Kirkpatrick and Mary Ann (CROCKETT) SWAFFORD.

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