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Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana

P.O. Box 12003
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46862

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Divorce News and Records, Allen Co., Indiana

These are incomplete, growing, lists of divorce cases compiled from court order books, case files, and newspapers. Some of the cases listed were dismissed and others resulted in divorce decrees.

1823 1824 1825 1826 1827 1828 1829
1830 1831 1832 1833 1834 1835 1836 1837 1838 1839
1840 1841 1842 1843 1844 1845 1846 1847 1848 1849
1850 1851 1852 1853 1854 1855 1856 1857 1858 1859
1860 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869
1870 1871 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 1879
1880 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889
1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899
1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909
1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919
1920 1921 1922 1923 1924


Read about Indiana's role as The Divorce Mill of the Midwest in the mid-1800s.


In his Jan. 1871 message to the Indiana State Legislature, Governor Conrad Baker explained the causes for which divorces might be granted under state law:

  1. Adultery
  2. Impotency
  3. Abandonment for one year
  4. Cruel treatment of one party by the other
  5. Habitual drunkenness of either party
  6. The conviction, subsequent to the marriage, in any country, of either party of an infamous crime
  7. Any other cause for which the court shall deem it proper that a divorce should be granted

Governor Baker objected to the fourth cause because it had been so liberally construed in favor of divorce applicants. He favored a return to the language in the statute of 1843 which specified cruel and inhuman treatment as a cause for divorce. Governor Baker further objected to the seventh, discretionary, clause because it was vague. He recommended tightening residency requirements and adding other restrictions in an effort to deter residents of 'Atlantic cities' and 'sister states' from seeking divorces in Indiana to circumvent laws elsewhere.

Much of the Governor Baker's divorce-law agenda came to fruition with an act passed March 10, 1873.

See the report from the Fort Wayne Gazette of Mar. 20, 1873 at right: