Sunday, April 22, 2012

Black Sheep Sunday - Mr. Pullen

I don't know of too many black sheep in my family, but this guy would probably qualify. The story that has been passed down is about a man named Mr. Pullen. I guess technically he is not a blood relative, but he still had a big impact on the family.

Mr. Pullen was the 3rd husband of Julia Frances Keith. Julia had been married to Monroe Hawver in 1874, had a son in 1877 by the name of Benjamin, and had become a widow in about 1879. She married Mr. Ezra F Pullen around 1885. He had a ranch in King City, near Hollister, California. The story goes that Mr. Pullen was a bad husband and would frequently beat her son Benjamin. When Ben was 12, Mr. Pullen kicked him so hard in the groin that Ben was injured. When he got better, Ben ran away from home and went to San Francisco. He wrote to his mom to let her know that he was ok, but Mr. Pullen intercepted the letters before they got to her. But one letter finally got through to her when Ben was about 16 or 17, and she left Mr. Pullen to go live with Ben.

This story was passed down by one of the daughters of Benjamin. So far the evidence that I have found seems to support the movements of Julia and her son Benjamin. And I did find in the San Francisco Call a mention of their divorce.

24 Feb 1895 San Franc

Although this little mention in the newspaper doesn't prove the story passed down, I think that this little line seems to speak to Mr. Pullen character: "In his answer to his wife's complaint for divorce, Ezra F Pullen denies that he drew a knife on his wife and threatened to cut her heart out."

And today happens to be the anniversary of Mr. Pullen's death. He died on 22 April 1895. Although I didn't know him, or even about him until the last couple of years when I started researching him, I couldn't help but find some satisfaction when I found his grave. He is buried next to his parents in Hollister, California.

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