Lawsuit
Daniel G. Parks

(Margaret E. Cater agst. Albert Kaufman et al)

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Contributed by okoblaya@hotmail.com


In 1915, a lawsuit was filed against Daniel G. Parks, the son of David H. Parks (deceased at the time) regarding a mortgage from the mid 1800s that David H. Parks and Hannah (Williams) Parks had used to secure a farm right after the Civil War. 

According to family stories (admittedly probably one sided), the mortgage was, in fact, paid at the time of the suit and had been paid as agreed, however, the family was unable to document a 40-year old payment (again, according to family stories, the person suing had bought the mortgage, not knowing it was paid, and was never a party to the original transaction).  At the time of the suit, David was deceased and Hannah was approaching 90, so wasn’t much help.  In addition, if, as suggested by the 1870 census, both David and Hannah were illiterate, they may not have kept the papers for the forty years that had gone by, perhaps not realizing their importance.  However it happened, Daniel G. Parks lost the suit and the farmland was sold.  The story may provide some rationale for why no one ever threw anything out in my family in my memory, and why I have so much in the way of papers and receipts!  Regardless of whether the suit was founded or not, it is an interesting story. 

Some of the facts are laid out below, followed by the text of the suit.  The scan is of the original filing and the final decision.  In the text of the suit, I have put the names of all individuals in bold, so that it can be easily scanned and matched to various records if anyone is interested.  I was unable to determine who Albert Kauffman was (also named in the suit) or the relationship of the plaintiff other than that she “owned” the paper on the transaction.  I have relied on census and family records – I have not researched land titles so if anyone has any additional information, I would appreciate knowing it!

David H. Parks (b. 1827, d. 1904) and Hannah (Williams) Parks (b. 1829, d. 1921)