Hunting the Kittelle Line – An Update – Part 1

This is a long post, but interesting.

In the process of looking for the father and mother of John Wesley Kittelle (b. Feb 1865 – d.?) a surprising amount of new information has come to light.

John Kittell was born between 1824 and 1826 in Pennsylvania to Irish immigrant parents (as noted on the 1880 U. S. Census) however their names are unknown as there has been nothing found about them. Considering that he was born in the first half of the 1820s, it would likely mean his parents were born, in Ireland, somewhere between 1780 and 1805 and came to the United States before 1824. It is not impossible that John had siblings, indeed, it is probable, however, nothing has come to light to date.

Sometime around 1854 to 1858 John Kittell met and married Sarah Catherine (or Katherine) Corbin who was born abt 1827 in either Ohio (as stated on the 1860 and 1870 U. S. Censuses1, 2) or Pennsylvania as stated on the 1880 U. S. Census3) and who went by Catherine.

The first this family has appeared that I have been able to find is in the 1860 U. S. Census1 in Swan, Noble, Indiana, with John Kittle, 27, farmer with $400.00 value real estate and $125.00 value personal estate, Catherine L., 36, domestic and Lodisca, 1. They next appear in the 1870 U. S. Census2 in Orange Township, Noble, Indiana at the same farm as David Osborn and his family. John Kittell, 45, no longer having real estate and $100.00 personal estate, is listed as a Laborer, with a foreign born mother, unable to read or write, his wife Catherine, 48, keeping house, daughter Anna L., 11, and son John W., 5. (There are two Kittell graves in Pierce-Witmer Cemetery, Witmer Manor, Lagrange, Indiana which are badly eroded this cemetery is about 23 miles from Swan, Noble, Indiana and Orange, Noble, Indiana the death dates are March 1861 and March 1864, which could be 1861 as it is almost impossible to read the headstone [Find A Grave Memorial #77019842 and #77022407]. Are these children of John and Sarah Catherine? Siblings of John? Could the loss of the two children have been enough to cause them to lose their farm? What did cause them to lose their farm? Questions with no likely answers.)

I have not been able to determine exactly when the family moved from Orange Township, Noble, Indiana to Rock Island, Rock Island, Illinois and there is nothing to indicate why they left Indiana. They were there by 1875 or 1876 which will be shown below.

The 1880 U. S. Census3 finds the Kittell family in Rock Island, Rock Island, Illinois, living on the “out road on River Bank” City Limits, John Kittell, 50, a laborer, unemployed 6 months, born in Pennsylvania with father born in Ireland and mother born in Ireland, Catherine, 50, keeping house, Wesley, 15, attending school. Anna Lodisca is not listed and probably married by this time.

A list of expenses for the city of Rock Island, Rock Island, Illinois noted that John Kittell was paid as a street laborer, $4.37 for the time between Thursday, 01 May and Thursday,15 May18844, and again $7.00 for the time between Tuesday,15 July and Thursday, 31 July 18845. John Kittelle died Thursday, 15 July 1886 according to his obituary in the Rock Island Argus6.


     John Kittelle died at his residence 1224

Sixth avenue, at 6 o’clock last evening.

He was about sixty years of age and

made his living as a street laborer.

John Kittelle died at his residence 1224

Sixth avenue, at 6 o’clock last evening.

He was about sixty years of age and

made his living as a street laborer.

The Kittelle family had some difficulties as articles from The Argus will show. The difficulties began with Anna Lodisca Kittell. These are transcriptions of the articles.

 Interesting Bastardy Case7

     Last week Friday, Annie Kittell, a

young woman 17 years of age, made com-

plaint before Justice Pinkley, against Har-

ry Hall, charging him with being the

father of an unborn child with which she

was pregnant. Hall was arrested by Mar-

shall Hawes, and on being taken before the

justice, gave security in the sum of $200

for his appearance on Tuesday morning at

the examination. Tuesday morning Hall

asked for a continuance until this morning,

which was granted, and the case com-

menced this forenoon by Annie taking the

stand and telling her side of the story. It

is that she first met Hall about two years

ago; that last May, and at several times

since, while out walking with Hall in the

evening, he had obtained possession of her

person in the yard of the High School

building; that the last time he had any

criminal intercourse with her was on the

7th day of last July, and that it was at

that time that he committed the deed, the

results of which is that she will soon

become a mother.

     For the defense. Hall has subpœnied

between 25 and 30 witnesses who, it is

claimed, have all either had criminal con-

nection with the girl at about the time

mentioned — or knew her to be a bad char-

acter; that she has written letters to sev-

eral young men in this city charging them

with being the father of her child, in order

to obtain money from them; that she did

succeed in “scaring” $25 out of Hall,

which he paid in order to shield him from

any publicity, that she gave him a receipt

releasing him from “all claims of whatever

nature” she may have against him, which

she signed in the presence of two witnes-

ses, that she has been an inmate of a house

of ill-fame in Davenport, and that she

cannot truthfully swear that Hall is the

father of her child.

     The court room is filled almost to

suffocation with a motley crowd of — from

10 year old boys up to old, gray headed

men, all appearing to have a deep interest

In the result of this case.

     Wm. H. Atwood, Esp., appears for the

plaintiff and P. T. McElherne, Esq., of

McElherne & O’Mara, for the defense.

The Kittell-Hall Bastardy Case8

     This case still occupies the time of Jus-

tice Pinkley’s court while the interest

manifested by the spectators does not

abate — nor does the stench in the room.

     Up to 3 o’clock this afternoon the follow-

ing witnesses had been examined in the case:

     Prosecution — Annie Kittell, Catherine

Kittell and Dr. Geo. M. Keller.

     Defense — Frank Thornton, Frank

Woods, Chas. Patterson, George Stearns,

Frank Arrison, Charles Oswald, Henry

Rosenfield, Elizabeth Martin, Edward

Martin, Lawrence Swayne, Ben Stemple,

Robert Murdock, Thos. Crook, George

Haymaker, John Condon, Ed. Richards,

Nick Newcomb.

     Nearly all the witnesses for the defense

testified as to their having had criminal in-

tamacy with the plaintiff, She having

testified that she contracted a loathsome

disease from Hall, the latter underwent a

professional examination by Drs. Craig and

Galt, who were also called to the witness

stand and stated that they did not think

such was the case — and gave their reasons

for so thinking.

     The case will probably run into next


Notes Here and There9

     — Henry Butler and Michael Quinn

were fined $1 each and costs, by Justice

Pinkley yesterday, for contempt, in creat-

In a disturbance during the examina-

tion of the Kittell-Hall case. Failing to

pay up they were sent to jail, but were re-

leased in the evening.

The Kittell-Hall Bastardy Case10

     The following additional witnesses in

The Kittell-Hall bastardy case have been

examined since 3 o’clock yesterday after

noon, for the defense: Al Coyne, Dave

Ulam, Menas Exner, Harry M. Hall (the

Defendant), Chas. Brown.

     Jacob R. Huber, M. J. Murphy, Jacob

Woltenhaupt, George Sayder and C. B.

Knox, were called for the prosecution,

to prove the bad character generally of

the witnesses for the defense.

     Ike Haley was called by the prosecu-

tion to prove that Frank Thornton wanted

him to “help swear Harry out,” but not

much of his testimony was admitted.

     Wm. Johnson was also called by the

Prosecution and swore that “Hall had a

private disease seven years ago.”

     The court informed counsel that the

case would be decided at 6 o’clock this

evening — whether the evidence was all in

or not. The interest is unabated.

     The Charles Patterson, named in this

paper yesterday, is not the Charles Pat-

terson employed in the Buford’s Plow Works,

but is a man of the same name from


Notes Here and There11

     –Ben Stemple says he was one of the

number who testified that he did not have

criminal connection with Annie Kittell.

Charles Patterson and Frank Arrison

two other witnesses, are from Davenport.

The Kittell-Hall Bastardy Case — The

            Defendant Discharged12

  On Saturday afternoon at four o’clock,

the evidence in this disgusting case was all

in and Wm. H. Atwood, argued the mat-

ter a few minutes on behalf of the plain-

tiff. He was followed by P. O’Mara, and

  1. T. McElherne for the defense, and Mr.

Atwood then closed by another short

speech. Justice Pinkley reserved his de-

cision until 1 o’clock to-day — and at that

hour the court room was crowded. After

a rather lengthy opinion Hall was dis-

charged, the justice being of opinion that

the charge was not sustained by the evi-


Notes Here and There13

     — Annie Kittell, the unfortunate and dis-

graced girl who recently failed to prove a

charge of bastardy against Harry Hall, has

given birth to her child, which only lived a

few minutes, and she is now lying at her

parents’ residence near Weyerhauser &

Denkman’s saw mill. Her physician does

not think she can recover. This case

should be a warning to all young women.

     Notes Here and There14

     — The report that Annie Kittell was

dead is not true — she is improving rapidly

and Dr. Keller says she will recover. She

appears to be heartily ashamed of her

past life and says she intends to live hon-

orable in future.

And later that year an article about Harry Hall which shows the character of the man accused by Anna Lodisca Kittell.

A Specimen Republican15


After a Fast Life of Several Years He

   Secures His Wages, Borrows All

       the Money He Can, and “Skips

           Out,” Leaving a Young

                Wife and Numerous



     His name is Harry M. Hall — or, at least,

That is the name he sailed under while

here. He was, until yesterday morning,

yardmaster on the C. B. and Q. road in this

city, and for the past year and a half has

been assistant chief engineer of the fire de-

partment. He was a straight republican,

in fact, the republican candidates would

always secure him to “strike” for them at

the pools, “to catch the railroad boys.” Al-

though he was well known in this city he

flourished for about three years before his

true character became generally known.

This was when he was arrested last spring,

On complaint of Annie Kittell, charged

with bastardy. By bribing witnesses and

spending considerable money he was dis-

charged by a republican justice. After

that he took no pains to conceal his true

colors, and was looked upon by all re-

spectable people with abhorrence, and as a

man devoid of all principle. He was the

acknowledged leader of a gang of rowdies

whose business appeared to be to live a

fast life and swindle all who would trust

them. On the 18th of last September he

was married to a young girl named Mary

McCarty. He commenced house-keeping,

But openly bragged that he intended

Living with her but a few weeks. Lately

He has been saving money, and borrowing

all he could from those who trusted him.

He purchased, on credit, several suits of

clothes in this city – and Davenport. He

spent the nights in saloons, and his wife

stated this forenoon that he had been

drunk every night since they were married.

Among his numerous other crimes it is

also said he is guilty of bigamy — having

married and deserted a woman in Musca-

tine. He received his pay last Saturday,

borrowing $20 from Mr. C. P. Dana, the

station agent, smaller sums from other

parties, and, on Tuesday morning, he

“skipped out,” leaving his young wife,

who is in a delicate condition, without food

or a cent, and only with the clothing she

has when she was married. She is now

at the house of a friend. She says the

last time she saw him — Monday evening —

he had about $250 in his pocket. Ald.

Lundy was “taken in” to the tune of about

$160, and numerous saloon keepers, tailors,

Grocers, milkmen, shoemakers, and others

have been swindled — and they are the

only ones who mourn his sudden depar-

ture. Should he be captured he will be

prosecuted for obtaining money and goods

under false pretenses.

Anna Lodisca Kittell went on to marry W. R. Williams sometime between 1878 and 1880 and they moved to Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota. To date I have not found a marriage record or the presence of Anna Lodisca Kittell Williams and W. R.  Williams in any U. S. Census.

To be continued…

If anyone has further information please feel free to contact me.


1. “United States Census, 1860”, database with images, FamilySearch ( : 13 December 2017), John Kettle, 1860.

2. “United States Census, 1870,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 May 2016), John Kittell in household of David Osborn, Indiana, United States; citing p. 6, family 45, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 545,846.

3. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 May 2016), John Kettell, Rock Island, Rock Island, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district ED 252, sheet 471A, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0246; FHL microfilm 1,254,246.

4. The Rock Island Argus. (Rock Island, Ill.), 03 June 1884. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <;

5.  The Rock Island Argus. (Rock Island, Ill.), 05 Aug. 1884. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <;

6.  The Argus. (Rock Island, Ill.), 16 July 1886. Chronicling America: Historic American  Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <;

7. The daily Argus. (Rock Island, Ill.), 31 Jan. 1877. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <;

8. The daily Argus. (Rock Island, Ill.), 02 Feb. 1877. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <;

9. The daily Argus. (Rock Island, Ill.), 02 Feb. 1877. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <;

10. The daily Argus. (Rock Island, Ill.), 03 Feb. 1877. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <;

11. The daily Argus. (Rock Island, Ill.), 03 Feb. 1877. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <;

12. The daily Argus. (Rock Island, Ill.), 05 Feb. 1877. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <;

13.  The daily Argus. (Rock Island, Ill.), 26 Feb. 1877. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <;

14.  The Rock Island Argus. (Rock Island, Ill.), 06 March 1877. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <;

15.  The Rock Island Argus. (Rock Island, Ill.), 14 Nov. 1877. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <;










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