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Claim He Is Insane

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Jonas Marsh's Children Want a Guardian Appointed. ENERGETIC PROTEST Filed by the Old Man Through His Attorney, In Which He Claims That He Is Better Able to Manage His Property Than His Children.--It Is a Pathetic Case. On the 19th day of January Elisha Marsh, Harriet Bycraft, Evan Marsh, Jane Dorman, Rosina Young, Ezra Marsh, Ellen F. Reilly and Henry Marsh, children of Jonas Marsh, of the town of Scio, filed a petition with Judge of Probate Newkirk, asking that a guardian be appointed over their father, who is 86 years of age, and who they allege is incompetent. Their petition sets forth that Jonas Marsh is possessed of real and personal estate to the valur of $20,000, and that he is mentally incompetent to take care of his property or transact any business in connection with it. Besides the children whose names are given above there are three others, Hiram Marsh, Thomas Marsh and Emily Metcalf. Martin J. Cavanaugh and Frank Stivers are the attorneys for the petitioners. The answer of Mr. Marsh, through his attorney Thomas D. Kearney states that he admits that his children are the petitioners and therefore interested in his estate, but denies that be is worth $20,000 in real and personal estate or that he has $5,000 in personal property. He alpo denies that he is mentally incompetent or that it is necessary to appoint a guardian over him, and further states that he is "more competent and better able to have the entire care and management of his person and property" than are any of his children. He characterizes the filing of the petition as a wicked, false and fraudulent conspiracy on the part of his children to obtain and acquire unto themselves his money and property and cheat and defraud him out of it He also states that Elisha Marsh and Ezra Marsh, two of his sons, and Mrs. Harriet Bycraft, his daughter, had sought to extort from him at different times sums of money, and when he refused them had used their influence to induce the rest of the children to sign the petition above noted. He also states that his son Henry Marsh, on or about Jan. 14, 1898, influenced him to draw $50 from the bank and give it to him to settle up a pretended ease. The personal property he and his wife, who died Aug. 5, 1895, were possessed of was acquired by bard work and economy and amounted to $5,000, of which he was to have the use until his death. But the will was contested by the children aforesaid and the estate was finally divided, he getting $200 as his share of it. The only one of his children, he says, that has ever done anything for him in the way of caring for bis personal wants since his wife's death, has been his son Hiram Marsh and his wife, and that the others have never been near him except "when they came for the purpose and with the expectation of getting something out of him." In proof of his mental capacity for taking care of himself he states that last year he sold $597 worth of produce from off his farm, paid $150 for digging a well and $50 for building a fence, and has 900 bushels of oats, 1,200 bushels of wheat, his barns filled with bay, 100 sheep, 6 cattle, 6 horses, 6 pigs and other effects. He asks that the petition be dismissed with costs in his favor. On Tuesday the matter came up for hearing. The testimony of the petitioners was that the old man is a victim of occasional fits of insanity. In one of them he got a rope and tried to hang himself, but the hired girl cut him down. At another time he struck his wife over the head with a shovel cutting open her scalp. He then threatened to kill anyone who would go for a doctor. His wife always did his business for him and one of his daughters said that be could not tell a $5 bill from a $2 bill, which was actually proved in court. She also said he could not tell a quarter from a half dollar. The latest freak of insanity which they attribted to him was bis infatuation for May Brown, a notorious street walker, who was ordered to leave Ann Arbor some time ago and never to come back. At the time she was under arrest the old man cried at the jail door, hugged the woman when he went in to see her and finally paid her fine and gave her money to leave the city. For the defense Messrs. Ernest Eberbach, T. J. Keech and Dr. W. B. Smith and others were sworn, who testified as tothe old man's ability to make a contract and stated that they considered him perfectly competent. The further hearing of the case was adjourned until Wednesday morning at 9 o'clock. _ The vacant store next to Edwin A. Gartee's paint shop on E. Washington st, was the scene of a small blaze Friday morning. Workmen, who were engaged in thawing out some water pipes set it on fire. The damage was slight.