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Beats All Records - Thirty Two Divorces in Washtenaw in Past Six Months

Beats All Records - Thirty Two Divorces in Washtenaw in Past Six Months image
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Since Jan. 1, 1890, there have been 302 divorces granted in Washtenaw ■coniity. That means that 604 married people have been made free to marry again if tbey so desire and man oí them have already done so. Bnt starting as this flgnre is, a furtber fact shotild serve to arouse still more public sentiment in this county and give rise to the qnestion what are we coming to? The largest number of divorces granted in Washtenaw duriug this decade in any year was 36, in 1894, bnt in the past six months there have been 32 divorces granted. In other words the number of divorces which have been or will begnanted in 1899 in Waahtenaw will largely exceed the number grauted in any previous year in the history of the couuty Since Jan. 1 of this year 34 new cases have been commenced, the nin;jority of whicb will be decided this year and au equally large number of cases which were commnced beföre Jan. 1 are still pending. Tht number of divorces granteci in this copnty during the decade by veárs was as fcllows: '90, 26; '91, 21 , '92, 33; '93, 30; '94, 36; '95, 25; '96, 32; '97, 33; '98, 34; six inontbs of '99, 32. Nor is this the worst of it; 99 of these divorces were granted where there were minor children whose rights and guardianship the c&urt was called upon to determine and protect. In a few of the other cases there were children but they had attained their majority. During tne past six months, in 11 cases where aivorce was granted, there were minor children to be pruvided for. Even the presence ot minor children and parental love did uot seeru to avail to keep the parties together. Snc.h is the irfluence of láx ■divorce laws. Nor is Washtenaw one oí the worst counties in the state tor divorce. The same proportion of divorces would hold good all over the state. That the church could esert a great deterrent influence in divorces is shown by the fajt that few of the divorced parties are members of the Catholic or Episcopal churches, whose ministers in raosc cases decline to marry divorced parties. It may have baen this whicb has brougnt the matter forcibly to the attention of the other clergymen of this city. Another fact of interest is that the proportion of these divorces which were granted on scriptural grounds was considerably less than five per cent. The Chicago Times Herald yesterday editorially said apropos of this matter : "The clergymen of several deuominations at Ann Arbor have taken a most eiïective nieaus of bringrug divorce for miscellaneous causes into disfavor among their parishouers. Last Friday evening two persons applied to a Methodist minister to De raarried. Od lookiug over the license he ascertaiued that tbe woruau was a divorcee. Thereupon he retusecl to perform the ceremouy The disappointed coaple theu applied to a Baptist minister, aud he also refused to inake thein oue. "This Jed to an inquiry, whioh disclosed that the Methodist, Baptist, Congregational, Presbyteriau, Church of Christ aud Trinity Lutheran clergymen of Auu Arbor had held a private meeting and decided not to perform the marriage ceremony where either oJ the parties has been granted a divorce for any other than ücriptural reasous. Iu the case of strangers who are divorces they will flatly refase to marry thein. "Theaotion of the clergymen of Aun Arbor is significant of tuo revulsión of public sentiment agaiust easy aud wholesale divorces."