Benjamin Franklin Sackett

Marriage1897, Chicago, Cook County, IllinoisGFreda Goodwin
Marriage1900, Richmond, Wayne County, IndianaGMinnie Copp2
Benjamin Franklin Sackett was born in MissouriG in about 1861.1 His parents have not been identified. He died aged 64 in Chicago, Cook County, IllinoisG, on 3 August 1925 and was buried at Elmwood Cemetery, ChicagoG, on 6 August 1925.3 He allegedly married first in Chicago, Cook County, IllinoisG, on 15 September 1897, Freda Goodwin, in a ceremony later revealed to have been unlawful. He subsequently married in Richmond, Wayne County, IndianaG, on 17 December 1900, Minnie Copp.2
     In 1910 Benjamin was living at St Charles Hotel, St Joseph, Buchanan County, MissouriG, and was recorded in the census as Benjamin F Sackett, boarder, a commercial traveler selling shoes, single, aged 46 and born in Missouri.4
     Benjamin was the subject of a scandal that excited and outraged newspaper reporters across several States. Accused by his first "wife" of marrying another woman bigamously, he was arrested on what looked at first to be an open-and-shut case, only for the case to collapse when it was found that the first marriage ceremony had been a sham.
Dayton Daily News, Dayton, Ohio, 18 Dec 1900, p. 8
Claims He Never Wedded His Supposed Wife.
He Deserted Her.
And Married Minnie Copp at Richmond, Ind.
May Get Into Trouble
Over the Escapade—His Abandoned Companion is in a Pitiable Condition—Police Take a Lively Hand.
A pathetic story developed at police headquarters today, where Minnie Copp, a former domestic in the employ of a prominent Dayton family, faced her accuser, Mrs. Benjamin F. Sackett, an alleged wronged wife.
Miss Copp had just returned from Richmond, Ind., where she says she was wedded to B. F. Sackett yesterday. He is a traveling man in the employ of an Illinois rubber company and holds a splendid position.
Several months ago while he and his wife were boarding at Mrs. Kepler's at Fourth and Ludlow streets, he met Miss Copp, who was a boarder at the same place. The two became intimate friends, and Mrs. Sackett evinced a kindly interest in her as well. When Miss Copp suggested that Mr. Sackett provide a home in the city and allow his wife to remain in Dayton and not travel so much, and when she agreed to furnish half the money required to fitting up the home there was general assent. Soon Mr. and Mrs. Sackett and Miss Copp were living cosily at 215 South Clinton street.
But it was not long, according to the story of Mrs. Sackett, until Miss Copp had alienated the affections of her husband. They were constantly together, and the wronged wife openly accused them of misconduct. She spent many painful hours alone, and the situation became worse daily. Finally, she thought she could bear the disgrace no longer, and it is stated that she sought to destroy herself, but fortunately either an overdose or an insufficient one of poison was taken, and the injured wife still lives and has since expressed a determination to push the case which has just developed.
Last Saturday afternoon late the matter came to a startling culmination, when word was sent to police headquarters that some one had entered the Sackett home. Chief Detective McBride made a hurried trip to the place and found the door locked. He heard the sound of voices within, and rang the bell. It seemed a long time before a response came, and he was about to force the door, when Sackett made his appearance. He made a futile attempt to keep the officer out, and later apologized, explaining that he knew he was an officer.
Mrs. Sackett stated that she returned home unexpectedly that afternoon and found Sackett and the Copp woman together. She was open in her accusations, but the man explained that he was merely shaving, and that his wife was mistaken. With tears in her eyes, and a broken heart, Mrs. Sackett told her sorrowful tale, but she did not wish to prosecute. She was willing to forgive if her husband return to her.
It seems that on the same evening, or the next day, Sackett and Miss Copp left the Clinton street home and were supposed to have been hiding in this city.
Yesterday they went to Richmond, Ind., where they were married. Miss Copp, when taken in charge upon her return today, by Operator Gugel on instructions, showed the marriage certificate, indicating that the ceremony was genuine. She says that Sackett told her that he was never wedded to the woman who posed as Mrs. Sackett, but the latter denies this, and brands it a falsehood, claiming that they were married in Chicago, in September, 1897. For several years they have traveled together as man and wife, and she is positive that there could have been no deception.
The police, believing her story, may wire the Chicago authorities to arrest Sackett on the charge of bigamy.
Mrs. Sackett was formerly Freda Goodwin and resided in Chicago, where she met Sackett. She is a good-looking woman, and the police and all who have heard her story, deeply sympathize with her and agree that she has been the victim of the deep-laid schemes of a scoundrel. However, she claims that Sackett was at all times a kind and dutiful husband.
Today at headquarters the Copp woman and Mrs. Sackett faced each other and the latter gave vent to piercing screams.
It develops that when the trio agreed to go to housekeeping together, Mrs. Sackett gave her supposed husband three rings, valued at several hundred dollars, with which he was supposed to buy furniture. He pawned these rings for $85, and is said to have spent the money on his trip to Richmond.
Chief Detective McBride and Acting Chief Allaback are investigating the matter and developments are expected.
Miss Copp was generally considered above reproach and was a nurse for a man who willed her a considerable sum of money. Litigation followed, and the case is in the courts at the present time.
Mrs. Sackett claims that before her husband deserted her Saturday, a proposition was made that she should live with him as a sister and would be paid $2.50 per week for keeping house.
The Richmond (Ind.) police were requested to search for Sackett and arrest him. It is claimed that even if he deceived the woman with a trumped-up marriage, Mrs. Sackett is his common-law wife. Attorney Eagen will defend the original Mrs. Sackett.
Mrs. Sackett, downcast and forlorn, became weary of life while at police headquarters late today and threatened to take her life. Sergeant McBride instructed Record Clerk Gibbs to watch her. She picked up a piece of iron, and it is thought she intended to do herself bodily harm, but was prevented by the clerk. However, the police promised her assistance, and it is thought she will overcome her despondency.
[Transcribed from image by Chris Sackett]

Steubenville Herald-Star, Steubenville, Ohio, 19 Dec 1900, p. 1
After Deserting His Wife Offers Her a Job as Cook.
By Scripps-McRae Press Association.
DAYTON, Dec. 19—Benjamin Sackett, a traveling man, is wanted on a bigamy charge. He left here yesterday with Miss Copp, a trained nurse. They were married at Richmond, Ind., came back and told Mrs. Sackett No. 1 that her marriage was not legal, but would give her a job in the house as cook at $2.50 per week. Sackett has left, and wife No. 1 informed the police.
[Transcribed from image by Chris Sackett]

The Richmond Item, Richmond, Indiana, 19 Dec 1900, p. 8
Benjamin F. Sackett Wanted for Bigamy—Married Here Monday.
Monday of this week Benjamin F. Sackett and Miss Minnie Copp were married in this city. They secured a license at the office of the county clerk and gave their address as Centerville. The police of Dayton are now looking for Sackett, and if arrested he will be charged with bigamy. Dayton was the home of his first wife, and after the marriage here on Monday wife No. 2 went to his home in Dayton and demanded of wife No. 1 half of the household goods. Wife No. 1 was greatly surprised and called the police. She later attempted to commit suicide, but will recover.
[Transcribed from image by Chris Sackett]

Chillicothe Gazette, Chillicothe, Ohio, 19 Dec 1900, p. 3
Sackett Lived with Her Thirty Years and Then Left and Married Another
Dayton, Dec. 19.—Benjammin F. Sackett, a travelling representative of the Illinois Rubber Company, has left this city and is being looked after by the authorities, who will prefer a bigamy charge against him.
Sackett lived for thirty years with Freda Goodwin, whom he met in Chicago. They came to Dayton recently and took up apartments with a Miss Minnie Copp, a trained nurse. All went well until Mrs. Sackett learned that her husband was paying too much attention to Miss Copp. She remonstrated and then Sackett left her and went to Richmond, Ind., with Miss Copp, where they were married. Miss Copp returned to Dayton with the marriage license and claimed that Sackett was never married to Mrs. Sackett, they having lived together as man and wife, and the ceremony joining them, performed in Chicago, being a mere bluff. Mrs. Sackett says she was married to Sackett, but that he has the certificate of marriage.
[Transcribed from image by Chris Sackett]

The Sedalia Democrat, Sedalia, Missouri, 20 Dec 1900, p. 2
Wanted His First Wife to Cook for His Second Wife.
Benjamin F. Sackett, a traveling man in the employ of the Illinois Rubber company, of Chicago, is wanted on a bigamy charge at Dayton, O.
Although living with Mrs. Sackett for more than three years and traveling about the country, introducing her as his wife, he claims now that he never married her and that the ceremony in Chicago was a pretended one, arranged premeditately to deceive.
He left Dayton with Miss Minnie Copp, a professional nurse, to whom he was married in Richmond, Ind., after deserting his Dayton wife.
He offered the first wife a place as cook in his new home. The new wife was a friend of the family and lived with them.
[Transcribed from image by Chris Sackett]

Alton Evening Telegraph, Alton, Illinois, 20 Dec 1900, p. 4
Police Searching for s Salesman in Ohio—One Wife a Chicagoan.
Dayton, O., Dec. 20.—Benjamin F. Sackett, a traveling salesman for a Chicago rubber house, is accused of bigamy and the police of this city are searching for him. The trouble came about on account of his marriage to Miss Minnie Copp at Richmond, Ind. The young woman came to town, went to Sackett's home, 215 Clinton street, and claimed one-half of the furniture and household goods. Mrs. Sackett No. 1, who was Miss Freda Goodwin of Chicago, was greatly surprised by this invasion of her rights and called the police. When wife No. 1 heard the tale of wife No. 2 she attempted to commit suicide by taking morphine. She will recover. Wife No. 1 says she was married to Sackett in Chicago in September, 1897.
[Transcribed from image by Chris Sackett]

The Dayton Herald, Dayton, Ohio, 26 Dec 1900, p. 2
He Came Here, It Apears, to Smooth His Troubles Over.
Wife No. 1 Says They Have Just Begun—He Will Be Charged With Bigamy.
Benjamin Franklin Sackett, the traveling salesman for a Chicago rubber house, the reputed husband of two women, was arrested in this city shortly before noon today. His nerve in thus returning to the city from which he eloped as a married man with a woman not his wife, staggers the old-timers on the police force. He was arrested at the room of the girl, Minnie Kopp, whom he left town with and married in Richmond, Ind. She now supposes herself to be his legal spouse, thinking the woman he lived with four years, had never been his wife, he having made that statement himself.
The police, however, think Sackett is only bluffing, and that he really did marry Mrs. Sackett No. 1. She insists that the ceremony took place in Chicago. He admits that it did, but says it was a fake marriage. The police do not think so.
Sackett's first wife, after the trouble here, went to Spencerville, O., where she has taken up her residence with an uncle. Sackett apparently learned of this, and Monday he sent a telegram to the uncle, asking if the trouble could be smoothed over. The telegram was dated Dayton, and the police thereby learned of his presence in this city. It was not long before the Kopp girl's room was located on West Fifth street, and Sergeant Fair was sent out and nabbed Sackett.
In the meantime, his first wife had been requested to come to this city, which she did. She confronted him at police headquarters, but did not break down. The first thing he said to her was: "Now, why have you caused me all this trouble?" She answered that his trouble was yet to come. Sackett sneered continually, while the woman who was his wife in all that the name implies, now apparently hates him as much as she formerly loved him.
The prisoner was sent to the Central Police Station, and Mrs. Sackett went to Richmond, to swear out a warrant in Indiana, charging bigamy. He will be extradited.
[Transcribed from image by Chris Sackett]

The Richmond Item, Richmond, Indiana, 27 Dec 1900, pp. 1 & 8
Alleged Bigamist to be Brought to Richmond for Trial.
Comes to Make Affadavit Against Her Husband on the Charge of Having One Too Many Wives—Story of the Case.
Benjamin F. Sackett, the Chicago traveling salesman, who is an alleged bigamist, and who at least has one wife and another woman who claims so to be, has been arrested at Dayton and will be brought to Richmond for trial.
It will be remembered that on Dec. 17 Sackett came to Richmond from Dayton, O., with a Miss Minnie Copps. They applied for a marriage license, and it was granted, proper affidavit having been made. They returned to Dayton, but Sackett immediately upon his arrival made arrangements to leave temporarily, and Mrs. Sackett No. 1 put in an appearance and made things exceptionally interesting for the new wife who claimed that she had a right to the household goods of her husband.
An investigation showed that Sackett and his first wife, who was a Miss Goodwin, were married in Chicago, Ill., in 1897, and it is said that a certificate to this effect has been procured from the clerk of the Cook county court. When Sackett deserted his wife and came to Richmond with Miss Copps he said that she was from Centerville, this county, and upon the strength of this statement he persuaded a young man to make an affidavit to this effect. It soon developed, however, that Miss Copps was not a resident of Centerville or of any other town in this county or state. She became enamored of Sackett while in Dayton, where he and his wife had gone, and arrangements it is said were made to marry. It is claimed that Miss Copps was misled by Sackett, he telling her that while he was to all appearances married to the woman with whom he was living, that in reality he was not married to her, as the ceremmony performed in Chicago was a mock one. The wife No. 2 told this to the Dayton police at the time they were investigating the case, and the investigation which followed showed that the ceremony performed in Chicago was strictly legal and binding in every sense.
Sackett's presence was much desired by the Dayton police, but he was not found until yesterday, when it is claimed, he returned to live with wife No. 2. He was immediately arrested and jailed and the local police department was notified.
This morning Mrs. Sackett, the first wife, came to Richmond for the purpose of filing an affidavit against her husband, charging him with bigamy. This could not be done in Dayton, as the alleged crime was committed in this state. The police department announced this morning that a warrant will be issued for Sackett and an officer sent to Dayton to bring him to this city, either this evening or tomorrow. If Sackett demands extradition papers, the police may be delayed somewhat in getting him into Richmond.
Mrs. Sackett No. 1 is a nice looking and well dressed young woman, and is determined, it seems, that her husband shall be punished for his wrong to her.
The Dayton Press of last evening contained the following:
"Benjamin Sackett was arrested about noon today on West Fifth street, and locked up at Central station. A charge of bigamy will be placed against him. The trial will be held in Indiana, as his latest wife is from Richmond, Ind. Detective Gugel and Sergeant Fair made the arrest.
"When Sackett was confronted by wife No. 1 at headquarters immediately upon his arrest he laughingly said: 'You can't do anything with me, you're not my wife.' As she is financially embarrassed, the office force at headquarters and the newspaper boys have started a subscription list to defray her expenses to Richmond, to enable her to prosecute Sackett. In case that the marriage was a fake, he can be prosecuted under the common law, as he has lived with her four years and during that time has represented her as his wife.
(Special to The Item.)
Dayton, Dec. 27.—Benjamin Sackett, whose arrest occurred here yesterday said this morning that he would not return to Richmond without requisition papers were procured and the local police so notified the Richmond police department. It is the belief here that Sackett will be quickly disposed of when he faces a court in Richmond. There is every particle of evidence to convict him of bigamy. His marriage to Miss Freda Goodwin occurred on September 15, 1897, in Chicago, but it appears that Sackett destroyed the wedding certificate. The Dayton police say, however, that they have satisfactory proof that he was married to the young woman at Chicago. It has only been six weeks since Sackett and his wife moved to Dayton. They went to a boarding house, where Sackett met Miss Copp. It is alleged that Sackett took his wife's diamonds, and after disposing of them, spent the money on Miss Copp. To all appearances Sackett is not much worried over the affair, but this show of bravado is undoubtedly mere bluff. Unless there should be some flaw in the requisition papers the Richmond officers will be able to land their prisoner in Indiana by Friday night or Saturday morning.
[Transcribed from image by Chris Sackett]

The Indianapolis News, Indianapolis, Indiana, 27 Dec 1900, p. 1
Wife No. 1 will Prosecute Benjamin F. Sackett
(Special to the Indianapolis News.)
RICHMOND, Ind., December 27.—Benjamin F. Sackett the Chicago traveling salesman, said to be a bigamist, was arrested at Dayton, O., last night, and he will be brought to this city to-morrow. Sackett's first wife came to Richmond, this morning, for the purpose of making the affidavit against her husband. She is under twenty-five years old, and was married to Sackett in Chicago, in 1897.
They lived happily together, it is claimed, until they went to Dayton, some months ago, where Sackett met Miss Minnie Copps and became enamored of her. He offered to marry her and claimed that he was not legally wedded to the other woman, saying that the ceremony in Chicago was a mock one. Sackett and Miss Copps came to Richmond December 27, and she claimed that she was a resident of Centerville, this county.
Proper affidavit was made by a young man who had been persuaded to do so by Sackett, and the license was granted. The Rev. I. M. Hughes, pastor of the First Presbyterian church, performed the ceremony. The day following, Mrs. Sackett No. 2 returned to Dayton, confronted wife No. 1, and demanded that she leave the house.
The case was reported to the police, which led to an investigation, and it was found that Sackett's first marriage was legal and binding. Mrs. Sackett No. 1 is determined to prosecute her husband for his wrongdoing.
[Transcribed from image by Chris Sackett]

The Dayton Herald, Dayton, Ohio, 28 Dec 1900, p. 1
B.F.Sackett Attempts Release by Habeas Corpus
Benjamin F. Sackett made an effort this morning to effect his release from custody by means of habeas corpus proceedings. Attorney John E. Dixon appeared in his behalf. The police officials who are detaining Sackett on the charge of bigamy, informed the court that requisition papers were expected for the prisoner from Indiana, and on this representation, Judge McCann continued the case until tomorrow morning at 11 o'clock.
Sackett, however, in the event of his release, which is not probable, will be at once re-arrested on another charge. The police are determined to force him to make some atonement for his misdeed.
[Transcribed from image by Chris Sackett]

The Dayton Herald, Dayton, Ohio, 28 Dec 1900, p. 4
If the offense of Benjamin F. Sackett does not come under the bigamy laws, at least there is the horse whip as a court of last resort.
[Transcribed from image by Chris Sackett]

Dayton Daily News, Dayton, Ohio, 28 Dec 1900, p. 2
Must Be Here Tomorrow Morning, or Sackett May Be Released.
The police have, by a decree of the probate court, until tomorrow morning to secure requisition papers for the transfer of Benjamin F. Sackett to Richmond, Ind., where he will be tried for bigamy. He sought his release by habeas corpus proceedings. The police are positive they will be able to take Sackett to Richmond.
[Transcribed from image by Chris Sackett]

The Richmond Item, Richmond, Indiana, 28 Dec 1900, p. 1
The Alleged Bigamist Will Be In Jail Here by Tomorrow.
He Appears Unconcerned.
And Acts With Contempt Toward His Wife—Thought She Would Be Too Poor to Begin Prosecution Against Him.
Benjamin F. Sackett, the alleged bigamist, against whom his first wife yesterday swore out a warrant for his arrest, will be brought to Richmond tomorrow probably, and will be arraigned immediately. He will be bound over to the circuit court, where the case will be tried.
The Dayton Press of last evening in speaking of the case said:
"Benjamin Franklin Sackett is still confined in Central station awaiting to be taken to Richmond, Ind., on a charge of bigamy. The warrant was sworn out this morning by wife No. 1, who left this city last night. The trial will be in Richmond, as the marriage was performed there. Sackett at first consented to go to Indiana, but in order to cause more expense to his wife, he now refuses to go unless requisition papers are secured. His wife, as before stated, was without funds, and a subscription is being raised to defray the expenses in prosecuting him. An officer from Richmond will go to Indianapolis to secure the necessary papers and thence proceed to Columbus to have them honored. Sackett will then be taken to Richmond and placed on trial. Throughout the entire trouble he has acted with the utmost contempt towards his wife and has been entirely unconcerned as to the proceedings against him and careless of the outcome. He had depended upon the poverty of the woman to render her unable to bring him to justice and such would have been the case had not some in the city who have taken an interest in the case, raised a sum sufficient to defray a part of the expenses. The total cost of the affair will be about $25, $10 of which has been raised. Subscriptions may be handed to Clerk Withoft at police headquarters.
There were new developments in the case this afternoon which in the end may cause the local police some trouble in getting hold of the much-wanted man.
It appears that wife No. 2 has money and she is using every effort to free her husband from the law's clutches. An attorney was employed and this morning habeas corpus proceedings were brought. The local police department received word shortly before noon today that the judge before whom the habeas corpus proceedings were heard, had ordered Sackett released at 11 o'clock tomorrow morning unless an officer from Richmond should be there with the requisition papers.
This was unexpected news and the Dayton police department urged all possible speed. Unfortunately Judge Fox is at Portland, trying a case in the Jay county court and as he must sign the certificates that give the governor of the state the right to issue the requisition, it was found necessary to send blanks to him at Portland. This was done last night, it being known that his return to Richmond would not be until Saturday evening. When the word from Dayton was received Judge Fox was called up by telephone and the situation explained. It was the understanding at police headquarters this noon that the necessary certificate from Judge Fox would be received at 4 o'clock this afternoon by special delivery letter. Sergeant Krone expects to set out for Indianapolis at 4.55 and present the case to Governor Mount, who in all probability will issue the requisition on Governor Nash. Sergeant Krone will then set forth either tonight or early tomorrow morning for Columbus, O., with Governor Mount's requisition, but it is not believed possible for him to get the papers properly signed up at Columbus before the middle of tomorrow forenoon. It will then be impossible for him to get to Dayton, O., until the middle of the afternoon. Governor Nash may be prevailed upon to telegraph the officers at Dayton tomorrow morning after he honors the requisition of Governor Mount, asking them to hold Sackett until the officer arrives. If this is done the police department of Dayton will obey the order, no matter what the court's instructions may have been. Prosecutor Bond will go to Dayton tomorrow morning himself to see what may be done. In case of a slip of any sort, the Dayton police department may re-arrest Sackett on another charge in order to hold him until the Richmond officer arrives.
[Transcribed from image by Chris Sackett]

The Dayton Herald, Dayton, Ohio, 29 Dec 1900, p. 2
Will Be Returned to Richmond to Face the Music.
Benjamin F. Sackett, under arrest for bigamy, will be returned to Richmond, Ind., for trial. The prosecuting attorney of Richmond arrived this morning to see that he was not released by habeas corpus proceedings, and Police Sergeant Krone, of Richmond, arrived this afternoon with requisition papers. The prosecuting attorney says there is no chance for Sackett to escape the penitentiary. He will be taken to Richmond this evening.
[Transcribed from image by Chris Sackett]

The Dayton Herald, Dayton, Ohio, 29 Dec 1900, p. 8
Osie A. Sackett vs. Minnie Copp. Suit for damages in the sum of $5,000 for alienating the affections of plaintiff's husband, Benjamin F. Sackett, now under arrest here on the chage of bigamy, having married the Copp girl recently. (The story of Sackett's perfidy, and the Copp girl's action in the matter, has been largely published.)
[Transcribed from image by Chris Sackett]

The Indianapolis Journal, Indianapolis, Indiana, 29 Dec 1900, p. 8
A Requisition for the Arrest of Benjamin F. Sackett.
Governor Mount, upon application of Osia A. Sackett and a justice of the peace at Richmond, last night issued a requisition upon the Governor of Ohio for the extradition of Benjamin F. Sackett, a Dayton traveling man, on the charge of bigamy. The statement in the affidavit was that the plaintiff was married to the defendant at Chicago on Sept. 15, 1897, and that he had on Dec. 17, withour being divorced, married at Richmond Minnie Coots, they together going to reside at Dayton, O. It is understood that Sackett claims he was never married to the woman who claim the name of Osia A. Sackett.
[Transcribed from image by Chris Sackett]

The Indianapolis News, Indianapolis, Indiana, 29 Dec 1900, p. 13
Difficulty in Bringing an Alleged Bigamist to Indiana.
(Special to The Indianapolis News.)
RICHMOND, Ind., December 29.—Prosecutor Bond went to Dayton, O., last night, to look after the case of Benjamin F. Sackett, the alleged bigamist, who will be brought here for trial unless there should be a hitch in the proceedings. Judge Fox, of the Wayne Circuit Court, was out of the city yesterday, and time was lost in procuring a certificate from the court to present to Governor Mount for a requisition. Sergeant Krone, of the police force, went to Indianapolis yesterday evening, and after procuring the requisition, started for Columbus, O., to present the same to Governor Nash. In the meantime word was received from Dayton that habeas corpus proceedings had been instituted on behalf of Sackett, and the court instructed that the prisoner be discharged at 11 o'clock this morning, if requisition papers are not presented. Prosecutor Bond intends to have Sackett arrested on some other pretense if he is released to-day, in order that he may be held until the arrival of the officer. Sackett's second wife, to whom he was married in this city, is said to have considerable money, and she is giving him assistance in his present difficulty, as she believes his story that he is not legally married to the other Mrs. Sackett.
[Transcribed from image by Chris Sackett]

The Richmond Item, Richmond, Indiana, 31 Dec 1900, p. 1
The Alleged Bigamist Now a Prisoner in the Wayne County Jail.
Waived Examination
When Arraigned on the Charge in the Court of 'Squire Levi M. Jones This Morning—Still Maintains That He Is Innocent of the Charge
Benjamin Franklin Sackett, the Chicago traveling salesman, who was arrested in Dayton last week on a warrant sworn out in this city by Mrs. Sackett No. 1, charging him with bigamy, was brought to Richmond on last Saturday night by Sergeant Fred Krone, and lodged in the city jail.
Governor Nash had telephoned from Columbus, O., Saturday morning that he had honored Governor Mount's requisition for Sackett and ordered that the man be not released. Judge McCann, of Dayton, before whom the habeas corpus proceedings were brought, refused to allow Sackett to be given his liberty when this word from the governor had been received, and Sergeant Krone experienced no further difficulty, arriving on the late train.
This morning in 'Squire Levi M. Jones' court, Sackett was arraigned on the charge of bigamy, as preferred by his wife. He waived a preliminary hearing, and was bound over to court under $1,000 bond, which he has not been able to furnish, and in consequence was sent to the county jail.
Sackett has not talked a great deal about his case since being brought to Richmond, though he was questioned by the officers. He still maintains that he is innocent of the charge against him, and claims that he will be able to prove himself clear when the opportunity presents itself. The police, however, say that there is a clear case against Sackett and say that all the details of the affair will be brought out when the trial is called.
The Dayton Press of Saturday night contained the following:
"The troubles of Benjamin F. Sackett and his several wives assumed a new phase today in the filing of a damage suit by Asia A. Sackett, or wife No. 1, in the common pleas court. Minnie Copps, lately known as Minnie Sackett, or wife No. 2, is made the defendant in this action in which she seeks to recover damages of $5,000.
The plaintiff charges the defendant with having maliciously alienated the affections of the plaintiff's husband, in consequence of which Sackett on Dec. 15 abandoned the plaintiff. F.W.Beekman, attorney."
[Transcribed from image by Chris Sackett]

Elkhart Weekly Review, Elkhart, Indiana, 5 Jan 1901, p. 1
Benjamin F. Sackett, arrested at Dayton, O., has been transferred to Richmond, to answer a charge of bigamy.
[Transcribed from image by Chris Sackett]

The Richmond Item, Richmond, Indiana, 15 Jan 1901, p. 5
There Is No Case Against the Man Charged With Bigamy.
No License Was Issued
When He Was Supposed to Have Been Married to His First Wife—A Mock Ceremony Deceived Her—A Case Like "Way Down East."
Benjamin F. Sackett, arrested on the charge of bigamy in Dayton and brought to this city for trial because the marriage to wife No. 2 was performed here, will be released from the county jail in a day or two. Prosecuting Attorney Bond has found that he cannot be prosecuted on a charge of bigamy, and that is the only charge on which he could be tried in the Wayne circuit court. Mr. Bond this morning received word from Chicago that no license was ever issued to Sackett and the woman who was supposed to be wife No. 1.
The woman with whom Sackett has been living supposed that she was married to him in Chicago some years ago, and she has since supposed herself a married woman, but such is not the case. They lived together in Dayton until Sackett was married in this city a month ago. The case is the story of "Way Down East" in real life. The woman with whom Sackett has been living was deceived by a mock ceremony. The Dayton authorities, it is said, will place Sackett under arrest as soon as he is released here, and hold him for a further investigation. It is not likely that he will escape punishment entirely.
[Transcribed from image by Chris Sackett]

The Dayton Herald, Dayton, Ohio, 15 Jan 1901, p. 8
Exonerated By the Indiana Courts This Morning.
Arrested in Dayton For Bigamy, and Legally Released in Richmond.
Benjamin Franklin Sackett, who was arrested in this city on the charge of bigamy, and was taken to Richmond, Ind., on a requisition on Governor Nash, was discharged from custody by the courts of that city this morning. From the time of his arrest, and even before, Sackett protested that he was not guilty of the charge. Since he was legally set free, there seems to be no chance to prosecute him for his duplicity.
It will be remembered that he married a Dayton girl in Richmond some six weeks ago. At that time, another woman thought she was his wife, and had lived with him four years on that supposition. She claimed that they had been married in Chicago, but Sackett protested that he had never legally wedded her. On his return to this city to join his real wife, he was arrested, and a fund was raised by police officials and others interested, to pay the costs of prosecution, his supposed wife being penniless. She apparently had no recourse in law, and his duplicity will go unpunished.
The woman who thought herself his wife, will probably go to live with an uncle in a little town not far distant from Dayton, where she was when Sackett was arrested. The story of their troubles has been published, and is pretty generally known.
[Transcribed from image by Chris Sackett]

The Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati, Ohio, 16 Jan 1901, p. 8
To Be Released at Richmond From Lack of Evidence.
Special Dispatch to the Enquirer.
Dayton, Ohio, January 15.—A telegram was received this afternoon by the authorities from Richmond, Ind., stating that Benjamin F. Sackett, a traveling man, arrested on a bigamy charge, would be released, as there was no evidence against him.
The Dayton police who effected Sackett's arrest did so upon the claim of the County Prosecutor of Richmond, who insisted that he had a sure case of bigamy against him under the Indiana law. The Prosecutor came here personally and resisted habeas corpus proceedings when Sackett was endeavouring to secure his freedom here. Sackett married Miss Minnie Copp in Richmond after living here with a woman who claims she married him in Chicago.
[Transcribed from image by Chris Sackett]

The Leaf-Chronicle, Clarksville, Tennessee, 17 Jan 1901, p. 3
Bigamy Charge Fails.
Special to the Leaf-Chronicle.
Richmond, Ind. Jan. 17.—Benjamin Franklin Sackett, Chicago traveling man, now in the county jail here on the charge of bigamy, will be released. No record of a marriage license can be found in Chicago.
[Transcribed from image by Chris Sackett]

Cincinnati Post, Cincinnati, Ohio, 21 Jan 1901, p. 5
Upper Sandusky, O., Jan. 21.—Mrs. Benjamin F. Sackett was here Saturday to claim an estate of $2500, which had been left to her by John L. Clark, whom she nursed during his illness. Mrs. Sackett received the money.
Clark formerly resided here, but went to Dayton, O. While there he became sick and was nursed by Miss Minnie Copps, who later married Benjamin F. Sackett, a Chicago traveling man. After his marriage to Miss Copps, a woman who claimed she was the wife of Sackett had him arrested at Richmond, Ind., for bigamy. He was soon dismissed by the authorities there. He was arrested in Dayton and then taken to Richmond.
[Transcribed from image by Chris Sackett]

The Richmond Item, Richmond, Indiana, 23 Jan 1901, p. 1
Benjamin F. Sackett, who was arrested on the charge of bigamy, was released from the county jail Monday. The report that Chicago authorities would place him under arrest as soon as he was released, proved groundless.
[Transcribed from image by Chris Sackett]

The Indianapolis Journal, Indianapolis, Indiana, 25 Jan 1901, p. 2
Indiana Notes.
Benjamin F. Sackett, the alleged Ohio bigamist, has been released from custody at Richmond, as there was no evidence to warrant his detention.
[Transcribed from image by Chris Sackett]

 Notes & Citations

  1. Age 64 on death record. Age 46 on 1910 census suggests born c 1863. 1910 census has b. MO.
  2. "Indiana marriages 1811–1959" (Findmypast image), "Marriage license & certificate, Wayne County, Indiana, 17 Dec 1900, Benjamin F Sackett and Minnie Copps, of Centreville, Indiana, by Isaac M Hughes, Minister."
  3. "Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916–1947" (Ancestry transcript), "Sackett, Benjamin Franklin, 64, d. Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, 3 Aug 1925, bur. Elmwood Cemetery, 6 Aug 1925, "elevated employee-gateman", widower, res. 1322 W Van Buren St."
  4. 1910 United States Federal Census, Roll: T624_772; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0163; FHL microfilm: 1374785
    St Charles Hotel, S 5th Street, St Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri
    Sackett, Benjamin F, boarder, 46, single, b. MO, father b. US, mother b. US, commercial traveler, shoes.
Last Edited28 Feb 2019

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Sackett lines

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