News Articles of Thomas R Sammons & Jane Florey



Wednesday Evening June 30, 1875


Oreana, Ill., June 28, 1875

   Never in the annals of the history of this city has there been such an exciting day as the one just closed.  The air has been thick with war and rumor of war.  It has been actually dangerous to be safe.

   Officer Stuart was seen suddenly appearing in the most unexpected places bearing in his hand a warrant for some individual who, ignorant of any offence by him committed, was struck with astonishment when this official hand was laid upon him, with the request that he "come along."

   Business was so pressing that the court was compelled to remain in session almost all day.  The case which created the most excitement and interest was one growing out of the elopement of a youthful "Romeo and Juliet," by name THOMAS R. SIMONDS and JANE FLOREY, who had arrived at the conclusion that happy existence was only possible in the arms of each other; and as Romeo was forbidden by the parents to speak to his beloved Juliet, the above method was the only one which presented itself for the accomplishment of their ends.

   So some three weeks ago, Romeo called at the residence of his Juliet, who, faithful to her vow, left the paternal roof, and embarked upon the boundless sea of life, with the idol of her affection.  Soon after the departure of the "runaways" was discovered, diligent search was instituted which was unsuccessful.

   The parties continued their journey to some marital ground, where no license was required, and the inference is that they were united in the holy bonds of wedlock.  The parents of the bride were so infuriated that they openly threatened the life of the groom should he appear within pistol range.  The worthy dame vowed she would have her daughter or would have blood.  The threat was partially carried into effect on last Friday. The groom made his appearance in a buggy passing along the road, Mr. Florey fired at or towards him, however, without doing any injury to the person of the youthful Romeo.

   The desire of the mother became so strong - to get possession of her child she could not restrain herself any longer.  So armed with a revolver, (so the charge is.) went to the house of the bridegroom's mother, and threatened her life if she did not produce her daughter.

   As such disturbances of the peace could not be allowed to continue, warrants were issued for the arrest of Mr. David Florey and his wife, who were summoned to appear before chief justice Coale.  On Monday, the parties in answer to the summons, duly appeared, and the trial proceeded with indications of a turbulent time.

   Some oaths not required by the court were made use of, and the dignity of the court otherwise outraged, but the threatened fining by his honor of the offenders, however, restored order.  After hearing the evidence the court gave his decision which stands thus: David Florey was bound over to keep the peace, and Mrs. David Florey, his wife, was bound over to appear at the next term of circuit court of Macon County--so ended the war of today.

Same newspaper - another article


A Wrathy Mother-in-law - pet names applied to the Son-in-law - The Dame Pursues the Bride and Groom from Store to Store - Beat on Recovering her Daughter - She wouldn't be Recovered

   On yesterday afternoon, soon after 3 o'clock, an excited crowd was seen gathering about the foot of the stairs leading to Justice Goodman's office, and in a few moments the office itself was crowded with interested spectators, all eager to learn "what was up."  Our reporter soon possessed himself of information to the following effect:

   It seems that a young man by the name of SIMONS has been living for a year or more with Mr. David FLOREY, who lived in what is known as the GARVER settlement, in Whitmore township, and was regarded by Mr. Florey as a good hand, but was hardly what his ambition craved for a son-in-law.  It seems that Mr. Florey has a good-looking daughter, claimed by her parents to be only about "sweet sixteen" and between her and young SIMONDS there has been a growing intimacy, which finally ripened into an ardent affection, and before the parents were aware that they were anything more than friends they had plighted their faith to each other.  By some means the old people became aware of the state of affairs, and not being willing that their daughter should marry a common farm hand, interposed decided objections to a continuance of the intimacy, and sought to terminate it by dismissing the young man from the place, with the injunction that he should see their daughter no more.  The sequel would seem to indicate that by some clandestine means the young folks held frequent meetings and renewed their pledges of mutual love and fidelity.  About two weeks ago an elopement was planned and carried out, at which the old people became so enraged that they threatened summary vengeance on the purloiner of their daughter.  These threats and their attempted execution was the occasion of their arrest and trial, which took place at Oreana on Monday, a full account of which will be found in another place. Not content with the legal proceedings had on Monday, they swore out a warrant for the arrest of the young people on a charge of living in "adultery."

   Yesterday an officer was dispatched to the place where they were stopping, just south of Macon, who took them into custody, and brought them before Justice GOODMAN in this city.  As already suggested, a crowd soon gathered, and for a few moments the hall of justice was a perfect pandemonium.

   The old lady let her tongue loose, and for a half hour poured out such a torrent of abuse upon the head of the young man as is seldom heard.

   In answer to the charge of adultery, the young man produced his papers from the county clerk of Taylorville, and from a Justice of the Peace in that city, showing that he had obtained license in due form, and was legally married on Saturday last.  These papers were submitted to the court, and were also examined by the city attorney, both pronouncing them all right and according to law in such cases made and provided, and that the only  alternative was for the enraged parents to submit quietly to the situation.

   A passage was then opened through the crowd by the officer, and the newly married pair made their way down stairs, closely followed by the bride's mother, who wildly entreated her daughter to leave her "worthless scapegrace of a husband" and return home.

   To get out of the old lady's way, the young couple dodged into stores and around corners, closely followed by the infuriated mother, until they finally took refuge in Dr. Sibley's office, where she was finally persuaded to go home and leave them to themselves.

   When relieved of the presence of their persecutors, the young couple walked about town for awhile, and in the evening returned to the place from which they had been taken by the officer.

   Throughout the entire excitement SIMONS conducted himself with the utmost coolness, and made no replies whatever to the railing of his new mother.  The bride also seemed entirely self-possessed, and indicated her determination to adhere to her husband with a decision and firmness that could not be misunderstood.

   The affair was one of the most exciting that has occurred in our city for a long time.



Thomas R. SAMMONS and Melissa Jane FLOREY married 25 June 1875 at Taylorville.

1860 MACON CO IL CENSUS P.168 Dwelling #1178 Family #1187

Melissa age 1 b IL is listed with David and Rachel Florey.



CHILDREN OF THOMAS & MELISSA: Myrtle H, Ada I, Albert 'Jim, Robert William, Josie Florence, and Grace G.



SAMONS, Private Robert Dec 29, 1886 - Jul 15, 1919 #2503586. Can. Rly, Troops C E F

Thomas R. SAMONS Jan 5 1852 - Aug 29 1941

Melissa Florey SAMONS Apr 13, 1859 - Jun 15, 1940

Their son Albert 'Jim SAMONS Aug 10, 1880 - Mar 7, 1954

Notice throughout their name given as:


This couple managed to remain married for over 66 years, until her death at over age 81, and he lived to nearly age 90.  Wonder if her parents ever accepted him as their son-in-law?  

Submitted by Charlotte Ramsey from info contributed by Linda George Maniaci from the gen soc news letter through PERSI.  Thomas Sammons parents and siblings submitted by Pat Florey Hageman through Linda Maniaci.

Charlotte Curlee Ramsey

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