Saturday, July 20, 2013

Lulu PECK Sues For Damage To Reputation (1896)

As mentioned in Hendricks County Civil Order Book Volume 40 (May 1896 - March 1897), in November 1896 Lulu O. Peck brought a suit against Mary E. Henson (case #6284) for damaging her reputation with her remarks. Lulu was the wife of Wesley Peck and the mother of a girl about age 9, and they resided in Clayton. Her suit alleged that Mary E. Henson had told Mrs. Binda Lookabill and Mrs. Millie Berlin that Lulu had been caught "doing something indecent", which they took to mean adultery. Henson then told them what she had heard from Daisy Elmore - that Daisy, Florence Wooden, Maggie & Mollie Crawley and Maud Johnson had looked underneath the blinds at the Peck's house on Halloween 1894 and witnessed Dr. Thrasher with "his hands in Lulu's bosom feeling her tities [sic]". Dr. Thrasher was said to have told Lulu he admired her Halloween costume - the girls reported it was a deep V-neck dress with short sleeves. Daisy Elmore was upset when she witnessed this, because Lulu had been talking about Daisy & Dr. Dryden and Daisy told Henson that Lulu "ain't nothing but a nasty dirty bitch". Henson was later heard, in the presence of J.O. Winstead, to say that Lulu Peck "is not a virtuous woman."

The jury agreed with Lulu Peck and awarded her $75 in damages.

NOTE: Thomas Wesley Peck (1858-1930) and Lulu O. Peck (1867-1937) are both buried in Clayton West Cemetery.

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