Thursday, May 21, 2009

Jotham Viles's Wives

Jotham Viles married four women and had 8 or 9 nine children. Only his last wife did not bear him a child. His first wife was Mary Ann Leach, the assumed daughter of William R. Leach and Hannah Sewell. She has been the focus of much of my research. There is no document to date that establishes her parentage but there is much circumstantial evidence. Jotham Viles of Starks and Mary Ann married on October 1, 1848 in Augusta, Kennebec, Maine. Their intentions were published in the Maine Farmer on September 17, 1848 and the marriage announcement was published in the Age on October 12, 1848. This union produced 5 or 6 children: Clarissa, Serena, John, Helen, Frank? and Mary. All of the children were born in Walworth County Wisconsin.

Jotham's next wife was Sarah Diana Frost. They were married on June 3, 1861 in Tipton, Cedar, Iowa. There is evidence that they were living in both Wisconsin and Iowa during the next few years. Jotham and Sarah had two girls, Elsie Matilda and Iona. Sarah died on April 28, 1879 in Eden, Benton, Iowa.

Jotham's third wife was Laura E. Shutt (Schutts) Smith. They married on November 11, 1879 in Vinton, Benton, Iowa by L. S. Keagle. Laura's first husband, Silas Smith, did not die and in fact married two women after Laura and had many children. Laura brought her two sons with Silas with her, Frederick and George Smith. Jotham and Laura had one son of their own, Sewall Chadborne. Laura died on July 7, 1886.

Jotham married his last wife, Letha Ann Taylor Dodge, less than two years before his death. Letha was previously married to Elijah S. Dodge and had three sons by that union. Letha was 59 years old when they married February 16, 1889 by Levi S. Keagles and no children were produced by this marriage.


  1. Great summary, Andrea. :) I had a four hour layover in Milwaukee on my way back from visiting the folks last month, and it was all I could do not to high-tail it out to the Sugar Creek cemetary to have a look at the grave of the supposed son Frank. If I hadn't had the girl with me, I'd have done it. I think the next time I head out there I'll take an intentionally long layover in the area and see what I can manage. It's only an hour from the airport.

    I've got your blog on my feed now. :) Now to get mine online ...

  2. Hi, I discovered your blog recently and am enjoying finding out what you have about Jotham Sewell Viles. I am related to Laura Scutt / Schutts through the Smiths. You can see my tree at and you can email me using the email address on there.

    Do you know anything about Laura's family background?