As I search for information about why my ancestor Corbley lost his farm, I find information on a lawsuit filed by a person named Wilson against Corbley for slander. The case went on to be used as a foundation of law as it was reversed by the supreme court at one point. The law review book shown here describes the case as being originally lost by Corbley when Wilson presented a court case of the act Corbley had ‘accused’ him of and that the end result of the criminal case was not guilty.
When the case was appealed at the supreme court it was decided that the result of the criminal case had no baring on the slander case, so the original finding was reversed.
Each time the case was decided or reversed the case at the time made the paper being big news at the time. I haven’t found so far where to find the specifics of the trial case – what was Corbley accused of saying about Wilson? I do know that Edward Corbley’s brother Lindsey was a lawyer and would have been surprised if he had not taken on a case involving his brother. From what I know now, the plaintiff in a case normal doesn’t have to pay out until all appeals are resolved… So I would think from all of this that Corbley never had to pay out to Wilson. Lawyer fees would have been another matter.
None of the articles I’ve found so far include Wilson’s full name or the crime he was originally accused of. I’m not completely positive of the year also….
The Supreme Court case was decided in 1878 (10/7) and in the paper is listed as Edward Corbley vs. Benj. Wilson. So I am guessing Wilson’s name was Benjamin. Muncie had been platted in 1875 and Corbley’s farm was sold for bankruptcy in 1881 (Sept). Corbley was next found in Missouri in 1884. His residence was listed in Missouri at the time he passed away in Illinois in 1891. Interestingly enough his wife passed away in 1885 in Kankakee Illinois. My great grandmother (their daughter) had married just a few years before (1882), so it may have been that Mary Ann Littler Corbley stayed, not wanting to leave her daughter and new grandchildren. She may also have been in ill health. Kankakee was the location of a hospital at the time. Maybe even the selling of the farm caused health issues?