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WILLIAMS v. WILLIAMS (11/30/55)

November 30, 1955

WILLIAMS
v.
WILLIAMS, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 121, Oct. T., 1955, from decree of Court of Common Pleas No. 2 of Philadelphia County, Dec. T., 1953, No. 577, in case of Govan Leveston Williams, also known as Govan Williams, v. Carrie Elizabeth LeCote Williams, also known as Carrie LeCote Williams. Decree affirmed; reargument refused December 28, 1955.

COUNSEL

Almanina Barbour Carnes, for appellant.

R. Lawrence Clay, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Ross, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, and Ervin, JJ.

Author: Ross

[ 180 Pa. Super. Page 115]

OPINION BY ROSS, J.

This is a divorce action brought by the husband on the ground of indignities. The master who heard the case, after lengthy hearings, recommended that a divorce be granted. The court below after a thorough analysis of the record dismissed the wife's exceptions

[ 180 Pa. Super. Page 116]

    and granted the divorce, and she has appealed to this Court.

The parties were married in South Carolina in 1926. They moved to Philadelphia in 1927 where they have been ever since. Three children, two girls and a boy, all now adult, were born of this union. Plaintiff has been employed by the Pennsylvania Railroad for upwards of 27 years, working the same daytime shift. Defendant worked from about 1934 to 1944 in a laundry, quitting after an illness. They belong to different churches, both being very active therein. Plaintiff was not only active in his church work, but in several other groups, clubs and lodges as well. Consequently, when he was not required by his employment to spend evenings (and even whole nights on occasion) at work during the winter snows or in the event of a railroad wreck, he spent a good many evenings in his church, club and lodge work.

Apparently the parties had no serious difficulties until 1944. According to the plaintiff when he returned from a church meeting one evening in July of that year, his wife used foul language in disbelief of his whereabouts, accusing him of infidelity. In an effort to reassure her, he promised to hold the meetings at his home, and did so. On this occasion, however, she embarrassed him before the members with foul language and aspersions, directed not only at him but the club members as well. Thereafter, her abuse, nagging and accusations increased. She constantly urged him to move in with "his women", at a church dinner she appeared and heaped abuse upon him and women who were present, she remained silent for long periods, talking only with a "nasty" tongue. In 1948, her campaign of harassment intensified. She refused to cook for him, wakened him at night with singing and arguing, refused sexual relations, hit him in the mouth with

[ 180 Pa. Super. Page 117]

    her fist if he touched her, and on one occasion knocked him over a bannister. All during this time, she used vile and abusive language, making constant accusations of adultery. As a result, plaintiff's health suffered, he lost weight and became nervous, for which medical treatment was required. The fact that his health was impaired is strong supporting evidence of indignities. Clark v. Clark, 160 Pa. Superior Ct. 562, 52 A.2d 351. Finally, in the summer of 1953 the plaintiff left the ...


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