David Lemon, one of our volunteers shared a very interesting story he uncovered while researching his family. His discovery is detailed below:
Clinton Thomas Hovious – Michigan City, IN Prison
“If all genealogists research their family long enough they usually find some interesting characters in their family tree. I suppose Clinton Hovious would probably be considered a ‘black sheep’ in most families. I consider him a spicy addition to our otherwise mostly boring family.
Clinton’s great grandfather John Lemon is my 3rd great grandfather. John was an early 1824 settler in Bean Blossom Township in Monroe County, Indiana. Clinton Thomas Hovious was born on 20 Jan 1876 in Monroe County Indiana.
Clinton and Lillian Belle Wilson Massy married on April 28, 1906 in Monroe County, IN. Lillian and Clinton has a rocky marriage to say the least. Lillian had filed for divorce but withdrew the suits twice before finally having her third divorce suit granted in April 1912. The divorce was granted on the grounds of abuse and insult by Clinton towards Lillian.
On September 23, 1912, Clinton confronted Frank Todd, a former fire chief, at Frank’s home. Clinton has worked with Frank at the fire department as a driver and in fact was working as a special police officer that night while the 23rd Army infantry visited Bloomington. Frank and Clinton struggled and Clinton pulled a revolver and shot Frank in the hip area. Even after being shot, Todd asked his recently wedded wife to get a police officer.
The new Mrs. Todd was the former Mrs. Clinton Hovious. Clinton and Lillian had only been divorced 5 months.
Clinton was arrested and Frank Todd was taken to the hospital and seemed to be improving but in November Frank’s condition worsened and he died at his home November 30, 1912. Clinton Hovious was rearrested (he has been bonded out of jail) and charged with first degree murder. He was tried, convicted, and sent to the Michigan City, Indiana State prison.
What little is known about Clinton Hovious comes from newspaper accounts and Clinton’s prison record. According to that record, Clinton was a Teamster by trade who left home when he was 10 years old. He was a chain-smoker with a 3rd-grade education who’d been arrested once before in 1907, for “disorderly conduct,” although those charges were dismissed. He was 5’6” tall and weighed 136 pounds. In answering the prison questionnaire Clint displayed little knowledge of his father, somewhat more of his mother who was still alive at the time.
By 1917 Clinton was out of prison (his attorney must have been very good) living in Muncie, Indiana and working as a truck driver. Clinton also was married. He remarried Lillian Belle Wilson Massy Hovious Todd on November 4, 1918 in Delaware County, Indiana. Lillian must have really been enamored with Clinton to marry him after he had killed her last husband.
Clinton lived in Muncie the rest of his life. He was employed as a County Humane Officer in 1930. He was buried in Muncie in 1936 in Beech Grove Cemetery. Lillian lived until 1963 when she dies at the age of 87. She never remarried. Clinton and Lillian are buried side by side. Must have been true love.”
Carolyn L. Kantz