Newspaper Page Text
TI-MAN CASE AIRED IN COURT
Many Charges and Counter Charges,
with Affidavits, Including One
from Senator Tilman.
News and Courier.
Columbia, Jan. 31.-Such a story
of marital unhappinbss, of separa
tions, of striving nor the possession
of offspring never came before a
South Carolina 'Court, and perhaps
rarely before any other Court, as
was told in the Supreme Court to
day, when Mrs. B. R. Tillman, Jr.,
appeared under a petition to secure
custody of her two little daughtes.
There was nothing left untold, the
whole marital life of Mr. and Mrs.
B. R. Tillman, Jr., was given in nu
merous affidavits from -the first day
of their marriage to the happenings
.leading to; the present proceeding in
the Court. It was indeed a recital
such as one reads of in books and
only once in a while sees enacted in
Countless charges and counter
charges were aired and set out in
minute details in the various affidav
js submitted in behalf of young
Ms, Tillman and those supporting
the enotion of her husband. Sen
Ator P. 'lMan appeared in
poQur and sat phfguut the pro
-9pings, Hp ...4 sqbmiutd p
-Affidinvi, Whihas4 4 fin Pim of
work, setting out s4 d that
10rose between bi esii and the wie
ahd giving his reasons for taking the
astody of his two grandehildren~un.
der the terms of the deed from his
The point at issue between Mr.
and Mrs. B. R. Tillman, Jr., is the
custody of their two children, Dous
chka Pickens Tillman and Sarah
Stark Tiilman. The mother and
father having separated and all ef
forts at a reconciliation being of no
avail, the question arose as to who
should have possession of the two
aittle daughters. An agreement was
reached at one time that the two
children should be alternately with
each parent, but later the deed was
executed by which they were turned
over to Senator and Mrs. B. R. Till
man, the parents of B. R. Tillman, Jr.
To those in the Court room to-day
the affdavits read were bearers of a
sad and pitiful message. The once
happy young couple were pictured in
their new home, .then step by step the
estrangement, the hatred of the two
old families that not even love could
conquer, the efforts on the part of
slIlinterested to make the path of
married life easier, the outbreak of
all the hiatred that beforehand had
been smothered-,and finally the
'young Tillman's Life.
Ndot even 'his 'own father and moth
er claimed for young Tillman that
hbis life had been an exemplary one
since his marriage. Admitting that
the b(.y 'had been a drunkard at va
rious times within:the past few years
but deelkrin3g that before his mar
riageihe!had leda soberlife, Sena
tor Tillin, in his remarkable aff
--davit, laid bare .the whole history of
"B.R.'s'.'life. 'He told ofthe oca
sions when his son was almo6t bereft.
of reason, beoause of drink, of how
'he had on one occasion atteeked ithe
character 'of his beautiful young wife
and was sorry the day after, of the
-many .times. that unavailing efforts
ihad been made to 'bring the congle
together. Senator Tilm'an' s affda
vij ertainly bore the earmarks of
frankness, 'and in its beauty of lan
guage and -evident show of sincerity
toward .those who had entered into
'his life, was a doeument that mayh.ap
knows no parallel in South Carolina.
The husband likewise did not deny
that he had been addicted to the use
of drink. His affdavit leaned often
kindly .toward his wife and showed
that even in the home, which is now'
no more, there had been deep affec
tion. 'He, however, denied that he
had ever been 'cruel t~o his wife, ex:
eept perhaps on that on occasion,
\when he, under the influence of drink,
attacked her character; that for this
remorse had c'ome to him. Now he
takes no longer strong 'drink and
feels that he has returned unto him
Mrs. Tillman Moved.
In the 'Court room, surrounded by
'her friends, the young wife sat
through the proceedings to-day. A
strikingly handsome woman 'her pale
face showed that it was not to 'her
liking to come into a Court of Equity
and seek relief. She evinced great
interest in the opening part of the
hearing, but as her heartstrings were
eouched by the recital of events in
the marital life of herself and her
husband, she lowered her head, and
it was apparently with great effort
that she restrained a public show of
feeling. Her evident desire to be
with her children was expressed
when'. after a consultation with her
at the close of the heaing, her coun
sel requested the Court to allow the
mother the custody of the two chil
dren, pending he settlement of the
case. The Court stated that it would
decide the matter and made no rul
'ing at the time on this point.
Children in Adjacent Room.
Ignorant of what was going on be
yond the door that screened them
from those within the Supreme Court
ro>m, the two little girls around
whom centers so much of contest,
played in the clerk's room, where
was also Mrs. B. R. Tillman this
morning. In order to amuse the el
der a pencil and a piece of papex
were given her. At once she sat
down and said: "Now, I am going
to write a note to mamma.' The
younger said, "Yes, I waint to see
my mamma," but. the mother did not
see the children, for they were not
brought into the Court room. She ex
pressed a desire to b. with them to
Many Women in Court.
A mother seeking her two babes!
The sisterhood of women brought
many of those whose lives are given
for others to the Court room this
morning. Even before the ease was
eaHled there were ladies in the lotbby
of the State House, and after the
egn had been entered into and $he
Court room was crowded almost to
its caps-eity pei isgri ve eg q&d. it
was ndecessa7 4y ie 06iii to sus=
pnd for a few minutes owing to the
confusion of providing seats for the
ladies. Some were not able to se
cure a place in the Court room, and
stood on chairs without and looked in
through the large glass doors of the
Supreme Court room. On the out
side one lady .was seated in one of
the outer windows of the room. Much
interest was maifested by the la
dies present, and not one of them
left during the course of the proceed
ings, all remaining during the foir
hours of.the hearing.
Many prominent men were pres
ent at the hearing, including mem
bers of the legislature, prominent
lawyers and men in every profession.
Of the Tillman, family. there were
present Senator Tillman, B. R. -\Till
man, J.r., Henry Tillman a4d others
c6nnected with the family. Mrs. B.
R. Tillman, Jr., was accompanied to
the Court room by several of her
This most remarkable case was be
gun by the reading o&f a number of
affdavits and the complaint of the
petitioner. This complaint, which
has already been published sets ou1
:the allegations as to the taking
away of the .children from the wife,
the alleged eruelties oni the part oi
the husband, the deeding of the
children to Senator and Mrs. B. RA
Tilmn, and the agreement pre
vionaly reached and the subsequent
The 'affidavits are numerous in
this part of the proceeding,' touching
the question of. Mrs. T&llman's abil'
ity to hand4e the children properly
and most all of..The affdav.its. as to
the persoxial character oef Mrs. Till
man. Three striking .affidavits were
from Mrs. Tillman's . knily physi
ciaii, her minster and:from a lady
who was in elose conrtalet with Mrs.
Tillman .and lived. at the 'home with
her. The other affdavits mainly
corroborated. these three, and& the
were upward of 200 names signed to
the re'commendation of good charac
ter .of .the~ petitioner.
Mess-s. D)epass & Depass, of this
city, and Mr. McGowan pimpkins, of
Edgefield appeared for the petition
er, and Ex-Solicitor 'J. William Thur
monjd, of Edgefield, for the respond
ent. The reading of the affida.vits
and counter affidavits occupied three
hours of the Coumt's time, and the
arguments took up <gne hour.
The return of Senator and Mrs.
Tillman consisted, leaving out the
formalities of the law, of an affida
vit from Senator Tillman and one
fi-rm B. R. Tillman, Jr., and Mrs. S.
S. Tillman corroborated Senator Till
In addition to Senator Tillman's
and his son 's affidarits there were
other affidavits as to the fitness of
Mr. and Mrs. Tillman, Sr., to care
for the two children.
On the law side of the case the
Iarguments were ,brief and .to the
point. The contention of the peti.
tioner was that the statute as tc
deeding of children should not apply
in preasenti but in futuro, and was
meant by the General Assembly tc
apply after death of the husband.
The history of the conveying of
children by deed and otherwise tc
guardians was reviewed by Attorney
MPs. Tfhe contention aect out by
Mr. Simkins, constituting new mat
~er in the case, was that the previous
contract refe,rred to was that in re
wifeshoud bebining nd soul
not be set aside by the deed. The
contract refered to was that in re
gard to each (the father and the
mother) should alternately have one
of the children for a certain period
at a time.
Attorney Thurmond was very
forceful in citing authorities in, sup
port of his ;contention as upheld by
the Court's as to the father's prior
right and the right under this State's
statute to .the deeding of children.
After arguments, the Court stated
that an'Tdjournment would be taken
until ten o'clock tomorrow morning.
In reply there were more alfdavits
submitted by Mrs. Tillman's attor
neys, but along the same line as
those formerly introduced.
No Decision Yet.
Columbia, Jan. 31.-No decision
was handed down by the Supreme
Court in the Tillman case tonight. It
was thougnt tat the Court nugnt
reae- a conclusion in the mater tiis
evening. There is considerable in.
terest ioeaRy in the .ight being made
by Mrs. 'Tiaman to seoue p
of her two children. From Edgefield
tMe report is th4 many aadit
ed to come to Columbia to-day and
appear in Court. Most of ithose who
liave expressed an opinion hope Mrs.
B. R. Tillman, Jr., will get back her
children. The general opinion as to
the law in the matter is -that Senator
a4 Mrxs. Tiliman, will retain posses
TTLLMAN CASE NOT DECIDED.
Childrw Will Be Left in Senator's
-0are 1ending a Decision.
Columbia, February L't-The Su
preme Court has not yet decided the
lillman suit for tie possession ofi
the children of B. IL TiJiman, Jr. The
Court to-day made a verbal . state
ment that i would render its formal
decision later on, but pending a de
cision the children should rem"
with Senator Tillman. The Court
stated that the status quo should be
maintained, that the veral state
ment of the Court that the childxen
remain with be:nator Tilman meant
nothing, except' that the present sta
tus siould ,be mai'ntained. In' the
meanwhile the Court will prepare its
Already two bills .havje been intro
'duced in .the General Assembly look
ing to the repeal or amendment of
the statute by which B. 14. Tillmau,
or., deeded the two children to h4s
parents,. and denied tihem to his wife.
lhe ease is exciting much interest,
and the Supreme Count is evi'dently
disposed 'to go slow and consider the
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