Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Joseph and Martha Turpin and Thomas Hearn

Some two weeks ago “Every Evening” chronicled the elopement of James Thomas Hearn of Delmar with his cousin Mrs. Martha Turpin, wife of Joseph Turpin, also of Delmar. It was supposed at the time that the guilty parties would strike for Virginia, and there reside,  On Wednesday last the guilty woman returned to her father's residence, near Delmar, and asked for shelter, which after a time, was granted her. It is supposed that she was afraid to continue longer with Hearn, as the expose of the affair, first given in the “Every Evening”, having been largely copied by the southern papers, made it unpleasant for them to continue their guilty relations together. When she sought admittance to her father s house he refused to recognize her, but, on her appealing for shelter "for two or three days until she could get a divorce," he admitted her. Her husband, hearing of her return, dropped his work and went to have an interview with her, at which she expressed no regret at her course and refused to recognize or return to him.   Hearn went on to Virginia. Before leaving Delmar he sold his home and lot, turning over the notes for deferred payments to a confidential friend to hold the same in trust, hoping thereby to defraud his creditors. The latter showed, however, the fraudulent nature of the transaction, and the balances due Hearn will now go to the liquidation of his debts.
Above from the News Journal 21 Jan 1885

Faithlessness and Loyalty.

Laurel, Del., Aug. 31.—Joseph Turpin has gone to Florida to bring back the body of his dead wife. Five years ago he married Miss Culver, and they lived happily until Thomas Hearn came that way.  He and Mrs. Turpin eloped.  A few days ago she dropped dead in Florida.

From the Daily Republican  31 Aug 1891

"'Ostler Joe " Turpin

A special from Laurel, Del., to the  New York World says “about five years ago Joseph Turpin married Miss Culver, the daughter of a neighboring farmer. They lived happily together until Thos. Hearn, a very smooth young man, made his appearance at the house.

 One day Turpin went home and found a letter from his wife, stating that she could not live with him any longer and had decided to elope with Hearn. The runaway couple went to Florida, where Hearn has an orange grove.   They lived together there as man and wife.

Thursday the relatives of Mrs. Turpin received a telegram from Hearn saying that she had dropped dead. Turpin has started for Florida to bring back his wife's body.

The aged parents of the dead girl are prostrated over the sad occurrence
Above from the Middletown Transcript 10 Sep 1891

“Ostler Joe” refers to a poem by George Robert Sims that was popular at the time this article was written.  In 1908 it was made into a movie.  It was also popular as a poem to read at “readings and lectures”
Martha Ellen Culver (1862-1891) was the daughter of John Burton Culver and Elizabeth Eleanor Hearn.  The article says Joseph Turpin went to Florida to pick up his wife’s body and she is buried in St Stephen cemetery under the name of Martha E Culver.  Joseph or Josephus A Turpin married Martha Culver in 1881. Joseph was the son of Luther and Mary Turpin.  In 1889 Joseph would remarry to Ida Florence Hearn and they would have two children Elsie and Luther.

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