Insanity on a Slow News Day in Norwalk, Ohio

woman-arrestedMonday, February 4, 1907 was a slow news day in Norwalk, Ohio. The most interesting item appeared in The Norwalk Daily Reflector: Miss Anna Benison of Mayhew Block on East Main Street was arrested on a charge of insanity.

The previous Thursday, January 31st, Miss Benison had quarreled with her neighbor, the wife of a James Cruikshank (of course, this woman is not identified by her first name, as was usual for married women in those days). The conflict escalated to blows, which is when the women’s brothers intervened.

In the melee that followed, Miss Benison’s brother Robert punched Mrs. Cruikshank’s brother Robert Smariege in the nose. Mr Benison was  arrested for assault and battery and subsequently fined five dollars by the Mayor. He was released on the promise to “pay the fine and costs some time next month.”

That would seem to be the end of the affair, but the Cruikshanks and Smariege were not willing to let the matter rest until Miss Benison was brought to justice. So, on this date in 1907, the woman was hauled before the Probate Judge who continued the case and ordered her released–a strange thing to do with an insane woman, don’t you think?



“Neighborhood Quarrel Winds Up Before Mayor, The Norwalk Daily Refector, February 1, 1907, page 1, column 1.

“Woman Arrested, Insanity Charge, The Norwalk Daily Refector, February 4, 1907, page 2, column 4


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