May 30, 1907
Call me an embittered divorcée—male though I may be—but it seems I can’t get enough of any tale involving marital disharmony (cf. May 25, or more saliently, May 17). Those in the thrall of wedded bliss, or, more likely, righteous pique, tut-tut our modern divorce rate. Well…
Old soldier Alonzo Stuart, 70, met Ida, 38, at a Sawtelle church. She spoke to him without an introduction (!) and during said discussion he revealed he owned an acre down on Fourth Street. They took a stroll to go look at the property, whereafter she promised to be a good and loving wife. He deeded her the acre. We know where this is going.
A good and loving wife she was not, as was evident on the very day of their marriage. While eating iced cream in Eastlake Park, the elder Stuart laid his arm affectionately across the shoulder of his new bride, but she moved her chair away, saying she did not care to be slobbered over. Stuart pal Frank Conckling recounts further tales of newlywedded smoochiness, including this one, after his visit to the Stuart’s Sawtelle home on Sixth: “She was sitting outside reading a murder story from a sensational paper. I asked her where Stuart was, and she said: ‘He’s inside cleaning up his dirt.’ I went in and found him down on his knees, scrubbing the floor.” Ida also reportedly stated to her husband that she was not going to be dictated to “by any damn man.”
At the trial, Alonzo admitted to being, at times, remorse and sullen, but only because his heart was grieving. And yes, he did brandish a pistol, but was calm and quiet and in fact perfectly good natured while doing so.
Ida recounted that they argued frequently—for example, she wished to go to the beach without him. “The last fuss we had was over religion,” she said. “There are so many different kinds of religion in Sawtelle.”
The value of the disputed property is $1,400.