I am sure every family researcher has come across a scandalous story or two in there research. I am no different as I stumbled upon a story that my 2nd great-grandmother Susan A “Suzy” (Zitsch) Walton was at one time a prostitute. I had never heard of this story and not really sure how many persons in the family had known about this story anyway. I was told that she and my 3rd great-grandfather Frank M Walton had divorced after Suzy had abandoned him and the 3 little girls that they had. After a year or so apart a divorce petition was filed by Frank and this was where it got interesting. As I read the transcript of the divorce hearing I was floored to read that when Suzy was being served her divorce papers the gentleman serving had to do so at a “sporting house” and that he was left waiting for up to an hour as Suzy was umm….entertaining a male individual! Yes! My 3rd great-grandmother was actually served divorce papers while in the act of prostituting! How much clearer can a divorce case be settled than that. The divorce was finalized in 1901 and immediately thereafter Frank would remarry to another woman who was had her own demons as would later unfold a few years later and Frank Walton would once again be left with several more children from this marriage to raise himself.
Back to Suzy, she would eventually in 1918 marry a John Feeser and they would stay married the rest of there lives. Suzy died in 1941 and it is said that Frank whom always hoped of getting back with Suzy someday was among the mourners at her funeral. Why Suzy left her husband and kids has been speculated as possibly a reaction to losing a 4th child in infancy in 1897. We will never know the truth but the facts are what they are and are in the divorce record. I was able to gather some photos of Suzy over the years and she was always smiling and looked as an attentive mother and grandmother. Her story is a great one to tell for it’s torrid details but does end with a woman who reconciled with her family and had great relationships with her children and grandchildren.