He had been married five times one of them was a very unhappy one, which seem to spark his writing career. His first three marriages were ended by death of his companions, Maria Winchell Higley in 1852 from an epidemic:Eleanor Page Higley, the mother of Brewster Higley VII. Catherine Livingston Higley, mother of Estella and Arthur Herman, she later died from an injury in 1864. He later married a Mrs. Mercy Ann McPherson, a widow, and his fourth wife on Feb. 28, 1866.
This marriage was the one reported to have caused the doctor to take to drink and come to Kansas, He later send for his children to relatives in Illinois and left for an unannounced destination, which happened to be Smith County, Kansas in 1871.The fourth marriage was dissolved Feb. 9,1875 by default, after three letters publication in an Indiana paper. Almost a month later he married a Sarah Clemens at a place known as Jacob Jordan's, by a justice of the peace on March 8. The license was issued by my grgrgrandfather John C. Harlan, who was probate judge of Smith Co., Kansas at that time.
Mary Barr Norris