|Source: TSLA, Hickey v Henson case file.|
Henson appealed the bastardary case and put up a $500 bond to cover the costs and damages. In March 1860, the court heard testimony from witnesses on behalf of Henson, who said he was a man of good character, owned one or two farms and had two other children. Three witnesses said "Mrs. Hickey was too old to control the child."
David Kidwell testified on behalf of Rachel, confirming Martha Hickey had died in 1859 and Rachel had been caring for the boy. He was now helping around the farm, "going to the mill, plow and being great service to his grandmother." Kidwell also noted how Rachel had inherited her husband's farm, how Thomas Hickey had provided for Theodore in his will, and how Rachel had sent the child to school so he could read and write.
|Source: TSLA, Henson v Hickey appeal.|
The court reconvened on 21 August 1860. After reviewing the evidence and testimony, it awarded custody to William P. Henson. The court also noted that Rachel had not been at fault in the case, and ordered Henson to pay her court costs. On 24 August Rachel appealed, requesting a new trial. This was rejected and discharged by the court. Through her counsel, Rachel appealed the case to the Tennessee Supreme Court in Knoxville. Richard Thornhill and Edward Snoddy appointed S.S. McCristian as counsel for Rachel (he was clerk of the court at the time). Samuel Thornhill and Henry Ryan served as witnesses in the request for appeal.
The appeal was filed on 6 September 1860. Counsel for Rachel argued that the court ruled in error. It is not clear what the final disposition of the case was. Rachel Cannon Hickey died in 1861. I have not been able to find Theodore Hickey or Henson in the census records, so I do not know what happened after he was placed into the care of his father William.
The case again shows how intertwined and connected the relationships were among the Thornhill, Hickey and Ryan families in Jefferson County. With the next post I'll take a look at the family of Thomas D. Hickey and Rachel Cannon Hickey.