Can anyone help me find more information concerning the people in the following two marriage records for Dayton?
Homer A. Billings and Matilda Bliss
(both residents of Dayton)
married: 1 Jan 1865 in Dayton, Lyon Co
James W. E. Townsend and Elizabeth J. Lindsey
married: 1 Mar 1864 in Dayton, Lyon Co
Matilda Bliss’s maiden name was Matilda Lindsay. Her first husband was James Henry Jaqua, a Dayton resident for many years. The two were divorced sometime between 1862 and 1864. I am still unsure where the last name Bliss comes from, but I do know that Matilda and James Jaqua’s daughter Sarah Jaqua was listed as Sadie Bliss on an 1870 California Census. I know from letters of James Jaqua’s daughter that his children from his second marriage didn’t seem to know their father had been married before or that they had an older half-sister. I think perhaps Bliss is a fake name. Maybe not. If anyone could find a Bliss who was married around this time to a Mrs. Matilda Jaqua, it would explain a lot. Also, I know absolutely nothing of this Homer A. Billings. Matilda is listed on the 1870 and 1880 censuses as Matilda Billings but there is no sign of a husband, meaning she most likely divorced again or Homer died. I cannot find ANYTHING on Homer in Nevada. Even a simple birth year would be nice.
I believe this Elizabeth J. Lindsey might be Matilda’s younger sister Elizabeth Lindsay. I cannot prove this, however, without finding at least this woman’s birth year. My Elizabeth Lindsay was born about 1845 in Hancock Co, Illinois. As far as I can find, neither James nor Elizabeth are listed on the 1860, 1862 Territorial census or the 1870 Nevada Censuses. As a matter of fact, the only census I can find for James or Elizabeth is of James alone in California in 1880. He is listed, as married but there is no sign of a wife as he lives with only a business partner.
I believe this James W. E. Townsend to be the sort of famous newspaper writer/editor/entrepreneur James William Emery Townsend (aka “Lying Jim Townsend”). According to biographies, James came to Nevada in 1862 to work at the newspaper The Territorial Enterprise in Virginia City where he became good friends with Mark Twain. From about 1863-1865 he worked for Virginia City’s Daily Union. From 1865-1886 he moved back and forth between Nevada and Eastern California, working on several different newspapers, including time he spent working for the Reno Gazette. He ended back working on the Territorial Enterprise in Nevada and the Nevada Daily Index (Carson City), however, in 1886. He is supposed to have died in 1900 but I have no idea where.
Any further information on these people, such records or newspaper articles from Lyon Co about this time, would be greatly appreciated.