I’m leaving my colorful individual as a work in progress because I keep finding more and would like to get this posted before the end of the year! Franklin J. Scougale was my great-great-great grandfather Ephraim Wright’s stepson. Ephraim was quite a colorful individual himself but eclipsed by Frank.
Frank was sixteen years old in 1866 when his 39-year-old mother Sophronia married 80-year-old Ephraim six months after the death of his first wife. Frank was already a military veteran having enlisted in Co. K of the 9th Michigan Infantry 3 February 1864 at Corunna, Shiawassee, Michigan at the actual age of 14 but claiming to be 18. His brother George enlisted in the same unit the same day and same place at the age of 16 also claiming to be 18. Maybe they said they were twins? Both survived the war and returned home to Michigan.
Ephraim was quite the wheeler-dealer in real estate. The former Mrs. Scougale had a farm in what is now Durand, Michigan. A railroad line had been proposed to go slightly south of the area; the proposed route is shown in the 1875 Shiawassee County Atlas and is a nice straight line. According to a Lucius Gould who was a local historian and the nephew of the attorney who was making the deals for the railroad’s right-of-way, Ephraim, Franklin and several other people whose property would benefit from a slight tweaking of the right-of-way came to call on his uncle. Possibly some money changed hands. The railroad line as built in 1876 has an odd angle that just happens to make it go right through the Scougale farm. Ephraim died at the age of 93 in 1879 before he saw his plan to completion.
Frank had married in 1870 and by 1880 had five children and was a hotel-keeper in the new village of Durand. Unfortunately, his wife died in November of 1880 and at some point, he headed to the west as he is living in Valley City, Dakota Territory by 1889. His two daughters were left in his mother Sophronia’s care and when she died in 1886, her will stated that the money she owes on a note held by Frank is more than offset by the expenses of taking care of his daughters and her estate does not need to pay it off.
But prior to his leaving Michigan, Frank was involved in a legal case Storrs vs. Scougale that came before the Michigan Supreme Court. The details of Frank’s part have been hard to pin down as the focus was on the action of the defense that violated physician’s privacy rules see: https://case-law.vlex.com/vid/12-n-w-502-617979199 and https://www.courtlistener.com/opinion/1925268/schechet-v-kesten/.
Frank continued west and ventured into gold mining in Washington state:
“About 1896 F.J. Scougale worked 14 claims near the mouth of Ruby Creek. Using a small hydraulic plant he recovered $950 worth of gold nuggets. These claims, totaling 420 acres, were later purchased by the Ruby Hydraulic Gold Mining Company with the intent to work the placer ground. ... All the mining site was flooded by the backwaters of the Skagit River in 1947.” From National Park Service site https://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/noca/hrs/sec3.htm which gives these references as the source of the information:
Hodges, Lawrence K., editor. Mining in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle: Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 1897. Shorey Book Store Reproduction, Seattle, 1967: p. 58.
Chriswell, Harold. Mount Baker Almanac. United States Forest Service, Mt. Baker National Forest, 1950. Typescript: p.144
I also have some old notes indicating Frank was involved in a court case in Wisconsin related to the mine in Washington but have not been able to find the information on the internet again.
On the 1900 Census Frank lists his occupation as real estate dealer and he is living at Everett, Snohomish, Washington and has a wife named Mary. At least I think it is the same Frank. He has daughters born in North Dakota about the time he was living there. About 1903, Frank married a much younger woman named Cora and they had a son in 1905. IF this is the same Frank, hopefully he and Mary divorced as she appears to have lived until the 1930’s.
In 1913, Frank is involved in Sandberg v. Scougale another state supreme court level case in Washington state that involved timber land purchased in 1906 near Gig Harbor. http://courts.mrsc.org/washreports/075WashReport/075WashReport0313.htm
And, a second related case Thomas v. Scougale involving a problem with his lawyer in 1916. http://courts.mrsc.org/washreports/090WashReport/090WashReport0162.htm
Frank died 15 May 1923 at Gig Harbor, Pierce, Washington.
His brother Monroe was elected Sheriff of Shiawassee County in 1896 and appears to have also been involved in a lawsuit Scougale v. Sweet (1900) which I have found numerous references to, but not the actual case.