Friday, September 22, 2017

Norwood's Dr. Bullitt WINS!! Part 2 Civil War Weekend at


Looking east on Mohawk Ave. toward Cleveland Ave. from Winona Ave. about 1908.

Note: Part two of the Bullitt Case, a Norwood millionaire wanted to marry a 17 year old. His family wanted him declared insane. The case was appealed all the way to the State Supreme Court and Bullitt won and married his teenage bride. A man after my own heart, Bullitt contended people would think he was insane if he did NOT want to marry a teenage girl. The couple celebrated with a party of over 500 guests!!

 October 15, 1913


 Supreme Court Decision Sustains his Appeal from action of County Tribunal

In an opinion handed down by Justice Brown of the Supreme Court sitting in Pittsburgh, Pa., yesterday.  Dr. John Christian Bullitt of Norwood was sustained in his appeal from a ruling of the Common Pleas Court of Delaware County, which allowed exceptions taken by a brother to the report of a commission which had examined Dr. Bullitt for lunacy.  By the decision, Dr. Bullitt’s sanity is established according to the finding of the commission.  Dr. Bullitt was represented by W. I. Schaffer, and Logan Bullitt and sisters were represented by V. Gilpin Robinson.
            The lengthy litigation in the Bullitt case which has attracted considerable attention from the prominence of the parties concerned, was due to the announcement of the engagement of Dr. Bullitt to Miss Edith Dever, seventeen years old of Philadelphia.  Dr. Bullitt’s brother Logan M. Bullitt, and two sisters, Mrs. Therese L. Coles and Miss Julia Bullitt endeavored to prove that Dr. Bullitt was irresponsible because he was mentally unbalanced.  Dr. Bullitt was then thirty-eight years old.  The case was tried in the courts of this country.
            A lunacy commission was appointed which found, after the testimony of alienist was completed, that Dr. Bullitt was sane.  His brother and sisters took objection to the finding of the commission and were sustained by the judges of the county courts.  Dr. Bullitt, then made an appeal, resulting in the sustaining of his appeal and the establishing of his sanity.
Dr. Bullitt married Miss Dever after a commission declared he was sane.  The brother and sisters filed exceptions to the finding of the commission, and the Delaware County Court dismissed the entire proceedings before the commission.
            In effect, this ruling deprived Dr. Bullitt of the benefit of the finding of the commission that he was of sound mind.  The brother and sisters objected to the admission and rejection of evidence before the commission under the Act of June 10, 1897, which provides that a court may dismiss all proceedings before a commission when sufficient exceptions are sustained.
The cost of the appeal is put upon the brother and sisters, and the lower court is reversed by the Supreme Court.
In reviewing the case, Justice Brown says:  “Dragged into Court on the charge of lunacy, the inquest found that he was sane, but by the court’s decree that finding is swept away.  He was entitled to the benefit of it; and if the appellees were dissatisfied with it and felt aggrieved by it, the stature permitted them to traverse the finding and of going before a jury in the Common Pleas with their charge of lunacy.
“This course they chose not to pursue, but, asserting a right to file exceptions under the Act of 1897, they seek to have their own proceedings dismissed.  I they did not care to further prosecute them, they could have permitted the return of the commission to become absolutely confirmed.
            “Instead of this, after their unsuccessful contest before the inquest, they in effect, asked that the proceedings be set aside.  We are clear that the Act of 1897 was not intended for any such purpose, but solely to enable a Court of Common Pleas to determine, upon a review of the testimony before the inquest, whether there was evidence to sustain a finding of lunacy.  When the finding is against lunacy, the proceedings come to an end automatically, unless the finding is traversed by the petitioner for the commission.
            “It is not to be presumed by implication that the Legislature intended that a petitioner for a commission in lunacy should play fast and loose with his proceedings, to the palpable wrong of the respondent, declared by an inquest to be sound mind.”

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