They came back and said they were married.

State vs. Ruffin Cook & Dora Stephens  }  Before Elias G. Barnes J.P.

Oscar Neal, being duly sworn, testifies as follows: Dora Stephens has been living on my place and near my house, about three years. Last June Ruffin Cook came to Dora’s and he or Dora or both asked me for a mule and buggy to go to Lucama to get married. They came back and said they were married, and have lived together since as man and wife so far as I have been able to see. They seemed to stay in the same room at night.

Joe Barnes being sworn testifies as follows: I went to Dora’s on the night of _____ at 3 o’clock A.M. and she and Ruffin were in bed together. I thought nothing of it as I thought they were married.

Ruffin Cook has a living wife. She was at this trial. Lives at Knightdale Wake county. Dora also has a living husband it is said.

——

On [illegible] December 1898, Gillis Stevens, 20, son of Gillis and Silvey Stevens, married Dora Adams, 20, daughter of Albert and Spicey Adams in Springhill township. Spencer S. Shaw applied for the license.

In the 1900 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: Gillis Stephens, 22; wife Dora, 25; and son Henry, 1.

In the 1910 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: farm laborer Dora Stevens, 36, divorced; with children Henry, 9, James, 8, Spicy, 6, Pearl, 4, and Petdonia, 3 months.

In the 1920 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: Dora Stevens, 39, described as divorced; and her children Henry, 20, James, 18, Spicy, 16, Pearl 12, Pet D., 10, and Albert, 1.

Undated, Adultery Records, Miscellaneous Records, Records of Wilson County, North Carolina State Archives.

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