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Mary Polly Brown's marriages

Updated: Feb 4, 2021

Mary Polly Brown married Charles Russell Leonard. They lived together over 30 years and had nine known children and eventually separated. She married 2nd to Peter Welch in March of 1906 when she was about 68 years old. According to the media, however, she was never divorced from Charles and in 1908, just a few weeks before Charles died, Peter Welch filed for an annulment, which required the testimony of Charles, in addition to that of John Sherman, a witness who claims to have attended the wedding of Charles and Mary, to validate the marriage of Charles and Mary. Peter was finally granted a divorce in November of 1910.

A few questions remain:

1) Why in the marriage announcement is her name given as Mrs. Mary Wilson?

2) Why in her 1917 death announcement is her name given as Mary Walsh even though she and Walsh had been legally divorced since 1910? The burial register at Bird Cemetery also gives her name as Mary Walsh.

3) Why is it that in the 1906 marriage announcement claim Peter Walsh and Mary were married by Dr. Taft, but in the 1908 article it states they were married by Rev. Clapp and in the 1910 article it names Rev. Campbell? (See all three articles below).

4) Was John Sherman related to Cora Sherman (daughter-in-law of Charles & Mary by their son Lewis Leonard)?

Any clues or information would be appreciated. Comment below!


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