An Unexpected Breakthrough in the Saga of Sidney and Annie Saunders

I honestly don’t know what to think about what I just read. This is going to take some digesting. I have been chasing rabbits (as I like to say) and the rabbit I have been chasing is William C. Hardin, Annie Saunders’ second husband. This week, I found a transcription of his will on Ancestry. He stated he divorced Annie “…about sixteen or seventeen years ago…” (will dated Sept. 29, 1924). He gave most of his money to his adopted daughter Dell Hardin and another girl he says he helped raise, Florence Gibbons. The more I read, the more I get an uneasy feeling about that particular relationship. Anyway, I did some Google sleuthing (found Dell’s birth name!) and it lead me to a Google Book hit. Right after Sidney died, Annie hired a man to help her with her finances in Texarkana (property management, etc..). She sued him for embezzlement and won! This book, called The Texas Court of Appeals Reports: Cases Argued and Adjudged in The Court of Appeals of The State of Texas” 1891 has a trial transcript for an appeal in the case. There are 40!!!! pages of testimony from Annie, the man she sued, different witnesses, even testimony from her eventual second husband W.C. Hardin! What has me in utter shock is they forced her to testify as to how Sidney died, the fight over her inheritance, the gossip, the scramble over finding the marriage license….all of it. If you want to read for yourself, go here:

and start on page 466. It just turns over some of the things I thought about Annie and Sidney. Maybe he did try to kill her before he turned the gun on himself. The family thought SHE killed him! Maybe they weren’t married. Maybe Annie did bribe a judge into forgeing a marriage document. It is all in who you believe. Wow.

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