Last Thursday, when I decided to reopen that particular can of worms that is Dr. Herbert Davidson Percival, I did not suspect I would ever find anything more on him. I search for him constantly, ever hopeful that someday I would know for sure if he died at the hands of a robber (the family lore) or if he just took off.
I found some information that led me to believe he might still be in California in 1896, per a September 12, 1896 blurb in the Cincinnati (Ohio) Post:
"Unfavorable word has been received from Miss Cynthia King. She has asked for further leave of absence from the school board on account of her health. She is at Los Angeles, Cal., and is most delightfully situated with Dr. and Mrs. Herbert Percival."
Really? Per the 1896 Los Angeles City Directory, Kate Percival is listed as the widow of Dr. H. D. Percival.
Then I found this article in the Los Angeles Times on June 19, 1896 on page 10:
"Decree of Divorce
Kate G. Percival was granted a divorce from H. D. Percival in Judge McKinley's court yesterday, upon the ground of desertion. "
Do you divorce a dead man? Not likely. So is it likely that Miss Cynthia King was happily situated with Dr. and Mrs. Herbert Percival? I don't think so.
I have always had that niggling thought that Herbert took off. My personal feeling is that he was always living in the shadow of his cousin, Dr. William Percival (Kate's second husband.) Certainly no letters survive in our family archives after the late 1880's when his Aunt Eliza Oliver Shacklett nee Percival died.
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