Genealogy has become a hobby for me over the last 10 years. For me, it's like a puzzle, I love fitting the pieces together. But over the years, I've researched a lot that does not pertain to our family lines. Some for extended family, some for close friends, and some because I was trying to rule out lines to figure out where our line went exactly. I do not want these notes on my Heather's Genealogy Notes blog - because they are not our lines. But I do like to share all of my research, in case it benefits others. That is what this blog is for - research I have done that does not apply to our own family lines, but may be helpful for someone else.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Mystery of Samuel Sulouff & The 14 yr old girl he disappeared with

This research began with me finding an article about Samuel's brother John going missing in the woods, "disappeared like his brother Samuel".  Both of these boys were the sons of Lucian Hardin Sulouff, my great great grandfather. It appeared, from the article,that Samuel had run off with his 14 year old girlfriend. 

 When Samuel disappeared with 14 year old Helen, he was 29.     Samuel's wife had sued him for divorce prior to his disappearance, citing dalliances with young girls.

 Following the news reports, I don't know that Helen's parents ever found out what happened to her. Update - one of Helen's granddaughters contacted me and told me that there are articles referencing calls Helen made home to her father in later years, so the family did eventually find out where she was.  This grandaughter spoke with the daughter of Samuel & Beatrice, and that daughter said she knew of her fathers history, but to her he was a great father, great farmer, and attended church regularly.

  Samuel and Helen had 4 children together, Living under the names Frank E. & Helen Sthoeman.  But before the last daughter was born, he had run off with another young girl - this one age 16.   Samuel was 37 at the time.  He  married her (was he legally married to Helen at the time?  We don't know.) and went to Colorado, where he was arrested and then brought back to Kansas.  Amazingly to me, there is no mention of anyone realizing who he really is, or that him and Helen were missing from PA.

Samuel claims at trial to be married to the new abductee, showing proof, but even if he is not legally married to Helen, there are grounds for a common law marriage to her, so this is still bigamy.  He pleads guilty to the charge of "concubinism".

  In the midst of all of this, Helen wins an award at a PTA event.  Life goes on..  but look at the article, the roll call that night was "How I Met My Husband".  I so wish I knew what she answered to that question!

Samuel (AKA Frank) disappears for awhile (he was sentenced to 1-5 years) and then appears in 1941 in Garret Kansas. According to another researcher, Samuel, now using the name Frank Sulouff, married Beatrice in February of 1941.

 20 years later, in 1961 I find his new wife, Mrs Frank Sulouff, in her mothers obituary, thus learning that her maiden name was Beatrice Roberts.  

Then just 4 years later, Frank kills Beatrice in a car accident.  In 1966 Frank, the defendant, wins a $150,000 lawsuit against him stemming from the accident.

Frank lived to age 82 in 1982, but managed to stay out of the headlines, from what I can tell, the last 20 years of his life.

All of the news articles detailing this story are below, in order.  There are a lot of them.

Samuel Edward Sulouff
AKA Frank C. Sthoeman
Born February 27 1900
Died 1982

1900 - Samuel Born

1924 Samuel Married Susan Baumgardner
 December 24, 1924
Susan was 17, Samuel 24
Married December 24 1924
Susan Braumgardner
Born about 1907

Nov 19  - Son Samuel E. Sulouff Jr is born
21 days later, December, Samuel Jr Dies.

Divorced in 1929 - after being caught in compromising position with 14 year old girl.
A week after his divorce, Samuel & 14 year old Helen Millheim go missing.

Samuel Sulouff  age 29, disappears, along with 14 year old Helen Millheim

"Married" 2nd, using the name  "Frank C. Sthoeman"
Helen Claire Milheim
Daughter of Stewart Curry & June Helen (Leo) Milheim
Born April 28 1915 in Cayuga NY
Died July 3 1983 in Kennewick, WA

A 1925 Star Coach, a vehicle like the one Sulouff & Milheim left in

May 2 1930

June 1930
Gloria Evelyn Sthoeman

was born June 22 1930
4 daughters were born to "Frank" & Helen, Gloria was the first.

April 30 1931
1932 - 
May 11 1932, 2nd daughter, Mildred, is born

1935 - 
3rd daughter is born to Helen

1937 - Helen & Samuel (Frank) Lived in Hutchinson Kansas under the name FE & Helen Sthoeman, at   603 N. Star Street, Hutchinson, Kansas

Google Street view of that location today

Then in August - He Takes ANOTHER young girl, while still married to Helen, who is pregnant with his 4th daughter. 

In September of 1937, he's being held in Colorado on charges of taking Alice Smith, age 16 - but apparently no one knows that F E Sthoeman is an alias, and that he took his wife Helen when she was 14.

1938 - 
4th daughter is born to Helen & Samuel/ "Frank"

In the midst of all of this, Helen wins a prize at a PTA event.
Do not miss the irony.  Roll call was "How I met my husband".

May 2 1938  - Back in Pa, the couple is still in the news as missing.  At the time this article is written, Frank is most likely serving time in jail in Kansas for abducting a second girl.

In 1940  census Helen is listed as a widow (But "Frank Sulouff" didn't die until 1982)

1940 United States Federal Census about Helen Sthoeman
Name: Helen Sthoeman
Respondent: Yes
Age: 24
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1916
Gender: Female
Race: White
Birthplace: New York
Marital Status: Widowed
Relation to Head of House: Head
Home in 1940: Hutchinson, Reno, Kansas
Map of Home in 1940: View Map
Street: Star Street
House Number: 603
Farm: No
Inferred Residence in 1935: Hutchinson, Reno, Kansas
Residence in 1935: Hutchinson, Reno, Kansas
Resident on farm in 1935: Yes
Sheet Number: 15B
Number of Household in Order of Visitation: 298
House Owned or Rented: Rented
Value of Home or Monthly Rental if Rented: 12
Attended School or College: No
Highest Grade Completed: Elementary school, 8th grade
Weeks Worked in 1939: 0
Income: 0
Income Other Sources: Yes
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Helen Sthoeman 24
Gloria Sthoeman 9
Mildred Sthoeman 7
Marion Sthoeman 5
Donna Sthoeman 2

1941In 1941 I find mention of a "Frank Sulouff" in Garret, Kansas.

1957 - Mrs Frank Sulouff is selling Turkeys

In 1961 I find this obit that gives us insight on who Beatrice Sulouff is.  Beatrice is a year younger than Helen, if the date on her tombstone is correct.

1965 - Beatrice, age 48, dies in car accident, Frank is driving

Beatrice had a sister, Mrs. Melvin Dixon

1982 - Samuel/Frank/FE Sulouff/Sthoeman, dies
 U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 about Frank Sulouff
Name: Frank Sulouff
SSN: 515-38-5494
Last Residence:
66006 Baldwin City, Douglas, Kansas, USA
BORN: 27 Feb 1900
Died: Oct 1982
State (Year) SSN issued:


From an Family Tree Comment - 
Helen Claire Milheim, married 4 times(questionable if actual ceremony occurred in some of these "marriages". Her first "Marriage" was to Frank C. Stoeman AKA Samuel Suloff, 4 children from this liason; second was to Rubin Base, with 3 children 2 boys and 1 girl were born, then Rubin divorced her in August 1955. When her son David R. Base got married in August of 1971, his mother Helen C. was listed as Mrs. Eugene Phillips. When she died in 1983 her death recorded her name as Helen C. Honeycutt. Her 1st 4 children with Mr Stoeman or more rightly Mr. Suloff resulted in 2 living Stoeman daughters, and 2 deceased daus: Gloria Evelyn Stoeman 1930-1990 and Mildred Marie Stoeman 1932-1984?. Helen is one of the branches on my tree through her grandmother Milheim. I believe above to be accurate, but must admit I feel I need to pursue Mr. Stoeman a bit more. Hope this will be helpfull to you......I do have a pic of Helen as a child of about 4 or 5 yrs. of age.


No comments:

Post a Comment