Prominent Nampa People Involved—Mrs. Jesse J. Walling Makes Grave Charges
A sensational divorce suit was filed in the district court Friday when Mrs. Ella M. Walling instituted proceedings against Jesse J. Walling, a well known Nampa real estate dealer. Mrs. Walling alleges that her husband started action to have her decreed insane so that he could deprive her of her estate, and then sent her to a Portland sanitorium where she was practically held as prisoner, and where she was given medical treatment that sapped her vitality and undermined her health.
The plaintiff alleges that on a number of occasions her husband kicked and otherwise ill-treated her. His denial of funds to properly support her made it necessary for her to establish millinery stores in Nampa, and at this place, it is claimed. Walling, however, sold these stores at great sacrifices while she was attending the National Educational association meeting in Portland, the complaint states, with deliberate and malicious intent to wreck the business and place the plaintiff at the mercy of her husband.
When Declared Insane
In August 1917, without due notice, Mrs. Walling claims, procedures were instituted to declare her insane, and a “pretended order” to that effect was issued by the Canyon county probate court, with J.H. Cowell as guardian of her estate. Mrs. Walling alleges this was a conspiracy to unlawfully deprive her of her civil rights and the enjoyment of her estate. It caused shame and humiliation among her friends, she says.
Later she was prevailed upon by the defendant and others to go to Mountain View sanitarium at Portland to recuperate. Here, according to the complaint, she was soon dissatisfied and endeavored to leave only to find that her clothes had been removed and that she was a virtual prisoner there. Communication was denied her with friends and her health rapidly became impaired. She alleges that drugs were administered that rapidly sapped her strength and health, causing her muscles and nerves to be paralyzed.
Escapes From Asylum
In February 1918 she was permitted to leave and being too ill to complain or object to any plans made for her, she was taken to the home of H.D. Poore, a Portland physician. While here she says that her husband repeatedly asked Dr. Poore to refuse her permission to communicate with friends. In the belief that Mrs. Walling as set forth in the compliant, this was done to dominate her and subject her to cruel and inhuman treatment and without just cause.
In March 1919, the probate court order was rescinded after a long fight and she was restored to legal mental competency. Since that time Walling has failed to provide for her needs, according to the complaint.
Mr. Walling is one of the wealthy real estate men of Nampa with an income estimated at $10,000 per annum. Mrs. Walling, in asking for a division of the community property, places its value at $100,000, of which $60,000 is realty, about $20,000 is stock in the Walling Land company and other property whose value is unknown to her.
They were married at Caldwell March 10, 1896. There are no children. Her case is being handled by Joe Partridge, a young Nampa attorney.
Source: Caldwell Tribune, May 23, 1919.