A Shamokin woman notorious for filing suits and counter-suits made the news again in July 1905 when she went to court in a dispute over a pig.
Mrs. Mary Simmonds had previously waged a courtroom battle over a duck valued at 45 cents, an incident that had cost the county $450. In reporting the new legal battle over a $5 pig, the Evening Item, Sunbury, estimated on Friday, July 28, this round might cost taxpayers up to $5,000.
“Mrs. Simmonds lately owned a nice little pig,” the Item explained. “It disappeared and Harmon Neidig told her Jacob Sesat, of Fairview, had it in his sty. Mrs. Simmonds went there and claimed the first little pig she saw, but Sesat said it was his, he had raised it, and refused to give the porker up.
“Whereupon Mrs. Simmonds invoked the strong arm of the law, and had Constable Zimmerman seize the pig and bring it to her sty. Sesat retained an attorney and again secured possession of the pig on a writ of replevin.”
In response, the Shamokin woman swore out a warrant, charging Sesat with larceny. The accused was hauled before a magistrate and was held in $200 bail for court.
“The last time Mrs. Simmonds was in the Northumberland County Court over her 45 cent duck, ten lawyers were interested in her case, six having been retained by her at one time or another, for her defense, and four appearing for the prosecution,” the Item reported. “When the numerous cases came up for trial the ten lawyers took a hand in it.
“If Mrs. Simmonds evinces the same interest in her $5 pig as she did in her 45 cent fowl, every lawyer in the county will appear in the momentous case.”