The following contains a sensitive subject. It is not my intent to hurt anyone or spread gossip. The actions of John Dupree were his choice. Those choices affected other people’s lives and stories. That is why I am compelled to tell this story. May healing come to those that need it.
The incident in question happened over 100 years ago. The times were different, as were the laws. I am not going to ‘try’ John Dupree based on our current laws. It is up to the user of this website to read through all the [known] newspaper articles and form their own opinion.
John Dupree was tried and convicted twice in a court of law. Both were overturned for legal technicalities, not because he was innocent. He plead guilty before a third trial, after jumping bail and disappearing for nearly a year. He was fined $1000 as his punishment.
No matter which time period you place John Dupree’s actions, he was a child molester. He was 60 years old when this offense occurred, but we know now that this kind of behavior doesn’t start in old age. This had been going on for awhile. It was the first time he was caught by the legal system.
John’s wife, Cornelia Dupree, was instrumental in Lena Roetman becoming a ward of the State of Michigan because she was “neglected and treated cruelly by relatives”. Was this abuse actually John Dupree molesting Lena and did Cornelia remove his ‘temptation’ before it could be found out?
*Grand Rapids Herald documents were obtained from the Grand Rapids Public Library Digital Collections
Grand Rapids Press documents were obtained from GenealogyBank.com