Minerva stayed with her parents through the war, and then reunited all of her younger children at a farm near Crab Orchard – 60 miles northwest of Barbourville — where the boys worked as farm laborers. It is unclear where Maggie was after 1860 until she shows on the 1880 census as reunited with her father, William, who is working as a laborer on a farm in Knox County. However, Maggie likely was living with her mother near Crab Orchard, because in 1879 she filed a paternity suit in Crab Orchard claiming Bennie F Dunn as father of her child. Bennie did not deny the accusation and so, given the time parameters, may well be George Benjamin Frederick’s father.
From an 1879 Lincoln County newspaper
Kentucky bastardy laws were intended to allow mothers a recourse to obtain financial support for a child born out of wedlock. The suits were typically started when the woman became obviously pregnant. Courts commonly assumed the truthfulness of women in reporting the father of their children, and so bastardy cases rarely went to trial like Maggie’s did. That it did go to trial, and that hers is the only case in Lincoln County of that era where newspapers reported a mother losing the case, suggests that Maggie was considered disreputable. She apparently had another son (George’s younger brother, Boyd) out of wedlock, as well.
In 1870-1880, Benjamin F Dunn was a farmer from Lancaster, Gerrard County, about 12 miles due north of Crab Orchard. He was the youngest child of Uriah Dunn and his wife, Sarah Porter, who owned their own farm. Sarah died in 1840, right after Benjamin was born. Uriah remarried to Virginia Pettus in 1847. There are no records of Benjamin’s marriage or his death.