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Reason Wiley - Probate Papers #2154

Coles Co. Probate Court

Estate of Reason Wiley, Dec. Oct. term 1856.

To the Hon. Judge of said court.

Your petitioner, Eli Wiley, Administrator "De Bonis S(?)on" of the estate of Reason Wiley late of said county, deceased, showed that the said Reason Wiley departed this life on the 25th day of Aug. 1851.

That letters of administration on his estate were duly granted to S.S. Pepper who is since deceased, by the County Court of said County bearing date the 15th day of Sept. 1851.

That the said Reason Wiley died seized of certain lands in said county, described as follows, the north west 1/4 of the north west 1/4 of section No. one, in township eleven North, range ten east, thirty eight acres. The north east 1/4 of the north east 1/4 of section No. two, township Eleven No. Range, ten east, thirty-five acres. Also the south east 1/4 of the south east 1/4 of sect. No. thirty-five, township twelve north, range ten east, forty acres, and the south west 1/4 of the south west 1/4 of Sect. Thirty-six, township twelve north range ten east, forty acres.

That the files and records being filed in this office, show that the said S.S. Peppers administrator aforesaid, has applied all the proceeds of personal property in said estate, tot he liquidation of liability against the same, and that there is a deficit for which there is no provision, of debts against said estate of four hundred and seventy-five dollars or thereabouts (besides further costs), which will fully appear by reference to the files and records before alluded to.

That the inventory, appraisement Bill, and Sale bill, in said estate, have been duly filed in the office of the clerk of said court.

That Elizabeth Wiley is a widow and relict of said Reason Wiley, Dec.

That Alvin Wiley, and Mary E. Ellum are minor heirs of said Reason Wiley having no guardian resident in said Co., the said Alvin Wiley being male ten year so age, son of Reason Wiley Dec., and Mary e. Ellum, daughter of Zelda, dec., daughter of the said Reason Wiley, she being nine years of age.

Wherefore, you petitioner prays that this court may appoint some discreet person as Guardian "Ad Situm" for said minor heirs, to appear for them, and defend there (sic) interest herein.

Your petitioner would further represent, that although the sale of the whole lands might not be necessary, to supply the deficit against said estate; yet in as much as one of the heirs, viz., Owen Wiley, owns the widows interest, and four sixths of remainder, and that as he desires, a division of the lands would be prejudicial to the interest of the owner of those five shares, and a sale of the whole, not in full the minor heirs who own Ball__, would therefor ask this court to direct your petitioner to sell said real estate according to Law, and to make such further order herein as the said court may think proper.

Eli Wiley "De Bonis S(?)on"

[Transcribed by Kim Torp]

June 2, 1866 - Their uncle Lilbern G. DIXON petitioned to be appointed legal guardian of minors America Elizabeth DIXON, age 7 and William F. DIXON, age 10 who were his brother James B. DIXON's heirs-at-law of real estate in North Okaw Township valued at $1,500. He then periodically reported to the court the amounts of income earned from the land and the amounts paid out in support of the children.

October 15, 1866 in Coles Circuit Court - The people -vs- James GRIFFIN: Arraignment on indictment for bigamy. Defendant, accused of using the name “John” GRIFFIN and marrying Mrs. Susannah “Susan” (HOPPER) (DIXON) OWEN, widowed mother of the above minor children while still legally married to the former Elizabeth HUNT of Douglas County, Illinois, pleaded "not guilty" and was committed to county jail to await trial. Bail set at $500.

April 4, 1867 -
The People - vs - James Griffin: Indictment for Bigamy
Now comes the States Attorney who prosecutes &c and the defendant with his counsel comes also, and by leave &c. withdraws his plea in abatement heretofore filed in his behalf. Whereupon ensues a jury to-wit: George W. McCracken, A.G. Humphreys, Archibald Easton, John Fonware, William A. Noe, George W. Miller, H.C. Dunbar, William Healey, James T. Mock, Samuel Ewing, Marvin Ashmore, and James W. Hackett twelve good and lawful men, who being duly elected tried and sworn to well and truly try the issue joined and having heard the evidence and argument of counsel retire to their room to consider of their verdict and having so considered return into court and present their verdict as follows to-wit: We the jury find the defendant guilty and fix the time he shall serve in the Penitentiary at Eleven months. Whereupon the said defendant moves the court for a new trial which said motion being heard the court not being sufficiently advised takes time &c

April 14, 1867 - Now again comes the States Attorney who prosecutes &c and the defendant together with his counsel comes also, where said defendant withdraws his said motion for a new trial heretofore entered in his behalf, whereupon the said defendant is committed to jail to await sentence &c

April 31, 1867 – Now again comes the States Attorney who prosecutes &c and the defendant being brought into court. It is thereupon finally ordered and adjudged by the court that said defendant James Griffin be taken hence to the jail of Coles County that the Sherriff of said county convey him thence to the Penitentiary at Joliet in the State of Illinois that he be thence confined for the term of 11 months at hard labor and that he pay the costs of his prosecution.


Petition of Soloman Clark Swinford
In the matter of the Estate of Lilburn Swinford deceased, for Letters of Administration - Oct 1880

To the Hon (?) JR Cunningham (looks like) Judge of the Court of Coles County, in the State of Illinois:

The Petition of the undersigned, Soloman C. Swinford respectfully represents that Lilburn Swinford, late of the County of Coles aforesaid departed this life at ----?----- in said county, on or about the 2nd day of October A.D. 1880, leaving no last will and testament as far as your petitioner knows or believes. ......

...That said deceased left surviving him Frances Swinford his widow; and Wm. H. Swinford, Martha A. Graham, Mary E. Brown, July A. Morris, Lucy F. Rodgers, Sarah L. Applegate, Josephine Osborn, Franklin Swinford his children, as heirs.

That Petitioner (being brother of said deceased, and the widow having waved her right to administrator) believing that the said estate should be immediately, administered, as well for the proper management of said Estate as for the prompt collection of the assets, by virtue of his rights under the Statute he therefore prays that your Honor will grant Letters of Administration to him in the premises, upon his taking the oath prescribed by the Statue, and entering into bond in such sum, and with securities, as may be approved by your honor.

State of Illinois, Coles Co. signed Soloman C. Swinford says that the facts averred in the above petition are true, according to the best of his knowledge information and belief.

(looks like) M or H? R. Highland, Clerk of the County ----?------ of Coles County this 6th day October A.D. 1880 M or H? R. Highland Clerk


Soloman Clark Swinford was Great Grandfather to Carol Swinford Kessner, and a brother
to Lilburn Swinford (b. 31 Jan 1808 Harrison Co. KY). They were sons of James Madison Swinford and Sarah "Sally" Adams. They also had a brother John and several half siblings by James' second wife Mary Orr.
[The Petition of Soloman Swinford was extracted from a photo copy of Coles Co., IL. court records in possession of and contributed by Carol Swinford Kessner (Source #8)]


Judge A.M. Peterson's Will

"From the Mattoon Commercial"

as reported in the Newton Press, September 24, 1890
Transcribed by Kimberly Torp

The will of the late Judge Peterson was presented for probate at Charleston, Monday, September 15, 1890. The will, proper, was written in 1884 by Judge Hughes and witnessed by W.B. Dunlap and C.E. Wilson. The codicil which was added in 1886 was written by Judge Bennett and witnessed by him and Richard Cadle of Charleston.

The testament provides that all personal property and his business house at Charleston shall be given absolutely to Mrs. Peterson who is made executrix of the will. The income of all other real estate is given to Mrs. Peterson and after her death to John Peterson, brother of the Judge during his lifetime. (John Peterson has died since the making of the will). After the death of Mrs. Peterson a strip of land extending across the west eighty acres of Judge Peterson's farm in Lafayette township lying adjacent to Mattoon, bounded on the south by an extension of the north line of Broadway and on the north by an extension of the south line of Richmond street and also block 128 in the original town which lies adjacent to the above described strip are given to the city of Mattoon for a public park to be known as Peterson' Park. This donation covers above 20 acres and includes the brick dwelling house now situated near the east end of Broadway.

The residue of the real estate is to be sold by Judge Hughes, who is made a trustee for that purpose, and out of the proceeds, legacies to the amount of $1,000 to nieces of Judge Peterson are to be paid. Of the residue one sixth is to be paid to the city of Mattoon for the improvement and ornamentation of the above described park and the remainder is to be divided equally between the cities of Charleston and Newton for the purpose of purchasing sites for parks in the said cities.

The estate is worth about $25,000. No debts except those incurred during the last few weeks of his life are left unpaid. He left no provision in the will for a monument but to several personal friends he requested that a large granite boulder be taken from the farm and placed over his grave.


[Contributed by
Src# 157]

I, Charles A. Ward, of 102 West Madison Street, Charleston, Coles County, Illinois, being of lawful age, of sound and disposing mind and memory, and considering the uncertainty of this frail and transitory life, do therefore, make, ordain, publish and declare this to be my last Will and Testament.

FIRST: I order and direct that my executor, hereinafter named pay all my just debts and funeral espenses as soon after my decease as conveniently may be, including the cots of administration of my estate.

SECOND: After the payment of such funeral expenses and debts, I give, devise and bequeath to my beloved wife, Donnie May Ward, in fee simple title, all the real estate and personal property of every nature and kind
and wheresoever situated of which I may die seized or possessed or entitled to, to be hers for her sole uses and benefits forever.

THIRD: I make, constitute and appoint my wife, Donnie May Ward, to be Executor of this my Last Will and Testament, hereby requesting that no surety bond shall be required of her, as such executor; and I hereby revoke all former will snd codicils by me made.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto subsciribed my name, and affixed by seal, this the eighth day of December, in the year of our Lord, One Thousand, Nine Hundred, and Fifty-One, A.D. 1951.

/s/ Charles A. Ward (Seal)

This instrument was on the day of the date thereof signed, sealed, published and declared by the said testator, Charles A. Ward, to be his Last Will and Testament, in the presence of us, who at his request and in his presence and in the presence of each other, have subscribed our names hereto as witnesses.

WITNESS. /s/ C. Wade Barrick
WITNESS. /s/ M. F. Rominger

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