The Last Will and Testament of John E. (Johann Ernst) Kayser
Donated by ©Myra Best Christeck

My Last Will
Liberty Prairie, Madison County, Illinois, December 20th 1877

 So long and that is until the death of my wife, my farm shall be leased annually and my wife shall have the use of the money received for rent.  After her death, the Executors of this will or testament shall sell the farm to the highest bidder at public sale, but shall have the power to reject the bid in case the bid on that day should be considered too low.
 The money realized out of the sale of the farm and the outstanding cash money shall be added together and be divided share and share alike between my following children, viz:
 Minna Eppelsheimer, Maria Kann, Carl Kayser and Albert Kayser
Those to whom I have already loaned cash money and for which notes will be found, of course, shall receive that much less in the division than the ones who have as yet received nothing.
 The house and lot that I own in the City of Litchfield and the 2300 dollars which I have given him in cash I bequeath to my son Herman Kayser and therewith he shall be paid off and satisfied, the note for this sum which I still have in my possession shall be returned to him, and my son Herman shall come in possession of his inheritance immediately after my death.
 The bequest to my daughter Minna shall be invested in Real Estate or United States Bonds, but should she remarry this bequest shall absolutely belong to the children Otto and Franz Eppelsheimer, yet the property shall not be delivered to them before they both have passed their twenty-second year; in case my daughter still lives and does not remarry, she alone shall control her property to her own and best idea.
 After long and careful deliberation, I have written this my last will, and therefore wish all my children to be thankful to me, because I only wished to do the best.
 In order that this Testament shall be carefully executed according to my will, I herewith appoint Carl Bruening in Bethalto and Christian Scheer as executors of my testament.
         Johann Ernst Kayser

Heinrich Thurman
Friedrich Nietert

Note: The will was executed immediately after the death of Elise, his wife, in 1901.  By that time, Carl Bruening had died, and Christian Scheer had become disabled and requested that his appointment be rescinded.  The first-born son, Charles F. Kayser, became the executor of the estate.

Donated by Myra Best Christeck, great-great-granddaughter

George Smith
Madison Co IL, Probate Record Box 61
George Smith will dated 18 Apr 1855 naming his wife, Azubah Smith; younger son, Benjamin G. Smith; daughter, Naoma R, wife of John Risk; son, Alba R. Smith; daughter, Azuba wife of C.P.V Ransom; and heirs of son George Smith. Affidavit of decease by Benjamin Smith states that George Smith died 19 Apr 1856. The final account did not list heirs. One of the miscellaneous pieces of paper listed “Capt.” George Smith.

Submitted by Barb Ziegenmeyer:
Date: January 12, 1864
Know by all me these present that, I, Stephen H. Long of the U.S. Army by the Grace of God, do make and declare this Instrument in writing to be my last Will & Testament, in relation to the disposition and distribution of my worldly goods, Estates, and all other property real and personal or mixed I may be possessed at and before my decease.

Item 1st.I give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Martha Long, all my goods, chattels estates, real, personal and mixed to have, hold and use the same so long as she may remain my widow, said goods estates, etc to be disposed of and used agreeable to her direction and approval, and in such manner as she may deem conducive to the welfare and comfortable subsistence herself and our beloved children, William D. Long, Henry C. Long, Lucy S. Breckinridge.

Item 2nd. From and after the demise of said Martha the said surviving of the said William D., Henry and Lucy or either of them shall share equally with the said William, Henry and Lucy in the division and distribution of said goods, estate, etc.

Item 3rd.It is hereby expressly understood that the bequests provided for the forgoing items, except for the benefit of said Martha, my wife, shall be null, void and forfeited in the event that any or either individual of my heirs as above, should prove inebriate in intemperate, or otherwise, incompetent and disqualified for the safe and economical use and management of the property, intended for his, her or their benefit, and in case of such delinquency from and after its perpetration, the individual or individuals so offending shall forfeit and be deprived of any part or portion of  my said goods, estates, etc, other than such as may be awarded by Trustees or Guardians appointed by my principal Executor , hereinafter named, or by other lawful authority.

Item 4th, With regard to my homestead lately purchased of Alfred Dow and others, and now occupied by my family, no sale division or distribution shall be made thereof except as hereinafter provided for, but the same shall remain in the occupancy and possession of some one or more of my said family, so long as the homestead shall be kept by the occupants thereof in good condition and repair in all respects, but in case said occupants should fail to keep said homestead in good condition and repair, then and in that event, the said homestead is hereby donated to the City of Council of Allen, Illinois, to be occupied exclusively  as a seminary for young ladies, of not less tan 15 or more than 20 of whom shall be admitted as pupils at one and the same time, with the express understanding that when the said homestead shall cease to be occupied as a female seminary, and kept in good condition and repair in all respects, as such, said homestead shall remain no longer in possession of said City Council, but shall revert and become permanently  the property of my heirs as designated in the 1st and 2nd items of this instrument, and shall be subject to a like division and distribution as those prescribed for other parts of my Estates, goods, etc.

Item 5th, the 5 acre lot in Hardin’s sub-division, westward of the City of Chicago, purchased of George E. Cooke, in 1856, shall be subdivided into half acre lots with such streets and alleys as may be deemed proper and shall be disposed of as special bequests to and for the several individuals and objects hereafter designated in this Item each being entitled to one of the sub-divided half acre lots. The individuals and objects are as follows, to –wit:

1st. Caroline Bartlett, wife of Baily Bartlett of Weatherford , Vermont .

2nd. Enoch Long, as heir of Stephen H. Long , his son deceased late of Galen , Illinois

3rd. Stephen H. Long, son of George W. Long, of Madison County, Illinois

4th. Stephen S. Breckinridge, my grandson of Alton , Illinois

5th. William S. Breckinridge, my grandson  of Alton , Illinois

6th. Thedocia P. Breckinridge, my granddaughter of Alton , Illinois

7th. Lucy Breckinridge, my granddaughter of Alton Illinois

8th. Village Protestant Church} {lots for all them which will be

9. Village School House } selected at or near the center

10. Village Common }the aforesaid five acre lot.}

Item 6th. I hereby constitute, and appoint Marcus P. Breckinridge, my son in law, as principal Executor and Administrator to carry into effect, on consultation and approval of the said Martha, my wife, and others of my family. All the provisions and bequests contemplated in this my last Will & Testament, the said Henry being desired and expected to aid and assist the said Marcus, in the arduous and responsible duties revolving on the latter matter as principal Executor and Administrator , whenever the assistance of the said Henry is needed and required by the said Marcus, who is desired and expected to fix his permanent residence with his wife and children in and at said homestead while the said assistant Executor etc. is likely to be absent therefrom more or less frequently and for longer or shorter period.
Indented and written by the undersigned Testator.
In testimony whereof, and commending myself and my beloved wife and children, grandchildren and others named in the premises to the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, I hereby set my hand and affix my seal this 12th of January 1864.

Stephen H Long (seal)

In presence of: M.G. Atwood, N.N, Wood,

A.B.A schedule of my Estate and other property is hereto annexed.
State of Illinois , Madison County }Sct:
At a Term of the County Court of Madison County, Illinois, sitting for Probate business, began and held at the Court house in Edwardsville, on the 3rd Monday in the month of January, 1865, there were present Honorable M. G. Dale, County Judge , and Joseph Chapman Clerk.

Stephen H. Long, deceased.
And now at this day is presented and filed an instrument in writing purporting to be the last Will & Testament of Stephen H. Long, late of Madison County, Illinois, deceased, and it appearing that M.G. Atwood and N.N. Wood are attesting witnesses to the said instrument in writing; and it further appearing that N.N. Wood is a resident of Cape Girardeau , Missouri , and that his personal attendance cannot be procured, to give evidence in our said Court, herein. It is ordered that a Dedimus protestation issue to G. H. Cramer, a Justice of the Peace of the county of Cape Girardeau , Missouri to take the evidence of the said N.N. Wood, as witness aforesaid.
It having been shown to the Court that, the said Stephen H. Long departed this life on or about the 4th of September, 1864 .
State of Illinois, Madison County}the People of the State of Illinois , to G. H. Cramer, a Justice of the Peace of the County of Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Whereas, it has been represented to us that N.N. Wood, a material witness in a certain cause now pending in our County Court in and for the County of Madison , State of Illinois, touching the proof of the Execution and validity of the last Will & Testament of Stephen H. Long, late of said Madison County, now deceased, and that  the said witness resides in the Town of Cape Girardeau, Missouri and that his personal attendance cannot be procured at the trial of said cause, before said Court;  Now therefore know ye: that we, in confidence of your prudence and fidelity have appointed you Commissioner to examine said witness, and do therefore authorize and require the said witness to come before you at such time and place as may  therefore designated and appoint, and diligently examine said witness on oath or affirmation of the said witness by you first in that behalf administered, and faithfully to take the deposition of said witness in all interrogations enclosed with or attached to these presents, and none others, and the same when these taken, together with this Commission and said interrogations to certify into our said Court with the least possible delay.

Witness, Joseph Chapman, Clerk of the said County Court and the seal thereof at Edwardsville this 19th of  January, 1865.
Signed, Joseph Chapman

Interrogations to be prepounded to N.N. Wood, in the matter of the proof of the Will of Stephen H. Long, deceased.
1st: Were you or not personally acquainted with Stephen H. Long, the Testator, name in the annexed late Will and Testament in his lifetime?
2nd: Did you or not see the said Stephen H. Long, sign the annexed last Will & Testament, and did he or not declare the same his free act and deed?
3rd: If you saw the said Stephen H. Long sign the said last Will & Testament, say whether or not he was of sound mind and memory at the time thereof?
4th: Did you or not sign said last Will & Testament as a subscribing witness in the presence of said Stephen H. Long and at his request?
State generally anything toughing the its due or proper execution of said Will and Testament not necessarily elicited by the foregoing interrogations. Deposition of N.N. Wood, being by me first duly sworn to make true and perfect answers; to the following interrogations deposes and says:

Interrogation 1st:
Were you or not personally acquainted with Stephen H. long during his lifetime.
Answer: I was.
Interrogation 2nd:
Did you or not see the said Stephen H. Long sign the said Last Will & testament in and did he or not declare the same his free act and deed.
Answer I did: he so declare.
Interrogation 3rd.
If you saw the said Stephen H. Long sign the said last Will & Testament say whether or not he was of sound mind and memory at the time thereof.
Answer: In my judgement he unquestionably was.
Interrogation 4th:
did you or not sign the said last Will & testament as a subscribing witness in the presence of said Stephen H. long and at his request.
Answer: I did.
State generally, if you know anything touching the due pr proper execution of said Will and Testament, not necessarily elicited by the foregoing interrogation.
Answer: I do not.
Signed, N., N. Wood

State of Missouri, Cape Girardeau Count}SS.
I, George H. Cramer, a Judge of the Peace within the county and state aforesaid, and the Commissioner named in the annexed Commission, do hereby certify that the foregoing deposition was taken and sworn to and subscribed by the said deponent, N.N. Wood, before me at Cape Girardeau , in the count and stat aforesaid, on the 9th of  Feb. 1865 .
G. H. Cramer, Justice of the Peace, within and for Cape Girardeau , Missouri .
Filed, March 4, 1865 . J. Chapman Clerk.

In Madison County Court , sitting for the ___action of Probate business, Feb. Term,  1865.
Stephen, H. Long, deceased,  March 4th, 1865
And now this day is filed in this Court the deposition of N. N. Wood, one of the subscribing witnesses to the last Will & testament of Stephen H. Long, deceased, touching the proper execution and validity of said Will, duly certified by G. H. Cramer Esquire, to whom a commission was issued out of this  Court authorizing him to take said deposition.
And also appears M. G. Atwood, one of the subscribing witnesses to said last Will & testament and takes and subscribed the following oath, to-wit:

Madison County, SCT}
Moses G. Atwood, of the county of Madison, Illinois being first duly sworn, deposes and says that he is a subscribing witness to the foregoing last Will & Testament of Stephen H. Long, late of said  Madison County, deceased, that he was personally acquainted with the said Stephen H. Long, the Testator, in his lifetime, that they were present and saw the said Stephen H. Long sign the said last Will & Testament, in his presence and heard him declare the same to be his act and deed, that they believe that at the time of his so signing and declaring and that they subscribed their names thereto, as attesting witnesses, in the presence of Stephen H. Long, the Testator, and at the his request.
Signed, M.G. Atwood
Subscribed and sworn to in open Court, this 4th of March, 1865.
M.G. Dale, C.J.

And the said deposition appearing to have been taken and certified  in due form of law, and in accordance with the commission issued herein; and it further appearing that the evidence of M.G. Atwood is in due form of law; and there appearing  no evidence of fraud or compulsion in the execution of said Will,. It is ordered by the Court that the said instrument in writing be admitted to probate and recorded as and for the true last Will & Testament of Stephen H. Long, late of Madison County, Illinois, deceased.

And that it appearing that Marcus G. Breckinridge is, by the said Will appointed Executor and Administrator thereof, it is ordered that upon his filing bond on the final sum of $6000, with security, to the approval of the this said Court. Letters, testamentary issue to him as Executor of said Will.

Thereupon he presents his said Bond in the final sum aforesaid, with Martha Long, and E. P. Sneeminger, as his securities, which Bond is examined and approved by the Court, and letters and testamentary issue therein, which are in word and figures following, to wit:

State of Illinois , Madison County ,}SCT.
The People of the State of Illinois ,
To all to whom these presents shall come: Greetings.

Know ye, that whereas, Stephen H. Long, late of said county of Madison, Illinois  died as it is made to appear, on or about the 4th of Sept. 1864, after having made his last Will & Testament, a copy of which is hereunto annexed, living at the time the death, properly in this State, which may be last, destroyed, or diminished in value, if speedy care be not taken of the same.

 And was much as it appears that Marcus P. Breckinridge has been appointed Executor in and by the said last Will & Testament to execute the same and to the end, that the said property may be preserved for those who shall appear to have a legal right or interest therein.

And that said Will may be executed according to the request of said Testator. We do hereby authorize the said Marcus P. Breckinridge, as such Executor, to collect and secure all and singular the goods and chattels, rights and credits which were of the said Stephen H. Long, at the time of his decease in whosoever hands or possessions the same may be found in this State, and well and truly to perform and fulfill all such duties as may be enjoined  upon him by the said Will, so far as there shall be property, and the law charge him, and in general, to do and perform all other acts, which now are, or hereafter may be, required of him, by law.
Witness, Joseph Chapman, Clerk of the family Court in and for the said Madison County , at his office in Edwardsville, the 4th of March, 1865 .           Signed, Joseph Chapman, Clerk.

State of Illinois , Madison County }SS.
I, Joseph Chapman, Clerk of the County Court of Madison County, Illinois, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a copy of the last Will & Testament of Stephen H. Long, late of said county, deceased, and the probate thereof the same has been proven and recorded in the Record of Wills of said County Court, and that the Revenue Stamps are paced on the same.
In testimony whereof, I have hereto subscribed my name and affixed the seal of said County Court at Edwardsville, this 5th of April, 1865.

Joseph Chapman, Clerk

J. M. G. Dale, sole presiding Judge of the County Court of Madison County, Illinois do hereby certify that Joseph Chapman, whose name is subscribed to the foregoing certificate is the Clerk of the said Court, and the custodian of the seal and records of said Court, and that the said certificate is  the true and genuine  certificate of him the said Joseph Chapman, Clerk.

Given under my hand this 5th of April, 1865.
 M. G. Dale, Judge.