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  By that time, Carl Bruening had died, and Christian Scheer had become disabled and requested that his appointment be rescinded.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.

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