Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Adeline's Will and Lawsuit

1913, (standing r-l) Bertha Graham Wilson(white), Abner Medley (white suspenders), Rev. George Steel(white beard), Rev Brown (kneeling in front of them), Gladys Wilson Long is seated on the ground with a black band around a white hat. Bertha Graham Wilson (named in the will below) and George Steel defendants.

Section 7 of the Will basically says "no part of my real estate shall be sold to pay any portion of the legacies bequeathed by this will."

Section 8--If a surplus shall remain after all the costs of the settlement of my Estate, and all the money's directed paid out of my Estate . . . .the surplus shall be paid by my Executor share and share alike to the following persons to wit: Samuel Lee, son of my deceased nephew, James Lee, to nephew Martin V. Graham, to my nieces Margaret V. Blake, Catherine Eaves, and Bertha Wilson, and Ruth Frost and Maggie Maupin, daughter of my deceased niece Arah J. Williams.

June 8, 1899

This is significant because if none of the real estate was to be sold to settle the legacies, these people and many of those named in the will didn't inherit very much. C.O.Lee, a nephew, estimated that the Wilsons owned 1200 to 1300 acres. According to the will the land went to Thomas J. Miller, who lived with them in the 1870 census, and to Frederick Harbison (a nephew) who was to use the land to take care of Ann Lize the former slave.

Most of those named in Section 8, as well as several other relatives felt that "Thomas J. Miller possessed and exercised over said Adaline Wilson, deceased, an undue influence and that the will and mind of said Adaline Wilson was controlled and dominated by said Thomas J. Miller. . ."

I'm not a lawyer and don't know anything about the case other than what was published in the Jan. 31, 1901 Jefferson Democrat newspaper, but 27 people sued all of the other nieces and nephews of Adeline Wilson. I can understand why they sued Thomas J. Miller, Frederick Harbison, Ann Lize Wilson (the former slave), the Carrows, but I don't understand why 200 other nieces and nephews many not named in the will were sued. And, after naming all of the other heirs, the suit says, ". . .and all unknown persons interested as heirs in the estate of Adaline Wilson, deceased, defendants."

What we have, though, is a list of almost 250 descendants of William and Margaret Graham. Rather than list them as the lawsuit has them listed, I'm going to try to list them by which of Adeline's siblings they descend from. I'll identify if they were plaintiffs (P)

Thomas Jefferson Graham (1809)
Thompson Graham (1810-1843)
[Gertrude] Josephine Powers and William Powers ? (P)
Mary "Polly" Graham Brown(1811-1858)
Madison Martin Graham (1814-1882)
[Wilson] Prim Graham (P)
Susan Graham Manion(1815-1880)
Marion Manion (P)
Thomas J. Manion (P)
James Williams (P)
Clyde Williams (P)
Charles Manion (P)
John Manion (P)
Clint Manion(P)
Valentine Manion(P)
Lucinda Graham (1816)
Arah Graham Lee (1818-1847)Margaret Viola Lee Leeper and W.T. Leeper (P)
George T. Lee (P)
Maggie Maupin and Ed Maupin (P)

Theodore Graham (1820-1882)Elizabeth Smith and J. R. Smith(P)
Adeline Graham Wilson (1822-1900)
Margaret Julia Graham Lee(1824-1889)
Ruth Frost and _____[Ephram] Frost(P)

Oliver Lee (P)
John Lee (P)

William Kane Graham (1825-1880)
Margaret Viola Graham Blake and Hardin Blake (P)
[Mandora] Catherine Eaves and Thomas Eaves (P)
James Stephen Graham
Unknown Relationship
Laura Carrow(P)

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