No Will, But Other Papers for Isaac Newton Greathouse, Deceased

Isaac Newton Greathouse was the son of Harmon Greathouse III.  His grandfather was also thus named, and his great-grandfather, Herman Groethaus, was born in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1676.  When this gentleman came to America, in 1710, he settled in Philadelphia, and changed his name to Harmon Greathouse.  Isaac Newton Greathouse married Elizabeth Berkeley Lewis, daughter of John Lewis and Hannah Eskridge Lewis – two early settlers who moved their family of three small children from Loudoun County, Virginia, to Louisville, Kentucky, baby Elizabeth being born there July 14, 1799.  In the fall of 1799, moving to what was then called Old Fortification Creek, then Hardin County, soon to be Breckinridge, the young family consisted of baby Elizabeth, Catherine aged seven, Eliza aged 4, and Moses Linton aged 2.

Isaac and Elizabeth were married in 1818, and in their fourteen years of married life had seven children – John L., Harmon B., Hannah Amanda, Susannah, Joseph L., John Fletcher and William Linton Greathouse.

Today I would to share with you an inventory, accounts due and bill of sale for Isaac Newton Greathouse, who died in Hancock County October 21, 1832.  At the age of 40, born in Nelson County in 1792, perhaps he thought death would be much later.  At any event, he did not leave a will.  In a case such as this, even though there is no will, there is much information to be found in the paperwork found in will books – inventories, accounts due, sale bills, dowers, guardian reports, etc.

On page 31 in Will Book 1 for Hancock County is the inventory, produced by Isaac’s brother, Rudolphus B. Greathouse. There are three pages of items, including a heifer valued at $80, a lot of corn for $100, and two slaves – Margaret and George, valued at $275 each.  Isaac Newton Greathouse was a doctor and his medical books, $22.50, and two lots of medicines valued at $34.43 ¾.  Also included are guns, horses, tools, hogs, crops, bed and bedding, etc.  The total amount of the inventory was $1,675.68 ¾.

A list of notes due Isaac Greathouse was next in the will book, page 32.  Again, his brother Rudolphus, entered the account information on January 28, 1833.  The most largest note owed was from Joseph Evans at $325.  William Linton Lewis, an uncle of Isaac Greathouse’s wife, Elizabeth Lewis, owed $239.95.  The smallest amount owed was $1.25, for a total of about $996.

The sale bill begins on page 33 of will book one.  Many of the items were purchased by the widow, Elizabeth Greathouse – gun, horse, bookcase, books, desk.  She purchased a cradle for $1.00.  Elizabeth purchased a sugar chest for $5.00 – was it like the one I have?  One yoke of oxen, fields of rye and wheat, stacks of hay, cows and calves, hogs, sheep.  Others who purchased items were neighbors, as you would expect – Samuel and Edmond Hawes, Benoni House, Henry Newman, Leonard Jones, Timothy Holmes, Holbert Henderson, James Haywood, Joseph Crisler and brother, Rudolphus Greathouse.

After Isaac’s death, Elizabeth Greathouse raised her children, and lived to just three months shy of her eightieth birthday.  Like her parents, she was made of pioneer stock and helped settle the new lands of Kentucky in the early years of the state.  She outlived her husband and all but three of her children – Harmon B. Greathouse who died in 1889, Joseph L. Greathouse who died in 1891, and William Linton Greathouse who died in 1901.

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