Old Wills

Wills of Henry and Adelia Cox – Harrison County

Yesterday I published the biography of Henry and Adelia A. Cox.  Today I have information concerning the wills of the couple.  Henry’s will, written May 5, 1866, gives everything to his wife, Adelia.  July 29, 1880, a codicil was added – a child was born to the couple and Henry wants the will to continue as written.  Henry died December 7, 1880, leaving everything to his wife as specified in his will.  No children were named.

It was quite different when Adelia wrote her will – she is very specific about her wishes after her death.  It is her wish to make all her children as equal as possible – except William.  In the 1880 census for Harrison County he is listed as blind.  A true reason for helping him more than the other children.  Ellen, the only daughter in the family, is given the precious gift of the watch Henry Cox gave Adelia on their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.  She is also given the piano, a gift from a previous time, and the life-size painting of her father.  These are treasures given to a loving daughter.

Adelia does not forget her faithful servant of many years, Simon Dills, giving him money and new clothing.

Mrs. Adelia A. Cox – Will

Harrison County Kentucky Will Book M, Pages 74-77

I, Mrs. Adelia A. cox, of the County of Harrison and State of Kentucky, being of full age, of sound mind and of disposing memory, do hereby make, ordain and declare and publish this my last will and testament in the manner following, namely:

First.  It is my will and I hereby direct my executor herein of to be named, to pay all my just debts and funeral and testamentary expenses.

Second.  Whereas I have divided through my commissioners, Captain Jo Desha and Mr. James McKee, selected by me for the purpose, all my real estate, except the hundred acres adjoining my residence and on which my residence is situated and is a pact, among my children for the purpose of making them all equal one with another (save my son, Willie Cox, who by reason of his affliction was allowed a considerable sum which was not charged against him, and which it is my will and desire shall not hereafter be charged to or against him, further than was done in the distribution above referred to) and which division and allotment does make them equal as far as it could be done, up to the present time, and it is my desire that the children at this point be regarded as equal, therefore subject to the limitation hereinafter expressed.  It is my desire that my residence, with the one hundred acres belonging

Thereto, together with all my bank stocks and all other real and personal property of whatsoever character and description and wheresoever located that I may die possessed of, and not hereafter disposed of, be sold at a public sale upon the usual terms for such articles to the highest and best bidder, and after the payment of all my just debts, funeral and testamentary expenses and such gifts or legacies as may hereafter be may, that the remainder of the said proceeds of sale of my real and personal property above referred to, be divided among my children.  In the event of the death of any of the children before that time, then the distribution share of that deceased child be divided equally among the children of the same and that if any die without heirs, that one’s share be divided equally among my other children.

Third.  To my daughter Ellen Cox Redmon, I give and bequeath my watch and chain which was a present from my dear husband, Henry Cox, to me on the anniversary of our twenty-fifty wedding day, and which bears my name and date of our marriage inside, and it is my will that this watch and chain be kept in the family as a keepsake.  In event of her dying without children that it be given by her to that member of the family whomsoever she may think best to give it.

To her I give and bequeath all my silverware, the parlor carpet rug, and all the parlor furniture (the most of said furniture she placed there and is hers by reason of purchase or gift from her husband and others), the life size oil painting of her father, one set of bedroom furniture, which she is to select from those in my house, the piano (thus I give her in accordance with a promise to her at time her father gave her the piano which was exchanged in part payment for this, to wit, that when he and I thought best we would give her a new one in exchange for it).

Also, the sewing machine which I bought for her, all the aforesaid articles it is my wish and desire that she be not charged with.  I give them to her as a specific gift as a mark of my appreciation of her loving, tender and watching care over me and assistance in attending to business ever since my dear husband’s death.

Fourth.  All my household furniture, carpets, beds, bedclothing

Pictures, books and everything of whatsoever character and description that I may have in the house at the time of my death and not otherwise disposed of I give to my daughter Ellen Cox Redmon to divide out among my children as she may think best.

Fifth.  To my granddaughter, Florence Cox, as a mark of my appreciation of her love and kindness and tender care of me in my old age I direct my executor to pay the sum of five hundred dollars.

Sixth.  To Arthur Gunther, as a remembrance and mark of my kindly feeling toward him I direct my executor to pay the sum of one hundred dollars.

Seventh.  To my faithful old family servant, Simon Dills, for his faithfulness to me and mine during the many, many years of labor in my service and as a token of remembrance and kindly feeling toward him, I direct my executor to pay the sum of one hundred dollars, and further to fit him out with a new suit of good, comfortable clothes, for winter or summer, as the said Simon may select, two suits of heavy underwear for winter, two pair heavy socks, a par of good comfortable shoes, a good hat and a heavy overcoat and a good gum coat.

Eighth.  It is my will and desire that the family burying lot in Battle Grove Cemetery be kept sacredly for use as a family burying ground and for no other purpose.

Ninth.  Should I not previously do so, I direct my executor to procure a suitable headstone for my final resting place, have it properly lettered and placed in position on the lot and pay for the same out of funds in his hands.

Tenth.  In the division of my land by Captain Jo Desha and Mr. James McKee, who were selected by me to act as commissioners for me in the appraisement, division and allotment of my land, and who acted as such at my special instance and request, it was my aim and wish so far as could be done to have my children receive an equal amount of my husband’s and my estate up to and including the division by my said commissioners (with the exception referred to in section two of this will) and now should any of my children attempt to break or set aside this will it is my will that such child or children shall only take half

As much as their distribution share would be under this will and the amount so forfeited be equally divided among those of my children who sustain this my last will and testament.

Eleventh.  Lastly, trusting that all my children will do all they can to carry out this my last will, I hesitate to select an executor from among them, but as I deem a choice necessary, I hereby nominate, constitute and appoint my son, Arthur M. Cox, as my executor of this my last will and testament, revoking all former wills by me made.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this July 8, 1899.

  1. A. Cox

Witnesses, Jo Desha, James W. McKee

The foregoing instrument consisting of five and one-half pages, was, at the date thereof, signed, published and declared by the said testator, Mrs. Adelia A. Cox, as and for her last will and testament, in the presence of us, who at her request, and in her presence, and in the presence of each other, have attested the same, and subscribed our names as witnesses thereto.

Jo Desha, James W. McKee

State of Kentucky, Harrison County Court, November Term – November 27th, 1899

I, John T. Cummins, Clerk of the Harrison County Court, do certify that the foregoing instrument of writing purporting to be the last will and testament of Mrs. Adelia A. Cox, deceased, was this day produced in open court, and proven by the oaths of Jo Desha and James W. McKee, the two subscribing witnesses thereto.  Whereupon said writing was established as and for the last will and testament of Mrs. Adelia A. Cox, deceased, and ordered to be recorded as such.

Which is done this 18th day of December 1899

John Cummins, Clerk

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