Old Wills

1915 Will of Elizabeth Susan Irvine – Daughter of David Irvine and Susan Hart McDowell, Part 2

Today I share the second half of Elizabeth Susan Irvine’s will as published in the local newspaper. She started this will June 1, 1915 and finished December 5, 1919. Elizabeth died less than a year later, November 25, 1920. This woman knew exactly how to write her will, and was very determined who should receive what from her estate. I’m impressed that she wanted no fanfare at her funeral, just a simple benediction – and requested to be buried at sunrise.

The Richmond Daily Register, Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky

Tuesday, December 7, 1920

Final Bequests in Mrs. Irvine’s Will

The Daily Register yesterday printed part of Mrs. William Irvine’s will, probated here Monday.  It is concluded in full herewith today:

It is my will, as I have talked with D. Irvine White as to giving him the large oil portrait of my father, Col. David Irvine (Senior) by Bancroft for me, while our father was in the senate.  This said portrait hangs over the piano in the Irvinton parlor.  D. Irvine White also asked that I would give him the portrait in oil of my brother, David W. Irvine, which also hangs in the Irvinton parlor.  Now as I have once decided to make Irvinton a Memorial Hall, these two portraits must not be taken from this, my parlor, must not be removed from Irvinton.  I revoke any gift I have made of them.

It is my will that I also have in my parlor collection a beautiful likeness of my father by Jouett.  This was taken in our father’s fresh young manhood at the age of 19 (nineteen).  Jouett’s paintings are not considered invaluable.  This and all other must remain in the dear Irvinton parlor.

It is my will, and it may be well here to state, it is my dear attachment for this old ancestral home, which I have shared for so many years, that leads me to place it as a most sacred trust at your keeping and that you will most faithfully carry out my wishes as herein stated.

It is my will, as to my heart, Irvinton is the dearest of all possessions.  I feel sure that these ends will be met in the best possible manner for that which I donate it, and may it prove a rich blessing under God to the languishing sick and suffering, a joy to the good man having control and to the women cherishing the memory of the great surgeon, Dr. Ephraim McDowell.

It is my will that the name of this donation shall be placed in large handsome lettering on an inserted stone over the front entrance door, to wit:

Irvinton

The David Irvine

And Ephraim McDowell

Memorial

It is my will that this institution shall never be a home for or a school for trained nurses.

It is my will that patients shall pay their board and for medical services, for in this way assisted by my quarterly fund of $500.00 from the lease herein set forth, I hope this charity to be self-supporting, so that all funds beyond expenses may be laid aside for repairs, painting, etc., which must be strictly attended to.

It is my will that the green house be rented to a competent florist who in consideration of the rent will keep the grounds and shrubbery in neat order, also mowing the grass at intervals as needed.

It is my will that I donate a full set of gilt-band china (now in the dining room press) to this memorial.

It is my will that no patients with eruptive or contagious diseases be admitted in this institution.

It is my will, and I would further direct that over the entrance door to each of the several rooms (dedicated to my deceased loved ones) the name I have herein given to that particular room shall be placed in bold and permanent lettering.

It is my will that both of the iron vases at the front terrace, the iron settees, the wooden settees, large Agave vases, all flower tubs, shrubs, plants and so forth, returning the plants in the vases to the green house in winter.  It is my will that this devise of Irvinton shall never either by gift or sale be in any way connected or used by the “Eastern Normal School” of Richmond, Kentucky, or any other institution of learning.  All claim to this devise as herein set forth shall be forfeited, or if any president or professor or teacher or any one connected with any institution of learning ever live or have the management or any way connected with Memorial Irvine and McDowell.

It is my will, if such a state of case arise, then the said beautiful devise of Irvinton shall revert to the city of Richmond, Kentucky, as a public park, with the same restrictions as are before given of its management.  I would suggest that the small room attached to my own room as a maid’s room, be used as a rest room.

It is my will that I give to my niece, Mattie Patton Darwin, a full set of Limoges china (not one piece of which has been broken).  To this set I am much attached.

It is my will that I give to Shelby White Walker a beautiful set of green band fancy china.  This was a gift from my precious husband when we were young housekeepers and will be found in the large press in the dining room.

It is my will that to Susan Patton Bennett I devise all of my right and title to the remainder of the original tract of Irvinton, that is, the two lots lying on the east side of 2nd Street in the city of Richmond, Kentucky, which lots I now own.  At the death of Susan Patton Bennett I give these two lots to her son, Richard W. Miller.

It is my will that a beautiful sideboard given to our mother by her father, Dr. Ephraim McDowell, as a bridal present.  This sideboard was inherited by our brother, David W. Irvine, from his father, who desired it should remain during my life at Irvinton.  At my death Susan Patton Bennett should inherit the said “heirloom.”  This sideboard was given in 1820 to our mother, Susan McDowell Irvine, by her father, Ephraim McDowell, of Danville, Kentucky.

It is my will, these are eight cane seat chairs in the Irvinton store room above stairs.  There were my mother’s parlor chairs, also given by her father, Dr. Ephraim McDowell.  These said chairs were also inherited by David W. Irvine.  I devise these chairs to Shelby White Walker.

It is my will here to state that the clause in my husband’s last will, for the benefit of his brother, John Stone Harris, was fully executed by myself.  John Stone Harris is now dead.  His wife had no interest in the bequest of a home.  All has been settled up and William Irvine Greenway has received the proceeds of the sale of the house, according to the will of William M. Irvine.

It is my will that from my surplus in bank I give to Susan McDowell White, daughter of Sarah and Addison White, $100.00.  I will state here that our brother, David W. Irvine, received from his father’s estate two or three solid silver spoons.  He also received in the distribution our mother’s massive and solid silver soup ladle, marked with a graceful letter I.  These will be found together with other silver in a bonnet box in my own room.

Of my own solid silver, I have 6 large table spoons, marked Irvine; 20 small teaspoons, one solid silver sugar ladle marked I.  The above silver was inherited by Adam C. Irvine from his father and is very old and hand wrought.  I have two pairs of solid silver pickle knives and forks.  I have two solid silver pedestal goblets, each marked “Irvine,” I have one dozen very large and massive silver forks, marked “Irvine,” I have one pickle or olive fork, marked S. B. P. to E. S. I. of the ivy pattern of solid silver, I have one dozen silver teaspoons marked E.S.I., one dozen dessert spoons marked E. S. I., one dozen dessert solid forks, marked E. S. I. of “Ivy pattern,” one dozen large dinner forks of the ivy pattern, marked E. S. I., one “bon bon” spoon marked S. B. P. to E. S. I.  It is my will, and in my cabinet in my dining room, is a painted set of china plates.  These were executed and presented by my niece, Shelby Walker to her uncle, David W. Irvine.

It is my will that these said plates be returned to Shelby W. Walker, as they were the work of her own hands and prized by her dear Uncle David.

It is my will as I have a silver butter dish, presented to me when I was a young housekeeper, by my brother-in-law, Gen. Addison White.  This I give to Susan B. Bennett.

It is my will that I make null and void that part of my husband’s, William M. Irvine’s, last will which bequeaths any stocks, bonds, real estate or legacies of any kind to the children of Addison and Sarah, of Huntsville, Alabama.  I have made other devises of my estate, which was all my own.  I will here state that I was made a “femmesole” by my father’s will and my husband’s last will, makes a return of all to me.

It is my will that several persons mentioned in the above clause of this writing (children of Addison and Sarah McDowell White) shall receive no part of my estate, or that of the late William M. Irvine, unless it be devised to them in this instrument.  This I reserve as my own right and shall act accordingly.

And I would here state that I now own ten lots in Kansas City, Missouri.  Be it known that I have leased the valuable lot on Baltimore Avenue in said city, Lot 13, Block 10.  This is Lot 13, Block 20, for the term of 99 years at the sum of $2,000.00 per year rental.  This said Lot 13, Block 20, Ashburn’s addition to Kansas City, Missouri, I herein devise to the Irvine and McDowell Hospital, that is, the rentals, the $2,000.00 per year by annual rent for the 99 years.  The rental, $500.00, is paid to me quarterly – 4 times per year.  The lessees have built a two-story brick business house upon this lease.  The $500.00 quarterly rental I herein give, and it may be collected by my executors for the assistance of the current expenses of the said hospital.  At the expiration of 99 years this said Lot 13, Block 20, returns to me; also, the building upon the said lot is my property.

This said house and lot shall then be the property (if it still be in existence) of the David Irvine and Ephraim McDowell Memorial.  This said valuable house and Lot 13, Block 20, is opposite the Baltimore Hotel, Kansas City.

It is my will, as I have recently acquired in my business transactions in Kansas City, Lots 12 and 13, Block 2, Ashburn addition.  Upon one of these said lots is a most capacious barn, upon with I have recently expended $300.00 in repairs, such as new roofing, water and electric lights, new window frames.  These said Lots 12 and 13, Block 2, I now bequeath to John and Sadie Greenway, of Hot Springs, Arkansas.  I had before donated these said lots to Alice W. Greenway, my noble and precious niece.

The Lot 12 above devised is now rented to one Hogan at $85 per month as a barn and shelters 75 horses.

Bank Stock

It is my will that as I now own 59 shares of stock in the Bank of Kentucky at Louisville, Kentucky, it is my will and I herein bequeath this said stock to Susan Patton Bennett, and should she die without heirs, then I bequeath this Bank of Kentucky stock to her son, Richard W. Miller.

It is my will, and I now own 50 shares of stocks in the Madison Bank of Richmond, Kentucky.  I herein bequeath the said stock, 50 shares, to the First Presbyterian Church of Richmond, Kentucky, only the dividends to be used.  This as the church of my mother, my husband, daughter and myself.  This bequest shall ever be known as the William M. Irvine fund.  I make the recurring session of the said church the disbursers of this fund, which must only be used for the pastor’s salary and nothing else.

Southern Bank Stock

It is my will, as I now own 100 shares of stock in the Southern National Bank of Richmond, Kentucky, according to the last will of William M. Irvine.  I now bequeath 20 shares of Southern National stock to Willie Irvine Shelby; also, according to the will of William M. Irvine, I bequeath 20 shares of Southern Bank stock to Fannie S. Matthews.

It is my will and I bequeath to D. Irvine Patton 20 shares of Southern Bank stock.

To Ollie Patton 20 shares of Southern National Bank stock; to Lucy M. White 20 shares of Southern National Bank stock.

It is my will, as I now own 35 shares in the Bank of Huntsville, Alabama, I bequeath these 35 shares to Shelby Irvine White and Shelby Irvine Patton, share and share alike.

It is my will, and I herein bequeath two of my registered bonds to Sophie Fox Sea, of Louisville, Kentucky, our cousin, two percent $1,000.00 bonds.

It is my will and I herein bequeath of the said bonds, five of these $1,000.00 bonds to David Irvine Patton, of Huntsville.

It is my will that I give one of my registered $1,000.00 bonds to Mrs. Fannie Hawes, if she be living.

It is my will that I herein devise two of my registered bonds each of $1,000.00 denomination to Mrs. Robert Miller, of Richmond, Kentucky.

It is my will that I herein give one of my registered bonds to Bessie Miller, of Richmond, Kentucky.

It is my will that I herein bequeath three of my registered bonds to Willie Irvine Shelby.

It is my will that I herein bequeath five of my registered bonds to the “Irvine and McDowell” Memorial.

It is my will and I herein bequeath five of my registered bonds to Mattie Darwin, of Huntsville, Alabama.

It is my will and I herein bequeath five of my registered bonds to D.

[I believe the newspaper skipped part of the will between these two pages.]

vise includes both of the said lots.

It is my will that if I should sell or otherwise dispose of the realty, stocks, bonds or anything devised in this instrument neither my executors nor estate shall be responsible, or make good any return for same.

It is my will that the gold watch I wear, which has our daughter’s monogram B. D. I. upon it by her father, William M. Irvine, and was given her under peculiar circumstances; chain and small diamond pin (my husband’s) I wear with my glasses, I herein bequeath to Shelby I. Patton.

It is my will that if the “Irvine and McDowell Memorial” should ever languish and not be a success under the control of the Medical Society of Kentucky and should cause Irvinton to revert to the city of Richmond as a public park, it is my will that the whole circle within the carriage drive, and in front of the Irvinton house, shall ever be reserved for the monument of my father, Col. David Irvine; Dr. Ephraim McDowell; my husband, William D. Irvine, and my daughter, Bessie D. Irvine.  I will here make earnest request that the city of Richmond, Kentucky, care for this circle and keep it as an ornament spot.

It is my will that I bequeath my Victrola to Susan B. Bennett.

It is my will that any part of my clothing, that is, of any value, I bequeath to Shelby W. Walker and Susan P. Bennett.  Among these articles is a handsome Chantilly lace dress in black, a large real lace shawl, a most beautiful hand-embroidered white lace cape and elegant Canton crepe shawl, imported for myself from China.

It is my will that I bequeath to Mattie P. Darwin my linen sheeting, among which are two hand-embroidered sheets, with bolster case and square pillow cases to match; I also give to Mattie Darwin two eider down comforts.

It is my will that I bequeath a very handsome and long seal skin cloak or ulster to Susan P. Bennett, as she is in a colder climate.

It is my will should Shelby White Walker die without heirs (children) then it is my will that the store house I have bequeathed to her shall be sold and the proceeds of said sale divided equally, share alike, between her nephews, share alike.

It is my will that I make William Irvine Greenway my residuary legatee.

It is my will that the mantel mirror now in my own room, but which is the Bessie D. Irvine room, shall remain in that room.  The said mirror was a bridal present to our mother, Susan McDowell Irvine, from her father, Dr. Ephraim McDowell.  My mother’s Lampor sewing table sits by my bedside, my high-post bedstead, given by my father to me as a bride in 1846.  I have slept in it ever since.

It is my will that I bequeath to Susan P. Bennett my solid gold belt buckle I now wear.  It was a gift from my husband, upon it inscribed W. M. I. to E. S. I.

It is my will that my gold-headed cane (given me by my uncle, Isaac Shelby 2nd) his cane I bequeath to Shelby Irvine White.

It is my will that I bequeath a solid silver tobacco box, marked, “William M. Irvine from his best friend.”  Of course, given by myself.  I give this tobacco box to D. Irvine White, Sr.

It is my will that my handsome onyx diamond bar pin and ear rings I bequeath to Sadie Greenway.

It is my will that a beautiful pin (diamond left me by my precious friend, Kate Walker), this pin has only one large diamond.  As Susie Bennett loved her, I bequeath this pin to Susan B. Bennett.

It is my will to here say that of one thing I am positive, that I am of sound and disposing mind and I have given prayerful thought to that which I have written.  I have had competent judges to read this instrument and talked to them as to my capacity to make a will, without dissent, the reply was, “I have never read a better arranged, more sensible or clearer document, both in diction and composition, and should prove satisfactory to all.”

It is my will that there shall be no sale or an inventory of my estate.  I request Shelby White Walker and Susan Beirne Bennett to assist my executors in strictly executing my every request herein stated, as I have devised my large estate just as I wish it to be inherited.  This writing has not been executed without great care, at all times with a prayer for help.  Those who through my long life of sorrow and afflictions have shown me no sympathy, on the contrary wounded me, of course do not expect, do not whish to share in the benefits of that for which I have labored and saved, and now devise only to those whom I love and have been kind to me.

It is my will that I bequeath two or my registered U. S. bonds to Matthew White, denomination each $1,000.

It is my will that I bequeath two of my registered U. S. bonds to James Greenway, denomination each $1,000.

It is my will that this leaves 44 of my registered U. S. bonds to William Irvine Greenway, my husband’s namesake.

It is my will that I give $200 to Reuben Warford, if he be living.

It is my will that I give $200 to Sallie Irvine, if she be living.

It is my will and I here ask that I be buried without ceremony in our beautiful city of the dead beside my beloved husband in a most substantial Terra Cotta and Metalic casket.

I wish no sermon, no singing, only a simple benediction, no flowers, only a spray of evergreen.

Bury me at the rising of the sun.

I would here state that I bequeathed my gold-headed cane to Shelby Irvine White because of the name he bears of my brother.  This cane was given to me by my uncle, Isaac Shelby 2nd.  He told me he had to cut the can himself from “Traveler’s Rest” timber, the home of our grandfather, Gov. Isaac Shelby.  This cane was fashioned and polished by our uncle’s own hands.

It is my will that I bequeath my rockaway and phaeton, also the spring wagon, to the memorial.

And now my task is done.  I have made changes in my husband’s last will, such changes, however, as I am empowered by that instrument to make, of these changes he and myself had consulted and I am satisfied those I have made would meet with his hearty approval.

The bonds I have accumulated have been the labor of my own hands, of my own business activity, for as herein stated I have bequeathed now herein 80 government 6 percent bonds.

It is my will and my prayer that our Heavenly Father will keep and direct the good men I have herein connected with my gift of Irvinton and my executors, D. Irvine White, of Huntsville, and John E. Crooke, of Richmond, with the hope that they may never forget the confidence I have placed in them.

It is my will, as I own a most valuable store house on the corner of First and Main streets, Richmond, Kentucky, it is my will that at the death of Shelby White Walker, I bequeath the said store house to Alice White Greenway’s sons, shares alike.

It is my will that I bequeath this said store to Shelby White Walker, of Huntsville, Alabama. This store house is now rented to Hamilton Brothers at a rental of $1,650 per annum.  This said store house at the death of Shelby White Walker I bequeath to the sons of Alice White Greenway (except John, whom I have provided for) at the death of Shelby White Walker.

It is my will that this Irvinton Memorial is not a place for soldiers to take treatment, but for citizens, a place for weary and tired workers to recuperate – a retreat.

Written by my own hand,

Elizabeth S. Irvine

Irvinton, December 5, 1919

It is my will that I make William Irvine Greenway my residuary legatee.  It is my will that I make D. Irvine White, Huntsville, Alabama, and John W. Crooke, of Richmond, Kentucky, my executors of this my last will.

As to the construction of the monument to be placed (in the center of the circle in front of Irvinton Memorial home) I will ask that Mr. Golden, now of the “Richmond Monumental Works” be given the contract for the said work, as I believe he will (on my account) take a pride in erecting something very handsome and to the credit of Kentucky’s greatest physician, Dr. Ephraim McDowell, and my father, Col David Irvine.

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