Old Wills

1878 Will of Maximilian Hertweck – Fulton County

As a companion piece to the last post, I share with you today the will of Maximilian Hertweck who died September 18, 1878, during the yellow fever epidemic of that year. Maximilian was born in Baden, Germany, October 12, 1833, the son of Benedict Hertweck and Martha Westermann. June 22, 1842, the family arrived on the Roger Sherman, in New Orleans, Louisiana. They left Europe from Le Harve, France. On the ship’s manifest Benedict is listed as 47, a weaver. Martha is 39, and the following children accompanied their parents – Urban, 16,Maximilian, 9, Otho, 6, Beatus, 4 and Caroline, 2. A daughter, Mary, was born in Spencer County, Indiana, where the family was listed in the 1850 census.

Benedict Hertweck died in Spencer County, Indiana, in 1857. His will states that he is ‘bad in health’ and leaves everything to wife Martha. The will is not dated, but it was probated June 30, 1857. In the 1860 census of Spencer County, only Martha and youngest daughter Mary are listed.

By 1870 Maximilian Hertweck has married Mary E. Boucher – I could find no marriage date. They are living in Fulton County, Kentucky. Maximilian was listed as 36, a wagon maker, Mary, 23, was born in Prussia. Martha, 2, was born in Kentucky. Living with the family are Maximilian’s mother, Martha, 69, and four other unrelated people – Thomas J. Simmons, 20, Pennsylvania; John Benz, 25, Switzerland; Kate Caldwell, 18, Virginia;and Konrath Gradolfah, 25, Baden, Germany.

Maximilian was not the only member of the family to die during the yellow fever epidemic – his mother, Martha, also succumbed to the disease September 12th. This must have been heartbreaking for Mary and the children. In addition to the young Martha mentioned above, Maximilian and Mary had three sons – Maximilian, Edward and John Joseph. They were under ten years of age when their father died.

In the 1880 census Mary resides on Carroll Street in Hickman, Fulton County. Martha, 12; Maximilian, 9; Edward, 6 and John, 4, live with her.

Twenty-six years after the death of her husband, Mary Boucher Hertweck died in Fresno, California, on September 9, 1904. During her lifetime Mary traveled about 5,900 miles, from Prussia (now Poland), to Louisiana (most likely port of call), to Kentucky to California. How different her life must have been at the various stages along the way. The 1905 probate files for Mary Boucher Hertweck list four surviving children – Edward Hertweck, aged thirty-one years; John Hertweck, aged twenty-eight years; Mrs. Edward Hoen (Martha Hertweck), aged thirty-seven years, and Loula Cassell, aged twenty-one years. The last daughter was not expected. Loula Cassell was born about 1884. I could find no marriage for Mary Hertweck. There was a Mr. Cassell, 50, in the 1880 census for Fulton County, wagon maker, who lived two streets away from Mary. Could Mary and this Mr. Cassell have married? Perhaps he didn’t live long after the marriage and Mary kept the Hertweck surname. Loula Cassell never married, lived with a brother in 1910, and her sister in 1920. She died May 29, 1920, in Fresno, California.

On to Maximilian Hertweck’s will. This will was written two days before his death. I’m sure he knew the end was not far off. Yellow fever had ravaged the city for a month and many citizens died within the time period. He couldn’t be sure that his wife would survive him. One of the most interesting aspects of the will states that wife Mary, if she should die ‘before I do’ he leaves his estate and the guardianship of his children to the Rt. Rev. William McCloskey, Bishop of Louisville. I don’t believe I’ve seen guardianship given to a bishop. Even the Pope is mentioned. Evidently his faith was very important to Maximilian, because he further states that he directs that his children be raised in the ‘faith of the Holy Catholic Church.’ Maximilian had purchased three life policies with the Mutual Life Insurance Company of Newark, New Jersey. Amounts are not listed, but this, plus the estate, must have been enough for Mary and the children to live comfortably.

Will of Maximilian Hertweck

Fulton County Will Book, Pages 160-161

In the name of God, Amen.  I, Maximilian Hertweck, of the City of Hickman, County of Fulton, State of Kentucky, being of sound and disposing mind and memory, do make this my last will and testament.

First – I hereby appoint my wife Mary T. Hertweck as Executrix of this my last will and testament and guardian of my children, directing her, my executrix, to pay all my just debts and funeral expenses and use the balance of my estate as shall hereinafter be directed.  But should my said wife, Mary T. Hertweck, die before I do or before the accomplishment of the purposes hereinafter set out, I appoint the Rt. Rev. William McCloskey, Bishop of Louisville, Kentucky, and his successors duly appointed by His Holiness the Pope of Rome as Executor or Executors of this my last will and testament and guardian or guardians of my children Mattie, Maximilian, Edward and John Hertweck.

Second – I give and bequeath to my said wife, Mary T. Hertweck, for her natural life or until the purposes for which this bequest is made are accomplished, the whole of my estate real, personal and partnership and of every description to be applied to her own support and the maintenance and

education of my said children Mattie, Maximilian, Edward and John Hertweck, now living or in utero and I hereby direct that my said children shall be raised in the faith of the Holy Catholic Church and educated in the best manner that my estate can afford.

Third – Should my said wife Mary T. Hertweck die before I do or before the purposes set out are accomplished, I give and bequeath all my whole estate real, personal and partnership of every description to the said William McClosky, Bishop of Louisville, Kentucky, or his successor or successors for the education and maintenance of my said children Mattie, Maximilian, Edward and John Hertweck, directing that they be raised in the faith of the Holy Roman Catholic Church and that they be educated as well as possible upon the fund herein bequeathed.  Should my wife Mary T. Herweck die before I do or before all of my children reach the age of twenty-one years, I direct that the said William Mcclosky, Bishop of Louisville, Kentucky or his successor shall have the custody of my children as well as my estate.

Fourth – As each of my children reach the age of twenty-one years I wish that the remainder of my estate, after paying for their education and maintenance, be divided equally among them, that is to say among the survivors.

Fifth – Nothing in this will is to be construed as interfering with the dower of my said wife Mary T. Hertweck.

Sixth – I direct neither the executrix nor executor mentioned above be required to give bond.

Seventh – I wish the term my whole estate real, personal and partnership of every description to include all that I am possessed of and shall hereafter become possessed by deed or will and hereby appoint that William McCloskey, Bishop of Louisville, Kentucky, or his successor receive the proceeds of the three policies of my life in the Mutual Life Insurance Co. of Newark, New Jersey, by reason of power given me in the will of my wife Mary T. Hertweck of this date.  Witness my hand and seal this the 16th day of September 1878.

Maximilian Hertweck

Signed and sealed in our presence and in the presence of each other this the 16th day of September 1878.

J. H. Mason, George Roulhac

State of Kentucky

Fulton County Court

Court term, November 13, 1878

The foregoing will and testament of Maximilian Hertweck, deceased, was this day probated I open court and ordered to be filed and recorded which is accordingly done.  Witness my hand as clerk of the Fulton County Court this November 13, 1878.

John A. Wilson, Clerk

One more piece of information about the family. Maximilian’s brother, Otto Hertweck, also moved to Fresno California. There, he and his wife, celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, July 24, 1910. The Hickman Courier ran the photo and story from the Fresno Herald on Thursday, August 4, 1910. Perhaps from this picture of Otto we can see what Maximilian would have looked like if he had lived as long.

We reproduce the following from the Fresno (Cal.) Herald, of Monday July 25th, which will be of interest to many of our readers.

The Golden wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Otto Hertweck, of Hickman, Kentucky, was celebrated yesterday at the home of their niece, Mrs. E. Hoen, at 1132 O Street.

Hickman, Kentucky, was well represented, fifteen persons, former residents of that little town on the Mississippi participating in the celebration.

At noon a bountiful dinner was served, and in the evening Mrs. Hoen and Mrs. Ed Hertweck served ice cream and cake with a few bottles of Fresno’s celebrated wine.

The aged couple were the recipient of many fine and costly gifts from their Kentucky friends.

Mr. and Mrs. Otto Hertweck were married at Louisville, Kentucky, July 24, 1860. Mr. Hertweck being a prominent manufacturer, and is the founder of the Hickman Wagon Co., well known throughout the southern and south-western states. Mrs. Hertweck was the daughter of a Louisiana planter. Although having lived in the east all their life, they are delighted with the climatic conditions found in California.

Those present yesterday were:

Mr. and Mrs. Walter Henderson and four children.

Mrs. and Mrs. Edward Hertweck.

Mr. and Mrs. Tim Walton.

Misses Loula Cassell, Bertha Douglas.

Messrs. Hax Hoen, Mr. Brooks, Russellville, Arkansas.

Little Madeline Hertweck and a number of children.

The company dispersed at 10 o’clock with a promise of assisting in the celebration of Mr. and Mrs. Hertweck’s diamond wedding.

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