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Wills, Letters & Legends

This is the Last Will & Testament of James A. McLester, brother of Richard C. McLester,  the handwritten copy I have from the Will Book in the Tuscaloosa county Courthouse is in very beautiful handwriting it is such a shame to reduce it to the printed word, in the interest in being able to put it on the internet it must be done though.  I will copy the heading and put the image at the head.  Richard McLester Leland III

and disposing mind and memory, and being impressed with the uncertainty of life, and the certainty of death, do make ordain and publish this my last will and Testament in manner and form following. hereby revoking and annulling all former wills made by me, that is to say,

First I giv and bequeath to my beloved wife Jane McLester the house that on which I now reside together with all other lots or parts of lots adjoining  to or connected with the same housestead, to include garden truck patches grazing lots, stables, and horse and cow lots, also all the house hold and Kitchen furniture and all the stock of horses and Cattle and Carriages and all the implements of husbandry, in fact all property of whatever - Kind or description Kept and used about the home, also the sum of Ten thousand dollars which I now have in the hands of McLester & Vanhoose of Birmingham Ala for her sole use and benefit, and to be disposed of by her at her death by will or otherwise at her pleasure.  But should my said wife fail to make any disposition of the property real or personal hereby bequeathed unto her then in that event it is my will that all the property both real and personal mentioned in this item of this my will be equally divided between our four children mow living and the son of our deceased Daughter Susie Hudson, to wit -  Joseph McLester, Virginia F. Vanhoose, Robt. McLester, Nancy C. Bridges and Robin. D. Hudson;

Second I giv and bequeath to my youngest son Robert McLester the two store houses and the lot on which they are situated bounded on the East by Main Street and on the North by Coluns Street in the Town of North Port Ala, also his note which I hold for one thousand dollars,

Third I giv and bequeath unto my son Joseph McLester his note which I hold for one thousand dollars,

Forth I giv and bequeath to my two Daughters Virginia F. Vanhoose and Nancy C. Bridges to each one the note I hold against each of their respective Husbands for one Thousand dollars each.

Fifth I giv and bequeath unto my Grandson Robin. D. Hudson, one thousand dollars to be paid out of the residue of my estate as here in after provided.

Sixth.  It is my will that my Executors shall as soon after my death as practicible Collect of Hays & Gains out of the monies they may be owing me.  one thousand dollars to pay the legacy mentioned in item fifth of this will.

Seventh.  It is further my will that with in two years after my death my Executors shall collect of Hays & Gaines all the money or other property which may be due me from them and also all other monies or property that may be due me at my death which is not herein otherwise disposed of, and Shall divide the Same equally between all my children and Grand Children the Grand Childrem taking the Share to which their parent would have been entitled if living.  that is to say one eighth to my Daughter Angeline Strong.  one eighth to my daughter Ann Cardwell  one eighth to the children of my deceased daughter Amanda Stong. one eighth to my son Joseph McLester. one eighth to my Daughter Virginia F. Vanhoose. one eighth to my son Robert McLester and one eighth to my Daughter Nancy C. Bridges, and one eighth to my Grand son Robin D. Hudson.

But in paying the legacy to my Grand Son W. L. Strong my Executors are directed to require him to account for a note I have on him payable on demand for borrowed money for three hundred dollars, but without interest.

Ninth It is also my will that all the legacies which may be coming to my Grand son Robin. D. Hudson under any of the provisions of this will be paid by my executors to my son Joseph McLester who is to receive the same as added to the four thousand dollars heretofore given by me to said Robin D. Hudson by deed of gift and controll the legacies herein given in the same manner as if provided in said deed of Gift and the legacies here in given to the said Robin. D. Hudson are to be subject to the Same restrictions and limitations and to be governed by all the provisions contained in said deed of gift in relation to the four thousand dollars mentioned in said deed.

Tenth.  for the purpose of Conveying into effect the provisions of this will my executors are hereby invested with full power to sell or otherwise dispose of any of the property here in conveyed Contained and not otherwise disposed by this will.

Finally I hereby constitute and appoint my two sons Joseph McLester and Robert McLester Executors of this my last will and testament. and having full confidence in their integrity I desire that no Bond be required of them in the execution of this will  Given under my hand and seal this 11th day of Nov. A.D.  1887.

                                               James A. McLester       (seal)

Signed sealed and published as the last will and testament of James A. McLester in our presence who witnessed his signature and signed the same as witnesses in the presence of and at the request of the testator and in each others presence.
                                                          E. H. Powell
                                                          John J Neilson

State of Alabama  Tuscaloosa County,
I, B. H. Williams Judge of Probate in and for said State and County hereby certify that the within & foregoing instrument of writing to wit:  the will of James A. McLester before me on this day in my Court has been duly proven with the proofs there with and has been duly Recorded in will Book No 4 Page 391, 392 & 393,  Given under my hand at office the 3rd day Jany 1895.
                                                              B.H. Williams
                                                                   Judge of Probate.

Testimony       James . A. McLester  Deceased
of witness
State of Alabama                                      Probate Court  3rd day of
County of Tuscaloosa                                January 1895
Before me B.H. Williams Judge of the said Court personally appeared in open Court John .J. Neilson who, having been by me first Respectively duly sworn and examined did and do depose and say on oath that he is, subscribing witnesses to the instrument of writing now Shown to him and which purports to be the last will and testament of James A. McLester deceased late an inhabitant of this City County:  that said James. A. McLester since deceased signed and executed said instument on the day the same bears date, and declared same to be his last will and testament; and that affiant set his signature there to on the day the same bears date as subscribing witness to the same in the presence of the said Testator:  That the said Testator was of sound mind and disposing memory, and in the opinion of deponents full capable of making his will, at the time the same was made as aforesaid, affiant further state that said Testator was on the day of said date of said will, of the full age of Twenty one years and upwards All of which is sworn to and subscribed before me this the 3rd January 1895.
    B.H. Williams                                             John. J. Neilson
          Judge of Probate

Note:  I am not sure if in the actual handwriting if the e in give is missing, but there are so many examples when it appears not to be there that is the way I left it.  It is also hard to discern punctuation correctly, periods look like commas and vice-versa.