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Wills, Letters & Legends

Last Will and Testament; Richard C. McLester

Transcribed by Richard McLester Leland III from copy received from Tuscaloosa County Courthouse on 1 May 2000.

   Last Will and Testament of Richard C. McLester

I, Richard C. McLester being of sound mind and disposing memory and knowing the uncertainty of life, do make and disclose this as my last will and testament having made no former wills, as sit forth in the following items (towit)
Item First            I will that my mercantile business in North Point
                   under the firm name of McLester & Hays continue 
                   to be managed by my Copartner Thomas N. Hays,
                   untill all the debts of said firm are paid, including
                   thirty five thousand dollars with interest thereon
                   at six per cent to my brother James A. McLester
                   for balance due him for his interest in the firms
                   of R & J McLester and McLester Hays & Co as his
                   articles of disolution dated September 1st 1879,
                   which has been recorded in the Probate Court of
                   Tuscaloosa County.  When all the debts of McLester
                   & Hays shall have been paid or taken up and 
                   cancelled by Thos N. Hays and all liability caused
                   by the loaning of R & J  McLester's notes to 
                   Charles Hopkins & Co shall have been discharged,
                   then my will is that my interest in the firm of McLester
                   & Hays be transferd to said Thomas N. Hays in 
                   accordance with our Articles of Agreement dated
                   September 1st 1879.
Item Second       When the debts of Hopkins McLester & Co of Mobile
                            are paid including two notes for five thousand dollars
                            each given to extend two notes for same amount loaned
                            Charles Hopkins & Co before the death of the late
                            Charles Hopkins died, then the assets of the firm of
                            Hopkins McLester & Co including lands in Texas
                            belongs to George L. Hopkins as soon as the debts of
                            the firm are paid or cancelled by said George L. Hopkins
                            as per* Articles of agreement.

Item Third          My will is that executors herein after named shall pay
                            to my beloved wife Mary T. McLester one thousand
                            dollars per annum to be paid quarterly from the time
                            of my death until the year eighteen hundred and ninety,
                            if she shouldlive that long.  The paid up policy of the
                            Mobile Life Insurance Company of Mobile for fifteen
                            hundred dollars is the property of my wife and does not
                            belong to my estate.

Item Fourth        My will is that my executors pay to each of my three 
                            daughters, M. Ella Leland, Jodie M. Kennedy and Carrie
                            T. Snow two hundred and fifty dollars per annum from
                            the time of my death untill the year eighteen hundred
                            and ninety for their own use and benefit.

Item Fifth           My son James Henry McLester has heretofore 
                            received from me as a gift five thousand dollars
                            of the Stock of the National Commercial Bank of
                            Mobile Ala and owns that stock now.  Owing to his
                            disapated habits I do not give him any more of my
                            estate believing that it would do him no good and be
                            unjust to my other children.

Item Sixth          My will is that as soon after my death as possible all
                           the undisclosed* debts I may owe be paid (if any) and
                           that my funeral expenses including buying lot and 
                           monuments be paid, all of which will be directed by
                           my three daughters Mrs. Leland, Mrs. Kennedy &
                           Mrs. Snow.

Item Seventh    My will is that if my wife Mary T. McLester is living
                          the first of January Eighteen hundred and ninety that
                          my executors shall cease paying her the one thousand
                          dollars per annum and invest for her ten thousand
                          dollars in the best security they can get the proffits
                          or income from said investment to be hers during her
                          life and she may by will or otherwise dispose of said
                          ten thousand dollars at her death, and the balance of
                          my estate of all Kinds of property, money rights and
                          credits shall be equally divided between my three
                          daughters M. Ella Leland, Jodie M. Kennedy and 
                          Carrie T. Snow

Item Eighth       My will is that all I have heretofore given my children
                          or may give them before my death shall be considered
                          actual gifts and not advancements and I earnestly 
                          charge that all concerned not to take into account
                          whether my gifts to my children have been equal or not
                          at or before my death, let all my gifts stand as I have
                          made them.

Item Ninth        Most of my estate will consist of merchandise and
                          accounts and notes for which ********.anddisclosed
                          & other property have been sold  My will is that my 
                          executors hereinafter named shall have power sell the
                          merchandise at private or public sale and that they shall
                          have power to extend or coupon*.  Misc Settle or
                          compound any debts either notes or accounts which may
                          be due my estate and where land has been sold as payment
                          of the notes, they are empowered to make titles to the 
                          purchassor and take up my bonds and all other acts and
                          things which may be for the interest of my estate

Iten Tenth        My will is that as fast as money is collected over enough
                          to pay the bequests in the foregoing Items, that my 
                          executors invest any surplus on hand from time to time in
                          the best securities they can get, untill the year eighteen 
                          hundred and ninety when the estate will be divided as 
                          provided for in the seventh.

Item Eleventh  My will is that my Executors may employ at reasonable
                          Salary such assistants as they may need in the settling
                          up my estate for which the estate will be chargable
                          giving preference to one or more of themselves if they
                          wish employment.

Item Twelfth    I hereby appoint E.N.C. Snow  W. A. Leland and Jno. R.
                         Kennedy my Executors without bond or any two of them
                         may qualify and enter upon the duties of the business
                         immediately after my death, and I invoke a harmonious
                         administration* of my affairs.  Should only two of my
                         Executors qualify any difference or disagreement about
                         any matters of business connected with my estate shall
                         be referred to my copartner in North Port Thomas N. Hays
                         whose decission in all cases of such disagreement of my
                         Executors shall be carried out.  As witness my hand and
                         seal this 20th twentieth day of May  A. D. 1880 and 
                         declared by me to be my last Will and Testament in the
                         presence of the undersigned witnesses who have witnessed
                         the same at my request and in the presence of each other.

Richard C. McLester    (Seal) 

                        Witnessed by us at the request
                        of Richard C. McLester who signed
                        the foregoing paper pages from
                        one to five inclusive in our
                        presence as his Will and
                        Testament and we witness the
                        same in presence of each other.
                             Hugh Kirkman
                             J. T. Searcy
                             J. M. Van Hoose
The State of Alabama                               I, V. H. Browne, Judge
Tuscaloosa County                                   of Probate in and
for said County and State hereby certify that the foregoing will of Richard C. McLester dec'd, has been this day duly ****** in open Court and duly recorded in Will Book No 4-pages 139-140-141&142, with the proof.
              Given under my hand and seal this the 29th day of January, 1881.
                                                                                          V.H. Browne,
                                                                                               Judge of Probate
The State of Alabama                                   Probate Court
Tuskaloosa County                                   January 25, 1881
              In matter* of the probate of the Will of Richard C. McLester, dec'd.
Personally come into open Court before me V. H. Browne, Judge of the Probate Court of said County and State  Dr. Joiner* T. Searcy Hugh Kirkman and J. M. Van Hoose whose names appear as subscribing witnesses to the paper purporting to be the last Will and Testament of Richard C. McLester dec'd filed in said court, and propounded therein for probate.  And said subscribing witnesses after being duly sworn depose and each of them soundly deposes that he is the person whose name appears as one of the subscribing witnesses to said writing purporting to be the last Will and Testament of said Richard C. McLester dec'd.  That on the 20th day of May A. D. 1880, they and each of them witnessed the execution of said writing by said Richard C. McLester in said County and State and that the said Richard C. McLester, on said date, was of sound mind and disposing memory; and that he declared, in their presence and in the presence of each other, that he published said writing for his last Will and Testament.  That they and each of them saw him sign said writing, and each of them witnessed said writing by signing his name, as a subscribing witness thereto, as appears in said writing; and that it was done in the presence of each and all of said subscribing witnesses.  And they further depose that said Richard C. McLester departed this life on the 3rd day of January A. D. 1881, and that he was over twenty one years old at the making of said will
Sworn to & subscribed                                   J. M. Van Hoose
before me this the                                            J. T. Searcy
25th day of Jan. 1881                                         Hugh Kirkman
            V.H. Browne
               Judge of Probate


In this and any of the transcriptions * signifies something I cannot quite make out, any one with legal experience can feel free to let me know what the word might be.  I tried for the most part not to correct spelling and punctuation.
Some thoughts on this transcription:
James Henry evidently was out of favor.
Tuscaloosa spelled both with a c and a k in the will.

Richard McLester Leland III