Will of Joseph Smith Edmundson
I, Joseph S. Edmundson being of the age threescore and two years of age, being in the declivity of years, approaching the time allotted unto men threescore and ten, and deeming the uncertainty of life, and the certainty of death, and being of sound mind and disposing memory, do this day make this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all other wills by me at any time made.
FIRST, it is my will that my remains be intered in Pleasant Hill grave yard in the honor of Masonry, by Bethel Lodge of First Masons, and if then convenient, and weather not too inclement, my Funeral be preached by the Preacer in charge of this circuit aided by H.L. Fagan, if convenient And after my remains shall have been consigned to Mother Earth and the last tribute of respect paid to my memory, nothing but a plain marble head and foot stone to mark the place of the deposit of my ashes, is desired
SECONDLY, it is my desire that the funeral expenses and all my just debt be paid as early as practible out of any money I may die siezed and possessed of or may come into the hands of my Executor who is hereafter appointed.
THIRDLY, it is my will and desire that my beloved wife, Susan E. Edmundson, the Mother of my only heirs, our children being nine now living, and all of age but the two youngest, be suitably provided for, that her circumstances shall render her easy and comfortable, independent of our children treating them all upon an equality as it is my desire they shall all be made equal with the mean we have at our disposal as near so as practible without litigation or suit.
She is their Mother indeed and in fact, such that few families can claim none excell and seldom if ever equaled in point of moral and religious, as well as business qualities. I regret dieing and leaving the pleasures of life, of so good and excellent wife, but the will of God be done, I submissively resign all to His indomitable and unerring decree. I hope, trust, and believe before my body shall be consigned to the grave, my spirit will be with God who gave it. Now I want it understood so long as my widow, my children's Mother, shall find it her interest and pleasure to remain their widowed Mother, that they all bow submissively to her will, and pleasure, but in process of time that it become her interest and pleasure to change her state as such in that event she does that at the risk of losing her domineering or controlling influence of the assets of her former lord and master, with the exception of one thousand dollars worth in a homestead provided with the railroad stock now in her name, though obligated as a collatteral to Gilbert, Parkes Inc. from whom it must be redeemed by my children as provided by paying all the just debts. She is to have the proceeds of that stock as her separate use and benefit, at her death to be equally divided among her children. It is my desire that all our children shall be made equal in the final windup of my estate I have given to my oldest son, John David, one hundred acres of land as conveyed to him and registered heretofore, valued at two thousand dollars. And I have given to my next eldest son Elihu E. two thousand dollars in the purchase of the________as conveyed to him and his wife, and deed heretofore registered, I have given to my daughter, Catherine E. Watts, wife of T. L. Watts my interest in the dower of Mrs. Adilade H. Inman former widow of the late S. C. McHughes, as shown in the deed of conveyance to her and her husband, T. L. Watts (?), they paying me for all but the two thousand dollars worth as it cost me, except the interest for which he is due me unpaid one hundred and ten dollars which amount he must pay in my estate: My Executor to make him a deed therefor, when he shall have paid the $110.00 and interest. I have given to my sons Jo Smith and Ezra L. 153 acres, deed to them of date 26th of Feb., 1880, to be divided with the partition fence as now run, said Jo Smith's half to be held in trust by Ezra L. Edmundson free from his original debts, and when said debts shall have been compromised as they are illegal and made without valuable consideration and without any benefit to him therefore none of my effects are to go to liquidate them, no further than has been of real benefit to him or his family. When said debts are liquidated then said E.L. as trustee convey to him and ________ one half of the 153 acres of land, this 153 acres of land and the houses and lots and the parcels of land held and claimed in Bethel as theirs together with the advantages of funds paid out to them for their professions will make them up each two thousand dollars. Now this shows five of our eldest children advanced each two thousand dollars exclusive of stock and household and kitchen furniture. I have sold to I.V. Pully 37 acres of land. It is my will that my Executor by the power herein vested in him make him a fee simple title. Also I have sold T.L. Watts 25-1/4 acres and E.L. and C.G. Edmundson 173 acres and title bonds executed to them severally. It is my will that my Executor by this authority perfect titles to them, when the last payments are made, He is hereby empowered to execute deeds to them, with the effect and virtue as though I was alive and do the same myself. These lands were sold for the purpose of liquidating debts as specified in a trust deed to_______2nd day of January, 1879, afterwards he resigned and my son E.E. Edmundson, qualified as trustee and he E.E. Edmundson is hereby appointed as my Executor to execute this will, by both those fiduciary capacities his deed and conveyance as such are hereby acquired in and recognized as lawful and valid beyond doubt and dispute. The sales of these lands, and the last crop, and the advances to my said children bountifully pays off all debts named and provided for in said trust deed: a receipt assigned by each of the said eldest children of date 26th Feb. 1880 shows that they have been paid when a few more of small debts are paid off, for which there is already sales and accounts to bountifully pay them then the trust deed will be closed out and void. The balance of my lands are abundantly sufficient to equalize my other four youngest boys, Van 0., Clifford G., George A., and Cleburn, to two thousand dollars each. And it is my will that they, each of them, be supplied with stock say two horses each, household and kitchen furniture and cow and calf, as the eldest ones have been furnished such. It is my will that V. 0. Edmundson have that part of my tract of land, beginning at the N.W. corner of J.L. Hardy's land running with his line to the S.W. corner of the 173 acre tract as sold to E. L. and C. G. Edmundson, thence North of T. L. Watts land of the 144 acre tract, thence East xing the creek to the beginning. And that my son Clifford G. Edmundson have that part of the land, beginning at the poplar at the grave yard, running thence, West down the road to the big spring, running across the centre of the same and down the spring branch to the road, thence with the road opposite the gate hung to the oak tree in front of the shop. Thence Eastwardly with the fence to the fence, the West boundary of the parcel alloted to V. O. Edmundson in this will. Thence with the fence his line to West boundary line of the tract sold to E.L. and C.G. Edmundson of 173 acres. Thence North with the W.B. of the same to the beginning. Now the title of these two parcels rest in my four oldest children originally and they convey an equal interest with themselves to their other brothers.
And it is my will in compliance to the article assigned by them, that the title be divested out of them and vested in said V. 0. and G. G. Edmundson according to the above descriptions, severally. And it is my will C.G. Edmundson have in addition to the last above described parcel, that parcel of my land lying, bounded North by J.D. Edmundson, west by G. B. Adams, and South by Ezra L. Edmundson, to the road leading from G. B. Adams, to the branch, both which two parcels of land valued to Clifford G. Edmundson, at two thousand dollars, and V.0. Edmundson as above described valued at two thousand dollars, including his professional expenses. The remainder of my lands bounded North by I.V. Pully, West by John D. Edmundson, and the last above described parcel allotted to Clifford, South by E.L. Edmundson and T.L. Watts, and East by the parcels allotted in this will to Van and Clifford and C. G. Edmundson land on Jenkins Creek, to be set apart for my two youngest children and their mother's life estate, during her life for her subsistance and comfort. This excepts the sawmill, gristmill, shafting(?) and ginhead and press, which are common property and also my 1/2 interest in the storehouse and lot in Bethel are common property, also the timbered land belonging to me between Dog Branch and Tackets Branch is held as common property; all my stock after equalizing my younger children and such as my widow may need, are excepted the balance common property.
On the death of my widow, all the common property may be sold and divided to, equalize the legacies of the several children or sooner if it meets the approbation of my widow and a majority of my children. It is impossible to divide as large an estate as this into nine divisions and have them all equal, but I hope near enough between brothers and sisters. Therefore I hope harmony may prevail among them and they all cheerfully submit to these allotments.
I have sold and conveyed to John D Edmundson, my oldest son, all the lands North of his 100 acre tract heretofore conveyed to him and bounded East by J.V. Pully and Jim Tom Eubank, North by Larkin Smith and West by Wesly Burge, which tract of land he having paid me for in full.
Witness my hand and seal this
Joseph S. Edmundson
I Joseph S. Edrnundson having just made and assigned the above as my last will and testament and just discovered a parcel of land left out and therefore do make and declare this a codicil thereto. First it is my will that E.E.(?) Edmundson have the option to take a ten acre parcel of the J.E. Gilbert tract lying east of his tract, by his paying in my estate two thousand dollars therefor.
This March 1st 1880.
Joseph S. Edmundson
Source: Giles County Historical Society, Pulaski, TN
Submitted by: Ron Edmundson