Seneca County Wills, 1853, p 186 - 193
Be it remembered that on the 13th day of October in the year One Thousand Eight Hundred and fifty three, John H. Hooker, one of the Executors named in the last will and testament of Esther Hause, late of the Town of Fayette, deceased, appeared in open court before the surrogate of the County of Seneca and made application to have the last will and testament and Codicil there to awarded while related to real and personal Estate proved and on such application this Surrogate did ascertain who were the heirs and next of kin of the said Esther Hause, deceased, and one of them appears to be a minor under the age of twenty one years having ... residing within this state a special there appointed in due form of law to take care of the interest of said minor in the matter of proving said will by an order entered for the deed purpose by said surrogate and the surrogate did therefore have a citation in due form of law directed to the said heirs next of kin and special guardian aforesaid by their respective (monies?). Stating their respective places of residence requiring them to appear before the Surrogate of said County of Seneca, or the Surrogate's office in Ovid on the fifth day of December 1853 at ten o'clock in the fore noon of that day to attend the probate of Said Will and Afterward on the said 5th day of December 1853. Satisfactory evidence was produced and presented to this Said Surrogate of the due Service of said Citation in (dis mode?) prescribed law and one that day John Williams and Electa his wife by Db C. Bloomer and D. Herron their Counsel appointed to oppose the probate of said will and Codicil and such from proceedings were therefore had on the fifth and Sixth day of December 1853. Said surrogate took the proof of Said Will and Codicil there to annexed and which is herein after (to the Ovid and he the?) Said Surrogate got to therefore adjudged said will and Codicil to be a good and valid will of real and personal Estate and to the proofs there of to be sufficient which said last Will and Testament Codicil and proofs are as follows that is to say--
Will of Esther Ketchem Hause
In the presence of God Amen. I Ester (sic) Hause of the Town of Fayette Seneca Co., and the State of New York being weak in body, but of sound and perfect mind and memory (blessed be God therefor) in view of the uncertainty of life do make publish and declare my last will and testament as follows. I commend my Soul to God who gave it being a firm believer on his mercy and grace through the Lord Jesus Christ. As to the dispossession of the little worldly property I possess I direct that all my debts and funeral expenses shall be paid as soon as may be after my decease to my daughter Electee Williams I give and bequeath the sum of five dollars which I direct my Executors of this my last will and testament to pay out of the first monies of my Estate that shall come into their hands after paying my debts. My wearing apparel I give and bequeath to my three daughters, Melindee Updyke, Louise Wilburn, Caroline Gage to be equolle (sic) divided between them by my executors. The remainder of my property I give and bequeath to my children Delebar Hause, Charles Hause, Augustus Hause, John Hause, Alanson Hause, Melinda Updyke, Louisee Wilbur, Carolyn S. Gage to be equally divided among them by my executors. I hereby constitute and appoint my friends George W. Randall and John H. Hooker, the executors of this my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all forever Wills and testaments by me made.
Signed sealed published and declared to be her last will and testament in the presence of us who have Subscribed our services as witnesses in the presence of the other testatrix and each other dated this Second day of April in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and forty seven.
W. Randall, Residing in Fayette, Seneca County New York
Where as I Ester (sic) Hause of the Town of Fayette in the County of Seneca and State of New York, died on the second day of April one Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty Seven Execute and make my last will and testament in writing in and by which I have bequeathed to my daughter Louisa Wilbur Wife of Gydeon Wilbur a certain fraction or share of my property as in the said last will and testament is expressed and whereas I did lend to the said Gideon S. Wilbur and Louise his wife of the said town and county aforesaid the sum of ninety eight dollars on this fourteenth day of April one thousand eight hundred and forty six which sum of money has not been returned to me. Now therefore it is my will and wish and I do direct that the said sum of ninety eight dollars with interest thereon from the said 14th day of July 1846 up to the final settlement of my estate shall be awarded to the said Louise Wilbur as forming a part of the said share of my estate bequeathed to her by my said last will and testament, and which said last will and Testament is annexed hereto.
In whereof I have hereto set my hand and seal this twenty ninth (29) day of August in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred fifty one.
The above instrument consisting of one sheet was of the date thereof signed Sealed published I declared by the said Ester (sic) Hause notes a codicil to her last will and testament in presence of us who at her request in her presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto.
C. Bloomer residing in Seneca Fall Seneca Co., N.Y.
Surrogates Court County of Seneca
the matter of proving
Seneca County. I George W. Randall being, duly sworn and examined before John C. Seely Surrogate doth depose and say as follows. "I reside in Fayette, Seneca County and did reside there on the 2nd day of April A. D. 1847. I was well acquainted with Esther Hause now deceased. I was present as a witness and saw her subscribe her paper now produced and shown to me bearing the date April 2 1847 by making her mark. I read the Will twice to her before she signed it. The attesting clause was likewise read to her each time with the will. She at the time of signing it declared it to be her last will and Testament and she (wanted?) in declaration in presence of this deponent Travis Williamson Ruben Terrine and Elizabeth Randall and requested us then and there to sign said Last Will and Testament in the presence of said testatrix and in presence of each other. She was of full age between sixty and seventy years--and a citizen of the United States. I thought she was of sound mind and memory for one of her age & competent to make a will. I have been acquainted with her intimately for fifteen or sixteen years. The will was executed at my house--no compulsion, or improper influence used to induce her to make a will that I know of. Ruben D. Perrine, one of the subscribing witnesses left for the State of Michigan the last I knew of him. I wrote the will at her house--no person was present. I do not recollect that my wife was present. This was a few days before it was executed.
and Subscribed before
Seneca County H. George M Randall in his cross examination testified as follows. I have been acquainted with her 15 or 16 years. She was not educated she could not write. I do not know whether she could read or not--She was a woman who entertained strong prejudices. Her husband died in the winter of 1844. I understood she had been sick. Her speech was affected. She never fully recovered her speech. She was not so smart as to get about afterward. I have occasionally done a little business with her. She had the palsy a little before her husband's death. I do not think she managed her estate (judiciously?) after she got possession. She would have had an income of two hundred dollars per year--if it had all been invested by her. She has now about $630. She was to receive $150 per year as long as she lived--this commenced 20th of May 1846. After the making of the will she claimed that Gideon Wilber owed her $98. I was called in to hear the matter talked over and hear the statement of both parties. From what I heard I thought the old lady was mistaken. I told her so. She could not be convinced--it appeared to me perfectly plain. I thought any reasonable person would take the same view I did. The old lady as administrator of her husband's estate owed her daughter Mrs Gage some $100 and Wilbur owed the estate a certain amount--and the old lady wanted him to pay so she could pay Mrs Gage. He says you have got money. Pay Mrs Gage and I will pay you next week. He did so. It was previous to my writing a codicil to the will that this occurred. She wanted to help some of her children more than others--and not put it in her will. She was apparently partial because they had done most for her. She said Charles Hause had been the best boy they had raised--She wanted to help him most--I have heard there was a family quarrel--the old lady took sides with some of her children against others--I should suppose the effect of the palsy would last with an old person as long as she lived (this was objected to by applicant's counsel, on the ground that the witness had not said. The foundation is not an expert). Proof received--It would naturally effect her mind to some extent--I wrote her will. It was probable (sic) done because one of the Executors named in a former will had died. She brought the Will to me and wanted me to copy it--I told her there was a clause in that will that would not look well--I told her she ought to strike out that clause. It would be advisable to strike it out--the clause read as follows "I will and bequeath to my daughter Electa one dollar and request that she may purchase a Bible therewith, and the constant perusal thereof will be of more benefit than any earthly bequest I can give her." I told her I did not wish to write her Will with such a clause, but she had probable (sic) better give her enough to buy a good bible with. The previous Will was written by Dr Child, a year and a half before the one now in proof, or there abouts. She held her children's bonds and mortgages for the minimal payment of $15.10. I think there was against Charles Hause a bond and mortgage, there are two notes against Charles House payable without interest. The notes were dated last Spring. There is one or two notes from Alanson House--no interest. The business I have done for her has been since she had the palsy. I never discovered any difficulty in making her understand what I said, except at the time above alluded to--She could not comprehend a matter of business I should think as well after her stroke of palsy as before--There was no other fact, that indicated her competency, but her request to copy the will being cool and composed and what was said. About the clause that was struck out
George W. Randall being further examined on behalf of petitioner says--he traveled with her about 15 years ago for near a week and from that time until after the writing of the Will by deponent, she was a frequent visitor at deponent's house--I never discovered any want of memory. I never discovered any weakness or wandering in her mind--I thought she had a good idea of property--She was close in her dealing and made good bargains--she was struck with palsy before her husband's death as I recollect--She and William Hoskins were appointed administrators of her husband's estate. The personal Estate amounted to about $2700 and real estate to the amount of 150 acres, her daughter Electa resided in the neighborhood--her husband died without a will. Wm Hoskins removed to Michigan seven or eight years ago and has not resided in this state since--No administrator appointed in place of William Hoskins as I know and I saw no evidence in her acts that showed that her mind was affected by the palsy--She had no difficulty in understanding what was said to her, I did not mean to be understood to say that she had, only she did not take the same vein that I did of the Wilbur matter. One of the boys Charles seemed to be a favorite of hers. Caroline was also--all I know of the family quarrel was hearsay--I have heard the quarrel commenced before Mr Hause's death--in all her interactions with this deponent she always wished to dispose of her property the same as she has in her will. She asked me how she could give or help some more then others, without putting it in the Will--I told her to put her hand in her pocket, take out the money and give it to them. The will that I drew is precisely like the one drawn by Childs except for the clause in relation to the executor who was deceased and the clause in relation to the Bible--Childs was named Executor in the first Will--John H. Tooker was put in Childs' place in the Will I drew. Electa her daughter is the Wife of John Williams one of the contestants and they have resided in the neighborhood ever since I knew them.
George W. Randall being further cross examined by constants says "I don't know whether she did her own business or not." I don't know whether Alanson Hause did her business or not, I have seen her trade and have also seen her travel and pay her bills. This was before her husband's death--I have seen her trade since her palsy--I never saw her pay for anything--I never saw her do anything excepting assisting at the appraisal & trading--At the appraisal she pointed out things in the house, to the appraiser. She talked with me abut the family affairs--At the time the Will was made, I asked her, if she had forgotten Amaretta Roberts--She said she had not--she had enough if she made good use of it--Amaretta was the only living grand child. She had the share belonging to her deceased mother of Mrs Hause's Estate. I have heard she got her board of Alanson Hause for five Shillings a week--If so I think she must be good at a bargain. This conclusion is mere hearsay--I don't recollect of her doing any business, except what is above stated.
I Elizabeth H Randall Being duly sworn and examined before John E. Seeley Surrogate doth depose and say "I reside in Fayette, and am the Wife of G. W. Randall, the last witness--I was well acquainted with Mrs Hause and have been for thirty years. She was a woman of sound mind as long as I knew her--I knew her up to within a few weeks of her death. I have seen the papers purporting to be her will bearing date the 2nd day of April 1847 before. I saw Mrs Hause subscribe the same by making her will--She at the time of making her mark, said it was her last Will and Testament--The will was read to her in my presence--I signed the will as a Witness in her presence and at her request and in the presence of George W. Randall, Simms Williamson and Ruben D Perrine witnesses who also signed as witnesses in presence of Mrs Hause and of this witness--Her mind at the time of making the will was good--no compulsion--She divided her property, just as she wished to--no other person, present except the witnesses.
and Subscribed before me this 5th day of December 1853
John C. Seeley Surrogate