I, Joseph Foster, do make and publish this, my last will and testament, revoking and making void all other wills by me at any other time made.
First: I give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Mary Foster, all the lands that I may possess and personal property during her natural life time and one man servant, named Oliver and one other man servant named Manuel Jackson.
Margaret, Hannah, Jane and Margaret’s children named as follows, William, James, Richard, Hellen and Josphine and any other that Margaret may have during the life time of my wife, also Heneritta who is at this time aflicted and if she should die before I do I give Catherina in her place. 1 waggon and harness and four mules, 2 mares and colts if there should be any at the time of my death.
All the household and kitchen furniture just as it may be at death and two hundred barrels of corn, three thousand pounds of bacon or port, 4 milch cows and calves, 30 head of stock hogs, 15 head of sheep and 2 Barshear plows, 3 Bulling, 3 Aseege, 4 hoes, 2 grubbing hoes, 2 long handle shouvels, 1 log chain, 3 pair of stretchers, 4 pair of plow gears, 1 loam and hangers, 1 side saddle, 1 buggy, 5 stans of bees, if there is that number here. All the iron that may be on one set of blacksmith tools, 1 yoke of oxen if there be any at the time and $300.000 dollars in money for contingent expenses. Secondly: I direct that my funeral expenses and all my just debts be paid as soon after my death as convenient out of my moneys that may be on hand or may first come to the hands of my Executor.
Thirdly: I give and bequeath, Hannah Strayhorn, one fourth of all my estate both personal and real at the time of my death. The real estate to come back to my children at the death of my daughter, Hannah Strayhorn, if she dies without children or grandchildren and the personal property to remain in the hands of my son-in-law, Samuel Strayhorn, during his natural lifetime and at his death to come back to my representatives. The personal property that is not given to my wife is to go in the hands of my daughter, Hannah Strayhorn, at my decease.
Fourthly: I give to my son, B.C. Foster, one fourth part of my estate both real and personal, the real estate to come to his hands at the death of his mother and one fourth of what is given to her at that time of the personal property.
Fourthly, I give to my son, John E. Foster’s children, equality all that may be born to him in wedlock one fourth part of all my estate both real and personal. The real to come to the hands of my son, John E. Foster, at the death of his Mother as the guardian of his children and to remain in his hands as such guardian until the youngest child becomes thwenty-three years of age without the intervention of a court or bond to receive from my executor and receipt for all their interest and control the same for their interest of his children.*
Sixth: I give to my daughter, Margaret Lavinis, one fourth of my estate both real and personal during her natural lifetime and at her death to her children.. She is to have her interest in the real estate at the death of her Mother and one fourh part of the property left to her mother at the same time.
Seventh: I direct my Executor to sell all the stock and chattle property that I may die possessed of on such time as will be to the interest of my Legatees as soon after my decease as convenient. My son, John E. Foster, is to remain where he now lives as long as his mother lives without paying rent if he wishes to do so.
Lastly, I nominate Andrew J. Gray as the Executor of this my last will and testament where unto I have set my hand and seal this 5th day of May, Eighteen Hundred and Sixty Three.
Signed: Joseph Foster
Copied from original handwritten will.
*An interesting note: This John E. married a young girl from Mississippi, Elizabeth White, in 1851. She died at the age of 29 after giving birth to 5 children. He took in a negro woman and they had several children. Elizabeth was buried in the family cemetary and he was buried across the road in his front yard. Apparently that is why his father left John E.’s part to his “children born in wedlock” and nothing to him except a place to live for “as long as he wished to”.
Source: Margaret Foster Fisher
2930 Foxcroft Ct. #1
Topeka KS 66614 Margaret Fisher