12 A. 612 (N.J.Eq. 1887), Frost v. Wheeler

Citation:12 A. 612, 43 N.J.Eq. 573
Opinion Judge:THE ORDINARY
Party Name:MARY ISABELLA FROST, appellant, v. FRANCES ELLEN WHEELER, respondent
Attorney:Mr. Alan H. Strong and Mr. James H. Van Cleef, for the appellant. Mr. George C. Ludlow, for the respondent.
Case Date:October 01, 1887
Court:Supreme Court of New Jersey
 
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Page 612

12 A. 612 (N.J.Eq. 1887)

43 N.J.Eq. 573

MARY ISABELLA FROST, appellant,

v.

FRANCES ELLEN WHEELER, respondent

Prerogative Court of New Jersey

October 1, 1887

On appeal from Middlesex orphans court.

Mr. Alan H. Strong and Mr. James H. Van Cleef, for the appellant.

Mr. George C. Ludlow, for the respondent.

OPINION

THE ORDINARY

This case presents two appeals from the orphans court of Middlesex county. One from a decree, dated on the 10th of March, 1887, which directs the admission of a paper, which purports to be the last will of Mary Richards Ransom Jones, to probate, and the other from an order, dated on the 15th day of March, 1887, which provides that the appellant herein, who was the caveatrix below, shall pay the costs of the litigation in the orphans court, except the proponent's costs up to and including the taking of the depositions of the testamentary witnesses.

The appellant is one

Page 613

of the two children of the decedent.

By the paper in dispute she will take $ 100 of her mother's estate, while her sister, Frances E. Wheeler, with whom the mother resided at her death, will take the entire residue.

[43 N.J.Eq. 574] It does not appear what this residue will amount to; but there is sufficient in the evidence to satisfy me that the bequest to the caveatrix is insignificant in comparison with it.

The contest is upon two grounds: that Mrs. Jones was incompetent to make a will, and that there was undue influence in procuring the paper offered for probate.

At her death, Mrs. Jones was in the sixty-seventh year of her age. Her husband died in 1881. She had two children, both daughters. The elder, who is the caveatrix, is the wife of William Frost, and the younger, Frances E. Wheeler, is the wife of Francis B. Wheeler, but is separated from him, and suing for a divorce.

From the spring of 1883 till the spring of 1886, Mrs. Jones resided upon a farm, near New Brunswick, which was owned and maintained by her brother, Charles Ransom, as a home for his sisters, who were severally, more or less, dependent upon him. Her sisters, Mrs. Knox, Mrs. Foote and Mrs. Bryant, and her two daughters and Mrs. Bryant's daughter, also lived there. For a time, the farm was managed by a man named Jackson, who had married a daughter of Mrs. Knox, and then it was put in charge of William Frost, the husband of...

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