Ford v. Ford

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
Writing for the CourtCASSODAY
Citation33 N.W. 188,70 Wis. 19
Decision Date01 June 1887
PartiesFORD, EX'R, ETC., v. FORD AND OTHERS. (TWO CASES.)

70 Wis. 19
33 N.W. 188

FORD, EX'R, ETC.,
v.
FORD AND OTHERS.
(TWO CASES.)

Supreme Court of Wisconsin.

June 1, 1887.


Appeal from circuit court, Dane county.

[33 N.W. 189]

January 26, 1886, Francis F. Ford died, leaving a will bearing date January 25, 1884, which was admitted to probate in the county court for Dane county, Wisconsin, May 17, 1886, and which will and schedules annexed are to the following effect:

“Know all men by these presents, that I, Francis F. Ford, of the city of Madison, county of Dane, and state of Wisconsin, being of sound disposing mind and memory, do make, publish, and declare this to be my last will and testament, in terms following, to-wit:

[33 N.W. 190]

(1) I direct that all my lawful debts, funeral expenses included, shall be paid as soon after my decease as practicable, out of moneys on hand, or, if need be, from the income of my estate.

(2) It is my will, and I so direct, that the necessary expenses of carrying my estate from year to year be paid from the income thereof.

(3) It is my will, and I so direct, that all indebtedness of any of my brothers to me shall be, and hereby is, canceled, and the legal evidences thereof shall be returned to the makers thereof.

(4) I direct that all properties in Schedule A, attached to this instrument, and bearing my signature, shall be converted, as soon as practicable after my decease, into good rentable ‘inside’ property in Kansas City, Mo., at schedule prices, or as much better as may be.

(5) I also direct that the several properties in Schedule B, attached to this instrument, and bearing my signature, shall, at the discretion of my executors, either be sold and the proceeds thereof be invested in more desirable rentable property in Kansas City, or said proceeds be used in improving some one or more of my Kansas City properties.

(6) I also direct that all moneys, notes, bonds, mortgages, or other evidence of indebtedness to me from any and all parties, except my brothers, shall, as soon as practicable after my decease, be used either in the purchase of property in Kansas City, or for improving properties in said city then on hand.

(7) It is my will, and I so direct, that my wife, Maggie, shall have the use of my homestead, furniture, and appurtenances located on Spaight street, Madison, Wis., so long as she may desire to live in it as her home. In case, at any time, she cease to desire it as her home, I direct that, as soon thereafter as practicable, it be sold at a price not less than ($10,000) ten thousand dollars, or as much more as the property will bring, and the proceeds thereof be invested in good rentable property in Kansas City, Mo., and the rentals of such property be added to the income of the estate.

(8) It is my will, and I so direct, that, in addition to said homestead and furniture, my said wife, Maggie, shall have one-quarter of the net annual income of the remainder of my estate during her natural life, subject to modifications in article 12 of this instrument; and it is expressly stipulated that the above bequests to my said wife are in lieu of dower.

(9) It is my will, and I so direct, that my son, Marcus C. Ford, shall have one-quarter of the net annual income of my estate, homestead not included, until such time as, in accordance with the provisions of this will hereinafter made, he shall come into the possession of the entire estate, but the expenditure and use of said income during his minority shall be under the control and direction of his guardian, and I appoint his mother his guardian during his minority, and, in event of her death, I appoint my brothers Edward I. and Henry T. in her place.

(10) It is my will, and I so direct, that my brother Edward Irving shall have one-quarter of the net annual income of my estate, homestead not included, during his natural life.

(11) It is my will, and I so direct, that my brothers Joseph C. and Henry T. shall each have one-eighth of the net annual income of my estate, homestead not included, during their natural lives.

(12) It is my will, and I so direct, that when my son, Marcus C., reaches his majority, he shall become the owner in fee of ten thousand dollars' worth of my real estate, and at twenty-five (25) years he shall have an additional twenty thousand ($20,000) dollars' worth, and at thirty (30) years of age he shall have an additional twenty-five thousand ($25,000) dollars' worth, and at thirty-five (35) years of age he shall have an additional forty-five thousand ($45,000) dollars' worth, and at forty (40) years of age the remainder of my estate shall become his; and I also direct that the income of my said wife,

[33 N.W. 191]

Maggie, shall be kept up to fifteen hundred ($1,500) dollars, any deficit to be taken from the income of my son, Marcus C., and, as an offset thereto, my son, Marcus C., shall be entitled to any excess in said wife's income over and above twenty-five hundred ($2,500) dollars a year.

(13) I also direct that in the event that my son, Marcus C., shall decease after reaching his majority, leaving one or more legitimate children of his body, that the income of forty thousand ($40,000) dollars' worth of my estate, or so much thereof as may in prudence be necessary, shall be used for the proper support of such child or children, until they shall severally become of legal age, when an equal part of the above-named principal, and accrued interest, shall become his or hers absolutely.

(14) In the event that my son, Marcus C., shall survive all my other legatees, and then die before coming into possession of my whole estate, it is my will, and I so direct, that the remainder of my estate as of that date shall belong to Hamilton College, located at Clinton, New York, to be used in the endowment of some new professorship, and the remainder to be used, at the discretion of the trustees of said college, in the erection of some new building for college uses, or in the endowment of additional professorships; such building or professorships to bear my name.

(15) If either my wife, Maggie, or one of my brothers, shall become my only surviving legatee, it is my will in that event, and I so direct, that my estate, at that time, be divided as nearly as may be into two (2) equal parts as regards value and renting power, and said wife or brother shall then choose between the incomes of said two properties, and have and enjoy the same during his or her natural life; and it is my will that the other part of my estate shall at that date become the property of Hamilton College, to be used as directed in article 14 in this instrument. And I further direct that, at the death of said wife or brother, the remaining part of my estate shall become the property of Hamilton College, to be used as in article 14.

I hereby appoint my two brothers Joseph C. and Henry T. Ford as executors of this, my last will and testament.

In witness whereof, I, Francis F. Ford, have to this, my last will and testament, consisting of four sheets of paper, subscribed my name and affixed my seal at Madison, Wis., this twenty-fifth (25) day of January, 1884.

+----------------------------------+
                ¦[Signed]¦FRANCIS F. FORD.” [Seal.]¦
                +----------------------------------+
                

The lands described in Schedule A were situated and therein priced as follows: Homestead, in Madison, Wis., priced at $10,000; lands in Kalamazoo, Mich., priced in the aggregate at $27,000; about 1,508 acres of land in the state of Kansas, priced in the aggregate at $38,500. The lands described in Schedule B were situated in Kansas City, Missouri, and therein priced in the aggregate at $19,200.

The plaintiff, as the qualified executor, commenced this action in the circuit court for Dane county for the construction1 of said will so probated in the county court, whereupon the widow, Margaret G. Ford, and Marcus C.

[33 N.W. 192]

Ford, the only child of said testator, by his guardian ad litem, and Hamilton College, respectively, answered the complaint, which complaint and answers were severally amended by leave of the court.

Prior to the trial it was stipulated by the respective parties, in effect, “that the printed laws and decisions of the Revised Statutes” in our state law library,

[33 N.W. 193]

“for the states of Missouri, Kansas, Michigan, and Iowa, (and of the state of New York, for the purpose of proving the incorporation of the trustees of Hamilton College,)” might “be referred to by any and all of the parties herein to show what the law of any of said states” was “as to any of the legal points involved in or that” might “arise in said case, either in the circuit or supreme court of this state,” and that it “should not be necessary to introduce in evidence any of said statutes, laws, or reported decisions; but that any of the parties herein” should “have the right to use or refer to same as evidence herein.”

In addition to what has been stated, it appeared from the undisputed evidence, and was found as facts upon the trial, in effect, that the testator died testate at the age of 58 years, in Kansas City, Missouri, January 26, 1886, leaving said will. That, at the time of his death, he was a resident of and domiciled in the city of Madison, Dane county, Wisconsin, and had been for 10 years immediately prior thereto. That he left him surviving, his widow, the said Margaret G., then aged 46 years; and one child, a son, the said Marcus C., then aged 12 years; and three brothers, Edward Irving Ford, then living at Asbury Park, New Jersey, and aged 60 years; Joseph C. Ford, then residing in Madison, Wisconsin, and aged 55 years; and Henry Thornton Ford, then living at Jersey City, New Jersey, and aged 53 years. That all of said persons were still living. That he left him surviving, no sister, father, or mother. That said will was admitted to probate as stated. That thereupon letters testamentary were issued by said county court to the plaintiff, who thereupon qualified as executor, and has ever since acted and still acts as such....

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80 practice notes
  • Becker v. Chester
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • June 19, 1902
    ...period for which the power of alienation of realty under the trust may be suspended, is valid. Counsel for appellant point to Ford v. Ford, 70 Wis. 19, 33 N. W. 188, 5 Am. St. Rep. 159, as significantly out of harmony with the views above expressed. The following language is referred to: “T......
  • First Nat. Bank v. Cash, 7 Div. 878.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • November 7, 1929
    ...and personal estate as real, and transmissible and descendible as such."' 3 Pom. Eq. Jur. § 1159. In the note to Ford v. Ford [33 N.W. 188,] 5 Amer. St. Rep. 117-141, it is said: 'It is so well established as to be at this time beyond controversy that an estate will be considered as of......
  • De Vaughn v. McLeroy
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Georgia
    • July 31, 1889
    ...48, and note, 57; Smilie v. Biffle, 2 Pa. St. 52, 44 Amer. Dec. 156, and note, 159; Carr v. Branch, (Va.) 8 S.E. 478; Ford v. Ford, (Wis.) 33 N.W. 188. And the testator's direction to sell the land after the death of his widow, and divide the proceeds among all of his children, converted th......
  • Harrington v. Pier
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • February 2, 1900
    ...and, under the repeated decisions of this court, the real estate must be regarded as personal property. Ford v. Ford, 70 Wis. 46-48, 33 N. W. 188, and cases there cited. The clause in the will giving the greater portion of such trust funds for the benefit of Crystal Spring Lodge, I. O. G. T......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
80 cases
  • Becker v. Chester
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • June 19, 1902
    ...period for which the power of alienation of realty under the trust may be suspended, is valid. Counsel for appellant point to Ford v. Ford, 70 Wis. 19, 33 N. W. 188, 5 Am. St. Rep. 159, as significantly out of harmony with the views above expressed. The following language is referred to: “T......
  • First Nat. Bank v. Cash, 7 Div. 878.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • November 7, 1929
    ...as personal, and personal estate as real, and transmissible and descendible as such."' 3 Pom. Eq. Jur. § 1159. In the note to Ford v. Ford [33 N.W. 188,] 5 Amer. St. Rep. 117-141, it is said: 'It is so well established as to be at this time beyond controversy that an estate will be consider......
  • De Vaughn v. McLeroy
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Georgia
    • July 31, 1889
    ...48, and note, 57; Smilie v. Biffle, 2 Pa. St. 52, 44 Amer. Dec. 156, and note, 159; Carr v. Branch, (Va.) 8 S.E. 478; Ford v. Ford, (Wis.) 33 N.W. 188. And the testator's direction to sell the land after the death of his widow, and divide the proceeds among all of his children, converted th......
  • Harrington v. Pier
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • February 2, 1900
    ...and, under the repeated decisions of this court, the real estate must be regarded as personal property. Ford v. Ford, 70 Wis. 46-48, 33 N. W. 188, and cases there cited. The clause in the will giving the greater portion of such trust funds for the benefit of Crystal Spring Lodge, I. O. G. T......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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