West v. Walker,

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
Writing for the CourtORTON
Citation46 N.W. 819,77 Wis. 557
PartiesWEST v. WALKER ET AL.
Decision Date14 October 1890

77 Wis. 557
46 N.W. 819

WEST
v.
WALKER ET AL.

Supreme Court of Wisconsin.

Oct. 14, 1890.


Appeal from circuit court, Portage county.

[46 N.W. 819]

A. S. Spooner and Cate, Jones & Sanborn, for appellants.

Raymond & Brennan, for respondent.


ORTON, J.

The facts of this case are substantially as follows: On the 19th day of October, 1882, one Calvin West, a widower, and the father of several children, at the age of 85 years, then residing in Walworth county, in this state, and the owner of a half section of land in section 25, township 1, range 15 E., lying in said county, intermarried with the plaintiff, then one Elizabeth Butler, a widow, and twice before married, and the mother of at least one child, then being in said county, and of the age of 61 years, and for a time they lived in the house, and on the homestead of the said Calvin West, on said land. A short time before said marriage, and on the 16th day of August, 1882, the said parties entered into a written antenuptial agreement, signed by both of them in the presence of witnesses, by which the said Calvin West agreed to give to the said Elizabeth $1,000 from his estate, on his death, if she survived him, and her support as long as the lived, in consideration and in lieu of her dower in his lands, and in full of all allowances whatever, and claims against his estate; and the said Elizabeth agreed to marry the said Calvin, and be to him a true and faithful wife. This contract was executed in duplicate, and delivered to each

[46 N.W. 820]

party respectively. This is the substance of the contract as derived from the testimony of witnesses, the originals having been lost or destroyed. This would seem to be the substance of the agreement, but it was probably put in better form, having been drawn by A. S. Spooner, Esq., an attorney at law of said county, who, together with Spencer H. West, one of the sons of the said Calvin, about 65 years of age, and a witness to said contract, and T. H. Walker, Esq., an attorney at law of the county of Portage, and administrator of the estate, who had seen the contract, testified of its contents. The terms of this contract were few and short, and could easily have been remembered, and all of the witnesses, including the said Walker, substantially agreed as to the terms thereof. The learned circuit court found “that the said Calvin West and the plaintiff in this action, prior to their marriage, made an antenuptial agreement of some kind, but what were the terms of such agrecment in full does not satisfactorily appear from the evidence.” We are compelled to differ from the learned circuit court and hold that the terms of said agreement do both satisfactorily and sufficiently appear, and that said agreement was valid and binding on both of said parties as an antenuptial agreement, by which the plaintiff surrendered her right of dower in the lands of said Calvin West, and all claims against his estate, in consideration of her support during her life, and $1,000 of his estate. The plaintiff herself testified that the agreement was signed by both of them, and one of them delivered to her, and that it was executed two or three months before their marriage. In Wilson v. Holt, 3 South. Rep. 321, an antenuptial agreement that had been destroyed was established on less evidence. There was perfect agreement of the witnesses as to its contents, and no contradictory testimony on the question. At the time of said marriage, the plaintiff had known the said Calvin West for 20 years, and she was entirely destitute of property and of means of support, except the use of a house and lot. This agreement was made in view of their prospective marriage, and their marriage was one of its stipulations, and based upon its faith and validity. It may be said to have been one of the inducements of the marriage, and one of the conditions upon which it took place, and we might almost say that it would not have taken place without it. The great importance and materiality of this antenuptial agreement sufficiently appears. Calvin West died on the 28th day of March, 1886, where he had lived with the plaintiff for some time, at the residence of the plaintiff's married daughter in Portage county, in this state, with whom they had been boarding. He left a personal estate, valued by the referee at $10,000, and proved to be worth $17,000, and said real estate was appraised at about $9,000. He left a will, by which he devised to the heirs of six of his children, and to an adopted son, all of his property, in certain amounts, to the extent of about $6,000, and the residue thereof to be equally distributed between his heirs at law. Letters of administration were granted by the county court of Portage county to the said Walker, one of the respondents. About two weeks before the said Calvin West died, he executed an instrument in writing, drawn by the said Walker, of substantially the same terms of said antenuptial agreement, with the additional stipulation, on his part, giving to the plaintiff all his household furniture and clothing, and making the $1,000 payable in government bonds. This instrument repeats that it should be in full satisfaction and payment of all and every claim against his estate, including dower and all other allowances. There is only one stipulation in said instrument, on her part, in addition to those in said antenuptial agreement, but of no particular consequence, and that is that neither should contract debts without the consent of the other. The first clause of this instrument is that “all previous contracts and agreements thereto” are thereby revoked, and made null and void. This action is brought in the Portage county...

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9 practice notes
  • Chi., St. P., M. & O. Ry. Co. v. Douglas Cnty.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • January 8, 1908
    ...Wis. 394. Among other references the following cases were cited upon the part of the respondent: Section 2620, St. 1898; West v. Walker, 77 Wis. 557, 46 N. W. 819;Woodward v. Hanchett, 52 Wis. 482, 9 N. W. 468;Leinenkugel v. Kehl, 73 Wis. 238, 40 N. W. 683;Ellis v. Northern Pac. Ry. Co., 77......
  • Rieger v. Schaible, No. 15,049.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Nebraska
    • March 5, 1908
    ...56 Am. Dec. 155;Faulkner v. Faulkner, 3 Leigh (Va.) 225, 23 Am. Dec. 264;Hinkle v. Hinkle, 34 W. Va. 142, 11 S. E. 993;West v. Walker, 77 Wis. 557, 46 N. W. 819; Hershy v. Latham, 46 Ark. 542; Peck v. Peck, 12 R. I. 485, 34 Am. Rep. 702. We think the rule deducible from the authorities unde......
  • Bibelhausen v. Bibelhausen
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • January 12, 1915
    ...about such an agreement. The contrary logic in the findings is wrong as decidedly shown by the decisions of this court. West v. Walker, 77 Wis. 557, 46 N. W. 819;Deller v. Deller, 141 Wis. 255, 124 N. W. 278, 25 L. R. A. (N. S.) 751;Oesau v. Estate of Oesau, 157 Wis. 255, 147 N. W. 62. [5] ......
  • Deller v. Deller (In re Deller's Estate)
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • January 11, 1910
    ...are quite unanimous in holding that a valid antenuptial agreement may be [124 N.W. 280]made, and this court so decided in West v. Walker, 77 Wis. 557, 46 N. W. 819. Usually in such contracts the woman, in consideration of a specific allowance in money or property or both, on the death of he......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
9 cases
  • Chi., St. P., M. & O. Ry. Co. v. Douglas Cnty.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • January 8, 1908
    ...Wis. 394. Among other references the following cases were cited upon the part of the respondent: Section 2620, St. 1898; West v. Walker, 77 Wis. 557, 46 N. W. 819;Woodward v. Hanchett, 52 Wis. 482, 9 N. W. 468;Leinenkugel v. Kehl, 73 Wis. 238, 40 N. W. 683;Ellis v. Northern Pac. Ry. Co., 77......
  • Rieger v. Schaible, No. 15,049.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Nebraska
    • March 5, 1908
    ...56 Am. Dec. 155;Faulkner v. Faulkner, 3 Leigh (Va.) 225, 23 Am. Dec. 264;Hinkle v. Hinkle, 34 W. Va. 142, 11 S. E. 993;West v. Walker, 77 Wis. 557, 46 N. W. 819; Hershy v. Latham, 46 Ark. 542; Peck v. Peck, 12 R. I. 485, 34 Am. Rep. 702. We think the rule deducible from the authorities unde......
  • Bibelhausen v. Bibelhausen
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • January 12, 1915
    ...about such an agreement. The contrary logic in the findings is wrong as decidedly shown by the decisions of this court. West v. Walker, 77 Wis. 557, 46 N. W. 819;Deller v. Deller, 141 Wis. 255, 124 N. W. 278, 25 L. R. A. (N. S.) 751;Oesau v. Estate of Oesau, 157 Wis. 255, 147 N. W. 62. [5] ......
  • Deller v. Deller (In re Deller's Estate)
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • January 11, 1910
    ...are quite unanimous in holding that a valid antenuptial agreement may be [124 N.W. 280]made, and this court so decided in West v. Walker, 77 Wis. 557, 46 N. W. 819. Usually in such contracts the woman, in consideration of a specific allowance in money or property or both, on the death of he......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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