This is the will of John C. Davidson (1855-1928), son of John C. Davidson and Sophia F. Talbot.

KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS, and to all whom these presents may concern, be it known that I, John C. Davidson, of the County of Leavenworth and State of Kansas, being of mature age and sound mind and realizing the uncertainty of life and the certainty of death and being desirous of making full and complete provision for the final settlement and disposition of all my worldly goods and possessions after my dissolution, do hereby make and declare this my last Will and Testament.

First. It is my wish that all my just debts and funeral expenses, be first paid out of my estate.

Second. I give, devise and bequeath to my brother Thomas Davidson all of my property, both personal and real, during his natural life, and at his death, it is my wish, that said estate be sold and equally divided among my nephews and nieces, as follows: share and share alike, Clyde C. Davidson, one sixth; Bertha Howard, one sixth; Thomas Alexander Davidson, one sixth; Paul G. Davidson, one sixth; and Belle Norwine, daughter of my sister Martha J. Stafford, deceased, one sixth; Leta M. Davidson, one twelfth; John C. Davidson, one twelfth; the last two mentioned are children of my nephew John C. Davidson Jr., deceased and Hattie Davidson. The interest of said last mentioned children shall be paid to the Tonganoxie State Bank, to be held in trust for said Leta M. Davidson and John C. Davidson until they reach the age of majority.

I make constitute and appoint Thomas Davidson, without bond, of Leavenworth County and State of Kansas, executor of this my last Will and Testament, and I hereby _____ each and every will and codicil heretofore made by me.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 17th day of May 1918.

{signed} John C. Davidson

The foregoing instrument was subscribed in our presence and acknowledged to us by said testator, and subscribed by us at the request of said testator, in his presence and in hte presence of each other, this 17th day of May, A.D. 1918.

{Signed} {3 signatures}

  • Mariann Regan - May 15, 2013 - 10:18 am

    Somehow, I like to see wills in which everything is equally divided. They seem to be the fairest and the least likely to cause quarrels. Actually (gulp), we have the phrase “share and share alike” in our will. I wonder how old that phrase is.

    But we have only two children, so sharing ought not to be a problem . . .ReplyCancel

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This is the territorial census of Kansas from 1859. John C. Davidson was my husband’s 3rd great-grandfather. He was originally from Virginia, then moved to Missouri, and on to the Kansas Territory.

John C. Davidson, Date of Settlement 1855, 6 minors in the household, total of 8 people in the household

  • Mariann Regan - May 12, 2013 - 6:42 pm

    So he was 65 years old in Kansas territory in 1859. That was an area of severe conflict about slavery in those years, I believe. I admired the historical fiction of Jane Smiley: The All-True Travels and Adventure of Lidie Newton. Full of suspense!ReplyCancel

  • Jenn - May 15, 2013 - 11:51 pm

    Actually, it says 55 – and that’s the year he arrived in Kansas. I read that book a number of years ago and loved it!!!ReplyCancel

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Ellsworth Pierce was a brother to my husband’s great-grandmother, Lillian Pierce. This is from the Bridgeton Evening News in Bridgeton, New Jersey, dated 9 January 1919.

Mr. and Mrs. Ellsworth Pierce, of Fayette street, have returned from visiting friends at Garretstown, Pa.  While taking an automobile trip they had a very narrow escape from severe injury.  They were going down a steep hill when the brakes refused to work and the car went down into a deep rut and the occupants were thrown against the hood with great force.  Mrs. Pierce’s face was cut and bruised and she suffered from shock.

  • Mariann Regan - May 12, 2013 - 4:55 pm

    I’m interested in what newspaper database you used to find this important event. Bridgeton Evening News sounds like a local newspaper. Were you searching locally?ReplyCancel

  • Jenn - May 13, 2013 - 6:29 am

    Mariann, I found the Bridgeton Evening News at Genealogy Bank. You just get lucky if they happen to have the paper in one of the communities where your ancestors lived. :)ReplyCancel

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I found this notice in the Bridgeton Evening News, dated 30 January 1918.  It is a notice to German Alien Enemies, telling them to register.

This must have been a horrible time to be a German in America.

  • Valerie - May 11, 2013 - 12:09 am

    I like how this notice is in English… very helpful for those new German immigrantsReplyCancel

  • Mariann Regan - May 12, 2013 - 2:41 pm

    That’s some phrase, “alien enemies,” and I remember stories of great suspicion of Germans during the two World Wars. (Then by WWII they were rounding up the Japanese and putting them in internment camps.) My mother-in-law’s family changed their last name so that it would sound less German. Here in Connecticut there is a city spelled Berlin. But since the wars it has been pronounced BERlin instead of BerLIN, to sidestep all German associations.

    Amazing how we still jump to categorize groups of people. I’ve been hearing many generalizations and slurs as the country considers immigration reform.ReplyCancel

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These cartoons are from the Bridgeton Evening News, dated 21 July 1908,  in Bridgeton, New Jersey

  • Mariann Regan - May 9, 2013 - 2:14 pm

    I like these cartoons because they have a good “edge.” When we tend to romanticize our ancestors, it’s healthy to remember that they didn’t romanticize themselves.

    These remind me of an edgy valentine card that I found among my grandmother’s things. It’s more of a cartoon, really. I’ll have to remember to post it next Valentine’s Day.

    I’m a real political cartoon buff — I always go for a sly caption.ReplyCancel

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