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Submitted by Sandi Shockley.


"In the name of God Amen

I Joshua Brown being very sick and week in body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given unto God calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die Do make and ordain this my last will and testament that is to say principally and first of all I give and reccommend my soul into the hand of almighty God that gave it and my body I reccommend to the arth to be buried in decent Christian burial nothing doubting but at the general reserection I shall receive the same again by the might power of God And as touching such worldly estate wherewith it has pleased God to bless me within this life I give demise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form First I give and bequeath to Phebe Brown my dearly beloved wife that part of West half of the North West quarter of section twenty eight in township seven North of range three East as lies on the North side of the creek also that ____ part of the East half of the North East quarter of section twenty nine in township seven North of range three East as lies on the North side of the creek to have the free use and priviledge during widowhood and if she ____ a widow during her life and if she marries she is to have the value of five dol- lars of the two named pecies of land and her clothing after the death of the said Phebe Brown my wife as above named the above named Lots of land to be the property of Elisha Brown Thomas Brown Wilborn Brown John Brown with the esecep- tion of one third of the land that the orchard is on which I give to Alfred Brown my youngest son what stock I have I give to Phebe Brown my wife on these conditions that Alfred is to have the one one half of what he raises and takes care of To Alfred Brown I give one yoke of steers to be kept on the place and one mare and colt, To my wife Phebe I give my household furniture during her life provided if she remains a widow if not she is only to have five dollars and her clothing and it then is to be divided among my daughters Elanor Winkler one part Celia Hill to have two dollars and the balance of her part to be divided among her children Jane Setser and Matilda Tabor Elizabeth Cross and Mariah Elkins each apart the waggon I leave on the place till my wife's death the ballace of my property that is left on the place at the death of my wife to be equally divided among all my children with the exception of Celia Hills part her part to be divided among her children In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this fifeteenth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty nine Signed and sealed in the presence of

David T Winkler
Michael Rudolph Joshua Brown (seal)
Leonard Houston
State of Indiana Jackson County"

"Before the undersigned clerk of the probate court of the County aforesaid personally Came David T Winkler a subscribing witness to the foregoing will and being duly sworn upon his oath doth say he saw Joshua Brown sign seal publish and declare this writing as his last will and testament and that he believed he was at the time of its esceention of sound mind and memory and that he signed his name thereto as a witness in the presence of said testator at this request Sworn and subscribed the 18th day of July 1839 before W Benton Clerk by

R Scott DC

Be it remembered that on the 18th day of July 1839 the above named John Brown Executor as aforesaid entered into bond in the sum of Two Thousand dollars with Elisha Brown and Jacob Lutz his securities conditioned according to law, and took the oath as such executor"

From probate records July 22, 1853:
"John Brown Adm with
the Will annexed of the On Citation
Estate of Joshua Brown

Now at this time comes the said Administrator, in answer to the Citation heretofore issued against him, and presents to the Court his final settlement account togather with the necessary voucher, verified by his Oath, by which it appears that there has come into the hands of said Adms assets of said Estate to the amount of $464.22 that he has paid out for the funeral expences, expences of Administration & other claims the amount of $404.45 which leaves in his hands for distribution $59.76 to be distributed among the heirs of said Estate as follows

To Wilburn Brown and his heirs $5.43
To Alfred Brown Rec of Wm H Ewing my distributive share Alfred Brown
(his mark) 5.43
To William Selson (sic Setser) & Jane his wife recpt on file for
distributive share 5.43
To John Cross & Elizabeth his wife receipt on file 5.43
To Celia Hill and her heirs receipt of Celia Hill for ____ on file 5.43
To Elisha Brown his recpt on file for his distributive share 5.43
To John Brown the admn 5.43
To William & Ellen Winkler his wife Rec Oct 13, 1853 the share due to me & my
wife of Wm H Ewing ____ William Winkler 5.43
To William Elkins & Maria his wife Rec of Wm H Ewing our distributive share
Wm Elkins (mark) 5.43
To Thomas Brown Rec Feb 23, 1854 of Wm H Ewing the distributive share due to
Thos Brown - John Brown 5.43
To James Tabor & Matilda his wife 5.43

The said Administrator produces to the Court the receipt $59.76 of three of said heirs for their full distributive share in said Estate, and acknowledges the recpt of his distributive share, being $5.43, and produces the receipt of Celia Hill one of said heirs for $2.00 leaving the sum to be distributed of $36.04 which said Administrator now pays into Court, the Court therefore orders that the Clerk of this Court give public notice in the Jackson County democrat for three successive weeks to the said heirs that distribution will be made on the first day of the next October term of this Court, ordered that the Clerk shall deduct from the $36.04 so paid into his hands for distribution, the Cost of Publishing the same, and it appearing to the satisfaction of the Court, that said administrator has fully administered said Estate he is hence dischared from his said trust, and all further liability ---"

Records indicate that Joshua's death occurred in July or October 1839, and that his gravestone reads July. The former must be correct, since his will was signed in June of 1839 and probated in July of the same year. According to court records distribution and closure of the estate did not occur until 14 years later on July 22, 1853. Phebe died in 1855 still a widow, but is not mentioned in the final settlement.