I am interested in corresponding with any Graham/Curran descendants and also descendants of the Raub, Haines, Shoemaker, Steeley and Scroggins families. Their testimonies indicate that they were neighbors of his in Ohio. Their histories may give me some clue as to where I should look next. Chris Summers
|AUBREY, SARAH A.
CORAN, JOHN (Jack)
CROMWELL, JOHN E.
DOUBLEDAY, HENRY L.
GRAHAM, HARRIETT (CORAN)
GRAHAM, CATHERINE (CORAN)
HARBERT, ELIZABETH (CORAN)
HOOVER, SAMUEL (Clerk)
HUNT, ELIZA (Coran)
McCONNELL, WILLIAM M.
McCONNELL, BENJAMIN F.
PORTER, WILLIAM H.
RAMEY, WILLIAM P.
RAMEY, JANE (CORAN/TRIMBLE)
STEDMAN, MARY (CORAN)
STEDMAN, JAMES Jr.
TRIMBLE, JANE (CORAN/RAMEY)
WALLACE, THOMAS C.
WALLACE, MARGARET (CORAN)
WELDON, JAMES W.
WHITE, A. (Attorney)
I, John Coran, of the County of Tippecanoe in the State of Indiana being meek in Body but of sound mind do make and publish this last will and testament in which I devise.
First, That all my just debts, funeral charges and costs of administration be fully paid out of my estate by my executors herein after named.
Secondly, I give and bequeath unto my son, Joshua Coran, the sum of two thousand dollars to be paid to him by my executor out of my estate immediately after my decease which shall be his full share or portion of my estate.
Thirdly, I give and bequeath to my daughter, Margaret Coran, the sum of two hundred dollars to be paid her by my executor out of my estate after my decease which shall be her full share or portion of my estate. My five daughters, Mary Stedman, Elizabeth Harbert, Harriet Graham, Catharine Graham and Eliza Coran, I entirely disinherit for reasons best known to myself and which shall not here name, not allowing them or any one of them to have any part or lot in my estate either real or personal. I also disinherit my youngest son John Coran for reasons that I shall not here name. And it is my will that he shall have not part nor lot in any of my estate. My will is as I hereby admit my executor here after named to file all my estate both real and personal for cash in hand or on such credit as he may think wise and but advance the interest of the estate and pay off the debts and legacies aforesaid after which it is _____ that my dearly beloved wife Jane Coran have all the remainder of my estate and I hereby give and bequeath the same over to her and after selling the estate and paying the debts and legacies aforesaid which she can and may dispose of as she may think proper.
And lastly, I hereby nominate and appoint David Patton of the town of Lafayette to be the executor of this my last will and testament. In ___ whereof I have here to set my hand and seal this fifth day of February Eighteen Hundred and thirty-two.
John Coran "x" his mark
Attest: Thomas Timmons
THE OTHER WILL:
1834 Will of John Coran published in the Lafayette Free Press 11/28/1842
I, John Coran, of the County of Tippecanoe in the State of Indiana do make and publish this my last will and testament hereby revoking and making void all former wills by me at any time heretofore made.
First, I deed that my body be decently enturned and that my funeral be conducted in a manner corresponding with my estate and situation in life and as it has pleased God to entrust me with I dispose of the same in the matter to wit. I deed first that all my just debts and funeral expenses to be paid as soon after my decease as possible out of the first monies that shall come to the hand of my executors from any portion of my estate. I give and bequeath to my two sons, Joshua Coran and John Coran and my six daughters, Mary, widow of James Stedman, deceased, Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Harbert, Harriet, wife of Robert Graham, Catharine, wife of Samuel Graham, Margaret Coran and Eliza Coran each the sum of one dollar to be paid them and each of them by my executors out of any portion of my estate. I devise, give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Jane, if she shall be living at the time of my decease the whole of my estate every part and parcel thereof, real personal and mixed to be enjoyed and owned by my said wife her heirs and assigns forever. She paying all my just debts, funeral expenses, expenses of administration and the legacies aforesaid to my children aforesaid the same to be raised out of either my personal estate or real estate as my wife may devise must most ad____. That I may to fully understand and my will clearly ___ I here again repeat that I devise, give and bequeath unto my said wife, Jane Coran, her heirs and assigns forever all my estate real, personal and mixed. She making the payments aforesaid. An I further declare and deed that the share of my estate thus devised and bequeathed to my said wife, Jane Coran, shall be no ___ of her dower if she shall to so elect. And I hereby make and ordain my said wife Jane and my worthy and esteemed friend, General Jacob Walker of said County of Tippecanoe, executrix and executor of this last will and testament. In ___ whereof I, John Coran, the tesatin, have herefore to seal my hand and seal this fifth day of September in the Year of our Lord One thousand eight-hundred and thirty-four.
John Coran "x" his mark
Witness: Andrew Ingram and Joseph Harris testified they saw John
sign the will.
Joshua Coran and Others
} Suit pending
vs. } in the
William P. Ramey and Others }Tippecanoe Chancery Court
The deposition of William Scroggins and Catherine Scroggins, Peter Weaver, Jacob Raub, Ben Stingley and John Robb.
Taken upon A Slaughter, a
Justice of the Peace of the County of Tippecanoe at this office in Lafayette
on the 20th day of April 1837 and to be read in evidence on behalf of Plaintiffs
on the hearing of said cause, both of said parties being pursuant the said
defendants by White and Lockwood their counsel and in their own proper
person, and the said complainants by themselves and Patton and Brown their
counsel and these depositions the deponents being taken by consent of parties,
with the right of defendants to continue to take deposition, without notice
and they also waive any objections to the depositions of Abraham Shoemaker
and Andrew Ingram taken by defendants. And now at the Court aforesaid
came the said William Scroggins and after they by duly sworn deposes and
That he was acquainted with John Coran, the deceased for some Thirty Three years prior to his death and had lived with him from the 11th day of November 1833 until his death, from conversations heard by deponent between said Coran and his Wife when Depondent first commenced living with him (Coran) said Coran expressed a decision to leave his son Joshua six hundred dollars and his daughter Margaret five hundred Dollars and the wife would object to any thing being left to Joshua and that John Coran and Margaret and Elizabeth was not his children wherefore nothing must be left to them and that Catharine Graham was none of his child she must not have anything no how. Mr. Coran after Margaret went away and acted in that manner, said that she should not have anything, that Margaret went away through Mrs. Coran's insistence (looks like intrigues). That Mrs. Coran got in with him Deponent to persuade Margaret to go away and that she would give her money to cover (?) her expenses and when the girl got ready to go she would not ___ ____ ____ or cut of money. At a time when deponents and deceased was hauling hay, Deceased said he wanted to talk to deponent about making his will and said he did not think it worth while to make a will. That there would be a plenty to his Wife's shares to keep her in spite of them (I imagine he's referring to children), and there the ____ would make a good will. That the above conversation took place about four weeks before the death of the deceased. Deponent further says that Margaret went off because of the abuse of this child. That Jane Coran did not whip the child that she handed (?) the cowhide to the deceased to whip her with. Deponent heard nothing more about the will until Mrs. Coran sent to the Deponent who was in the barn at work to go for Mr. Brown to write the Will. Deponent thinks that the deceased died on the 13th day of September 1834 and seven or eight days before this death he came after Mr. Brown to write the Will. Deponent further states that Mrs. Coran was the one that told him to go after Mr. Brown. Deponent went into the house and looked at him and believed him to be out of his head and spoke to him and gave him no answer. When Deponent got Mr. Ingram and got back to the house and the old man appeared to be a man composed between 12 and 1 o'clock am (at night) and Ingram wanted to write this will then and the deceased said to wait until the morning. Deponent got up in the morning and asked the old man what he should to doing. And he said he did not care whether he did anything or not. Deponent then went to the barn to work and worked there until breakfast then came up to the house and ate his breakfast. Mrs. Coran told him he must go for a witness to witness his will. Told him to bring Abram Haines and if he could not get Abram to get Joseph-and he could not get Abram and got Joseph. Deponent then went in the house no more until they had signed the will. Deponent says that in about half and hour after the will was signed he went in the house and deceased was entirely deranged out of his head and remained so until his death. That when he called on deceased in the morning and asked him what he should do he said he didn't care whether he done anything or not, that it was before Ingram was up, Deponent does not believe that deceased was rational at that time. Mrs. Coran sent him for an attorney to write his will, deponent was not present when the will was written, that he stayed out to avoid being a witness to it. Deponent further says that he ____ (looks like popped) in and out of the house during this time Ingram was writing the will. Deponent saw Mrs. Coran go to the deceased and talk to him and then go and tell Ingram what to write. Deponent don't believe deceased could talk loud enough for Ingram to hear him and did not hear him (the deceased) speak to him (Ingram). Can't tell whether Mr. Coran was out of his mind at any time during the making of the Will after he was taken sick. Deponent thinks that the deceased was _____ ( "not right"-my interpretation) at times for four days before the making of this will. Deceased had no children by his last wife, he had three children by his second wife and five children by his first wife , that Jane was his third wife and he had no children by her. Deponent say that the Deceased's son John has to work for his living there he (John) is about 18 or 19 years old. Deponent says that Jane, the deceased last wife, was living with her uncle at the time she married the deceased and thinks that she worked for them for her living and don't think that she had any property that her uncle ____ (think this is his name) lived about five miles east of Zanesville, Ohio. Deponent thinks that the deceased and his last wife lived together as such about eight or nine years. Deponent thinks that deceased and his last wife were acquainted with each other about two years before their marriage and that the deceased was in the habit of stopping at Jane's Uncle when passing frequently by.
EXAMINATION BY DEFENDANTS:
Defendant says that John Margaret and Elizabeth or Eliza are the youngest children of deceased that he has seen John and Margaret. Elizabeth he has never seen. That Margaret went with deceased in this county until about the middle of 1834 and that none other of his children lived with him in this county. Deponent had been roving about previous to living with the deceased. Deponent say that the sun was about an hour and a half high when he started for an attorney to write the will and that he got to Lafayette some time after dark and when deponent left the barn to go for the attorney he was thrashing wheat and had a ____ ____ thrashed and was about to rake the straw off when he started. Deponent says he had not been drinking any during that afternoon and drunk none while he was in Lafayette and drank nothing after his return home, and upon his arrival in Lafayette he went to Mr. Shoemaker and inquired for Mr. Brown. Deponent knew Brown but did not know where he boarded and Shoemaker told him that Mr. Brown was gone to the _____(looks like Federal) City there he called successfully upon Patton and Ingram and Ingram went. Deponent says he slept in the house that night in the loft. Deponent has heard deceased and his wife talk about making a will and his wife would beat him down that he must not give Joshua anything that he had set (looks like set ) him up twice and he had thrown everything away (maybe this means that John had given Joshua financial assistance in the past and she felt he did not do well with the assistance that John had given him?) Deponent says that the will was signed after breakfast that Ingram stayed about half an hour after the will was signed. Deponent did not hear Mrs. Coran go to the bed and then to Mr. Ingram but _____while Ingram was writing the will. That the morning after he got Mr. Ingram he ____ out _____ floor of wheat before he returned to the house Deponent says that before Ingram went down there was not liquor in the house. That he ______ of. Deponent say that deceased last sickness was a fever. Deponent says that there was no other man living about the house of deceased during his last sickness. Deponent is 66 years of age.
EXAMINATION OF COMPLAINANTS
That deceased and his wife
had one or two little squabbles and one severe quarrel about Margaret and
Mrs. Coran said if he would give her enough to support her she would leave
him. And deceased said this before Scroggins, "I will give
your one half ", and she said this before Scroggins,"if you will give me
one half I will go". That this quarrel took place some time before
the harvest previous to his death Signed William Scroggins.
Also comes the said Catharine Scroggins at the date aforesaid and being by now duly sworn deposes and says: that she lived in the family of John Coran and at the time of his death and present at his death, That the deceased was sick about one week in his last spell of sickness before his death. Was present at the time Mr. Ingram wrote his will. Mr. Ingram at the time of the writing of the will sat up near the window. Mr. Coran was in the upper corner of the house. That Mrs. Coran had all the making of the will herself she would go and whisper to Mr. Coran and then go and whisper to Mr. Ingram That Mr. Coran was out of his head all this time and did not know anything while the will was writing. Deponent did not see the deceased sign the will did not see him with a pen in his hand that the deceased was not able to hold a pen at the time. Don't know who signed his name to the will for him. That the deceased was flighty 3 or 4 days before the making of the will and out of his head and delirious. Can't tell what the state of the deceased mind from the time of the writing of the will until the time of his death. That the will was not read to the deceased as Deponent ______ and nothing was explained to him of the contents of it . Deponent was in the room backward and forward the whole time. Deponent says that she was a total stranger to them until she came to live with them that they treated Margaret very ill through the management of Mrs Coran. That she knows nothing of Mrs. Corans advising Margaret to leave. That the whipping spoken of in the deposition of Mr. Scroggins was on account of Bill Britton ____ Margaret went out to milk cows and went down in the (grove?) and was talking to Bill Britton and the old man saw them and was very mad and that's when he caught her and Mrs. Coran brought him the cowhide and he whipped her. William Britton had a wife and a child that he left behind. Deponent does not know that Margaret was in the habit of _____ talking to Britton. That in Deponents talking Mrs. Coran was in the habit of encouraging Margaret to keep company with said Britton. Heard Mrs. Coran tell Margaret she had better marry Bill Britton. That he heard her tell Margaret so about a week before the deceased whipped her (Margaret). Mrs. Coran did not know of Britton having a family in Ohio at the time.
Deponent says she is the wife of William Scroggins the last witness. That Deponent and said Scroggins were since that death of deceased married by Esquire. Howns (or Harris?). That Joseph Haines spoken of in the deposition of last witness lived about half a mile from the deceased. Mr. Coran, deceased, did not speak to Mr. Ingram before the writing of the will or while writing the will. Deponent was in the field and not at the house when they were whipping Margaret. The William Scroggins was in the field when they whipped Margaret and had been gone half and hour. Mr. Scroggins was not in liquor during the time of the deceased last sickness. Deponent thinks Mr. Coran could not write his name at any time but make his mark.
Catherine Scroggins "her mark"
And also at the date aforesaid comes the said Peter Weaver and being duly sworn deposes and says: that he had seen the deceased more than a dozen times. Says that Joshua was a sickly child and he wanted him to come out and he would give a piece of land to farm on.(I guess this is John talking about Joshua) and heard the deceased when he had a law suit with Rollins (I have found this suit and they are referring to Truman Rollins) about ______ that he wanted his property for his children. Deponent says that the deceased was towards his last illness was different in his ways from what he had formerly been that he was so singular and to himself that the neighbors all took notice of it. He the deponent noticed it several times and spoke of it to his family, his boy Jack, the deceased's son, came to my house with his (??hands tied??) twice up Heard Mrs. Coran say that the deceased second wife's children were not his children and made him drive (?) them off . That deceased was singular and different in his ways to his neighbours from what he formerly was.
Was not often to see him
for three - four years before his death. Deponent and deceased never
had any differences of any account were friendly when we met. Never
heard the deceased say that he meant to disinherit any of his children.
Signed: Peter Weaver
And now at the date aforesaid comes the said Jacob Raub at the date aforesaid and being duly sworn deposes and says: The he was acquainted with John Coran, the deceased for Twenty-two years prior to his death. Was acquainted with his second wife, that he never knew of any falling out the deceased had with his children and never heard any report of his second wife's children not being his until he married his last wife. Don't know who started the report of the second wife's children not being the deceased. Don't know that the deceased was _____ Joshua any property at the time of the marriage with his last wife he had a good farm and was considered a valuable farmer. Deponent lived between and half and three quarter of a mile from the deceased when he married his last wife and don't know that she brought any property with her. Considered (?) that he had married a poor girl.
CROSS EXAMINATION: Deponent says that he has not lived near
the deceased for six or seven years previous to his death. Heard
of the deceased having a falling out with his sons-in-law. Don't
know that he ever heard any suspicions of the deceased second wife's
character. The deceased was absent frequently during the life time of this second wife. Signed Jacob Raub.
And also at the date aforesaid comes Reuben Steely and being duly sworn deposes and says: That he was born within a mile and a quarter of John Coran, the deceased and has know him for about twenty years he's always lived near him except about four years of the time. That said deceased and his second wife so far as he knows lived on good times that the deceased appeared to think as much of his son John as any person could as long as this mother lived and to think well of his children generally. That that John resembles the deceased (his father) both in look and action. At the time of the deceased's marriage to his last wife he had a good farm. Deponent thinks half a section worth probably $4000 Don't know any thing of the influence of Mrs. Coran on the deceased. Heard the deceased say frequently that he wanted his son Joshua to come out and he would give him a piece of land and heard him say too about nine weeks before he died to send word of him to Joshua to come out and he would give him land.
CROSS EXAMINATION: Deponent says that he lived three-quarter to One and a quarter from the deceased for two years previous to his death was at his house several times during these times and never heard of any influence of his wife to make a will. The deceased married his last wife about 70 miles from his place of residence . The deceased last wife had never lived in his neighbourhood before they were married . Joshua owing to his bad health had never been to this county previous to his father's death. Signed: Reuben Steely.
And comes the said John Raub at the date aforesaid and being by now duly sworn: deposes and says: That he has been acquainted with John Coran deceased for about fifteen years. That the deceased and second wife always______ so far as he knew and appeared to think a good deal of his children. Think that the deceased son, John resembles the old man very much. The deceased owned a good farm in Ohio worth probably $3-4000.00 and got it by his own industry. Don't know that his third wife had any property.
CROSS EXAMINATION: Deponent says that for the last seven years
before the death of the deceased he was not _____ ______ ______ ______
______ (living in the same state?) with him.
Question by the defense: Did E. Smith live in the family of the deceased during the period of his absence to Baltimore in the life time of his second wife?
Signed: John N (?) Raub
State of Indiana, Tippecanoe County
The foregoing deponents William Scroggin, Catharine Scroggin, Jacob Raub, Rueben Steely and John Raub were by me duly sworn and make the foregoing depositions at the time and place thus specified and signed their names ____ and that the _____deposition written and sealed up ______under my had and seal April 20th 1837. Signed A.B. Slaughter, JP
State of Indiana Tippecanoe Circuit Court In Vacation after the April term of said Court for the year AD 1836
William P Ramey, Jacob Walker and the unknown heirs of Jane, late wife of said William Ramey, deceased
Bill in Chancery
Joshua Coran, John Coran, Mary Stedman, widow of James Stedman, deceased, Thomas Harbert and Elizabeth his wife, Robert Graham, Harriet his wife, Samuel Graham and Catherine his wife, Eliza Coran and Margaret Coran (John, Eliza, Margaret, infants by Joshua Coran, their next friend) Heirs of John Coran deceased.
The said William P. Ramey, being duly sworn, upon his oath says that
Sarah Dawson , residing in the County of Montgomery, State of Indiana,
is a material witness on behalf of the defendants in the above cause and
that the said Sarah is in a bad state of health and is unable to attend
the above name court as a witness in the above cause and that this deponent
is fearful that said Sarah will be unable at any time hereafter to attend
said court as a witness in said cause on account of her declining state
of health. Deponent therefore prays a ____may be _____from said court
to take the disposition of said witness to be read in evidence in ____
______in said cause. Signed: William P. Ramey.
Subscribed and sworn to before me, Samuel Hoover, Clerk of said Court, at my office in said County of Tippecanoe this
10th day of May 1836.
wanted court to send someone to take her deposition
The deposition of Jacob Mitchell taken before Daniel Hogan, Esq a Justice
of the Peace in and for the County of Parke in the State of Indiana at
his office in the township of Liberty in said County and State. On
the Ninth day of March eighteen hundred and thirty seven to be held in
evidence in Lafayette defendants on the trial of and in a certain suit
in Chancery in said State where in Joshua Coran, John Coran, Mary Stedman,
widow of James Stedman deceased, Thomas Harbert and Elizabeth his wife,
Samuel Graham and Catherine his wife , Eliza Coran and Margaret Coran (John,
Eliza and Margaret aforesaid, infants suing by Joshua Coran their next
friend) are Complainants. And William P. Ramey, Jacob Walker and
the unknown heirs of Jane Ramey (late Jane Coran) deceased are defendants.
The said Jacob Mitchell of lawful age being sworn to speak the truth the
whole truth and nothing but the truth in the premises deposes and says
that he was for twenty years preceding his death acquainted with John Coran,
late of Tippecanoe County, deceased and removed with him about eight years
ago to from Ohio to Tippecanoe County, Indiana and lived several weeks
after reaching Indiana in the same house with him, his wife Jane, and two
of his children who came out with him to Indiana. While on their
said journey from Ohio to Indiana and after reaching Indiana and while
witness and the said John Coran were living together as aforesaid , witness
frequently heard him say he never would give his children any property
nor leave anything to them at his death and the reason which he assigned
to witness for such determination was that they had abused him a great
deal by willful disobedience to his requests by wasting his property and
perversely taking things of his without his leave. The said Coran
had followed waggoning from Baltimore to Ohio and he complained of his
children taking such things as coffee and tea without leave and against
his wishes. Witness thinks he (Coran) had been married to his last
wife Jane three or four years before they left Ohio. Witness was
frequently at their house there and afterwards at different times while
he lived in Tippecanoe County and on the Wea Prairie two or three days
upon one occasion. And at no time did the witness ever hear or know
of his said wife Jane trying to execute him against his children or to
poison his mind against them. Witness never saw her treat his children
amiss. Witness thought she treated the two children (John and Margaret)
who came out with them better and more tenderly than she ought, for they
were very saucy and abusive to her in the absence of their father.
Witness has heard Complainant John, curse and abuse his said stepmother
the said Jane in the most violent and profane manner, the said Margaret
also and Catharine Graham were both very cross and crabby towards their
said stepmother. Witness has heard said John Coran, deceased, dwell
upon these subjects and express for that reason a fixed determination to
disinherit them--his principal reason as he assigned to witness for selling
out in Ohio was to remove to a distance from his older children.
The said deceased was an unlettered man though a man of good sense in his
likes and dislikes he was very fixed and resolute. He was a man of
somewhat stubborn and sulky temperament but warm and generous to his friends
in consequence of his waggoning a great deal from Baltimore to Ohio.
He was a great deal absent from his family. Witness considered him
a man of sound mind and in his right reason at all times while he knew
him and when declaring the above intentions in relation to his children.
And witness has no doubt but those were the deliberate conclusion of his
mind. The last time as witness thinks that he visited said deceased
on the Wea he told him that his son John had gone off with a show (I think
that's what it says) against his, deceased, will. John returned while
he was there and his father said no more to him than to ask him if he was
tired of his company. He was not a man easily persuaded but when
he determined to do a thing he was hard to be diverted from his purpose
and witness is confident in the belief that his said wife did not profess
(?) any undue influence over him and further deponent saith not.
Jacob Mitchell "his mark"
State of Indiana
County of Parke
One the day and at the place in the above captioned to the above deposition name personally appeared before me the aforesaid Justice of the Peace he above name Jacob Mitchell and was by me sworn . Given under my hand and seal the day and date first above written. Daniel Hogan JP
State of Indiana
I, Allen May, a Justice of the Peace within and for said County, do
hereby certify that the annexed deposition of Sarah Dawson was taken by
and before me, at my office in said County in Pursuance of the annexed
commission from the Tippecanoe Circuit Court on Saturday, the 28th day
of May 1836, in the presence of the counsel for the defendants in said
commissions named and of Isaac Naylor, Esq, and Joseph Cox, Esq of
counsel for the Complainants in said Commissions named and that the said
deposition was subscribed by the said Sarah Dawson to and before at my
office aforesaid and on the day and year above said. An that the
same, as it was deposed by her and taken down before me, and read to and
subscribed (after having been sworn to) by her as aforesaid, was sealed
up by me. Given under my hand and seal this 28th day of May 1836/
Allen May JP
State of Indiana
Tippecanoe County} Tippecanoe Circuit Court
The State of Indiana to Justice of the Peace of Montgomery County in said State Greeting
Whereas William P. Ramey
has this day filed in my office an affidavit setting forth that Sarah Dawson
of said County of Montgomery is a material witness for him and in a cause
now pending in the circuit court of Tippecanoe County, State of Indiana
wherein Joshua Coran, John Coran, Mary Stedman, widow of James Stedman
deceased, Thomas Harbert and Elizabeth his wife, Robert Graham and Harriet,
his wife, Samuel Graham and Catharine his wife, Eliza Coran, and Margaret
Coran (Said John, Eliza and Margaret infants by Joshua Coran, their next
friend) and complainants and William P. Ramey and Jacob Walker and the
unknown heirs of Jane Ramey, deceased, are defendants bring a bill in Chancery,
that said Sarah Dawson residing in Montgomery County, State of Indiana
is a material witness on behalf of the said defendants in the above cause
and that the said Sarah is in a bad state of health and is unable to attend
the above named court and a witness in the above cause and that this deponent
is frightful the said Sarah will be unable to any time hereafter to attend
said court as a witness in said cause. You are therefore hereby authorized
to cause to ____before you at such time and place as you shall appoint
the said Sarah Dawson and her hire through others to examine taking the
said _____ in controversy between the said parties on behalf of said defendants
which you will commit to _____ ______taken the same (a line
was not copied).
State of Indiana
In the Circuit Court of said county in Chancery sitting of the April Term thereof AD 1836. The separate answer of Jacob Walker to the Bill of Complaint in said ____ and exhibited by Joshua Coran, John Coran, Mary Stedman, widow of James Stedman deceased, Thomas Harbert and Elizabeth his wife, Robert Graham and Harriet his wife, Samuel Graham and Catharine his wife, John Coran, Eliza Coran and Margaret Coran, heirs and legal representative of John Coran, late of said County, deceased (the said John, Eliza and Margaret being infants and suing by Joshua Coran, their next friend) against the said Jacob Walker, William P. Ramey and the unknown heirs of Jane, formerly widow of the said John Coran deceased and late wife of the said William P. Ramey, Deceased. This defendant saving and reserving to himself now and at all times all benefit and advantage that on can be taken an account of the manifold errors, inaccuracies and imperfections in said Bill contained, nevertheless, for answer thereunto saith that he admits the said John Coran, deceased, was possessed of a considerable amount of real and personal estate, but of the value of which this defendant is ignorant. That the said deceased, about the time in said Bill mentioned, made his last will and testament and thereafter died leaving Jane Coran, his wife, his sole legatee and devisee of all his property both real and personal except a legacy of one dollar to each of said complainants, his children. This defendant is ignorant whether the said Jane was the lawful wife of the said deceased or not, but this defendant says the said deceased lived with and treated her as such for many years before and continually up to the time of his death. This defendant is ignorant whether the said deceased was insane of unsound memory and incapable of making a valid will or disposing of his property in a legal manner at the time of signing and acknowledging this said last will and testament or not. But this defendant has always understood and believes that the said deceased in his lifetime, and long before his death, often declared he would make his will similar to the said last will and testament and that the said last will and testament is in accordance with the often repeated declarations of the same deceased made a long time before his death. This defendant says the witnesses who attested the execution of said last will and testament have since testified to the sanity of the said deceased at the time he executed said will and that this defendant has no reasons to doubt their testimony but on the contrary accounts it full credit (this defendant did not know he was made executor by said will till after the death of said Coran). This defendant is ignorant whether the said Jane sat by the bedside of the said deceased during his last illness or persuaded him to make her his sole legatee and devisee as in said Bill charged or not (this defendant has understood that said Jane was herself sick during the last illness). This defendant further admits that by the said last will and testament he was made executor, and the said Jane executrix thereof. This defendant further admits that he and the said Jane have obtained probate and letter testamentary of the said last will and testament but this defendant denies that it was done fraudulently, unjustly or for the purpose of cheating the said complainants. This defendant has not taken possession of any of the real estate whereof said deceased was ____ but he says the said Jane took possession thereof. This defendant admits he has taken possession of such personal estate whereas of the said deceased did possess as he could get possession of, and that he holds the same against the said complainants, but denies that he does so unjustly or fraudulently, because he insists that his duty as executor of the said last will and testament obliges him to do so. This defendant believe the said Jane was married to the said William P. Ramey, at the time, place, and as in said Bill charged so that the said Jane died about the time in the said Bill alleged; and that she left the said Ramey in possession of her money and personal property, but whether such money and personal property belong of right to the said complainant or not this defendant is ignorant. This defendant is informed and believes the said Jane left heirs as said Bill charged, two of whom, James Trimble and John Trimble, reside in the State of Kentucky and also that the said Jane left a sister residing in said State, of whose name this defendant is ignorant. This defendant further answering, says that the whole amount of assets which have come to his hand as executor as aforesaid is seventeen hundred and forty one dollars and ninety-nine cents-as appears now the sale of the Bill personal property of said estate now on file in the office of the Clerk of the Tippecanoe Probate Court. That the amount of debts due said estate, so far as the have came to the hand of this defendant is about eight hundred and forty dollars, according to the best of this defendants remembrance, information and belief, whereof five hundred and thirty one dollars has been paid to said Jane by Harper Hunt, J.S. Hanes, the debtors in that behalf, as appears from voucher number 24 relative to said estate on file in said office. That this defendant is ignorant of the account of claims against said estate, but thinks them not of very large amount. That he has paid claims against said estate to the account of four hundred and fifty dollars and upwards. And further his defendant says not. Signed Jacob Walker
State of Indiana
Before me, Samuel Hoover Clerk of Tippecanoe Circuit Court, personally came Jacob Walker, who has subscribed the foregoing answer and being duly sworn says on his oath, that the matters and things in said answer contained, so far as the purport to be stated from his own knowledge, on ____, and so far as from the knowledge of others, he believes these to be true. Sworn to and subscribed this 13th day of May 1836. Signed: Samuel Hoover.
State of Indiana
Tippecanoe Circuit Court
The separate answer of William P. Ramey to the bill of complaint in Chancery filed against him and Jacob Walker and others called in said bill the unknown heirs of Jane Ramey, deceased in said Circuit Court by Joshua Coran, John Coran, Mary Stedman widow of James Stedman, deceased, Thomas Harbert and Elizabeth his wife, Robert Graham and Harriet his wife, Samuel Graham and Catharine his wife, John Coran, Eliza Coran and Margaret Coran (the said John, Eliza, and Margaret being infants and suing by their next best friend, Joshua Coran) to the said bill or to so much thereof as he is advised it is material and _____ for him to answer unto for himself answering says, that he admits the death of said John Coran, deceased and that he was possessed of a large personal and real estate as charged and as defendant supposes of about the value charged, though the certain value thereof is to him unknown. And that he executed his last will and testament disposing of his property and appointing his executors as in said bill is set forth before witnesses as therein stated and as the law requires. Respondent avers and admits the Jane Coran named in said will is the same person stated in said bill to have intermarried with this respondent and the same person meant by the testators and he believes that she was the lawful wife of said testator at the date of said will and at the time of his death, they having cohabited as such and being commonly reputed to be husband and wife although respondent has no personal knowledge of their nuptials. He protests however, the right of Complainants to dispute such their relationship-Respondent denies that the said John Coran the time of signing and acknowledging the said last will and testament was insane and that he was of unsound mind and memory or incapable of making a valid will as of disposing his estate in a legal manner but on the contrary states his belief to be that he was of sound mind and memory and capable to make a will, labouring it is true under sickness but advisedly dictating the terms of his will which he made in pursuance of intentions before then deliberately formed and while in good health. Respondent being ignorant of the truth of the charges of the persuasion and inducements by the said Jane to the testator during his last illness to make her his sole legatee and devisee as in said bill stated for the purpose of cheating and defrauding the complainants, or for any purpose cannot answer further, only to say that he does not believe the charges to be true in any particular. He is ignorant of their having any right to claim as heirs of said charges. Respondent admits that said will had been proved in the Tippecanoe Probate Court and that said Jane before her death claims her distribution share under it and together will said Jacob Walker the co-executor took possession of the said estate for the purpose of executing said will faithfully and as was their duty but not the purpose of cheating or defrauding complainants as charged. He denies that said executors proved the will fraudulently and unjustly but says it was proved upon the oaths of two discreet men who witnessed the will. The said personal estate now belongs to respondent since the death of his said wife except such legacies as are made in the will to some of the Complainants and such assets were necessary to pay debts and part of it is held by respondent, a part being ____in the hands of said Jacob Walker surviving executor as aforesaid. The marriage and death of said Jane is admitted as charged, but respondent denies that the personal estate so as aforesaid held by him belongs to said complainant or either of them. To the said Jane and respondent there was not issue born during this covenant. For the amount of the personal estate left by said John Coran at the time of his death , Respondent refers to the inventory thereof filed in said probate court by said executors (he not being otherwise advised of the amount) which inventory according to the appraisement thereof amount to twenty eight hundred and seventy five dollars and twenty eight and three-fourth cents to which ought to be added one jack screw worth about ten dollars-whether the above amount is all available Respondent is not informed. He is informed that the debts due by testator were between two and three hundred dollars part of which having been paid by the executors. Respondent further answering says that from all the information he has been able to get the said John Coran at the time of making said will was of sound mind and memory and competent to avail himself of that principle in our laws which has so long existed that a man has entire discretion of disposing of his property after his death even to the disinheriting of his heirs-a principle however hard it may sometimes be in its particular application, which as nevertheless been recognized in the codes of all civilized countries and which by making the son at all times dependent upon the father for his patrimony furnishes the best guarantee for the continuance(?) of that dutiful relation and final affection, which it would be the tendency of an _____ principle utterly to destroy. Never would it's chilling influences be felt alone in the domestic circle but a crippled trade and a palsied commerce and all the evils of ______ must follow the appurtenances of such claims as set up by Complainants if generally sustained. Respondent insists said will furnishes to the legatees and devisee therein took title and if it were invalid the only consequence would be to establish a former will of the said testator making nearly the same disposition of his property. Respondent prays to be hence dismissed with his reasonable costs and charges by him about his defense in this behalf expended.
A. White, Counsel for the Respondent.
Signed before Allen May, JP, Montgomery County, Indiana on 1/5/1836.
State of Indiana
The State of Indiana to the Sheriff of Montgomery in said state Greeting
You are hereby commanded (as it has been commanded the Sheriff of the County of Tippecanoe) to summon William P. Ramey if he may be found in your bailiwick to personally be and appear before the judges of the Tippecanoe Circuit Court on the first day of their next term to be holden at the court house in the town of Lafayette in said County, on the second Monday in October next to answer a bill in Chancery exhibited in our said court against him and Jacob Walker by Joshua, Coran, John Coran, Mary Stedman, widow of James Stedman deceased, Thomas Harber, and Elizabeth his wife, Robert Graham and Harriet his wife, Samuel Graham and Catharine his wife, Eliza Coran, and Margaret Coran, heirs and legal representatives of John Coran Late of Tippecanoe County, deceased. The said John Coran, Eliz Coran and Margaret Coran, being minors, represented by Joshua Coran, their next friend and in this the said William P. Ramey shall not fail at his peril and have you there this writ. Dated 9/10/1835 and signed by Samuel Hoover-Clerk
The answer of John Trimble to a bill in Chancery exhibited against Jacob Walker, William P. Ramey and the unknown heirs of Jane Coran, deceased in the Tippecanoe Circuit Court by the heirs of John Coran deceased.
This respondent, say that he is the only heir at law of Jane Coran, deceased. He with said Jane are the only children of Thomas and Elizabeth Trimble, both of whom were deceased before the death of said Jane. There being no issue left by said Jane, your respondent, is her next of kin and heir at law. Of most of the allegations of Complainants in the bill, your respondent has no personal knowledge, but he is informed and believes that John Coran died, having made such last will and testament, as the Complainants have charged, and he also believes said will has been admitted to record, upon due proof before the property court, and that letters testamentary were duly granted to said Jacob Walker and Jane Coran and Executor and Executrix, who upon due qualification assumed the ____ of executing said will. He also is informed of the subsequent marriage of Jane with said William P. Ramey. He admits that said John seized and possessed of a considerable real and personal estate of value as great as complainants have charged. But he denies the charge in said bill that said Jane had not intermarried with said John Coran. Of the fact of the marriage and its legality he can furnish abundant proof, both of record and of acknowledgment by said John Coran, should such proof by necessary or encumbered upon him. But he is advised that such is unnecessary, and the fact itself, so far as the present suit is concerned is wholly immaterial. He also denies that said John Coran was at the time of making and publishing said last will was of unsound mind or memory or that he was at all unduly influenced or dictated to by said Jane or anyone else. On the contrary, he is informed and believes that said John Coran was perfectly sane and so far from being dictated to, in an hour of feebleness and disease, that his will was the result of long formed determination made in perfect health and adhered to in the hour of death. And he is further informed that these determinations were the natural and necessary result of the Complainants own conduct, which had been of character totally to estrange "the almost universal affection and concern of parents for their offspring". Your respondent calls for proof and ample proof of the insanity of said Testator, and the undue influence and dictation of said Jane as charged by Complainants. Your respondent is ignorant of the relation that Complainants be as to said John Coran, and therefore cannot admit their right to sue as his heirs, as such he requires proof. Your respondent would pray of your honorable court, the protection of his rights, as heir and next of kin of said Jane, to all such part of her estate as belong to him, and prays that such proceedings be had and decree entered as shall quit this title against the claims of Complainants. He would also pray that if the will now in controversy for any cause be vacated and set-aside, he may be allowed to prove a prior will, duly executed and published by said John Coran while in perfect health of mind and body, and under which respondent had equal claims as under the present. Having fully answer, he prays to be hence dismissed with his costs.
JOHN TRIMBLE ADDED THE FOLLOWING
NOTE HIMSELF "When this respondent states that he is the only heir
at law he means that he has become so by purchase since the initiation
of this suit"
Signed in Fayette County, KY on 9/19/1836 before Dan Bradford, JP.
The depositions of Andrew
Ingram and Abraham Shoemaker taken before me, Alban B. Slaughter, a Justice
of the Peace within and for said county at my office in Lafayette in said
county on the 17th day of April AD 1837, to be read in evidence in a certain
cause now pending in the Circuit Court of said County in Chancery sitting,
wherein Joshua Coran, John Coran Mary Stedman, wife of James Stedman deceased,
Thomas Harbert and Elizabeth his wife, Robert Graham and Harriet his wife,
Samuel Graham Katherine his wife, Eliza Coran and Margaret Coran (the said
John, Eliza and Margaret infants, suing by Joshua Coran, their next friend-)
are Complainants and William P. Ramey, Jacob Walker and the unknown heirs
of Jane Ramey (late Jane Coran) deceased, are defendants. The said
Andrew Ingram, being by and duly sworn on his oath deposes and says that
at the request of a Mr. Scroggins deponent ___to Mr. John Coran and at
his, Mr. Coran's request wrote his will in pursuance of his directions
two years ago about the last part of August or the first part of September
last. Defendant left Lafayette about dark and arrived at the Corans
about 11:00 at night. The said Scroggins was considerably under the
influence of liquor while on the way out to the Corans and upon deponents
arrival, Mr. Coran was much composed and answered deponent to ___ making
of the will until in the morning which deponent did. That he, Coran,
dictated the terms of the Will on the next morning and Deponent wrote the
same in pursuance of his instructions. This will spoken of is the
one proved in the probate court that Abraham Haines and himself are the
subscribing witnesses to said will. That while writing the will said
Coran said that he wanted to disinherit his children that directed
Deponent to put down a dollar a piece to them and seemed to think that
was necessary to make the will good. Deponent told him it was unnecessary
but he still insisted saying that he wanted the will so it would stand
and appeared very solicitous that it should be made strong and said his
children had forfeited all claim to his favour (or words to that effect)
Deponent could see no evidence of insanity in said Coran and from what
he observed from his conversation and conduct he considered him competent
to make a will. Heard him converse considerably, that he walked out
in the yard that morning and did not appear to suffer very much.
Signed Andrew Ingram.
And also comes the said Abraham Shoemaker at the date aforesaid and being by now duly sworn on his oath deposes and says: That he was acquainted with John Coran during the five years preceding the time of his death. That he was at his house at the time of his last sickness, while he was very low. That he (Coran) had been in the habit of doing business with Deponent during the time above mentioned. Deponent considered Mr. Coran perfectly capable of doing business at the time (deponent) was at the house of said Coran during his sickness notwithstanding he was very low and ??? he was in his proper mind. Signed Abraham Shoemaker.
Depositions above taken by and before A.B. Slaughter, JP of Tippecanoe County of 4/17/1837
To the Honourable Judges
of the Tippecanoe Circuit Count in Chancery October Term 1835. Humbly
complaining ____ unto your Honor, your Orator, Joshua Coran, John Coran,
Mary Stedman, widow of James Stedman, deceased, Thomas Harbert and Elizabeth
his wife, Robert Graham and Harriet his wife, Samuel Graham and Catherine
his wife, John Coran, Eliz Coran and Margaret Coran heirs and legal representatives
of John Coran, late of Tippecanoe County, Indiana deceased (the said John
Coran, Eliza Coran and Margaret Coran, infants under 21 years of age) commence
and prosecute this suit by Joshua Coran, their next friend who is admitted
by the court to prosecute in this behalf that the said John Coran being
possessed of a large personal and real estate amounting as your orators
are informed and believe to seven and eight thousand dollars on the 5th
day of September in the year 1834, short time before his death signed and
acknowledged a certain writing in the presence of witnesses purporting
to be his last will and testament which your orators make a part of this
bill (here to be inserted) and soon thereafter died leaving Jane Coran,
a woman whom he called his wife, his sole legatee and devisee of all his
property both real and personal except a nominal sum of cash of his
children will ____ more fully appears by a reference to said will, and
your orators charge that said Jane (who never was the lawful wife of the
said John) and your orators expressly charge and _____ unto your Honor
that the said John Coran at the time of signing and acknowledging the said
supposed last will and testament was wholly insane and of unsound mind
and memory and totally incapable of making a valid will, or of dispersing
of his estate in a legal manner. And you orators expressly
charge and ____ unto your Honor, that the said Jane Coran, immediately
before the signing and acknowledging of the said supposed will and testament
by the said John Coran, sat by his bedside (during his last illness) and
persuaded, and induced him to be her the sole legatee and devisee as herein
charged, for the purpose of cheating and defrauding your orators out of
their just claims founded on the almost universal affection and concern
of parents for their offspring even in the hour of death, a claim sanctioned
by legislative enactment in all states where liberty and equal rights are
secured to the citizen. And you orators further ____unto your Honor
that by the said supposed will and testament, one Jacob Walker, of Lafayette,
Indiana is appointed executor and the said Jane Coran executrix of the
same. That the said Jacob and Jane executor and executrix as aforesaid,
for the purpose of cheating and defrauding you orators, have taken possession
of the said personal and real estate of which the said John Coran was the
owner at the time of his death, and have fraudulently and unjustly obtained
probate and letters testamentary of the said supposed last will and testament,
and hold the same against the claims of your orators, and against the principles
of equity, and the sound and unbiased dictates of good conscience.
And you orators then ____ unto your Honor, that on the 30th day of
December in the year 1834 before the commencement of this suit, the said
Jane Coran was married to one William P. Ramey of Crawfordsvile, Indiana
and that on the ____ of August in the year 1835, the said Jane departed
this life leavings the said William P. Ramey with possession of a large
sum of money and large portion of personal property which in justice and
equity belong of right to your orator as children and heirs of the said
John Coran, Deceased, and that your orators are informed and believe that
the said Jane Coran left heirs whose names and place of residence are unknown
to you orators, and who are make defendants to this bill. In ____
consideration, therefore and in as
much as your orators are _____ by the signed rules of the common law and ______ only in a court of equity where matters of this nature are properly _______ and _______, your orators pray that the said Jacob Walker and William P. Ramey may be made defendants to this bill and that they may be compelled by your Honor upon their _____ and _____ and effective ____ _____ true and perfect answers to make to all, and singular, the matters and things herein charged to all interest and purposes as fully and specifically as if the same were here again _____ and they against _______ thereunto and that they be compelled to set forth in their answer fully and specifically the amount of property real and personal of which the said John Coran ______ or may the owner at the time of his death and which has come to their having and possessing-and they your orators may have the State's writ of subpoena against the said defendants
Cox Patton and Naylor
State of Indiana
The State of Indiana to the Sheriff of Tippecanoe County. Greeting
You are hereby commanded to summon Jacob Walker and William P. Ramey if they may be found in your bailiwick to personally be and appear before the judges of the Tippecanoe Circuit Court on the first day of this next term to be holden at the court house in the town of Lafayette, in said County on the second Monday in October next, to answer a bill in Chancery, exhibited in our said Court against them by Joshua Coran, John Coran, Mary Stedman, widow of James Stedman, deceased, Thomas Harbert and Elizabeth his wife, Robert Graham and Harriet his wife, Samuel Graham and Catharine his wife, Eliza Coran and Margaret Coran, heirs and legal representatives of John Coran late of Tippecanoe County, deceased, the said John Coran, Eliza Coran and Margaret Coran being minors, prosecute by Joshua Coran their next friend. An in this the said Jacob Walker and William P. Ramey shall not fail at their peril and have you then there this writ. Witness Samuel Hoover Clerk of said County 9/10/1835
9/11/1835: Service on Jacob Walker as commanded. William P. Ramey not found in my bailiwick.
The Despositions of Harry L. Doubleday, Robert Kinworthy and Abraham Hanes
Taken before me, William
H. Porter (Router?) , a Justice of the Peace within and for Wayne Township,
Tippecanoe County, Indiana, at my office in said township , in the presence
of parties herein named by their attorneys to be read in evidence in a
certain suit now pending in Circuit Court of said County, wherein Joshua
Coran and others are Complainants, and William P. Ramey, Jacob Walker and
others are defendants
On behalf of the said Complainants: The said Harry L. Doubleday being duly sworn according to law upon his oath deposeth and saith that on or about the 4th day of September 1834 that he visited John Coran deceased and that the said deceased was considerable deranged in his mental faculties and that he was requested by said deceased to write his will and this Deponant objected to writing the will in consequece of _______ but that he would have _______ of the derangement of the mind under which he believes the deceased ______thought he did not make this objection at this time.
Question by Counsel for Complainant: You are a Practioner of Medicine?
Answer: I am and have been for 12 or 14 years.
Question by Counsel for the Defendants: Did you see the deceased
but the one time in his last illness?
Answer: I did not
Question by Counsel for Defendants: Do you know how soon the deceased
died after you saw him?
Answer: I do not
Question by same: Do you know how long the deceased was sick previous to your visit?
Answer: I do not. Only from heresay but I understood that deceased was sick six weeks or thereabouts from heresay.
Question by same: Did he talk or act unreasonably that you supposed he was deranged?
Answer: I visited the deceased bout 8 o'clock pm and was there about 3 hours and during my stay with deceased we talked upon the disease under which the deceased laboured also upon medicines and the deceased will , and upon the ______-subjects. That the deceased conversed talk would sometimes get half through a sentence and then commence again at the first and sometimes repeat one sentence over twice. I have not a full recollection of the conversation word for word but a general recollection of the conversation. I cannot recite any part of the deceased's conversation word for word from which I supposed the deceased was insane. The deceased laboured over a low fever produced from a Dysentary from which the deceased was afflicted.
Question by same: Did he have a knowledge of persons when they went into the room?
Answer: He knew when I went in and spoke to him. I saw nothing that led me to believe that he did or did not know persons.
Question by same: Did the deceased converse about past events?
Answer: To the best of my recollection he conversed about present events
Question by same: Did the deceased talk of thing that had no ____?
Answer: I do not know that he did.
Question by same: Did the deceased appear conscious of his situation?
Answer: He thought that he would get well.
Question by Counsel for Plaintiffs: What length of time have you been the family physician of the deceased? (objected by the Defense)
Answer: 4 years or thereabouts.
Question by same: Have you frequently attended the deceased in that time? (objected by Defense)
Answer: I have attended him 3 or 4 times or thereabouts. That is during 3 or 4 different attacks of disease.
Question by same: From what circumstances did you form your____of
insanity?(Objection by Defense)
Answer: From his general conversation
Question by same: During what part of the time that your were with the deceased did he converse? (Objection by Defense)
Answer: None of less all the time that I was there. He did not appear disposed to converse but was inclined to be comatose and when awakened he would give a correct answer when he first spoke and to then relapse to a state of stupor and appear to forget what he was talking about and talk upon other subjects and give incoherant answers. And when asked a question he would commence as though he would answer the questions correctly and then he would talk of something else that was not related to the conversation. And it was from his general conversations that I thought he was insane. His situation was like some cases of Typhoid Fever and no person acquainted with diseases would suppose them to be sane.
Question by same: Did you suppose the situation to be hopeless?
Answer: I did.
Signed H.L. Doubleday
The said Robert Kinworthy being duly affirmed accoring to law upon his affirmation deposeth and saieth:
Question by Counsel for Plaintiffs: Are you a Practitioner of Medicine and how long have you been practicing?
Answer: I was not licensed to practice at the time I attended
John Coran, but
practiced in cases when called upon as a botanic practioner. I visited the deceased. There was nothing remarkable in his conversation or action on my second visit. I arrived at the deceased house about dusk of the evening and remained all night with the deceased. And from his conversation and action, I am of the opinion that he was insane frequently while laying in his bed and he would start up and observe that he was afraid that some person would burn his barns and requested Scroggins to go out and see and would ask for Scroggins and say that he must go and see that there was no danger. He would then talk on subjects and his wife would interfere and would say it was some other way. And he would answer "well,you know best". One of the times he was talking of leaving to Lafayette at a particular time and his wife stated it was not the time and he said "you know best, my memory is not as good as it used to be"
Question by Counsel for Plaintiffs: Did you hear any conversation concerning his will and whom this conversation was with and what about?
Answer: I did hear himself and wife converse about his will and they would talk of the abuse that his children had given him, she would, in particular. And she would state things of abuse that he did not mention but he did not deny them but say "maybe it's so". She would say you know Jack has done so and so and she was wishing him and urging him to make a will and stated that the boys don't deserve a bit of your property. This answer would be that it would be fixed in a way that he would not get it (the manner in which this conversation occured I asked if she had no children and she said that she had not but that he had, and that they went as fast as they got (old enough?) and able to do much good on the place)
Question by same: Which of them commenced the conversation in relation to the children not getting the property?
Answer: I do not recollect.
Question by same: What length of time did this conversation take place previous to the deceased death?
Answer: I think about a week but I am not certain.
Question by same: Do you recollect any other circumstance
connected with the case more than the above stated?
Answer: I do not recollect that I do.
Question: Was the deceased temperate or intemperate?
Answer: I have frequently seen a bottle on the table and he has often asked me to drink and I have smelt him of liquor and he told me that he had sent to Middleton for a quart or bottle of brandy at one time.
Question of same: What qualification do the Board of Botanic Physicians require before they grant licenses? (Objected by Plaintiffs)
Answer: To know the cause of diseases and the manner of treatment to heal it.
Signed: Robert Kinworthy "R" his mark
And the said Abraham Hanes have duly affirmed according to law upon his affirmation deposes and saith:
That he was sent for to witness the will of John Coran, deceased. And when I arrived there the will was witnessed as he understood I thought the deceased was not as himself from the circumstance the he told to take a ____ or to give ______ a _____. I am not certain why it surprised me that a man in the deceased situation would talk that way. That I went to his bed and talked to him and I did not consider him at his reason like he was before he took sick . I went from there to oats building and the old man sent for me on the next day. I went up and talked with him. I was with him all night and frequently lifted him up and down. I asked him if a man ought not to settle his business when he was able and he said ____ of ____ help me up for I am very bad. I was informed that I had stayed too long, another had witnessed the will in my place.
Question by counsel for Plaintiffs: Did you ever hear Mrs. Coran hold out any inducement to John Coran the deceased to make a will to disinherit his children?
Answer: I have frequently heard Mrs. Coran talk and Coran the deceased about his children both to themselves and to ____ Coran's presense talk low of Coran's children previous to the making of the will and previous to his last sickness, but heard none at the the of the making of the will.
Question of same: What was the state of the deceased's mind after the spell of sickness previous to the last spell?
Answer: I did not think that the deceased was in his proper mind as usual after cleaning out the well previous to his last spell of sickness. The next night after the will was made, I had the deceased in my arms and he said " Lay me down. I'll give it all back, I'll give it all back, I'll give it all back" And shortly after the dogs howled, the deceased observed "even the dumb brutes mourn for me".
Question by same: What was his state of mind the morning he signed the will?
Answer: Thought him worse at that time but I never thought that he was in his right mind since his spell of sickness from cleaning the well. The said deceased could neither read nor write.
Abraham Hanes "his mark"
State of Indiana
Subscribed and sworn to before
me, William Porter the subscriber a JP of Wayne Twp, Tippecanoe County,
Indiana at my office in West Point this 8th day of April 1936 between the
hours of 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock pm of said day.
William M. Porter, JP
State of Indiana
The deposition of Sarah Dawson taken before Allen May, Esquire a Justice of the Peace in and said for county at the office of Allen May, Esquire, a Justice of the Peace in and for said county in the town of Crawfordsville in said county of Saturday the 28th day of May, 1836 to be read in evidence on behalf of the defendants in a cause now defending in the Circuit Court of Tippecanoe County and State of Indiana being a suit in Chancery, wherein Joshua Coran, John Coran, Mary Stedman, widow of James Stedman, deceased, Thomas Harbert and Elizabeth his wife, Robert Graham and Harriett, his wife, Samuel Graham and Catherine, his wife, Eliza Coran and Margaret Coran (said John, Eliza and Margaret infants) by Joshua Coran their next friend are Complainants and William P. Ramey, Jacob Walker and the unknown heirs of Jane Ramey deceased and defendants taken by virtue of a commission filed by the Clerk of said Tippecanoe Circuit Court here to annexed, the said Sarah being sworn to testify the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth touches (?) the matter in controversy between the said parties deposes and says:
She became acquainted with the above named John Coran , deceased some time in March two years ago this last March and was acquainted with him from that time till his decease. That she lived in his neighbourhood within a quarter of a mile of his residence and was often at his house. That said John Coran was taken sick about ____ September following. Said deponents becoming acquainted with him as aforesaid. That the said John made his will on Friday morning about five days after the commencement of his said last sickness and died on the Thursday night following. That his deponent has frequently heard the said deceased in his lifetime talk about making his last will and that she has heard him say while in he was heard that he would give his children nothing. That said deceased gave as his reasons why he would give his children nothing, that John (called Jack), had run away from him and that his daughter, Margaret had run away with one Britton, and that his children had treated him badly. Deceased said he would give Joshua something, but for his wife, who had robbed his pockets. This deponent attended said deceased constantly during his last sickness and thinks his mind was sound when he made his will as aforesaid and that he had his senses as well as he had when in his health. The deponent could see no difference in his conduct, so far as regarding his soundness of mind, while in health and at and upon the making of his will as aforesaid, this deponent heard said deceased often talk and converse during his last illness; and his conversation was the same as when in health. As regards to soundness of mind, that said deceased was anxious during his last illness to have his will made and sent twice for a person to come and write, but without obtaining anyone. That the night before the will was made he sent one William Scroggins to Lafayette for a person to write his will, but after he had gone observed" Scroggins would get drunk and lose him" and that he did so, but that the person (A Mr. Ingram) finally found his way and arrived at the house of said deceased in the night. That Ingram wrote the will the next morning. This deponent did not see the will signed but was in the room with the deceased and short time after it was signed and heard the deceased say he was afraid Ingram had not written the will as he wanted it. Upon which Mrs. Coran held up the will and observed it was written just as Ingram had read it to him. Upon which the deceased said that he was satisfied. That this deponent was _____ and heard the deceased mourn over each of his children and tell Ingram to give them (in the will) one dollar. That Ingram told him he need not give them anything as the will would be good without it. Upon which the deceased observed "for fear they will break the will, do put in one dollar. I don't want my children to have one cent of my labour" While the will was written, Mr. Coran asked him if he was clear in his instructions to which the deceased replied "You know Jane, I have always told you lately that this was the way I intended to will my property". That this deponent has heard the deceased talk about a former will in which he had given his daughter Margaret $200 and that he did not want her to have it, as she had run away. That Mr. Doubleday was to see the deceased the night before the will was written. That Doubleday had been to see a sick child in the neighborhood and was called to see the deceased, word having been left for him if he needed him. And after Doubleday had gone, deceased observed "he was going to be filled up with his damned colerey (cholera?) ". That this deponent says Dr. Doubleday was not there more than a quarter of an hour and could not have been there more than an hour at most. ____ as soon as he came he asked for tea and deponent boiled the tea kettle as soon as possible and made him some tea directly after which he went away. That this deponent is acquainted with the general character of William Scroggins (who was living with the deceased during his last illness) for truth and _____ And has heard the neighbors speak of it. That it is generally said and thought what she knows of the general character of said Scroggins (having derived her information from the deceased and others, Mrs. Stroup in particular) this deponent believes said Scroggins cannot be believed on oath. Scroggins had lived with the deceased during all the time the deponent knew said deceased .
Questions by the Complainant's Counsel: Do you know of your own knowledge when the will of John Coran was signed?
Answer: I do not believe it was signed about 10 o'clock in the day.
Do you know your own knowledge that it was signed?
Answer: I do not.
Signed: Sarah Dawson "x" her mark
Complaint filed by children of John Coran (did not find court cases yet to show settlement of suit back in the 1830s)
State of Indiana
Tippecanoe County Circuit Court of Tippecanoe
October Term 1859
Elizabeth Harbert, Harriet Graham, Robert Graham
Eliza Hunt, John Hunt, Thomas C. Wallace
John Stedman, Charles Stedman, James Stedman, Jared Stedman,
Susannah Raub, Charles Raub, Martha Bradley, John Bradley, Susanna Holloway, George Holloway, Louisa Hamer, James Hamer, John Graham,
James Graham, the said John and James being minors who prosecute this suit by
Robert Graham, their next friend.
James Trimble, Thomas Trimbel, Elizabeth Cromwell, John E. Cromwell,
Margaret Weldon, James W. Weldon, Sarah A. Aubrey, Richard Aubrey,
James McConnell, Frank McConnell, William M. McConnell, Benjamin F. McConnell, Richard Pindel, Elizabeth Scott, Joseph G. Scott and John Coran
Come said plaintiffs by Orth and Stein, their attorneys and aver that one John Coran, late of said County deceased, departed this life on the ___ day of September, 1834. That said Coran at the time of his death was possessed in fee simple of the following real estate situated and being in said county and described as follows to wit:
(legal description followed-572 acres)
That said Coran left him surviving as his children and heirs at law said complainants, Elizabeth, married to Thomas Harbert now deceased, Harriet married to said Robert Graham, Eliza married to said John Hunt, and said defendant John Coran. Also his daughter Mary married to James Stedman, both of whom departed this life intestate, leaving as their children and heirs at law, said complainants, John Stedman, Charles Stedman, James Stedman, Jared Stedman and Susanna married to Charles Raub. Also his daughter Catharine married to Samuel Graham, both of whom departed this life intestate leaving as their children and heirs at law said complainants Martha married to John Bradley, Susanna married to George Holloway, Louisa married to James Hamer, John Graham and James Graham. Also his son Joshua Coran who departed this life intestate and without issue. Also his daughter Margaret intermarried with said Thomas C. Wallace who departed this life intestate, leaving her surviving as her child and only heir at law, Eliza M. Wallace. That said Eliza also departed this life intestate and without issue, leaving her surviving said father, Thomas as her heir at law.
The said Real Estate at the death of said John Coran descended to and vested in his said children and heirs at law, and is now owned by said defendant John Coran and by said complainants as such children of said John and as the descendants of such of said children as have since died as above set forth and averred. That said John Coran, a short time before his death and when in consequence of a severe illness under which he was laboring and of which he died, he was of unsound mind and memory, executed a pretended last Will and Testament a copy of which instruction purporting to be such last Will and Testament is herewith filed marked "A" and reads as follows (see will)
Said complainants aver and
say that said instrument of writing is not the last Will and Testament
of said John Coran. That at the time the same purports to have been
executed, said John was of insane mind and not capable in consequence thereof,
of executing any last Will and Testament nor had he sufficient memory to
enable him to transact any business whatever or of underrating and appreciating
the purport of such pretended last Will and Testament. That
by said pretended Will the whole of said Real Estate was devised in fee
simple to a person named in said Will as "my wife Jane". That
the said Jane for the purpose of defrauding the children of said Coran
of their just inheritance and to obtain the same for her individual benefit
obtained the execution of said pretended Will by fraud, coven and undue
and improper influence exercised over the said Coran while of his deathbed
and not in the possession of his mental faculties. That said
pretended Will was in fact made and dictated by said Jane for the purpose
Complainants further aver that the said children of said Coran were the issue of his first and second marriages, that said John Coran, never had any issue by said Jane and that in truth and in fact no legal marriage ever existed between said Coran and said Jane. That said Jane on the 13th day of May, 1817 was married to one Samuel Harris and continued to live with said Harris in the relationship of man and wife for several years thereafter at which time she left said Harris and wandered to the State of Ohio where she made the acquaintance of said Coran and represented herself to him to be an unmarried woman, induced said Coran, who believed such fase representations to be true, to enter into a contract of marriage with said Jane. That said Jane at the time of such pretended marriage with said Coran, was in fact the wife of said Samuel Harris and unable to enter into the marriage relation with said Coran. That said Coran at the solicitation of said Jane immediately after such pretended marriage with her, removed to this county and lived with said Jane to the time of his death in the belief that she was his lawful wife. That said Jane after the death of said Coran took possession of all said Real Estate by virtue of said pretended Will in fraud of the right of the children of said Coran and continued in such possession until her death in the month of August, 1835. Said complainants further aver that after the death of said Jane who died intestate and without issue one John Trimble and one James Trimble of Lexington, Kentucky both of whom are now deceased, falsely and fraudulently represented themselves to be the brother and legal heirs of said Jane, enter upon and took possession of said real estate and remained in the possession thereof to the time of their death. That after the death of said John and James said defendants, Elizabeth D., John E., Margaret, James W., Sarah A., Richard I., James, Frank, William, Benjamin F. and James ___ by pretense of some devise, conveyance or inheritance from said John and James Trimble entered upon and took possession of said Real Estate. That shortly thereafter said defendant, Elizabeth Scott, falsely and fraudulently representing herself to be a sister and legal heir of said Jane and of said John and James Trimble commenced proceeding in partition against the heirs and legatees of said John and James Trimble for the recovery of her pretended portion of said Real Estate. That said heirs and legatees (all of whom are defendants in this complaint) after vehemently denying the relationship claimed by said Elizabeth, nevertheless consented to the rendition of a decree of the court vesting in said Elizabeth Scott, then Elizabeth Ensign, one third part of all said real estate which matter appear of record in the court and to which complainants beg leave to refer if necessary on the final hearing of this case. That after the partition suit able referred to said defendant, Elizabeth entered upon and took possession of a portion of said real estate to said defendant, Pindel, who had also taken possession thereof. That said defendants for a long time have been and still are in such possession, claiming some title to said real estate and receiving the rents, issues and profits thereof and refuse to deliver such possession to said plaintiffs or to account to them for such rents and profit.
Said Plaintiff's further aver that said Jane did intestate without issue and without kindred capable of inheriting. That said Jane was a bastard and illegitimate child of one Thomas Trimble and Elizabeth, his pretended wife. That said Thomas and Elizabeth never were married or had legal issue and that after the death of said Thomas, said Elizabeth the mother of said Jane, never was intermarried with any person. That said John Trimble, James Trimble and Elizabeth Scott the pretended brothers and sister of said Jane, were not in truth and in fact such brothers and sister but were each of illegitimate birth and born long after the death of their pretended father, Thomas Trimble and in consequence thereof were incapable of inheriting said property from said Jane. That upon the death of said Jane who died intestate and without kindred as aforesaid all her interest in and to the real estate by virtue of said pretended Will or otherwise escheated to and vested in and became absolutely the property of the State of Indiana. That the said State of Indiana afterwards to wit, on the 4th day of March, 1859 gave, granted, conveyed and confirmed said real estate to the said plaintiffs and to said defendant, John Coran as the sons and daughters of said John Coran deceased, and the descendants and heirs at law of such of said sons and daughter of said John as were then dead, their heirs and assigns forever by the following (copy marked B) Act of the General Assembly of said State to wit (insert)
Said complainant aver that the real estate referred to in said Act is the same real estate herein before described and that they and said defendant John Coran are the sons and daughters of said John Coran, deceased, and the descendants and heirs at law of such said sons and daughters of said Coran as are now dead. And that by virtue of said Act of the General Assembly of the State of Indiana, they are now the true and lawful owners of said real estate in fee simple and entitled to have use and enjoy the same without molestation or hindrance from said defendants or any or either of them or of any persons claiming through them.
Said Complainants therefore pray for the following relief:
I. That said defendants be all duly notified of the ____
of this suit.
II. That the title in and to said real estate be decreed to exist in said complainants and said defendant, John Coran, freed and discharged from all right, title or claim of said other defendants or either of them or of any person claiming through them or either of them.
III That said plaintiff and said defendant John Coran be placed in the peaceable and quiet possession of said real estate and every part thereof
IV That said defendants render a true and faithful account of all the rents, issues and profits of said real estate and they be decreed to pay the same to said plaintiffs.
V That said John Coran be enjoined and restrained from paying over any portion of said rents to either of the other defendants and that he be order to pay the same into court from time to time to abide the final termination of this suit
VI That a Receiver be appointed to take charge of the said Real Estate and the rents, issues and profits thereof and to account for the same under the order and direction of this court from time to time.
VII And for such other and further relief in the premises as justice and equity may demand
Orth & Stein
Attorneys for Plaintiffs
An Act for the relief of the heirs at law of John Coran deceased and to vest in them certain real estate which has escheated to the State.
Whereas it is represented to this General Assembly that in the year 1834 John Coran, late of Tippecanoe County in this State, departed life devising the greater part of his personal and all of his real estate to his wife, Jane Coran, who was his third wife and by whom he had no children and who afterwards died intestate without issue and without any legal heirs whatever in consequence whereof said real estate acquired under the will of John Coran escheated to the State of Indiana and whereas that said John Coran had at the time of his death children surviving by two former marriages, who but for said will would have inherited said real estate and whereas the State of Indiana is not willing to hold said real estate to the exclusion of the said children and heirs at law of John Coran, but is desirous of vesting them her interest in the same therefore.
Sec. 1 Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana that the title of the State of Indiana in and to all the real estate whereof the said Coran died seized in fee simple, situated and being in Tippecanoe County aforesaid be and the same is hereby conveyed, confirmed to and vested in the sons and daughters and descendants of such of them as are the deceased their heirs and assigns forever as fully and effectually and in the same manner as the same would have been vested in them had said John Coran died intestate and the title and interest of the State of Indiana in and to said Real Estate and such of the profits thereof as have not heretofore been collected by the State are hereby relinquished and conveyed to said children and heirs at law of John Coran, their heirs and assigns forever.
©1999 Chris Summers