Monday, October 11, 2010
Last Will & Testament of Dr. Elmer H. Rogers
IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN.
I, Elmer H. Rogers, of the City of Trenton, County of Mercer and State of New Jersey, being of sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding, do make, publish and declare this, my last will and testament, in manner following, to wit:
FIRST: I direct that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid as soon as may be reasonable after my decease.
SECOND: I give, devise and bequeath unto my wife and children, or the survivor of them, all of my property, real and personal, to be used and enjoyed by them, or the survivor of the, during their natural lives, said property to be, by my executors hereinafter mentioned, invested in real estate and first bond and mortgage.
THIRD: Upon the decease of my said wife and children, if the said children die without leaving lawful heirs of the body, I direct that my executors, hereinafter mentioned, shall invest the sum of Five thousand dollars, the income thereof, to be paid to William H. Bowers during his natural life.
FOURTH: Upon the decease of my said wife and children, if the said children shall died without leaving lawful heirs of the body, I direct that my executors, hereinafter mentioned, shall invest the sum of Five thousand dollars, the income thereof to be paid to Otto Goldy during his natural life.
FIFTH: I give, devise and bequeath upon the death of my wife and children, if the said children shall die without leaving lawful heirs of the body, all the rest and residue of my estate to my two sisters, Mary Rogers and Ella Rogers.
SIXTH: I give, devise and bequeath to my two sisters, Mary Rogers and Ella Rogers, the sum of Five thousand dollars, above directed to be invested for the use and benefit of William H. Bowers, when the said William H. Bowers is deceased.
SEVENTH: I give, devise and bequeath to my two sisters, Mary Rogers and Ella Rogers, the sum of Five thousand dollars, above directed to be invested for the use and benefit of Otto Goldy, when the said Otto Goldy is deceased.
EIGHTH: I hereby constitute, nominate and appoint Mary Olivia Rogers (signature) executrix of this, my last will and testament.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this eighth day of May, A.D., nineteen hundred and five.
Dr. Elmer H. Rogers (signature)
SIGNED, ACKNOWLEDGED AND DECLARED by the said Elmer H. Rogers, as and for his last will and testament, in the presence of us (both being present at the same time) who, at his request, in his presence and in the presence of each other, have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses.
J. Lefferts Conard (signature)
Sara A. Conveny (signature)
Dr. Rogers died nearly two years later at the age of forty-eight on 11 Apr 1907. It appears the will was written and drawn up by J. Lefferts Conard. I found a John L. Conard in the 1900 Trenton census who listed his occupation as "attorney." Mary Olivia, the wife of the deceased started probate on 17 May 1907.
There are a couple of interesting facts on this will that have changed my perspective, the main one being the bequest for his wife's brother, William H. Bowers or William A. as I have found him in most listings. William is one of my brick walls and I had long assumed him to be a person of substance and education as the Bowers evidently came from money and prominence. I know that he lived in Washington, D.C. as late as 1943 due to legal proceedings filed on the estate and published in the Trenton Evening Times. I have never been able to find him in a census since the 1870 census at the age of one. In fact, at one time I believed he had died as a child. I am now having to question my prior assumptions and ask myself whether he might have been either indigent or institutionalized. In any case, it appears that Dr. Rogers was supporting him in some fashion.
The second item of interest was the bequest for Otto Goldy who is a mystery person. I have only been able to find one other mention of him and it was a small ad in the Trenton Evening Times listing the Rogers' former house on Warren Street and listing him as the contact. This person will take further investigation.
All in all, this will was a great find and while it did not give me a lot more information, it did give me more to ponder. And such is a genealogists' plight.....