Last Will and Testament of John Motter

John MotterI recently requested part of John Motter’s Estate file from the Hardin County courthouse.  When reading through this post, you might want to keep a few things in mind.  First, John was a farmer and as such he needed a large family to assist with running the farm.  As you can tell from this record, he definitely had a large family.  Secondly, John was married three times.  He married his first wife, Anna Howenstine in 1858.  I don’t have any information on this first wife and it does not appear that they had any children.  John married Catherine Zollinger in 1863 and they had eleven children.  When he refers to his “first family”, he is referring to the children that were born during this marriage. After Catherine’s death in 1887, John married Anna Charles and had eight children.  From the tone of the last part of his will, it sounds like there may have been some bad feelings between some of the members of the two families.

April 16, 1914

Know all men by these presents that I, John Motter, being of sound mind do make this, my last will and testament this April sixteen, ninteen (sic) hundred and fourteen.

I bequeath to my wife, Anna Motter, and four children Clarence, Esther, Otho, Mabel this farm of 160 acres bought by me from John Garlinger.  And I also bequeath to them two work horses, two cows, two brood sows, all chickens and farm machinery. I also bequeath them all household goods.  And be it understood this farm shall not be encumbered in any way and all taxes paid according to law.

My wife shall have dower in above farm as long as she lives and farm shall not be sold before youngest child is of age.

I also bequeath to my wife, Anna Motter and four children, Clarence, Esther, Otho and Mabel one fourth of all money in my possession.  It is my desire that Paul O. Motter be guardian for said minor children and to take charge of said money and pay it as it is needed.

I bequeath all the balance of my real estate, four-hundred and fifty-four (454) acres that is the old home place of 200 acres, the Blair place of 40 acres, the Sanderson place of 80 acres, the 54 acres on the county line, the 80 acres where Paul lives to my first family of children, Samuel, Andrew, Eli, John, William, Albert, Jesse, Paul, Lizzie, Emma, Lydia, Cora and Amanda to be divided equally among them.  I also bequeath all the balance of personal property to first family of children as named above to be divided equally among them.  It is my will if any one causes trouble or goes to law, he or she will thereby forfeit all claims excepting fifty (50) dollars.

It is my will that John P. Motter be executor of all above property to settle up accounts and claims whatsoever and he shall be paid for his work out of said estate.

I hereby set my hand and seal, this sixteen day of April, ninteen-hundred (sic) and fourteen.

Signed: John Motter

Witnessed by: Reuben Thut and Thomas N. Deringer

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3 Responses to Last Will and Testament of John Motter

  1. John Golen says:

    Where/how did you get John Motter’s photo?

  2. Robin Motter Heise says:

    It’s part of my family collection and has been passed down through several generations.

  3. John Golen says:

    I’m a great grandson through Samuel. I’d be interested to find out what other Motter photos you have. I have a couple of John’s sons which you likely have, but I’d be interested in others of John and Son Sam if you have any. Thanks.

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