Tom Cook gave me a copy of Franz Samels will some time ago and permission to post it more recently. Since the handwriting is difficult to read I’ve done a transcription and included original words and punctuation as much as possible, so you’ll see capitalizations in unexpected places and some other unexpected grammatical odds and ends:
Text of the will:
Kno all men by these Presents, that I Frank Samels of South Fork Township, Delaware County, Iowa, hereby declare and Make this my last Will and Testament.——
I give, devise and bequeath my Estate Real and Personal as follows that is to Say, I appoint my beloved Wife Susanna, my only Executor of this my last will.
1st. I Order and direct that all my Just Debts Shall be paid, with Convenient Speed, the Remainder of all My Real and Personal Property, I hereby, give Device and bequeath To My Said Wife Susanna to have and to hold the same, or to sell and dispose The same as she may think best.
2nd. I order that my Said Wife Susanna Shall be Exempt from giving Bond for the due Execution, as Administratrix of my Said Estate.
3rd. I appoint My Wife Susanna, The guardien to Each of my Children during their MInority and I direct, that my Said Wife, shall not be Required to give Bonds for the fidelity of Such Guardien and I Frank Samels, being of Sound Mind, having made this my last Will, in Witness Whereof, I have Sighned and Sealed and published and declared this instrument as My will, this 15th day of January A.D. 1886.
The Said Frank Samels of South Fork Township Delaware County Iowa on this 15th day of January 1886 Sighned and Sealed this instrument and published and declared the same as and for his last Will, And We, at his Request, and in his presents and in the presents of Each other, have hereunto Writen our Names as Suscribing Witnesses.
B. Sathier, Post Office Worthington
C.H. Ricketts, Post Office Hopkinton
Robert Wilson, Post Office Hopkinton
State of Iowa
Note: Except for the signature of Franz Samels it appears that the document was written by someone else, probably one of the three signers or the Clerk, H.C. Jackson.
Thanks to Tom for allowing me to post this document!
Susan J. Edminster, Granite Falls Washington, January 12, 2011. All Rights Reserved