Nicholas Lake’s Probate File

Transcribed by Gary L. Hines

glhines@acm.org

Introduction

The probate record for Nicholas Lake, who died 25 Feb 1874 in Warren County, Iowa, contains the typical information recorded for people who died intestate. Since Nicholas owned sufficient property but left no will, the court appointed an administrator who inventoried each item of property, giving us today a detailed look at Nicholas’s way of life as a farmer. And the sale of Nicholas's property gives us a list of all his heirs.

The Genealogical Society of Utah has filmed the Warren County Probate Records, 1830-1964, which are available at the LDS Family History Library on 103 rolls of microfilm and may be ordered through the LDS Family History Centers. This document is a partial transcription of this filming of Nicholas Lake's probate file.

The probate records for Nicholas Lake are filed under Case No. 306. The probate volumes contain the following references to this case:

  • Volume E, page 474: Case No. 306, Nicholas Lake, deceased. Petition for Administration, 12 Mar 1874 [see FHL film 1,011,020]. This contained the request by Nicholas’s widow, Sarah Lake, to have an administrator appointed for the estate.
  • E, 475: J. P. Mosher appointed adminstrator of estate of Nicholas Lake, 12 Mar 1874 [FHL 1,011,020].
  • E, 481: Petition to Sell Personal Property, 14 Mar 1874 [FHL 1,011,020].
  • E, 482: Order to Sell Personal Property, 14 Mar 1874 [FHL 1,011,020].
  • E, 482: Probate Inventory, 14 Mar 1874 [FHL 1,011,020]. This contained the administrator’s inventory of the real and personal property owned by Nicholas at the time of his death.
  • E, 485: Commission to Appraisers, 12 Mar 1874 [FHL 1,011,020].
  • E, 486: Oath of Appraisers, 13 Mar 1874 [FHL 1,011,020].
  • E, 487: Report of Appraisers, 13 Mar 1874 [FHL 1,011,020]. This contained an appraised value for each item in the personal property inventory.
  • F, 25: Probate Sale Bill, 11 Apr 1874 [FHL 1,011,020]. This contained the name of the purchaser and the amount received for each item in the personal property inventory.
  • F, 425: Probate Report of Administrator, 12 Feb 1875 [FHL 1,011,020].
  • G, 288: Probate Report of Administrator, 21 Oct 1875 [FHL 1,011,021].
  • G, 289: Probate Order of Distribution, 21 Oct 1875 [FHL 1,011,021].
  • H, 42: Probate Final Report of Administrator, 30 Aug 1876 [FHL 1,011,021]. This contained a summary of the final cash payments made to Nicholas’s heirs.
  • H, 115: Order Discharging Administrator, 19 Oct 1876 [FHL 1,011,021].
The FHL filming includes not only the recorded probate volumes (volumes E, F, G, and H are referenced above), but also the loose papers of the case files themselves. These include the originals of the documents recorded in the probate volumes, as well as other items, such as payment vouchers for the heirs containing signatures, dates, places of residence, and names of witnesses to the payments. (View two example payment vouchers...)

Following are transcriptions of the Probate Inventory, Report of Appraisers, Probate Sale Bill, and Final Report of Administrator for Case No. 306, Nicholas Lake.


Probate Inventory

[FHL film 1,871,578, frame 1081. This Probate Inventory was filed 17 Mar 1874 and recorded in volume E: 482 (see FHL film 1,011,020).

Notes: Reading this inventory, you can imagine the administrator moving from the kitchen (Sarah’s realm) to elsewhere in the house, to Nicholas’s tools, to farming equipment, and so on, ending with the animals in the barn and the building supplies. I found the following terms unfamiliar:

  • (Item 9) Flatirons, for ironing clothes.
  • (16) Froe, cleaving tool used by a hoop bender or basket maker.
  • (18) bbl, abbreviation for barrel.
  • (23) Firkin, small wooden cask, as for storing butter or lard.
  • (28) Drawshave (or drawknife), woodworking tool for shaving surfaces.
  • (30) Mattock, tool for digging.
  • (35) Cant hook, tool for handling logs.
The real estate listed below is in Liberty Township, Warren County, Iowa.]


View the original!

STATE OF IOWA, )
Warren County. ) s.s.

In the matter of the Estate of Nicholas Lake Deceased.
The following is a full and perfect Inventory of the Real and Personal Estate of the said deceased, so far as the same has come to the possession or knowledge of the undersigned J. P. Mosher Administrator of Nicholas Lake Deseased
 
REAL ESTATE  Sec. Tp. Rg. Acres.
SE 1/4 SE 1/4 17 14 23 40
pt. NE 1/4 NW 1/4 8 6 1/2
pt. NE 1/4 NW 1/4 5 6 1/2

No. Chattel Property
1 Wash Board
2 3 jars
3 11 one gallen Crocks
4 oil Can & lamp
5 Desk & Stand
6 one Table & Cubord
7 one Cook Stove & utentials
8 Coffee mill & hash nife
9 2 flat Irons
10 Corn nife & mop
11 Two Chests
12 1 Sett of Harness
13 one Ax & hoe
14 Two planes
15 one Buckett & Fire Shovel
16 1 Fro - & Box of old Irons & 2 Bells
17 one Box of old Irons
18 one bbl & Some Salt
19 Two Keggs Sope & greece
20 one Heating Stove & pipe
21 one bbl of meat
22 one bbl & Some Molasses
23 one Furkin of Lard (Dirty)


[frame 1082, reverse side of document at frame 1081]


View the original!

24 one Firkin of good Lard
25 “ “ Pine Keg & old bbl
26 Hand Saw & Square
27 Two Augers
28 Box hatchet & Draw Shave
29 grind Stone
30 Mattock
31 Harrow & Shuvel Plow
32 Corn marker & hay nife
33 Traps & harnes
34 Mowing Sythe & Scoope
35 one Spade & Cant hook
36 “ “ Baskett
37 Double Shuvel & old Plow
38 one Plow
39 undivided half of Brush Sythe
40 one Two hors Wagon
41 27 Bushels of Rye more or less
42 one Iron Kettle
43 “ “ Wash Tub
44 45 Bushels of Wheat more or less
45 11 head of hogs
46 one Two year old Colt
47 Two Work horses
48 2 yearling heiffers
49 3 head of Milk Cows
50 1 Two year old heiffer
51 40 Small Saw logs (at Mill)
52 8 Thousand Sar A Shingles
53 12 48 feet Siding (Pine)
54 7 oak logs for Sills
55  

CASH ON HAND AT TIME OF DECEASE $ 50.20


Report of Appraisers

[FHL film 1,871,578, frame 1163. This Appraisers’ Bill was filed 14 Mar 1874 and recorded in volume E: 487 (see FHL film 1,011,020). I have added a column at the right providing a cross reference to the list of articles in the administrator’s inventory -- this cross reference is not in the Appraisers’ Bill itself.

Notes: “8 Shoats” were 8 young hogs. Together with the 3 sows, they rounded out the “11 head of hogs” listed in the administrator’s inventory.]

APPRAISERS’ BILL

Estate of Nicholas Lake Deceased,
STATE OF IOWA, ) In Circuit Court, ___________ 18
Warren County, )
An appraisement bill of the goods, chattels, and personal estate of Nicholas Lake late of said county, deceased, so far as the same have come to our sight and knowledge, which appraisement has been made by virtue of the annexed warrant from the Circuit Court of said county, we having been first duly sworn as required by law.
 
ARTICLES. Dollars. Cents. [Article No. in Inventory]
1 Washboad   25 1
3 jars   40 2
11 Crocks   65 3
Oil can & lamp   25 4
1 Desk    50 5
1 Stand
1
00 5
1 Table
1
00 6
1 Cupboard   50 6
1 Cook stove & utensils
10
00 7
Coffee mill & hash knife   20 8
2 Flat irons   40 9
1 Corn knife   25 10
2 Chests   75 11
1 Mop   35 10
Harness   50 12
1 Ax   25 13
1 Hoe   25 13
2 Planes   50 14
Bucket Shovel &c.   25 15
1 Fro   50 16
Box & Bells
1
00 16
Box of irons   75 17
Barrel & salt   75 18


[frame 1164, continuation of document at frame 1163]

2 Kegs soap & greese   20 19
1 Heating stove & pipe
3
00 20
1 Barrel of meat
12
00 21
1 Molasses barrel
1
00 22
1 Firkin of lard
1
00 24
1 Firkin of lard   75 23
1 Pine keg   25 25
1 Old barrel   15 25
Saw & square   75 26
2 Augers   30 27
Box, Hatchet & drawing knife   40 28
1 Grind Stone
1
00 29
1 Mattock   25 30
Harrow & shovel plow
2
00 31
1 Corn marker   50 32
1 Hay knife
1
00 32
1 Set Harness
4
00 33
1 Mowing scythe   50 34
1 Spade   75 35
1 Scoop shovel   25 34
1 Basket & cant hook   50 35, 36
Double shovel & one horse plow
1
00 37
1 Stering plow
5
00 38
Undivided half of brush scythe   50 39
1 Wagon
10
00 40
1 Kettle   50 42
1 Wash tub   75 43
About 27 bushels of Rye per bu. 40 cts.
10
80 41
About 45 bushels of wheat per bu. 75 cts.
33
75 44
2 Spotted sows
16
00 45
1 Sow
10
00 45
Carried forward
140
10  


[frame 1165, new page]

8 Shoats
18
00 45
1 Two year old bay horse colt
30
00 46
1 Bay mare with white in face
60
00 47
1 Bay mare
70
00 47
1 White heifer one year old
10
00 48
1 Spotted “ “ “ “
12
00 48
1 Red heifer 2 years old
25
00 50
1 Red & white cow
30
00 49
Black cow & calf
35
00 49
1 White cow
25
00 49
40 Saw logs
15
00 51
8 Thousand A. Star Shingles
34
00 52
12 48 Feet of house siding
34
00 53
7 Oak logs for sills
10
00 54
Total
548
10  

Certified this 13th day of March A.D. 1874

A. Smith )
Jesse Johnson ) Appraisers
William Lavin )

We the Appraisers above named do cerify that we attended and served one day each, in appraising the estate of said deceased.

A. Smith )
Jesse Johnson ) Appraisers
William Lavin )

[Sideways, at the bottom of the page, the “cover” of the document when folded up:]

ESTATE OF Nicholas Lake
Appraisement Bill
Amos Smith
Jesse Johnson
William Lavin
Filed March 14, 1874
Recorded in Book D, Page ___
J. W. [?]
Clk 


Probate Sale Bill

[FHL film 1,871,578, frame 1169. This Sale Bill was filed 29 Apr 1874 and recorded in volume F: 25 (see FHL film 1,011,020). I have added columns at the right providing a cross reference to the list of articles in the administrator’s inventory and the amount the item was previously appraised at -- these columns are not in the Sale Bill itself.]

SALE BILL,
ESTATE of Nicholas Lake DECEASED,
STATE OF IOWA, ) SS. In Circuit Court, ___________ 18
Warren County, )

The following is a true and correct bill of the sale of the Chattel property of the Estate of Nicholas Lake late of the said County of Warren Deceased, made on the eleventh day of April 1874 (in pursuance of notice thereof, a copy of which is hereunto attached by the undersigned ____________________ at _________________

ARTICLE SOLD NAME OF PURCHASER AMOUNT OF SALE [Inventory Article] [Appraised At]
Washboard J. H. Moore
.10
1 0.25
3 Jars D. J. M. Wood
.72
2 0.40
2 Crocks J. B. Garlison
.10
3 11 for 0.60
Lamp & oil can Jacob Lamb
.20
4 0.25
Desk J. H. Moore
1.00
5 0.50
Stand John Cleaveland
1.85
1.00
Table Wm. Mckinney
1.50
6 1.00
Cupboard J. Lamb
.45
6 0.50
Coffee mill & flat iron Asa Mosher
.25
8,9  
1 Flat iron “ “
.45
9 0.20
Cook Stove & utensils & pipe W. H. Willis
18.50
7 10.00
Corn knife J. H. Moore
.10
10 0.25
Chest R. Zarley
.10
11 2 for 0.75
Mop, Chest & Hash knife Sarah Lake
.45
10,11,8 about 0.80
Harness C. P. Flesher
.10
12 0.50 
Ax W. Beirce
.15
13 0.50
Hoe J. Markwell
.55
13 0.25
5 Crocks E. Zarley
.50
3 11 for 0.60
4 Crocks J. Cleaveland
.30
3 11 for 0.60
1 Plane James Coles
.75
14 0.25 
1 Plane W. Smith
.60
14 0.25
Bucket & Shovel Asa Mosher
.35
15 0.25
Fro Wm. Coles
.30
16 0.50 
Box bell &c. N. Coles
.80
16 0.50
Box irons &c. J. Montgomery
.55
17 0.75
Barrel & salt J. Cleaveland
.45
18 0.75
   
====
   
   
31.17
   


[frame 1170, new page]

AMOUNT BROUGHT OVER  
31.17
   
Soap & grease Wm. Bennett
.25
19 0.20
1 Hame J. Hendrickson
.05
12?  
Heating stove J. B. Garlison
3.00
20 3.00
Lard & keg J. P. Mosher
.30
23 .75
Keg & bran O. A. Mosher
.80
?  
2 Barrels J. Corbet
.10
?  
Barrel & molasses J. Cleaveland
1.55
22 1.00
Box & bell Wm. Coles
.80
16?  
Firkin of lard J. Cleaveland
.55
24 1.00
Hand saw G. F. Burzette
.55
26  
Square J. Lamb
.70
26  
3 Augers J. P. Mosher
.50
27?  
Jug & rods Wm. Savin
.25
?  
1 Barrel of meat J. J. Young
21.30
21 12.00
Coal “ “ “
.16
?  
Drawing knife & hatchet J. Middleswart
.40
28 .40
Steelyards H. M. Reed
.65
?  
Mattock J. Johnson
.65
30 .25
Spade A. F. Hill
.90
35 .75
Grind stone J. Cleaveland
1.55
29 1.00
Wash tub E. Mattson
.65
43 .75
Kettle J. Corbett
1.20
42 .50
Shovel plow C. P. Flesher
.05
31  
Harrow Wm. Coles
1.90
31  
Corn marker sled & hayrack L. Woodyard
.85
32  
Hay knife W. H. Gratie
1.60
32 1.00
Harness Abel Edwards
3.40
33 4.00
Mowing & brush scythes James Coles
1.90
34,39 1.00
Cant hook basket &c. D. B. Owens
.65
35,36 .50
Scoop shovel & 2 old plows A. Edwards
.25
34, ?  
1 Plow E. Zarley
5.40
38 5.00
Wagon H. M. Reed
9.70
40 10.00
Rye 3 bushels Wm. Mckinney
2.00
41  
“ 4 bu. J. B. Garlison
2.60
41  
“ 9 bu. R. V. Hall
5.58
41  
20 bushels of wheat D. Stapleford
22.00
44  
“ “ “ “ Y. Miller
22.00
44  
1 Box J. J. Young
.55
?  
2 Barrels “ “ “
.15
?  
12 Bushels of corn A. J. Corwin
5.64
?  
Hay stack F. J. Davisson
14.00
?  
1 Sow J. J. Young
12.40
45 10.00
2 Sows Levi Woodyard
22.35
45 16.00
8 Shoats J. M. Turner
27.10
45 18.00
2 Yearold colt Samuel Bowers
40.00
46 30.00
1 Bay mare Eliza Zarley
80.00
47 70.00
“ “ “ J. Montgomery
54.00
47 60.00
2 Yearling heifers J. Cleaveland
22.00
48 22.00
1 Red heifer Dan. Pierce
36.00
50 25.00
2 Cows James Leeper
60.75
49 55.00
1 Black cow & calf J. J. Young
39.50
49 35.00


[frame 1171, continuation of page]

8000 Shingles D. J. M. Wood
40.00
52 34.00
7 Sills R. A. Lake
6.00
54 10.00
12 48 feet house siding D. J. M. Wood
34.94
53 34.00
Rye 9 3/4 bushels Wm. Coles
6.04
41  
42 Saw logs J. H. Rodgers
23.20
51 15.00
12 bushels of Wheat Milton Morriss
13.20
44  
Total amount of Sales  
694.43
   

We do hereby certify that the above Sale Bill, in the Estate of Nicholas Lake deceased, is true and correct.

Given under our hands this eleventh day of April 1874
Jesse Johnson Clerk.
Hiram Dunn Crier.

[As is usually the case, this sale bill does not state the relationship between the purchasers and the deceased. The following table sorts the above information by purchaser and attempts to identify who the purchasers were. The identifications are my assumptions and are not explicitly stated in the probate file itself.]

Item(s) Purchaser Possible Identification
Scoop shovel & 2 old plows A. Edwards  
Spade A. F. Hill  
12 Bushels of corn A. J. Corwin  
Harness Abel Edwards  
Coffee mill & flat iron; 1 Flat iron; Bucket & Shovel Asa Mosher A neighbor; see LDS Ancestral File, Ancestral File Number (AFN) 15QC-VRD
Harness; Shovel plow C. P. Flesher See AFN L04V-KJ
Cant hook basket &c. D. B. Owens  
3 Jars; 8000 Shingles; 12 48 feet house siding D. J. M. Wood  
20 bushels of wheat D. Stapleford See AFN 15QF-53W
1 Red heifer Dan. Pierce  
Wash tub E. Mattson  
5 Crocks; 1 Plow; 1 Bay mare E. Zarley; Eliza Zarley Eliza Zarley, daughter of Nicholas Lake
Hay stack F. J. Davisson  
Hand saw G. F. Burzette  
Steelyards; Wagon H. M. Reed  
2 Crocks; Heating stove; Rye 4 bu. J. B. Garlison  
4 Crocks; Barrel & salt; Barrel & molasses; Firkin of lard; Grind stone; 2 Yearling heifers; Stand J. Cleaveland; John Cleaveland See AFN 15QC-B29
2 Barrels; Kettle J. Corbet  
Washboard; Desk; Corn knife J. H. Moore  
42 Saw logs J. H. Rodgers  
1 Hame J. Hendrickson  
1 Barrel of meat; Coal; 1 Box; 2 Barrels; 1 Sow; 1 Black cow & calf J. J. Young See AFN 1DVQ-5VS
Mattock J. Johnson  
Cupboard; Square J. Lamb  
8 Shoats J. M. Turner  
Hoe J. Markwell  
Drawing knife & hatchet J. Middleswart  
Box irons &c.; 1 Bay mare J. Montgomery  
Lard & keg; 3 Augers J. P. Mosher The administrator of Nicholas Lake’s estate
Lamp & oil can Jacob Lamb  
1 Plane; Mowing & brush scythes James Coles See AFN 1RG4-DN
2 Cows James Leeper  
Corn marker sled & hayrack; 2 Sows L. Woodyard; Levi Woodyard See AFN 1ZG4-LFS
12 bushels of Wheat Milton Morriss  
Box bell &c. N. Coles  
Keg & bran O. A. Mosher  
7 Sills R. A. Lake Rachel A. Lake (later Davis), wife of William Harrison Lake, son of Nicholas Lake
Rye 9 bu. R. V. Hall  
Chest R. Zarley Robert Zarley, husband of Eliza Zarley
2 Yearold colt Samuel Bowers  
Mop, Chest & Hash knife Sarah Lake Sarah Lake, widow of Nicholas Lake
Ax W. Beirce  
Hay knife W. H. Gratie  
Cook Stove & utensils & pipe W. H. Willis  
1 Plane W. Smith  
Soap & grease Wm. Bennett  
Fro; Box & bell; Harrow; Rye 9 3/4 bushels Wm. Coles See AFN 1RG5-ZQ
Table; Rye 3 bushels Wm. Mckinney  
Jug & rods Wm. Savin  
20 bushels of wheat Y. Miller  


Final Report of Administrator

[FHL film 1,871,578, frame 1095. This Final Cash Account was filed by the administrator 30 Aug 1876 and recorded in volume H: 42 (see FHL film 1,011,021).

Notes: I think “DR.” means debits, “CR.” credits. For a cash account, debits are amounts paid into it and credits are amounts paid out of it.

(Voucher 1) The name looks like “R. A. Lake” corrected to “R. A. Davis.” There was $317.15 available in the administrator’s final account. Of this, $11.15 went to court costs and the administrator’s fee. That left $306.00 to distribute to the heirs. As widow, Sarah Lake received one third, or $102.00. There were nine sons and daughters to split the remaining $204.00, each receiving $22.66 2/3. According to his probate file (case no. 393), William Harrison Lake, youngest son of Nicholas and Sarah, had died in March 1874, leaving a wife and four minor children. Rachel A. Lake, the mother, later married to Albert Davis, had been appointed guardian of the children.

(Vouchers 8- 11) Perry T. Lake, son of Nicholas and Sarah, apparently had predeceased Nicholas. He left four children, each receiving one fourth of his share, or $5.66 2/3. Apparently Franklin A. Lake was still a minor, and his mother, Ida S. Lake, was his guardian.]


View the original!

CASH ACCOUNT CURRENT.

J. P. Mosher
Administrator of the Estate of Nicholas Lake Deceased.

DR.

DATE   AMOUNT
  To cash on hand at date of last report:
257.02
1875    
Dec 1 Rec’d of Montgomery for [?] Note
60.13
  Total 317.15

CR.

1875      
Nov 15 By Cash paid, R. A. Davis, guardian Voucher No. 1
22.66 2/3
Dec 2 “ “ “ Eiliza Zarley  “ “ 2
22.66 2/3
Dec 2 “ “ “ Sarah Lake, Widow “ “ 3
102.00
Dec 3 “ “ “ C. M. Lake  “ “ 4
22.66 2/3
Dec 8 “ “ “ Sarah A. Higgins  “ “ 5
22.66 2/3
Dec 2 “ “ “ Martha E. Spearman  “ “ 6
22.66 2/3
Dec 11 “ “ “ Lucinda Brewer  “ “ 7
22.66 2/3
1876      
Feb 1 “ “ “ Luella L. Pierce  “ “ 8
5.66 2/3
Feb 1 “ “ “ C. P. Lake  “ “ 9
5.66 2/3
  “ “ “ Ide E. Lake “ “ 10
5.66 2/3
  “ “ “ Minor, Franklin A. Lake,
        Ida S. Lake, Mother
“ “ 11
5.66 2/3
  “ “ “ Abigal Lybarger “ “ 12
22.66 2/3
Mar 13 “ “ “ Rebbecca Kenworthey  “ “ 13
22.66 2/3
Aug 30 “ “ “ Court Fees “ “ 14
5.50
  “ “ “ Administrator Fees “ “ 
5.65
    Total
317.15

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Copyright © 2000, Gary L. Hines, All Rights Reserved / Last updated 17 December 2000