Will of John James Reese
[Will Book 1, pages 24-26 (transcribed by David Johnson)]

This is last will and Testament of Jno. J. Reese
John J Reese
attest W A Burk & Nannie Burk

I John James Reese do make this my last will and Testament Revoking all others heretofore made by me.

Item 1st I have by Deed Recently made given to my Brother William B. Reese my undivided half of certain lands in hamilton Co tenn, Known as the Big survey & McIver tract & given to me & my Brother by the will of our Father My Brother agreed to Pay all charges of Pending Litigation in Regard to said land & unpaid Taxes & I hereby Release him from Paying my Estate anything for Taxes heretofore paid for him on said land by me this gift to my Brother I hereby Repeat & Confirm

Item 2st in the will of my Father there is a provision giving to my Brother William & myself the property given by our Father to our Two half sisters Mary Louisa & Laura Elizabeth in the contingency of both or Either of said Sisters dying unmarried & without issue & give to my Brother William & his heirs all Right & interest that I may have that may ever Result from this Contingent Provision in the will of our Father

Item 3rd I give to my Brother William my half of a note on Isaac Cox for $96.56 dated Nov 1878 & Payable to J J & W B Reese

Item 4 I wish to educate and Provide for a child named William Porter Reese whose mother named California Wilson lives near Knoxville Tenn: I hereby give to said child William Porter Reese all the Property belonging to me not herein before given to my Brother William In this Provision I mean to include the farm on which I Reside my stock household and Kitchen furniture debts due me & any money left by me after Payment of any debt I may owe & my Funeral Expenses In a word I mean to make said child my Residiary legatee But in the event that said child William Porter Reese shall die before he attains the age of Twenty one which be on the 2st day of November 1898 I give all of said Property of all sorts & Kinds hereby given to said child to my Brother William B Reese & the heirs of his body Except such portion as shall have been spent in the Education & support of said child But should said William Porter Reese attain his majority I give all of said Property herein described & bequeathed to him absolutely

Item 5 I desire that the child William Porter Reese shall have every advantage of Education which the annual income of said property given shall afford To this end I hereby appoint my Brother William B Reese & Wm A Burk who lives with me testamentary Guardians & Trustees of said child and Property desiring that they shall have charge and control of his Person & Property until he is twenty one years old and I Earnestly hope they will agree to take this charge upon them I desire that no bond or security shall be Required of them or Either of them as such Guardian & Trustee

Item 6 Before my Executors or said guardians & testamentary Trustees shall be empowered to use any of the income of said property given to said child William Porter Reese for his benefit Education & support I direct them to apply to the mother of said child California Wilson and get her written consent to surrender to them all Right to the custody & control of said child & should she fail & Refuse to give such written surrender of said child then I direct that all Rents issues & Profits of & from said Property given to said child shall Remain in the custody & control of my said Executors Guardians as Part of the corpus of said Property so given to said child I desire when said written consent being given by said mother that William A Burk shall take charge of said child as a member of his family until such time as my Brother William should he agree to act as Guardian & Trustee of said child & of his property shall think best to assume charge of him himself

Item 7 It is my desire that William A Burk who lives with me after winding up our unfinished business shall continue to Rent the Place on which I now Reside & which I have given to said William Porter Reese and that he shall continue to Rent the same until said Wm P Reese becomes of age of course if said child shall die before that time Everything including the land would under the Provision of this will become the Property of my Brother William B Reese & the heirs of his body I am willing for Mr Burk to hire one hand for his ward to balance against his Burks Labor & Except during harvest and to secure crops I do not think it advisable to hire other hands In that event Mr Burk would get one third & Wm P Reese Two thirds both of them furnishing work stock alike & feed for same & sharing Equally all farming Expenses after completion of Remaining Room to house & new Rails now needed no other charges shall be allowed against the Land for Repairs or improvements but it must be defrayed by the joint tenants of the Land of Course in the Event of the death of Wm A Burk his wife not have any further tenancy of the Land but all tenants Rights shall cease & determine with his death or the death of Wm Porter Reese I allow Burk credit for purchase of Hydraulic Cement for cistern at my Dwelling house But all other Expenses about the same must be shared Equally by Burk & his ward

Item 8th Wm A Burk is to Keep an account of family Expenses for subsistence & is to charge said Wm P Reese for his Proportionate share of said amount to be fairly determined by the number of his family I think Right to allow Burk a credit of twenty five dollars a year for the care of and trouble in looking after and taking care of said Wm P Reece in full compensation for Boarding him as one of the family charging said Wm P Reese for his clothing & his proportionate share of the Expense of Provision furnished for the table It will not be necessary to sell any of my furniture or household or farming implements or stock on hand to meet the Payment of my Debts which in amount are small my Deposits in First National Bank Chattanooga are more than sufficient Besides the Wm Morrow note of $5.00 with interest from Sept 1878 now in possession of my Brother William will be Due March 1881 and crops allready[sic] on hand or Pitched will be more than sufficient to Pay all my liability which do not at this time Except bill Due Dr. Boyd Exceed fifty dollars Wm A Burk owes me a considerable amount but I desire that he shall not be Pressed for the collection of any portion of it before next wheat harvest I hope my Executor will be indulgent to him until that time at least I am willing that Burk shall Purchase Twenty five or thirty yearling calves and a small amount of hogs But in no Event must the stock be Purchased on a credit or Exceed in amount that is necessary to consume the surplus crop Raised on the place consisting of Burks one third and one third belonging to said Wm Porter Reese the Remaining third of the crops Produced belonging to said Wm P Reese shall annually be sold for his benefit

Item 9th I hereby nominate and appoint as Executors of this my will my Brother William B Reese and William A Burk & desire that neither of them shall be Required to give Bond and security as such in testimony of all which I do now make and Publish this my last will and testament in the Presence of two witnesses This the 4th day of February in the year Eighteen hundred and Eighty at my house in Marion County Tennessee

John J Reese

Signed and Published in our Presence and witnessed at the Request of the Testator by us this 4th February 1880

W A Burk
Nannie Burk

State of Tennessee
Marion County
Personally appeared before me J L Minter Clk of the County Court of said County W. A. Burk and Nannie Burk subscribing witnesses to the attached will who being first duly Sworn depose and say that they are Personally acquainted with the within named John J Reese the bargainor and that he acknowledged the same in their Presence to be his act and deed for the Purposes therein contained
Witness my hand at office this third day May 1880

J L Minter
Co Clk