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New Jersey Wills - November 23, 1898 - Rev. Benjamin Franklin
Benj. Franklin's Will
His Estate To Go To His Children
The Will Was Probated on Monday
The will of Rev. Benjamin Franklin of Shrewsbury was probated on Monday. The will was made October 30th, 1894, and two codicils were afterward made to it. Mr. Franklin died on the third of this month. He was twice married, his second wife being Miss Lucie M. Shiff, daughter of the late Gustave Shiff of Rumson. Miss Shiff was rich in her own right and she had refused to accept from her husband any of his estate, she being of the opinion that his property should go to his children by his first wife. Mr. Franklin, as became a clergyman, was more formal and religious in the introduction to his will than usual, and the introduction was as follows:
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, amen; I. Benjamin Franklin, now residing at Shrewsbury, Monmouth county, New Jersey, being of sound mind and disposing memory, do make and publish this as my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills by me made, in manner and form following, that is to say.
Miss Shiff had been a most devoted wife to Mr. Franklin, and his affection for her was touchingly shown in his references to her in his will. Two paragraphs of his will were devoted to her and were as follows:
I give and bequeath unto my dear wife, Lucie M. Franklin, in lieu of dower and inheritance in my estate, which she has relinquished and declined to receive, one hundred of my books and as many of my manuscripts as she may select from among those written since the fifteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-six, which was the happy day of our marriage, since which time she has continually shed brightness rest and sweetness into my life, bless her.
It is my will and I do direct that the said Lucie M. Franklin be allowed and aided by my aforesaid executor and all my heirs to take and remove all her personal property without any question being raised as to her title in any article that she may claim as her own and that the cost of packing and removing her personal property, and also the cost of her maintenance during the time necessary in her judgment for the packing and removing aforesaid, shall be paid by executor out of my estate to the amount of two hundred dollars.
Mr. Franklin had insured his life in the Mutual life insurance company of New York, and the first instruction in his will to his executor was to collect this insurance money and to take it under his control. He made his son-in-law, Frederick C. VanVliet, his executor, and allowed him $100 for his services as executor, in lieu of all commissions and fees. His books, other than those bequeathed to his wife, he gave to his children, Charlotte F. Talliaferro, Caroline G. Allen, Emma W. VanVliet, Annie C. Franklin and Helen M. Franklin, to be equally divided among them. His manuscripts, other than those left to his wife, were given in trust to his son-in-law, Alexander Allen, and to Mr. Allen's wife. They were to be disposed of for the equal benefit of all his children. His watch was given to Franklin G. Allen and his piano to his daughter, Annie C. Franklin. All notes which had been given by his daughters were to be charged up to that daughter's share of the estate. Mr. Franklin stated in his will that he had made provision for two of his daughters, Emma W. VanVliet and Annie C. Franklin, by giving them two pieces of property, and that they were not to have any other share of the estate except the special bequests made to them. He ordered all evidence on indebtedness which he held against the estate of his dead daughter , Marion Funkhauser, to be destroyed, and added that on account of this item in the will the heirs of this daughter should not share in the other provisions of the will. Afterward he made a codicil to the will, providing for a special bequest of $100 to his daughter Annie, and for a bequest of $200 to Mildred and Miriam Funkhauser, the two children of his dead daughter Marion. The second codicil to the will appointed Agnes M. Maupin as trustee of the children of his daughter Charlotte, who died after the will was made. The witnesses to the will and to both codicils were Theodore Sickles and Harry Campbell.
The special gifts to some of the daughters and the exceptions to others noted in the will will give the estate, outside of the special bequests, to Helen M. Franklin, Caroline G. Allen, and to the children of Charlotte F. Talliaferro.
A few days after Mr. Franklin's death his wife packed up her belongings and went to Brooklyn. She is now making her home with one of her sisters.
Source: Red Bank Register, Wednesday, November 23, 1898
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