In the Name of God, Amen.
I, James B. Mitchell, of Kirksville, Adair, Co., Missouri, being of sound mind, and believing in the existence of the One true and living God, the Father and Holy Spirit, in the immortality and responsibility of man, in the verbal inspiration of the holy scriptures, in the resurrection of the bodies of all the dead of the human family by the power of God in Christ, and in eternal life through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, do make and hereby declare this to be my last will and testimony: viz:
1. I commit my spirit to God through faith in Jesus Christ as my personal savior and Lord, being fully assured by His word and spirit of eternal life through Him.
2. I give my body to the tomb whence God shall call me, in blessed assurance of its being resurrected at the last day in the likeness of the glorified body of the Redeemer by his almighty power.
3. I will and bequeath all my personal and real estate to my wife, Martha C. Mitchell, for her maintenance, comfort and use in acts of benevolence during her natural life, conditioned as follows: That if she survive me and remains my widow, she shall have the free use of all, or any necessary part, of my personal and real estate during her natural life so far as needed to promote her personal comfort, and for such acts of humane and Christian beneficence as she may do for the Lord’s honor in human good.
4. I will that at my wife’s death so much of my estate, personal and real, as may remain shall be equally divided among my surviving children, or if deceased, their bodily heirs, subject to the following conditions relative to my daughter, Mary, and her bodily heirs.
5. As our daughter Mary is not strong and may not otherwise have the means of personal comfort, and that of her child or children, I will that if not sooner done, my executors hereinafter named, or their successors in office, may provide for her an inexpensive but comfortable home, by rent or purchase, as they may deem best, which, with her share of my estate as one of my bodily heirs, shall be held in trust for her personal comfort, and that of her child or children, by our son John T. Mitchell, as trustee, during her lifetime, which at her decease shall all revert to my estate, provided, however, that if at her death she leave a child or children, they shall inherit her equal part of my estate, to be divided at my wife’s death; provided also that if such child or children die without bodily heirs, what remains of her share shall revert to my estate.
6. I will that at my wife’s death, so much of my personal and real estate as may remain shall be equally divided among my surviving children, or their bodily heirs of deceased, subject to the conditions above named relative to Mary and her bodily heirs.
7. I will that after all my debts are paid, such part of my estate as my wife may consider not needed for her ample maintenance and comfort may be equally divided among our natural heirs, subject to the conditions above stated. As my wife inherited a part of what we own from her father’s estate and has ever done a full and effective share in accumulating and preserving what property the Lord in his goodness has enabled us to acquire, and as I desire that her happiness be promoted thereby as fully as under the Lord that may be realized, I will that after my decease, she reside where and how she may choose as most conducive to her personal comfort and welfare.
8. I will that my wife, Martha C. Mitchell, and our son Robert G. Mitchell, shall jointly execute this my last will and testimony, and I hereby appoint them thereto, to settle up my estate as herein provided; provided in the case of the death of either or both of these, or the trustee above named, then my surviving sons shall appoint their successors respectively, and that said executors and trustee serve without bond, it being understood that they will make no charge for services against the estate except for necessary expenses incident thereto.
9. Authority is hereby given to my executors to sell any and all property belonging to the estate, when and how they may judge to be best for all interested therein, and to collect all debts due the estate, in carrying out this will.
10. I will that in settling up my estate no recourse be made as to the Civil Courts further than in compliance with what the law demands in such cases, as all our children are of lawful age and will without doubt do full justice to each other therein; and I will that no informality or other such fact be a bar to the validity of this my will, or its being carried out as provided therein.
Signed and subscribed to by me in the presence of the witnesses hereto attached on this the 6th day of March 1900.
(signed) James B. Mitchell
We hereby attest that James B. Mitchell of this city and state, did at this date and in our presence affix his name to the above paper, saying in connection therewith that it was his last will and testimony.
Kirksville, Mo. March 6th, 1900.
(Signed) J. W. Martin
(Signed) H. H. Morriss
The above was transcribed by me from a typewritten copy courtesy of Jim Mitchell, descendant of Orlando. James Bourne Mitchell died March 12, 1901 in Kirksville. James here expresses concern about daughter Mary Frances “Fannie”, b. 1868, who married Henry M. Bannister b. April 4, 1863. Mary was married to Henry Bannister, not a professional (unlike Mary’s siblings), the 1900 census giving him as a day laborer. He died in 1913. in the 1920 census Mary is in Missouri State Hospital #2, which was an asylum that housed everyone from the mildly depressed to the criminally insane. She died May 30, 1924, survived by a son, Henry Homer Bannister, born March 9, 1894, died Jan 19, 1981.