The Will of William Kaiser, Sr.

William Kaiser, sometimes called William Kaiser, Sr., to distinguish him from his son with the same name was my great-grandfather.  He was born in Ontario, Canada in 1862, and died in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan on 10 Oct 1909.  William married Elizabeth Long about 1857.

This Will, Petition for Probate, Inventory of Personal Property and Closing letter transcribed from Wexford County Probate Records. Recorded in Liber 17 beginning page 506 of Wexford County, Michigan Probate Court Records and

Will, Recorded Liber 70, beginning on page 464.

I William Kaiser of the City of Cadillac, in the County of Wexford and State of Michigan, being now of sound mind and memory and mindful of the uncertainty of life, do make, publish and declare this my last will and testament in manner following, That is to say:

FIRST, I direct that all my just debts and my funeral expenses be paid.

SECOND, I give, devise and bequeath unto my beloved wife, Elizabeth Kaiser, all my property both real and personal of which I may die seized or possessed wheresoever the same may be situated or found to do with and use the same as I could were I living, EXCEPT, that she may not sell deed or alienate any of the real estate. The true intention and meaning of this article of my will being that my said wife shall have a life estate in all my real estate but shall have all my personal property of whatsoever name or nature absolutely as her own.

THIRD, I direct that at the death of my said beloved wife all my property then in existence, whether real or personal of whatsoever name or nature, wheresoever the same may be found, shall be divided, share and share alike, equally among my children, whose names are as follows: Mary Garvin, William Kaiser, Elizabeth Johnston, Annie Phillips, Austin Kaiser, Lucy Johnston, Amelia Rice.

The executor of this my will is hereby empowered to sell the real estate and personal property at the death of my said wife or as soon thereafter as he may deem proper, under the order of the Court and give the proper deed for the same and then divide the proceeds of said sale or sales equally among my children as above named and directed.

Should any of my said children, at the time of such division of property by said executor be deceased, then the share of such deceased child of mine shall go to the child or children of such deceased child of mine. If such deceased child of mine shall have no living child then her, or his share shall be divided equally between my children who are then alive in addition to their regular share as above stated. I further direct that should a grandchild of mine have a right to inherit their parent’s share under the provisions of this will, that my own children who are alive at the time of my said wife’s death, shall not wait for their share of my property until any grand child of mine may come of age but the Executor of this will shall distribute to my living children their share of my property as soon after my said wife’s death as may be and paying to the guardian or representatives of any grandchild such share as such grandchild or grandchildren may be entitled under the provisions of this will.

FOURTH, I hereby nominate and appoint James Johnston of the City of Cadillac the Executor of this my last will and testament.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and seal—making my mark—a cross—instead of writing my name this 21st day of September A.D. 1907 William (his mark X) Kaiser (LS)

We hereby attest that the foregoing instrument was at the date thereof, in our presence signed, sealed, and published and declared by William Kaiser, the above named testator to be his last will and testament, and we have at his request and in his presence and in the presence of each other, signed our names as witnesses thereto, this twenty-first day of September A.D. 1907.

Signed: James E. Henderson of Cadillac , Michigan

Signed: (Mrs.) Martha Gipe of Cadillac , Michigan

Petition For Probate of Will

STATE of MICHIGAN , County of Wexford Probate Court for said County.

To Fred Lamb Judge of Probate for said County

In the matter of Proving the last Will and Testament of William Kaiser Deceased, William Kaiser would respectfully represent to the Court that he is interested in the above matter as son and heir of said deceased, that said deceased departed this life a the city of Cadillac, in the County of Wexford and State of Michigan on the 10th day of October 1919, leaving a last Will and Testament, bearing the date 21st of September 1907, which is herewith deposited and filed to said court, that said will is in writing and signed by the said Testator, and is attested and subscribed to by James E. Henderson and Martha Gripe two competent witnesses, that said witnesses attested and subscribed said will in the presence of the said Testator and at his request, and that the said Testator at the time he executed said Will, was twenty-one years of age and upwards and was of sound mind and under no restraint or undue influence, whatever, as your Petitioner is informed and verily believe.

Your petitioner further represents that the said deceased, at the time of his death, was an inhabitant or resident in said County of Wexford and was possessed of Real and Personal Estate situate and being in said County of Wexford, and elsewhere to be administered, and that the estimated value of the Personal Estate is the sum of One Thousand Dollars and of the Real Estate the sum of Nine Hundred Dollars or thereabout, as your Petitioner is informed and verily believe.

And your Petitioner further represents that the names, ages and residence and relationship to the deceased of the legatees and heirs-at-law of said deceased, and other persons interested in said estate as your Petitioner is informed and believes are as follows:

Elizabeth Kaiser, widow, 73, Cadillac , Mich.

Mary Garvin, daughter, 49, Cadillac , Mich.

William Kaiser, son, 47, Cadillac , Mich.

Elizabeth Johnston, daughter, 45, Cadillac , Michigan

Annie Phillips, daughter, Cadillac Michigan

Austin Kaiser, son, Chicago , ILL

Lucy Johnston, daughter, Cadillac , Mich.

Amelia Rice, daughter, Cadillac , Mich.

Your Petitioner, therefore prays the Court to appoint a time and place for proving said Will, and that due notice thereof be given to all persons interested as the Court shall direct, and that said Will may be allowed and admitted to Probate, and that administration of said estate may be granted to James Johnston the executors named in said Will, or to some other suitable person, and that such other and further order and proceedings may be had in the promises as may be required by statutes in such case mad and provided.

Dated Cadillac, Oct 18, 1909 (signed) Wm Kaiser

State of Michigan County of Wexford }SS

The above named petitioner, being duly sworn, say that he has read the foregoing petition by him signed and knows the contents thereof, and that the same is true of his own knowledge except as to matters thereto stated, on his information and belief, and as to those matters he believes them to be true. (signed) Wm Kaiser

Subscribed and sworn to at Cadillac , Michigan this 18th day of October A.D. 1909 before me Fred C. Breen,Notary Public

Property Inventory

Johnston & Kaiser — GROCERS

(Letterhead of the establishment owned by James Johnston and William Kaiser, 2nd)

Cadillac , Michigan June 14th, 1910

Received of James Johnston, Executor of the last Will and Testament of William Kaiser, Deceased. The following goods and chattels, constituting the personal property of said deceased, and bequeathed to me by the will of said deceased,

1 Land Contract to E.G. Rice 500.00
1 Coal Stove 10.00
2 Couches 4.00
Chairs 5.00
1 Organ 10.00
Carpets 10.00
1 Dining Table and 6 Chairs 7.00
1 Refrigerator 3.00
1 Kitchen Stove and Utensils 6.00
1 Cupboard 3.00
1 Bedstead and Mattress 5.00
Curtains and Portier 2.00
1 Kitchen Table and Chairs 2.00
1 Sewing machine 10.00
1 Bedroom Suite 10.00
3 Chairs and Bedding 10.00
1 Mantel Clock 5.00
Total as appraised 602.00

(signed) Elizabeth Kaiser Widow

Closing letter, transcribed from Probate packet.

Cadillac , Michigan , Michigan , February 7th, 1928 .

To the Probate Court of Wexford County , Michigan .

In the Matter of the Estate of William Kaiser, Deceased.

The will of William Kaiser, Deceased, provided that his Wife Elizabeth Kaiser should have a life interest in the Real Estate of said Deceased. At her death is should be distributed to Mary Garvin, William Kaiser, Elizabeth Johnston, Annie Phillips, Austin Kaiser, Lucy Johnston and Amelia Rice.

The above named Heirs, except Lucy Johnston, wishing to allow Elizabeth Kaiser, their Mother, to enjoy the proceeds to be derived from the sale of the Real Estate made the following provisions.

Under date of May 8 1930, Mary Garvin, William Kaiser and Delia Kaiser His Wife, Elizabeth Johnston, Annie Phillips and Amelia Rice deeded their interest in said Real Estate to Elizabeth Kaiser their Mother, Under date of May 30, 1920 Austin Kaiser and Florence Kaiser, his Wife, signed the same deed.

Lucy Johnston died about October 1st, 1914 . About March 1st, 1924 a hearing to determine her Heirs was held in your Court, and the Heirs determined at said hearing deeded their interest in said Estate to William Kaiser, which closed up the entire Estate.

James Johnston



    • Bob Gaudio on December 1, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Good job on this, Pam. The format looks identical to that used in Allegan County, which is my area of interest. Did you copy the probate record at the register of deeds office, probate court office or from an LDS microfilm? Or…someplace else? The reason for asking is that I’ve run into denials at some county probate court offices to look at their index, which makes it very difficult to look at certain probate court records.

  1. Good question. I had to look far back at my correspondence log for the answer. I actually have two sets of documents. One set is the actual probate packet. It it typed, and photo copies were sent to me after I wrote to the clerk of probate, and gave her a name and date of death. . The packet has a petition for probate, a typed copy of the will, the determination of heirs, the inventory, a document proving publication, and the letter closing the estate. The copies are obviously copies of the microfilm which resides in the court records.

    The second group are photographs I took of pages in an old set of probate record books which resided in the library of the Wexford Genealogical Organization []. The documents are hand written into the record book. It looks like the “probate packet” was (or is) re-typed copies of the original entries.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.