Genealogy and History
Part of the Genealogy Trails History Group
STEPHENSON COUNTY WILLS, ESTATES, PROBATES --- DEED
In a deed, (37.353) registered 15 August 1864 Christian Brandt paid Lutjen E. Bruns and his wife, Tjalda, $2,177.25 for 87 9/100 acres in the southwestern part of Silver Creek Township. The land was described as the west half of the southwest quarter of Sec 30, T 26, and can be seen today about 4Â½ miles south of Freeport on the northeast corner of Route 26 and Florence Road. [In future years, this Brandt land transferred within the family through the Schrader line.]
ACCIDENT: Christian Brandt, age 39-40, was killed. His death was due to a strange accident which was recalled in some detail as the story passed from generation to generation. Norman LaGrande told this story about his great-grandfather's death: Christian had spent the day helping a neighbor with butchering, and when he returned home later that afternoon he went directly to the barn to feed and water his stallion. His clothing, covered with blood from the day's labor, held a scent that panicked the stallion and caused him to wildly kick and thrash about. Christian was struck several times by the stallion's hoofs, and received a blow to the head, which later proved fatal.
Norman's story did not include the discovery of Christian's body, nor how his wounds were tended, but it is apparent Christian did not die immediately. There was time to draw a will (dated 8 Mar 1865) which Christian signed with his traditional X. He died fifteen days later on 23 Mar 1865. Newspapers of 1865 included little about ordinary local citizens, and nothing about Christian's injury or death was found in any of the area's English or German publications. Wilhelmine was left with a newly purchased farm to run and five children (ages 5 months to 9 years) to raise. Christian Brandt's estate took years to settle because of his minor children and his widow's second marriage. On 26 Feb 1866, Wilhelmine signed a quit claim deed. She signed with her X, as Mina Schrader, and her 2nd husband signed as Ludwig Schroder. A List for Widow's Allowance, however, was not signed until 20 Apr 1870. The following items totaled $230 and were to apply to Wilhelmine's share: 2 Cows, $60; 2 hogs, $10; 1 Reaper, $100; 1 Stove, $20; 2 Beds, $30, and other furniture, $10. This paper, too, was signed with her usual X.
Estate of Christian Brandt, Probate Dept., Stephenson Co. Clerk, Freeport, IL.
Will of Christian Brandt [Spelling and punctuation unchanged]
Last will and testament of Christian Brandt of the town of Silver Creek Illinois. In the name of God amen.
I Christian Brandt of the town of Silver Creek in the County of Stephenson and State of Illinois, being forty years of age, being weak in body, but of sound mind and memory and under no constraint and desiring so to dispose of the worldly goods and Estate with which God has blessed me, that the same may promote the comfort and maintenance of my family after my death, Do hereby make constitute ordain publish and declare this, and no other to be my last Will and Testament, in the manner following. That is to say:
First It is my Will that all my just debts and funeral expenses shall be paid as soon after my decease as practicable and consistant with the interest of my Estate.
Second After the payment of my debts an [and] funeral expenses, all the rest, and residue of my Estate I devise and dispose of as follows. To my five children Elizabeth, Charles, Mary, Caroline [known as Lena] and Herman Brandt, I give and bequeath all of my Estate of which I shall die ______ to them in equal shares each one fifth part of the same, subject only to the charges and allowances hereinafter specified. I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Mina Brandt all of the personal property including money, goods and chattles of which I shall die seized. I further give to my said wife the sum of three hundred dollars to be made out of the sale of my Real Estate hereinafter described whenever in the judgment of my Executrix the best interest of my Estate shall require the same to be sold, and it shall be sold under the power and direction herein given to my side Executrix for this purpose
It is further my will and I hereby appoint that my said wife Mina Brandt shall have possession and enjoy the rent and income profit of my Real Estate described as follows to wit: The West half of the South West quarter of Section thirty (30) in township twenty six (26) North of Range Eight (8) East in the County of Stephenson and State of Illinois, so long as she shall remain my widow unmarried. And in case my said wife being so unmarried shall at any time deem it for the best interest of my Estate to sell said Real Estate, then and in that case I hereby authorize my said wife Mina Brandt as my Executrix to sell the same for such sum of money and on such terms as she shall think best, and to convey the same by her deed duly executed for the same, having first published notice of such sale as is now required by law for the sale of Real Estate by Administrators under Orders of the County or circuit Count, and in case my said Real Estate shall at any time, be so sold by my Executrix there shall be first paid out of said sale the sum of Three Hundred Dollars herein after bequeathed to my wife and all the money remaining of said sale after paying expenses of the sale and of debts shall be put upon interest, secured by mortgage on Real Estate. And all interest arising from the same, shall go and belong, to my said wife so long as she shall remain my widow unmarried and whenever my said wife shall marry or die not having married all the principal sum arising from said sale (over and above the said sum of three hundred dollars hereinbefore bequeathed) shall be distributed in equal shares among my five children herein before named, and in case of the death of any of said children without issue them in equal shares to those of them surviving And in case my said wife shall marry, the said Real Estate remaining unsold, then in that case, her interest in and enjoyment of the same shall cease and the same shall go to my said children in equal shares subject only to the payment of the three hundred dollars above named, which sum when paid shall be in lien [lieu] of dower and homestead of my said wife in said lands in that case, lastly I hereby constitute and appoint my said wife Mina Brandt sole Executrix of this my last will and testament In testamoney whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 8th day of March in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight hundred and sixty five
-- his mark - Christian "X" BRANDT
Signed sealed published and declared by the said Christian Brandt as his Last Will and testament in presence of us who in his presence and at his request have subscribed our names as witnesses there to this 8th day of March A.D. 1865
John Choates August _ Altemeier
(Christian Brandt died 23 March 1865)
Contributed by Virginia Gorton Bonne
Wilhelmine (Dunker) Brandt Schrader
I Mena Schrader being of sound and disposing mind and memory, do make, publish and declare this to be my last Will and Testament, as follows: First after my lawful debts are paid, I give devise and bequeath all my estate of every kind or nature whatsoever to my six children Elizabeth LeGrand, Charles Brandt, Lena Steffen, William Schrader, Henry Schrader, and John Schrader to be divided between them square share and share alike, and for the purpose of making such division of my said property authority is hereby given to my executors hereinafter named, to sell and by good and sufficient law orders to or all of my estate either real or personal.
I hereby appoint William Schrader and Henry Schrader to be Executors of this my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking and canceling all former wills by me made.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name, and affixed my seal, the 18th day of January in the year of our Lord One Thousand eight hundred and ninety eight. her X mark
Subscribed by Mena Schrader the Testatrix named in the foregoing Will, in the presence of each of us and at the time of making such subscription, the above Instrument was declared by the said Testatrix to be her last Will and Testament, and each of us, at the request of said Testatrix and in her presence and in the presence of each other, signed our names as witnesses hereto. O.C. Heaw? [handwriting unclear] Freeport, Ill; Paul J. Bunell? [handwriting unclear] Freeport, Ill
At the time of probate, Minnie Schrader's children signed a document agreeing in the settlement of said estate and the distribution of the assets to give an equal share to the children of Minnie's deceased daughter, Mary (Brandt) Trei. All of Minnie's living children, Brandts and Schraders, shared equally. Her estate consisted of a Bank Certificate of Deposit ($200), and $4,597.21 due her from a loan to her son, Henry Schrader. Among bills paid from Minnie's estate were: $180 to her daughter, Lena (Brandt) Steffen, for her mother's care in her later years; $24.78 for real estate taxes; $7 for clergy and singers at Minnie's funeral; $4.94 grave digging, and $25 for legal services. Her heirs' shares were as follows:
Charles F. Brandt on[one] distributed share 500.00
Lena Steffen 500.00
J. A. Schrader 500.00
Lizzie LaGrand 500.00
Henry Schrader 500.00
William Schrader 500.00
Minnie Veenker on[one] dist share 125.00
Alderk Trei [Aalderk] 125.00
Fred L. Trei 125.00
Anna Trei 125.00
In addition each heir received $124.42 (Trei children, each $31.10) of the balance after all bills were paid in Jan 1909. William and Henry Schrader were joint executors of their mother's estate.
WILHELMINE (DUNKER) BRANDT SCHRADER 1829 - 1907 (She died 20 Oct 1907)
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