John's will confirms the names of five children: Amelia Jane, Ann D, Charlotte L, Cornelia W, and
George R and infers that some of the children may need a guardian appointed. It confirms that his wife's name is Jane, that Amelia Jane married a Ranney and is living in St Louis, and that John had a brother William M Shackford who he trusted to help execute the will, and a nephew Charles C Shackford who wanted to pursue theological studies. The will also confirms that John's mother is still living, and that as per many newspaper articles (1/4/2013 blog), he left large bequests to multiple bible organizations. We can also see that John paid his brother William M Shackford $5,000 to manage his complex estate, payable upon completion of the execution of this will.
In the name of God Amen. I John Shackford late of St Louis Missouri but residing for several years past in the District of Columbia, being in infirm health of body and of sound mind to make my last will and testament.
1. It is my will that my debts be paid out of the income of my estate as soon as it can reasonably be done; and until they are paid that no decision be made of my estate nor any legacies be paid, except as specified in the next following article.
2. Until my debts shall have been paid and the time has arrived for the decision and distribution of my estate and heireinafter specified, I direct that there shall be paid annually to my wife Jane C Shackford should she survive me, the sum of five hundred dollars and to each of my children to wit, Amelia Jane
Ranney, Ann D Shackford, Charlotte Louisa Shackford, Cornelia W Shackford and George R Shackford, two hundred and fifty dollars, each, annually paid to the father or guardian for her petitioner for their use.
3. Should it be deemed advisable, for the purpose of paying debts or otherwise accomplishing the objects of this will my executors are hereby fully authorized to sell any or all the real estate of which I may deed, the owner and make a deed or deeds therefore in due form but they are not to sell any of my canal stock, except for the purposes of a division of the same or its proceeds after my debts are paid, according to the directions of this will.
4. I bequeath to my wife all my wearing apparel books, and household furniture; and to my son George R. my watch and to my daughter Amelia Jane Ranney, the lot and house in St Louis now occupied by her and her husband on fifth street south of Myrtle Street + just south of Dr Calls' house it being the residue of the unexpired term of ten years with the right of removing or disposing the bequests in this article are over and above the other provisions in the articles for the same per sons.
5. After the payment of all my debts and of the legacies + bequeath in the preceding article, I devise and bequeath and the residence of my property, laws, lots, chattels, stocks, debts & effects of what over nature, onto my wife Jane S Shackford, my brother William M Shackford and my son George R Shackford:
To have and to hold the same unto them living their joint lives and to the survivors and to the survivor of them. In trust as herein specification, namely: out of my said estate to raise the sum of fifteen thousand dollars for my said wife, and the terms of ten thousand dollars for each of my children aforesaid, which moneys that be invested in such funds for the benefit respectively of my wife and children, as shall seem most advisable to said trustees and to make interested in the investment the income from which investments shall be received by my wife and children respectively during their lives: and in case of the
death of any of my children leaving children minors, then such investment shall remain for the benefit of the minor children till they are of age when the trust shall cease, and the fund itself belong to them or their heirs absolutely, and the income from such investment shall be for the sole and separate use of any of
my daughters anew or to be married, be enjoyed free from the control or interference of the husband or husbands. In case of any of my children shall die without leaving issue, they are authorized to dispose of the provisions therein respectively made for them absolutely by will. And my wife is also authorized to dispose of the provision herein made for her by will absolutely in such manner as she pleases. And as I am the owner of many shared of the Louisiana and Portland canal stock, I authorize my wife and children at their option respectively to take the respective amount above bequeathed to them in this article in that stock at the rate of a hundred dollars per share in lieu of the money to be invested as aforesaid, that is one hundred and fifty shares for my wife, and a hundred shares for each of my children, which and such case shall be held in trust for them as above directed in all respects.
6. The residue of my estate after accounting the legacies and provisions above I bequeath as follows, namely;
The one fourth thereof to the Treasurer of American Board of Commissions for Foreign Missions, Boston.
The one fourth thereof to the Treasurer of the Home Missionary Society, New York
The one fourth thereof to the Treasurer of the American Tract Society
And the other fourth thereof to the Treasurer of Marion College, Missouri said bequest being for the benefit of the several institutions above named respectively.
7. I appoint as executor of this my last will my wife Jane S Shackford and my brother above named William M Shackford.
8. It is my will that in case either of the above named trustees or executors should die, resign, or decline to aid or trustee, or executor, the remaining trustee, trustees, or executor or executrix in conjunction with the heirs, should appoint a successor or successor.
The following provisions having been omitted in their place are to have the same force as if they had been before inserted.
In wishing to redeem any pledges to the American Bible Society, as soon as it may be convenient to my execution I direct that two hundred and fifty dollars be paid to said Society on or about the months of February eighteen hundred thirty eight, and the same amount of two hundred and fifty dollars in February eighteen hundred thirty nine and although the conditions of a pledge which I made to the American Bible Society will probably never be completed with, so as to make it obligatory on me to pay the ten thousand dollars yet is my wish and I hereby direct that said sum be paid by my executors to said Society or so much as may remain unpaid, as soon after the expiration of the time hereunto in said pledge, as it can conveniently be done considering the situation of my estate.
10 I direct that there be paid to my nephew Charles C Shackford five hundred dollars per annum till he shall have accomplished his theological studies.
11. When the duties of the executorship shall have closed I give to my said brother five thousand dollars in payment for his services as executor.
I make no provision for my aged mother feeling that the best that I could do for her is to recommend her to the care of my beloved wife and children.
I charge my friends who may have the committal of my remains to the dirt that there be no parade, that the coffin be of the plainest kind, and that no hacks or carriages be hired except one or two for the family. The Lord has forbid his children, seeking the honors of this world in life, how much less should they do
it in death.
I hereby revoke all former wills and testaments and codicils by me.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto seal my hand and seal this thirtieth day of June in the year eighteen hundred thirty seven. John Shackford. Signed
Signed and published and declared as his last will and testament by John Shackford in our presence, who in his presence of each other have hereto subscribed our named as witnesses as thereto: all done this thirtieth day of June eighteen hundred thirty seven.
E M Caall
New Hampshire, County Probate Estate Files, John E Shackford; "New Hampshire, County Probate Estate Files, 1769-1936," digital images, Family Search (http://www.familysearch.org: accessed 29 July 2013); Rockingham, Case no 13449-13514 1837-1838, Image 792-794