Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Estate Settlement and Some Conjecture

Christina Wise's estate was valued at $3891.33 at the time of her death on April 25, 1884 and consisted of nine notes that were due her. Some of the notes had been made by Peter and some by Christina. When Peter Wise died on January 29, 1875 they still owned three lots in the town of Gilead and five acres bordering the west side of the town. The five acres were sold in April 1877 and the town lots were sold in September. The final report in the estate settlement was filed October 4, 1877 and paid claims amounting to $3176.40 - there had been other claims filed and paid in the intervening years.

The notes that were due the estate, and the final disposition:
  • John Wise $300 valued at $450 - the principal "is not to be paid during her lifetime, then it shall be mine by inheritance." Note was dated Feby 3, 1876 at West Salem, Ohio.
  • A. W. Hoffman $275 valued at $458 - insolvent - his notes were "declared valueless" [He was the husband of Eliza Jane Wise Hoffman.]
  • William Wise $400 valued at $709 - insolvent - "The note of William Wise is uncollectible, said Wise being a non-resident of the state and insolvent." [He may have moved to Sumner County, Kansas by 1885.]
  • John J. Mohler $430 valued at $706 - He "is a non-resident of the state and is insolvent, except to the extent of his claim and his notes are to be surrendered to him in satisfaction of his claim." [John and Elmina Wise Mohler moved to Meade County, Kansas in 1885.]
  • George Shillinger and Samuel Seitner $375 - collected
  • A. K. Madeford $25 - collected
The notes of George Shillinger, Samuel Seitner, and A. K. [Alvin] Madeford were repaid by them before the final settlement. These men appear to have been neighbors as they were all living in Perry Township, Miami County, Indiana in 1880. It is possible that they are related but since they repaid their debts to the estate, that is doubtful ;-)

Apparently there was not going to be enough money from the estate to pay the claims in full as the claimants agreed to accept 83% of their claim to avoid additional expenses in the event the estate was declared insolvent.

The claim of John J. Mohler was for a total of $735.09 for boarding 156 weeks at $3.50 per week between 1876 and 1884. Also 7 weeks in Oct & Nov 1883 during last illness. Services caring for deceased in last illness while at Wm. Kirchers, 30 days at $1.00 per day. Plus additional charges for telegraphing, a shroud, bath and sundries, and interest. He released his claim against the estate in return for the surrender of the notes he owed. [John and Elmina Wise Mohler had moved to Meade County, Kansas in 1885.]

William Kircher's final payment was $1286.62 against his claim amounting to $1400.76 which included ten line items for washing & attendance [of the deceased] at $3.50 per week. Apl 10/75 to Apl 10/78, Oct 19/78 to Jan'y 26/79, Mch 3/79 to July 13/79, Sept 1/79 to July 29/80, Oct 15/80 to Apl 1/81, Sept 1/81 to Feby 1/82, Apl 1/82 to July 20/82, Oct 14/82 to Apl 15/83, may 20/83 to Aug 15/83, and during her last illness from Sept 21/83 to Apl 25/84. He also paid for a deed Jan'y 31/84, 400 ft lumber at $1.50 pr 100, 32 fence posts, paid taxes 1878 and 1879, Clover seed, nails & Lumber, and $5.00 cash for daughter. [Is that cash for his daughter, or for Christina's daughter?]

It looks as though Christina alternated spending time between the Mohler and Kircher households. Catherine Kircher, William's wife, died on February 5, 1884 and Christina Wise died on April 25, 1884.

Rosanna Hale's claim against the estate of Christina Wise was for $80.00 for "Care of, and attendance in the decedents last sickness." Rosanna made her mark, witnessed by Luella Culbertson. She received $77.27 as payment. She made her mark on the receipt and it was witnessed by M. H. Grunden. [He was her son-in-law. Rosana and her family had moved to Dauphin County, Pennsylvania between 1860-1870.]

The claim of Luella M. Culbertson was for $62.00 for "Service as nurse 31 weeks at $2.00 per week." She received $60.03 for her claim. [Luella was the daughter of Catherine and William Kircher.]

There are no direct relationships recorded in any of these documents although John Wise stated that the principal of his note "is not to be paid during her lifetime, then it shall be mine by inheritance."

Of the ten children of Peter and Christina Wise that have tentatively been identified, three had died several years before Christina (Rebecca Shidler, Jacob Wise, and Elizabeth Wise) and six (or their spouses) are mentioned in the estate papers: John Wise, A. W. Hoffman [Eliza], William Wise, John J. Mohler [Ella Elmina], William Kircher [Catherine], and Rosanna Hale. The whereabouts of the tenth, Hannah Wise, is unknown. According to the obituary of Eliza Hoffman, she was one of twelve children. Census records substantiate that number, so that still leaves two children yet to be found.

Just as a point of interest, and realizing that naming patterns are sometimes helpful clues in determining family relationships, here is a listing of probable children and grandchildren of Peter and Christina Wise.
  • William and Mary Ann Wise - 5 children - Newton, Samuel, Wealthy, Emeline, Cecillius
  • Rebecca and Jacob Shidler - 2 children - Jane Ann, William
  • Catherine and William Kircher - 1 child - Luella
  • Rosanna and Jacob Hale - 1 child - Mary Alice
  • Hannah Wise - ? -
  • Jacob and Malissa Wise - 7 children - William Pythagrus, Mary Ellen, Sarah Jane, James Roscoe, Christina, Sylvester, Rosilla
  • John Wise - ? -
  • Elizabeth Wise - no children, died at age 17
  • Eliza Jane and Anthony Hoffman - 5 children - Minnie, Dayton, Effie Idella, Ella, Jennie Mae
  • Ella Elmina and John Mohler - 2 children - Stella Rose, William Peter
For the grandchildren, the name that is repeated most often, three times, is William. The older brother must have been well-liked. Or, perhaps, William was the name of the father of Peter or Christina? Jane is used twice, once as a first name and again as a middle name. Rosilla and Rose are variations of Rosanna. Mary is also used twice. Were they named after William's wife, or not? Ellen could be a variation of Ella. Peter is only used once, and that as a middle name. And only one grandchild is named Christina.

Does the fact that Jacob named one of his daughters Christina prove anything? Probably not, but the name Christina does not appear in Malissa's family (Stem and Sisley). No sisters, no aunts named Christina there. It would have been nice if Jacob and Malissa had named their son William Peter rather than William Pythagrus! Where on earth did they come up with that name anyway? (Probabaly a mis-spelling of Pythagoras?) No wonder he always went by William P. Wise. Come to think of it, I've never seen "Pythagrus" on any "official" document. It's what grandma has on her family group sheet. And one of his grandchildren was name Thagrus!

Ah well, I think this will about wrap up my discourse on the Wise family for a while. Then again, maybe not. If you've gotten this far, and if you're still interested, additional information and a listing of all the posts I've written about the search for the children of Peter and Christina Wise can be found at Wise Family - Index to Posts!

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