Herbert and Hattie looked after elderly Earlville resident, then inherited her property

Herbert and Hattie looked after elderly Earlville resident, then inherited her property

Herbert Stetson served as executor of the estate of Ruth P. Brooks in 1889. He distributed her stock ownership to her five grandchildren, along with other bequests, but the surprising thing is the Herbert himself and his wife Hattie Stetson were named as inheritors of the lady's property holdings in Earlville. 

It seems that the old lady's own children were predeceased, and that most of the grandchildren lived in Nebraska or Kansas. Herbert and Hattie may have helped out Mrs. Brooks in various ways, including Herbert helping to manage her finances. 

This excerpt from one of the filings describes the relationship:

That the executor was well acquainted with the deceased. That she was at her death an old woman, 89 years of age at her death. Had been engaged in no business of any kind and the property willed by her had been received by her from the estate of her son Joseph Daggett which was lately settled in this court.

That she owed no debts as this executor well knows from his intimate relations with deceased and from the further fact of his being agent for said deceased in the care and management of her property.

The will, which was filed on her death in May 1889, was finalized the following year with the district court's acceptance of the executor's final report. 

Herbert and Hattie received ownership of four lots (1, 2, 7 and 8) on block 26 in Earlville, as well as another parcel on the town outskirts. The one granddaughter still in Iowa was granted lifetime use of the property. 

All this information comes from probate case files from Delaware Co., Iowa, District Court that are collected on Ancestry.com. The only problem with the content is that Ancestry mistakenly identifies Herbert Stetson as the son of Ruth Brooks, which caused me no end of confusion. I posted a note to indicate that information is incorrect.