Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Last Will and Testament of Margaret Hailer Wagner Bean

Margaret Hailer was born in Chippewa, Ontario in 1831, the eldest child of Jacob and Margaret Hailer. As a very young child, Margaret moved with her parents from Chippewa, a small village near Niagara Falls, to Berlin (now Kitchener), Ontario or Upper Canada as it was then. Her parents, her father specifically, are reported to be the first 'European' settlers in the region.

At the age of 18, Margaret married the Rev. Jacob Wagner with whom she had 3 children. Following Jacob's death, Margaret married Daniel Bean (Biehn), a school teacher, in 1862. Margaret and Daniel had 6 children. Margaret died July 7, 1918 and her last will and testament was probated on May 13, 1919.

In her will, Margaret directed the following:

"1. I will and direct that all my just debts, funeral and testamentary expenses shall be paid.

2. I will and direct that my real & personal estate if any shall be sold privately or by public auction and converted into money at such time or times as my executors may in their discretion deem prudent.

3. I will and direct that my children who have paid to me certain legacies which they received from the Estate of my father J. J. Hailer, dec. and for which I gave them my notes, shall be repaid according to the agreement expressed in said notes. Should there not be enough left however to pay them in full, I will and direct that they share and share alike, according to the amount received from each. Funeral and testamentary expenses as also any just debts other than these mentioned in this article shall be paid in full and preferred.

4. Should there be any residue, after above claims have been duly settled, I will and direct that my eight children, their heirs or assigns forever, shall share and share alike, namely: To Catherine Bates, one-eighth, To Louis Henry Wagner one eighth, To Eusebius H. Bean, one eighth, To Euphemia Schmidt, one eighth, to Emma Mary Bean, one eighth, to Samuel U. Bean, one eighth, to Jacob Wesley Bean, one eighth, and to Alma Margareth Bean, one eighth.

5. I appoint my sons Louis Henry Wagner and Eusebius H. Bean the Executors of this my last Will and Testament."

The Will was signed by Margaret Bean and was witnessed by two of Margaret's nephews - Louis J. Breithaupt and his brother, John Christian Breithaupt.

Interestingly, it can be noted that 8 of Margaret's nine children are named in the will. Only Jacob Wagner (Jr.), her youngest child with her first husband, born in 1859, is not named.

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