Browsed by
Category: IRAD

Joseph A. Bozarth Probate

Joseph A. Bozarth Probate

Joseph A. Bozarth wrote his will on February 28, 1896. He died April 18, 1897, in Illiopolis, Sangamon County. I got it through IRAD because it less expensive. Also, the interns at IRAD are more experienced at finding the entire file. It’s their job. It is not the primary job of the Circuit Court Clerk. Documents from IRAD are generally copied in the format in which they exist, ie, double sided pages are copied double sided.


Joseph Bozarth was born in Morgan County where he married Elizabeth Ann Henry and they moved to Sangamon County as did his brother William and his wife Lucinda Jones. William died on January 28, 1896, possibly prompting Joseph to write his will a month later. 


Elizabeth survived her husband as did two of their five children, Florence Bozarth and Eva Bozarth Wood. Eva was married to William Tobias Wood.


Bozarth left his wife a life estate in his property. At the death of his wife and after paying all debts he left the remainder in two parts, “one part to Florence Bozarth without qualification, the other part to be invested in real estate for the benefit of Eva Wood, her heirs and assigns forever.” He intended it to be entailed forever.


We also know from the probate that they were members of the Christian Church in Illiopolis which got $7.50 from the estate.


It would appear that Joseph Bozarth did not think Florence would marry. He wanted to make sure Eva’s inheritance went to her children and not her husband – a totally unnecessary precaution since Eva outlived her husband by nearly 30 years but not an uncommon one.


Elizabeth Henry Bozarth did not die for ten years, on February 7, 1907, in Kansas. Florence Bozarth did indeed marry, to a Nichols. She received notice of the final estate settlement by mail under that name. Unfortunately no address was given. There is no marriage in the Illinois State Archives database which may just mean she married after 1900.





The Bozarth monument in Riverside Cemetery, Illiopolis, cost $184.15. Elizabeth’s plaque is on the other side.


The final settlement of the estate did not occur until December 22, 1908.

William Henry Downing Probate

William Henry Downing Probate

William Henry Downing’s probate file came from the Logan County Circuit Clerk. Parts of it could be found at IRAD and the whole probate would be in the FamilySearch files.


On December 2, 1903, in the typhoid epidemic, William Henry Downing died. He was the only child of William Nelson Downing, who died in the Civil War, ironically of “typhoid pneumonia,” and Delilah Downing Downing. He was 40 years old, not expecting to die and had no will.





His heirs were his widow Eliza Harding Downing, sons Clarence, Charles Ellis, Ennis and Floyd. Clarence was 17 and Floyd was 7. [Floyd isn’t in the picture.]


The widow was named Administrix on December 8, 1903. David Shellhammer, husband of Delilah Downing Downing, and James Shellhammer, Delilah’s first son by her second marriage, stood as sureties. Appointed as appraisers were Lewis Upp, Charles Brooker and William Beckers, all three very close neighbors. Brooker would become the father in law of the eldest son Clarence. Upp was married to a Lincoln, descendant of the same immigrant ancestor as the more famous Lincoln.


They finished up their work promptly and reported on December 28, 1903, valuing the property of the estate at $4,700.25. The list is four pages long and is quite specific at times – “6 rocking chairs, 1 bay mare named Brownie, 1 red steer, 1 gray mare, 66 hogs” – and less specific at others – “1 lot of chickens” [which I first read as “a lot of chickens”]. 


The value of the widow’s property as prescribed by law, which included school books, a sewing machine, beds, one fourth of a cow for every family member [fortunately for the cow there were four members], two sheep for every family member, one horse, etc., was $1,281.50. 


The Administrix reported on March 23, 1907. There was $4,700.25 in receipts which included $599.37 for “property not sold but kept…to make up amount shown on appraisement bill.” In the long list of bills totalling $3,704.76 we learn that funeral expense was $263.75 and the stone cost $1,140. The balance after all bills was $995.49, less than the widows’ amount.





The land apparently passed separately. It is not mentioned. Each son received 80 acres which was farmed by son Ellis until the early 1970s. Most of it is now farmed by his grandson, Roy Downing.

Before Logan County was formed it was Sangamon County. Except for land records for information on Logan County between the first settlement in 1819 until 1839 you must look in Sangamon County records. Most Sangamon County records for that period are housed at IRAD including Board of Supervisors’ records and files, various Circuit Court files, election records, marriage records, probate records.

Do not rule out any records. From the election records I found the following list of voters for Union Precinct [a precinct name I was not familiar with] on August 2, 1824:

Charles Counsel
Job Burden
Jacob Bryan
Mathew Rogers
Oliver W. Kellogg
Levi Cantrill
Archibald Constant
William Carpenter
Andrew Cline
Samuel Rhodes
Nathan Hussey
Joshua Sayles
Humphrey Taylor
Thomas Brock
John Orendorff
George Power
Robert Evans
Joseph Beedle
William Brock
Gardner Randolph
Joseph W. Center
Daniel Harper
Evans Brittin
Isace Morgan
Robert McClelland
Jonathan Hodge
Jeharias Lankston
Samuel Carman
John Hendricks
James W. Estill
Thomas Strawbridge
Richard Wright
William Estill
John Stevenson
Hezekiah Davis
Edward Davis
William Johnson
Jacob Dean
William Willcoxan
Nathan Kenneda
Hezekiah Briggs
Jesse Sutton
John Renhart
Peyton Mitchel
Meredith Cooper
Thomas Briggs
James Stewart
Hiram Robins
Bostin Finder
Garret Elkins
John Sutton
James Strawbridge
Stephen Phelps
Ambrose Cooper
Thomas Branson
Martin Porter
Christopher Orendorff
Samuel Carpenter
James Williams
Wyatt Cantrall
John Dorson
John Clin
Cornelius Vandeventer
John W. Taylor
William Strawbridge
Andrew Branson
Eli Branson
Jojin Branson, Jr.
Isiah Stillman
William A. Hodge
Joseph Woods
Philip Smith
Washington Turley
John Woods
David L. Taylor
Stephen Stillman
George Borders
Charles Hayes
Robert Downing
John Branson
James W. Chapman
Alexis Phelps
Henry Cooper
Robert Buckles
Enoch Smith
Benjamin Briggs
Jeremiah Birks
James Turley
Alexander McNaghtin
Abraham Musick
John Simpson
William Prockter
Charles Turley
David Riddle
Levi Millard
James Garvin
Janes Sayles
James Morrow
John Brook
James Latham
David Hughs
Nicholas Moore
Joshua Dean
Myron Phelps
Landa Hurst
Thomas Prim
James C Stevenson
James Stringfield
Henry Holland
Abraham Hathaway
John Dixson
John Porter
Thomas Constant
Peter Vanburgen
Willima Lofton
Ezra Knapp
John Stevenson
Charles Smith
David England
Samuel McClure
John Prim
Robert McClure
John Buckles
John Strode

I don’t know where Union Precinct was but I recognize a lot of Logan County names including ancestors and collaterals who were living along Salt Creek at that time as well as people living in the south end of the county in the Lake Ford area. Presumably at that time polling places were few and far between.