Peter Spracklen’s obituary notice appeared in the Trenton Times on Monday, August 29, 1887, front page, column 5.
Peter Spracklen Dead: An Old Trentonian Passes Quietly Away
Peter Spracklen, an old Trentonian, died at his home, No. 620 South Warren street, this morning, in the eightieth year of his age. Mr. Spracklen was an old and respected citizen, having been a resident of this city for about thirty years. he kept a dry goods store adjoining his residence. When he first came to Trenton, in 1857, he stared a small store, and procured a stock of dry goods. He improved his business, which steadily increased up to the present time. Mr. Spracklen was a member of the Central Methodist Church, of this city. He was a Christian in the true sense of the word. He leaves a wife and five children four sons and a daughter who will be well provided for, as Mr. Spracklen laid by about forty thousand dollars during his residence in this city. The funeral will take place on Thursday at 11 o’clock at the resident of the deceased.
It is very interesting that they state how much he is worth. I hope the family wasn’t inundated as a result.
The first step in seeking an estate is to look at the indexes: General Index to Estates 1838-1939 New Jersey Surrogate’s Court Mercer Co., pg. 183-184 of FHL#849574 New Jersey, Mercer Co., General Index to Estates P-V.
Here is the listing in the Index pages for Peter Spracklen, deceased.
- 1887 Sept 9, line 29, Spracklen Peter
Vol. 1, page 228 Petition for Administration
Vol. C, page 252 Ltrs of Administration, copy made
Vol. D, page 91 Administrator Bonds, copy made
Vol. K page 7 Inventories, Executors, Administration, Guardian – copies made
- Vol. I, page 399 Accounts
- Orphan Court Minutes 1.
Vol. I, page 414-416, Releases and Bonds, copies made
- Box 81 21 Packet
No will is listed in the index. Not all of the above was copied or found in the records.
— Vol. C, page 252: George W. Spracklen was granted administration of his father’s estate on 8 September, 1887 by John W. Connell of the Surrogate court.
— Vol. D, page 91: Also on 8 September, 1887 a bond was made for Five Thousand Dollars for the administration of the estate: George W. Spracklen, Rob’t. Butterworth, Mason J. Spracklen, John F. Spracklen and Peter A. Spracklen all of County of Mercer, State of New Jersey are held and firmly bound. It is signed by them all in the presence of witnesses George E. [Vannest] and Sarah J. Butterworth.
Vol. K. page 7 Inventory:
Peter Spracklen – A true and perfect inventory and appraisement of the goods, chattels, rights, credits and effects of Peter Spracklen deceased, late of the County of Mercer, made this Fifteenth day of September A.D. 1887 by George W. Spracklen, Administrator and George E. [Vannest] and Peter A. Spracklen Appraisers.
A list follows that covers amount of monies in the bank, number of shares in a Loan Association, Mortgages of a James Bastock and Francis Kafes, balance due George W. Spracklen, rents due, doctor bills and a detailed list of items from probably the store like 367 yds of fannell, buttons and needles, knit jackets, cotton stockings and more for a balance of $1720.84.
Household Goods are then listed summarizing we see Sitting room: 6 chairs, 1 rocker, 1 marble top table, 1 center table, 1 sofa, stove, Brussel carpet, oil paintings and books etc. He even had a refrigerator for a total of $441.75.
Stocks, Bonds & Mortgages $5099.09
Stock and fixtures of store $1725.84
Peter A. Spracklen and George W. Spracklen then follow with their affidavits of truth and accuracy in the inventory as reported.
–Agreement and Release, Vol. I, page 414-416, Releases and Bonds:
In the matter of the administration of the estate of Peter Spracklen, decd ) Agreement and Release
This agreement made this Fifth day of December A.D. 1889 by and between Mary Adaline Spracklen, Sarah J. Butterworth, Mason J. Spracklen, John F. Spracklen, Peter A. Spracklen and Geo. W. Spracklen, all of the City of Trenton and all of full age. Witnesseth that the Peter Spracklen, late of he said City of Trenton, County of Mercer, State of New Jersey died intestate on the 29th day of August A.D. 1887 leaving him surviving as his heirs at law and next of kin, his widow the said Mary Adaline Spracklen and his only children the said Sarah J. Butterworth, Mason J. Spracklen, John F. Spracklen, Peter A. Spracklen, and Geo. W. Spracklen and upon the petition of the said Mary Adaline Spracklen administration of the estate of the said intestate was granted to the said George W. Spracklen on the 8th day of September, AD 1887 and whereas the said George W. Spracklen has presented final account as such administrator to the Orphan’s court County of Mercer, for settlement and allowances, which said account has been duly passed and allowed in and by which there appears a balance of the personal estate of said deceased Five thousand seven hundred twenty nine dollars and two cents ($5729.02) in his hands for distribution according to law among the said heirs at law and next of kin. Now therefore this indenture witnesseth that for an in consideration of one dollar to each and every of us in hand receipt whereof is hereby acknowledge, and in consideration of our parental affection for our mother, we the said Sarah J. Butterworth, Mason J. Spracklen, John F. Spracklen, Peter A. Spracklen and George W. Spracklen children of the said Peter Spracklen, decd, do hereby waive all our right and title and interest in the said balance of the said estate in the hands of the said administrator and do hereby covenant and agree to and with the said George W. Spracklen that he shall pay and we do hereby authorize him to pay the said Mary Adaline Spracklen all of the said balance in his hands as such administrator, she to have and to hold the same and to invest the said principal to the best advantage according to the best of her judgement and to receive use and enjoy the income thereof during the term of her natural life and also to use and enjoy so much of the principal thereof as shall be necessary for her comfortable support and maintenance and upon the payment thereof to the said Mary Adaline Spracklen of the said sum of five thousand seven hundred and twenty nine dollars and two cents $5729.02. We the said Sarah J. Butterworth, Mason J. Spracklen, John F. Spracklen, Peter A. Spracklen, George W. Spracklen do each for herself and himself fully, clearly, and absolutely acquit, release and forever discharge the said George W. Spracklen administrator as aforesaid his heirs executors and administrators and for and in consideration of the said payment to ___as aforesaid. I the said Mary Adaline Spracklen do hereby covenant and agree to and with the said Sarah J. Butterworth, Mason J. Spracklen, John F. Spracklen, Peter A. Spracklen, George W. Spracklen that I will invest the said principal to its best advantage according to the best of my judgement as far as I am able so to do and that I will not dispose of any of the said principal paid to me as aforesaid by gift will or otherwise except so far as shall be necessary for my comfortable support and maintenance except by the written consent of all of the said heirs and children.
Witness our hands and seals this fifth day of December, A.D. 1889.
Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of J.W. Connell
Signed and sealed by Mary Adaline Spracklen, Sarah J. Butterworth, Mason J. Spracklen, John F. Spracklen, Peter A. Spracklen, George W. Spracklen
The judge further verifies that they did the above fully aware and of their own free will. This is followed by a Release signed by Mary Adaline Spracklen and then the judge queries her to make sure she is doing this of her free will.
Mary Adaline Spracklen the mother was given the money for her to use for her comfort and maintenance. She would not have the money to long before she passed in April of 1891. At this time I cannot find a probate for her in the online probate records which seems unusual, but it might take a little more research to determine what happened.
There are other family estates in the files for Mercer County, New Jersey for some of the children of Petr and Adaline, here are just a few assignments for administration for three of the brothers but I did not find one for George. These letters of administration show us the family relationships.
–John F. Spracklin died 3 January 1914 and a John H. Kafes was assigned as proctor for Elizabeth Hall the only heir and next of kin of John F. Spracklen. This was done on 26 February, 1914 and a bond was placed for $2800.00. Note: We have now found that Elizabeth Hall is living and has married the daughter of John and Jennie Eve which means that a search for her and a thorough review of John’s estate would be a good next step.
–Mason J. Spracklen died 18 November, 1915 and a Levi Updike the son-in-law of Mason was assigned as administrator on 19 January, 1915 and the bond was $2700.
–For Peter A. Spracklen’s estate Mary E. Spracklen petitioned to have Adeline S. Bailey and Mabel E. Spracklen be appointed the administrators of his estate. The bond was $10,000.
The research work on this family is not complete. It would be good to do more work in court documents, probates and estates, deeds, etc.
Peter and Mary Adaline left amazing legacy.