Will of William E. Frazer
An introduction to the families
mentioned in the articles which follow:
William E. "W.E." Frazier (also spelled Frazer) was the son of James &
Catherine A. "Kitty" Brawner Frazier. Despite his being described as an
"old bachelor" in the first article, Mr. Frazier was only thirty-two at
the time of his death, having been born in December, 1826, and departed
this life in April, 1859. He appeared in the 1850 Adair County census as
23-year-old Wm. E., unmarried, a merchant, in the household of his
mother, Catherine A. Frazier, his father having died in 1842. Catherine
died in 1868.
His sister Ermine Frazier, mentioned in the articles as Mrs. Geo. M.
Page, married (Dr.) Page on December 20, 1837. In
Death Records of Adair County,
Kentucky, and Russell, Casey, Green, Cumberland, & Taylor Counties Prior
to 1900, noted Adair County genealogist and historian Michael C.
Watson excerpted her obituary from the December 27, 1899
"Mrs. Ermine Page died 13 December 1899 at her Barren County home, aged
81. She was born and reared in Columbia, the oldest of the children of
James and Catharine Ann Frazer who lived and died here. Her husband was
De. George M. Page. She has 3 sisters yet living: Mrs. Elizabeth Curd of
Columbia, Mrs. Kate Alexander of St. Paul, Minn. and Mrs. Ada Reed of
Dr. Page's obituary appeared in the October 7, 1903
News and read thus:
"Dr Geo. M. Page, aged eighty-seven, one of the best known citizens in
Southern Kentucky, died at Lucas, Barren county, last week. He was a
native of Virginia, coming to Kentucky in his early manhood and located
at Columbia. Here he married Miss Ermine Frazer, a sister of the late
Thomas Frazer. He was a man of scholarly attainments, well posted in
history and literature, and was a fine conversationalist. His wife died
several years ago. He is survived by five children, three sons and two
In 1880, Dr. & Mrs. Page (aged 64 & 62, respectively) resided in
Louisville with three of their children: Sam, 42; William 30; and
Estelle, 24. (It is somewhat curious that the first article, below,
states that "The children of Mrs. Page were nearly all born after the
peculiar will was written [about 1859]...")
Another sister, Adeline S. "Ada" married Henry Clay Read; she died in
St. Paul, Minn., in 1901. Mrs. Read's obituary (Adair
County News, September 11, 1901) noted that she was a native of
Columbia & was the youngest child of James and Kitty A.Frazier; that her
usual residence was with her daughter who lived in Taylor county; and
that she died in St. Paul while visiting a son who lived there. Her
survivors were two sisters, Mrs. T.T. Alexander, of St. Paul, and Mrs.
E.L. Curd, "of this place" (Columbia); and all five of the children she
had mothered: Jas. F., Frank and Henry Read, of Fort Smith, Ark; Wm. C.
Read, of St. Paul; and Mrs. James T. Caldwell, of Taylor county.
The sister mentioned in Mrs. Read's obituary as Mrs. E.L. Curd was
Elizabeth L. Frazier, born 1821 and died 1902, the widow of James H.
Curd, to whom she was wed in 1841. Her obituary (Adair
County News, February 19, 1902) named her living children as Dr.
T.H. Curd, Middlesboro (Ky.); Mrs. M.G. Sale, Paducah; Mrs. W.R. Carter,
of Texas; and Mrs. Anna Poore & Mrs. Bettie Tupman, place(s) of
residence not given.
The sister mentioned as Mrs. T.T. Alexander, was Ellen Catherine "Kate"
Frazier, who married Thomas T. Alexander in 1849. The July 31, 1907 News
stated that Judge H.C. Baker of Columbia, Mrs. Alexander's nephew by
marriage, had received "last Wednesday" (July 24th) a telegram from St.
Paul, informing him that Mrs. Alexander had died the previous evening.
The obituary noted that Mrs. Alexander was 78 years old that her death
"...removes the last one of the older members of the descendants of
James and Kitty Frazer, a very familiar name to the people of Columbia
and Adair County." The Alexanders had no children, but they reared Judge
T.T. Alexander's nephews, Herschel Clay "H.C." & Ben Lee Alexander after
the deaths of their parents in the middle of the 19th century.
W.E.'s brother Thomas H. Frazier was born in 1831 and died in 1888. His
first wife, Dorothy, died in 1863. They had two children: a son, W.E., a
son, and and a daughter,, Lucy W., died in 1864, age two years. By his
second wife, Flora, he had at least seven children: sons J. F., J.M.,
and Thomas H.; and daughters K.A., Jennie, Flora and Elizabeth.
Another sister, Margaret Frazier, married Zachariah Wheat in 1845 and
was deceased by 1850. They had one child, a daughter, Laura, who was
born in 1846 and died in 1862.
* * * * * * *
The Peculiar Will:
The Adair County News, February
(reprinted from the Glasgow Times,
edition unknown, probably mid to late January, 1905)
Litigation Long Drawn Out
Hon. H.L. Porter returned [to Glasgow] last week from a professional
trip to Adair county, where he filed a petition seeking to dispose of a
case which had been on the docket of the Adair Circuit Court since 1859.
The petition filed by Mr. Porter last week seeks to have finally
distributed a bequest made by W.E. Frazer, a wealthy old bachelor, who
died in 1859. Leaving one-sixth of his estate, valued at $50,000, to his
sister, Mrs. Geo. M. Page, who died at her home at Lucas, this [Barren]
county, in 1899. By the terms of W.E. Frazier's will the bequest to Mrs.
Page was to be held in trust for her until she became reconciled to and
on friendly terms with her brothers and sisters. A codicil provided
that, if, within one year after the death of Dr. Geo. M. Page his
children were not on friendly terms with the brothers and sisters of the
testator then living, the part of his estate set apart to Mrs. Page
should be distributed among the other brothers and sisters or their
Dr. Geo. M. Page died in 1903 [see obituary, above], and the period
fixed in the will which his children were to become friendly with their
uncle and aunt, whichever might be living, has passed. The children of
Mrs. Page were nearly all born after the peculiar will was written, and,
therefore, could have no cause for animosity or hatred toward any of
their relatives, never having seen them, or heard from them except at
long intervals when one came to Barren county to visit their sister. The
only one of the original devisees now living is Mrs. T.T. Alexander,
wife of Judge T.T. Alexander, deceased, and she has been a resident of
St. Paul, Minn., for more than twenty-five years.
The bequest of Mrs. Page consists of about $6,000 in cash and some
valuable town lots and farming lands in Iowa. The heirs of Mrs. Page
whom Mr. Porter represents are Mrs. W.D. Burton, of this place [Barren
Co.]; Dr. J.H. Page, of Medill,
I.T. [Indian Territory, now Oklahoma]; Miss Estelle Page, Mr. Wm. Page,
whose residence is unknown; Mrs. S.A. Koetter, of Bowling Green; Mrs.
W.T. Claypool, Mr. Lee F. Jewell and Mr. N.W. Jewell, of Pageville, and
Mr. Sam P. Jewell, of this place. [The
last three named individuals as well as Mrs. W.T. (Anna C.)
Claypool were Mrs. Page's
grandchildren, the offspring of her daughter Anna Elizabeth who married
J.F.F. Jewell. It's unclear if Mrs. S.A. Koetter were a daughter or a
granddaughter, possiblly Maud Jewell.]
Mr. Porter was employed as an attorney in the case exactly thirty years
ago. The case has been to the Court of Appeals and has been the source
of a great deal of litigation in the lower court. It will come up for a
final hearing in the Adair Circuit Court in April. --
* * * * * *
Despite the proclamation in the article above that the suit would be
settled at the April, 105 term of Court, it was exactly one year (less
one day) later that this article appeared in the February 7, 1906
News -- but note the last
THE FRAZER SUIT
The Heirs of Mrs. Ermine Page Win Before
Judge J.S. Kelly.
A suit that has been in court since 1872 was settled at a special term
of the Adair Circuit Court, last week. Judge John S. Kelly, of
Bardstown, sitting by appointment.
Hon. Logan Porter, of Glasgow, and Judge W.W. Jones and Hon. J.F.
Montgomery, of the local bar, appeared for the heirs of Mrs. Page, and
Judge H.C. Baker was the attorney for Frazier heirs. The suit was
brought by plaintiffs to recover the amount of money due Mrs. Page. Mrs.
Page is dead, and it is her children and grandchildren who instituted
It is a long story, as the trouble which led to it commenced in 1859. At
the time W.E. Frazer, who was a wealthy merchant, of this place, died,
but before his death, Mrs. Page and her brothers and sisters became
estranged, and she with her husband, Dr. George page, removed to Barren
county, and all communication ceased between the two families.
In the meantime, W.E. Frazer, who was rapidly declining, died, leaving a
will, cutting out Mrs. Page unless she became reconciled to her mother,
brothers and sisters. When Mr. Frazer died Mrs. Page came to Columbia
and stayed several days, and her attorneys claim at that time all
differences were adjusted, and an amiable reconciliation made. The
defendants deny, but Judge Kelly decided by reason of Mrs. Page's visit
at the death of her brother, and the further reason that one of her
daughters had written letters to Mrs. Kate Alexander, an aunt,
appraising her of the death of her mother, (Mrs. Page,) showed a
disposition to become friendly, and that the heirs of Mrs. Page were
entitled to their mother's part and he so decided. There is six thousand
dollars in trust and judgments amounting to $12,000 against the other
The case will go to the Court of Appeals.
* * * * * *
(Part of the litigation, undated but apparently prior to Mrs. Page's
death, may be viewed at
This also has the pertinent part of Mr. Frazer's will and the attendant