Painting of William Reddick
Oil painting of William Reddick
 
 
 
 
Oil painting of Eliza Collins Reddick
Portion of an oil painting
of Eliza Funk Reddick, wife of William
 
 
 
 
 
Photo of Elizabeth Funk Reddick
Photo of Elizabeth Funk Reddick,
ward of William & Eliza Reddick
 

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The Reddick Fortune

Probate of the Estate of William Reddick and Other Records

Chronology of Events and Legal Actions Taken
Compiled from Probate Unless Otherwise Indicated

Description of Historical Significance

  1. Eliza (Collins) Reddick, wife of William, dies at the Mansion : July 1883 VIEW OBITUARY
    Document NOT in Probate of William Reddick; Obituary lists blood relatives of Eliza (Collins) Reddick as she, herself, died without issue

  2. William Reddick signs his Will : 21 June 1884 VIEW DOCUMENT
    Document specifies how William Reddick wanted his estate divided in its entirety

  3. William Reddick dies at his Mansion in Ottawa, Illinois : 8 March 1885 VIEW OBITUARY
    Document NOT in Probate of William Reddick; Obituary lists biography of William Reddick with a public eulogy

  4. Executor Appears in Court to Begin Process of Probate : 12 March 1885

    1. Affidavit of Decease  VIEW DOCUMENT
      Substitute for a death certificate

    2. Probate of Will Signed by Testator  VIEW DOCUMENT
      Lists witnesses to Will

    3. Official Oath of Executor  VIEW DOCUMENT
      Legally binding pledge of George W. Armstrong to follow the provisions stated in the Will of William Reddick

    4. Bond of Executor (in amount of $200,000)  VIEW DOCUMENT
      Penalty agreed to by George W. Armstrong if his duties of Executor of Reddick’s Will were not fulfilled

  5. Warrant Signed by Appraisers of Estate : 19 March 1885 VIEW DOCUMENT
    Lists names of appraisers of the estate of William Reddick

  6. Appraisement Bill : March 1885 VIEW DOCUMENT
    Inventory list, likely incomplete, of estate of William Reddick

  7. Estate Inventory for William Reddick, deceased : Unspecified dates in 1885

    1. Real Estate Property VIEW DOCUMENT
      Detailed inventory likely the responsibility of George W. Armstrong

    2. Personal Property VIEW DOCUMENT
      Detailed inventory likely the responsibility of George W. Armstrong

    3. Notes and Accounts Due VIEW DOCUMENT
      Detailed inventory likely the responsibility of George W. Armstrong

    4. Supplementary Inventory of Real and Personal Property VIEW DOCUMENT
      Detailed inventory likely the responsibility of George W. Armstrong

  8. Inventory of Property Entitled Elizabeth Burrier Funk Reddick : Undated VIEW DOCUMENT
    Detailed inventory likely the responsibility of George W. Armstrong

  9. Identification of Legatee, Mary O’Donnell : 27 March 1885 VIEW DOCUMENT
    Executor request of court to order transfer of bequests to Mary O’Donnell and to Elizabeth Burrier Funk Reddick (whose signature is shown)

  10. Executor Action Following Inventory : 28 March 1885 VIEW DOCUMENT
    Court order to transfer the bequests to Mary O’Donnell and to Elizabeth Burrier Funk Reddick (whose signature is NOT shown)

  11. Inventory of Property Transferred to Elizabeth Burrier Funk Reddick : Undated VIEW DOCUMENT
    Detailed inventory likely the responsibility of George W. Armstrong

  12. Inventoried Articles of Personal Property Sold in Estate Sale : 23 April 1885 VIEW DOCUMENT
    Detailed inventory likely the responsibility of George W. Armstrong; lists property item by name, purchaser, and price agreed to by auction

  13. Board of Directors organized for a Reddick Library : April 1885 VIEW REPORT
    Document NOT part of the Probate of William Reddick; action listed in minutes of the Board of Directors of the recently formed Reddick Library

  14. Oath of Appraisers in Kansas : 25 May 1885 VIEW DOCUMENT
    Lists names of individuals who appraised value of property, in Kansas, that was once owned by William Reddick

  15. Reddick Library Board authorizes a lease of the Mansion to Elizabeth Burrier Funk Reddick for four months : 8 March 1886 VIEW REPORT
    Document NOT part of the Probate of William Reddick; action listed in minutes of the Board of Directors of the recently formed Reddick Library; indicates that the period of time allotted by the Will of William Reddick for the use of the Mansion by Elizabeth B. F. Reddick was extended beyond the tine period stated in the Will

  16. Supplementary Inventory of Notes Due Estate : 1 October 1886 VIEW DOCUMENT
    Detailed inventory the work of George W. Armstrong; lists individuals, amounts borrowed, interest due, and amounts paid to Estate of William Reddick

  17. Elizabeth Burrier Funk Reddick dies at the family Mansion :  22 February 1887 VIEW OBITUARY
    Document NOT in Probate of William Reddick; Obituary lists blood relative of Elizabeth Burrier Funk Reddick as she, herself, died without issue

  18. Estate Inventory for Elizabeth Burrier Funk Reddick, deceased

    1. Cash Assets : 19 May 1887 VIEW DOCUMENT
      Detailed inventory the work of George W. Armstrong

    2. Real Estate Property : Undated VIEW DOCUMENT
      Detailed inventory the work of George W. Armstrong

    3. Personal Property : Undated VIEW DOCUMENT
      Detailed inventory, unsigned, but likely the work of George W. Armstrong

  19. Sale of Real Estate That Belonged to William Reddick : May 1887 VIEW DOCUMENT
    Detailed inventory, unsigned, but likely the work of George W. Armstrong; details description of property location, purchaser, cash paid, notes accepted, and total sale price

  20. Public library moved from the La Salle County Court House to the Reddick Mansion : July 1887 VIEW REPORT
    Document NOT part of the Probate of William Reddick; action listed in minutes of the Board of Directors of the recently formed Reddick Library

  21. Court Document Listing  Addresses of all Known Heirs or Legatees : Jan 1889  VIEW DOCUMENT
    Probate record which details a list of heirs or legatees (or their heirs), mentioned in the Will of William Reddick, with known addresses of the same

  22. Proof of Service of Notice : 25 February 1889 VIEW DOCUMENT
    Lists the names of individuals who were served notice regarding their involvement in the settlement of the Estate of William Reddick

  23. Final Settlement of Suit of Reddick Library Board Against Executor : 22 April 1889 VIEW DOCUMENT
    A record of the outcome of the suit against George W. Armstrong

  24. Petition for Order of Final Settlement : 12 June 1896 VIEW DOCUMENT
    Typed list of William Reddick’s  heirs and specific legatees (or their heirs) mentioned in the Will

  25. Order for Final Settlement : 24 August 1896 VIEW DOCUMENT
    Court document officially ending the duties and responsibilities of George W. Armstrong

  26. Appellate Court Decision : 30 November 1976 VIEW DOCUMENT
    A record of the outcome of a suit against the Library Board of the Reddick's Library

 

Did Your Ancestors Profit?

Following the death of William Reddick, his estate was inventoried by George W. Armstrong, the executor of that estate. In part, that estate, once assessed, was found to be valued as follows:

Type of Property

Value in 1885

2008 Value

Real Estate

$146, 724.00

$3,472,771.86

Personal

$14,887.00

$352,356.50

Notes & Accounts

$107,614.00

$2,547,087.53

TOTALS:

$269,225.00

$6,372,215.89

NOTE: 2008 Value based on inflation calculator found at http://www.westegg.com/inflation/

If you are interested in genealogy and/or the history of the Reddick Mansion, you might wish to research if any of your ancestors ended up owning any of the property, whether real or personal, that was part of the estate of William Reddick. To assist you in that research, you might wish to make use of the following specific records:

  • Legal heir or legatee determined by the probate process VIEW DOCUMENT or VIEW DOCUMENT

  • Purchaser of any of the real estate that once belonged to William Reddick VIEW DOCUMENT

  • Purchaser, at auction, of any of the personal property that once belonged to William Reddick VIEW DOCUMENT

 

Final Verdict 

The above list of events and court actions shows that the estate of William Reddick, deceased, was resolved following court actions that began on 12 March 1885 and ended on 24 August 1896, a period of 11 years 5 months and 12 days. To our modern and often cynical eyes, the case was a veritable feast for lawyers, potential heirs, legatees and other plaintiffs.  Such a large, rich pie must have been far too tempting to ignore by those who thought they should be entitled to a piece of that pie.

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