Will of James Fergus


Recorded in Lewistown, Fergus County, Montana


Three pages in longhand writing, the first page the original will, the second page the witnessing and a note of clarification, and the third page a codicil.


1st page:


I James Fergus of the County of Fergus and State of Montana being of lawful age and deposing mind and memory do make publish and declare this to be my last will and testament. I hereby bequeath to my daughter Mary A Hamilton of Fergus and Lewis & Clarke counties Montana seventy seven shares of the Fergus Livestock & Land Company. To my daughter Luella F Gilpatrick of Helena Montana eighty five shares of the above stock. To my son Andrew Fergus of Fergus County Montana eighty one shares of said stock and to my daughter Lillie Maury of Washington County Oregon eighty five shares of the Fergus Livestock and Land Company as above. The residue of my estate if any—after paying all my debts to be equally divided between my son Andrew Fergus and my daughter Luella F Gilpatrick share and share alike, except my library and household goods which are to be the exclusive property of my son Andrew Fergus with the recommendation that he let his sisters have a share of such books and other things as they may want and he does not need.

These bequests are made for the sole use and benefit of my heirs themselves and are not in any sense to be handled by, or be the property of their husbands and I hereby appoint my daughter Luella F Gilpatrick and my son Andrew to be my executors without bonds of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all former wills.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this sixth day of February nineteen hundred and one.

James Fergus


In the margin on the left side:

The words “and my son Andrew Fergus” in line twenty seven was inserted before signing.

James Fergus


2nd page:


The foregoing instrument consisting of this one sheet was here and now subscribed by the testator James Fergus in the presence of each of us and was at the same time declared by him to be his last will and testament and we at his request sign our names to the same at his request as attesting witnesses.

John H Shober

Post Office Helena Montana

William W Parrott

Post Office Shelby Mont



The eight shares less bequeathed to my daughter Mary A Hamilton is to cover in part a debt amounting in 1895 to about $800. that her husband owed Andrew some eight years before that time including interest which I paid. And my reasons for leaving the residue of my estate outside of the shares to Andrew and Luella are that it will cost them about all they are worth and I think all debts I owe on the company books should be cancelled and my 160 acres of timber entry on Deer Creek should be turned over to the company without cost and my advice is to sell the whole property—if not sold before I die—and divide the proceeds in proportion to shares as the way it is being managed now it will not pay interest and taxes.

James Fergus


3rd page:


         Whereas I, James Fergus, of Armells, Fergus Co., Montana, have made my last will and testament in writing, bearing date February sixth, nineteen hundred and one.

         Now I do by this my writing, which I hereby declare to be a codicil to my said will, to be taken as a part thereof.

         I hereby appoint Mary Agnes Hamilton of Lewistown, Fergus Co. Montana, to be one of the executors of my last will and testament, to act with Andrew Fergus and Luella F Gilpatrick.

         Said executors, to share and share alike in the Hanson property and also in one share of the Bank of Fergus County stock.


Dated this twentieth day of March, nineteen hundred and two.

Signed:  James Fergus


         The above instrument of one sheet was, at the date thereof, declared to us by the testator, James Fergus, to be a codicil, to be annexed to his last will and testament, and he acknowledged to each of us, that he had subscribed the same, and we at his request sign our names hereto as attesting witnesses.


Odin Romundstad

William Lewis