Thursday, June 24, 2010

Augustus "Gustus" Abe 10-007

    Augustus "Gustus" Abe was (1)(2)(3)(4)born in 1826 in Germany. He was a young boy of about 10 years of age when the family emigrated from Germany. Gustus was the son of John Adam and Annie Catherine Abe. He never married nor had any children.
    The (3)1850 and (4)1860 Censuses for Hampshire County, Virginia, show him still living and working on the family farm.
    Augustus served in the 77th Regiment of the Virginia Militia prior to the outbreak of the Civil War. This small militia group, mostly from Hampshire and Hardy Counties in Virginia, was later absorbed into the 11th Virginia Cavalry as Company D. August is not listed with any actual Civil War Military unit so I believe he discontinued service when the militia group was absorbed. He probably discontinued military service because of his age. He would have been about 35 at that time.
    His life changed considerably over the next ten years. His father has passed away in 1866 and the (7)will disposed of the family farm to Nicholas and himself (see John Adam Abe, blogs 10-002 and 10-003). "Gustus",  within two years, sells his portion of the farm to Nicholas and purchases his own farm. The deed for his farm purchase was dated in December 1868. Here in the (5)(9)1870 Census for Mineral County, West Virginia, he is now living in a different household some distance away with his mother. They appear on Page 8, Dwelling 55 of the census and Nicholas (and the Abe Farm home place) are listed on Page 11, Dwelling 78. As discussed in the John Adam Abe Will, "Gustus" is charged with taking care of his mother for the rest of her life. As seen here Annie Catherine is now living in "Gustus" Abe's household.
     The (16)property was purchased for $800.00 from Joseph and Rebecca Pancoast of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. See the transcribed version of the deed that follows:

Gustus Abe Deed
Page 252
This Deed made this twenty eighth day of December in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and sixty eight, between Joseph Pancoast and Rebecca H. Pancoast, his wife of the city of Philadelphia of the State of Pennsylvania, of the first part, and Gustus Abe of Mineral County, in the State of West Virginia, of the second part, Witnesseth, that, in consideration of eight hundred dollars, in hand paid to said parties of the first part by Gustus Abe, they, said Joseph Pancoast and Rebecca H. Pancoast, his wife, do grant, sell and convey in fee
simple, to said Gustus Abe, his heirs and assigns, the northerly tract of said tract of land, lying on Plum Run, in Mineral County and State last aforesaid, by William D. Miller, trustee, by deed, dated October eleventh, in the year eighteen hundred and fifty two, and recorded in the land records of Hampshire County, in the State of Virginia (new West Virginia); beginning for the said northerly half of said tract of land, at the end of seventy poles, less twenty one links, on the fifth line, and from the beginning of the whole tract, and running thence across the whole tract, north sixty nine degrees, fifteen minutes west, two hundred and twenty seven poles, (N 69° 15' W 227 ps.) to the middle of the second line of the whole tract, and running thence with said second line, reversed, North twenty two degrees East, seventy one poles to the beginning of said second line, and thence with the first line of the whole tract reversed to the beginning of the whole tract, and thence, with the fifth line reversed, South twenty three degrees thirty minutes West seventy poles (S 23° 30' W 70 ps) less twenty one links, to the beginning of the half, hereby intended to be conveyed and continuing for the said half, one hundred acres of land, more or less Reserving the right of user of land on which the Furnace building is erected, and the Steam Engine and
Page 253
Boilers, and fixtures are located and being; to the Extent of one acre of ground alone measured and laid off around said furnace, Engine, Boilers and fixtures, including as part of said acre the land on which the same are located and erected; until the same are removed or taken away, at the option of said Joseph Pancoast and his assigns, and with the right to remove and take away the same at pleasure. Together with all and singular the covenants, hereditaments and appertinances thereto belonging, or appertaining ---- and the said Joseph Pancoast covenants that he will warrant specially the premises hereby granted and sold, to said Gustus Abe, his heirs and assigns, in fee simple.
Witness our hands and seals, on the day and year first herein aforesaid – Signed, Sealed and Delivered
in the presence of }
Bessie A. Pancoast } 
Joseph Pancoast {Seal}
Thomas A. Porter } 
Rebecca A. Pancoast {Seal}

City of Philadelphia, State of Pennsylvania, s s: ---
I, Thomas A. Porter – a Notory Public, for the City of Philadelphia in the State of Pennsylvania, do certify that Joseph Pancoast and Rebecca A. Pancoast, his wife, whose names are signed to the writing above, bearing date on the Twenty eighth day of December in the year Eighteen hundred and sixty eight, have each separately acknowledged the same before me, in my city aforesaid; and I do further certify that said Rebecca A Pancoast, wife of said Joseph Pancoast whose names are signed to the writing above, bearing date on the day and year last herein before written, personally appeared before me in the City aforesaid and being examined by me, privately and apart from her husband, and having the writing aforesaid fully explained to her, she, the said Rebecca A. Pancoast, acknowledged the said writing to be her act, and declared that she had willingly executed the same, and does not wish to retract it. Given under my hand and notarial seal on this Twenty-eighth day of December in the year Eighteen hundred and sixty eight -------

U.S. __?___ Notarial Thomas A. Porter
1 Dollar 1 Seal Notary Public

Note: The "furnace building, steam boilers and fixtures" mentioned in this deed will be visited again in a future blog for an explanation. See The Vulcan Furnace 10-013.

     The (17)1880 Census for the Frankfort District of Mineral County, WV and dated June 14, shows Augustus Abe now living by himself. His mother died in 1876.
    In (18)1898 Gustus Abe writes his will as follows: 

Gustus Abe Will
Recorded in Will Book No. 1 Page 4 N and C
Keyser, West Virginia, County Courthouse of Mineral County, West Virginia.

Know all men by these presents, that I, Gustus Abe, a citizen of Mineral County, West Virginia, being in ill health, but of sound and disposing mind and memory, do make and publish this my last will and testament.
And as to my worldly estate of which I shall die seized and possessed or to which I shall be entitled at the time of my decease, I devise and dispose thereof in the manner following, to wit:

1. I direct that my body be decently interred and a set of tombstones, the cost of same to be from forty to fifty dollars, with suitable engravings, to be set to my grave.
2. That all my just debts and funeral expenses shall, by my executor, be paid out of my estate, as soon after my decease as shall by him be found convenient.
3. That each person who shall engage in digging my grave, shall receive the sum of $2.50 for his services, but the total amount of digging the grave shall not exceed $10.00.
4. Next, I will the sum of fifteen hundred dollars ($1500.00) to J. W. Arnold, Taylor Arnold and J. W. Leatherman, trustees of the Beaver Run Church of the German Baptist Brethren, and to their successors. The said $1500.00 to be owned and controlled by the Beaver Run congregation, First District of W. Va., of the
German Baptist Brethren Church. I further will that the said $1500.00 be put on interest and only the interest accruing thereby be available for use, and that said interest shall be used for Home Mission work in the First Dist. of W. Va., and for the support of the poor at the discretion of said congregation.
5. That my executor, hereinafter named shall receive 5 per cent commissions on my entire estate for his services in settling up my said estate.
6. All the rest and residue of my estate of which I shall die seized and possessed, I will to be divided between and among my niece Mary Herrick, and my nephews, Philip Abe, Adam Abe, Frederick Abe, Jacob Abe and John Abe.
And lastly, I do nominate and appoint George S. Arnold, to be executor of this my last will and testament.

In testimony whereof, I, the said Gustus Abe, have to this my last will and testament subscribed my name and affixed my seal this sixteenth day of April, in the year of Our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight.

Gustus   X   Abe (seal)

Note: Gustus Abe’s signature is only a very shaky “X” as his mark. The writer of his will wrote his name around his mark as shown above.

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said Gustus Abe as and for his last will and testament, in the presence of us, who, at his request and in his presence, and in the presence of each other, have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto.

Dennis Culp
John D. Culp
M. H. Duckworth

John D. Culp, M. H. Duckworth May 2, 1898

Note: John D. Culp and M. H. Duckworth signed the will again, as seen above, in the presence of the probate court. See clerk statement below.

In the Clerks Office of the County Court of Mineral County, West Va, In the recess of said Court.
On this 2nd day of May. 1898, a writing purporting to be the last will and testament of Gustus Abe, dec’d, late of Mineral County, West Virginia.bearing date the_16_day of April 1898 was presented in the Clerks Office of the County Court of Said County, for probate and record and was proven by the others of John D. Culp and M. H. Duckworth two of the subscribing witnesses thereto to have been signed acknowledged- published and declared by the said Gustus Abe in their presence as and for his last will and testament and that they at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other subscribed their names thereto; that at the time of so doing they considered him of sound mind memory and understanding and capable of executing a valid instrument, The said writing is therefore admitted to probate and record as the last will and testament of the said Gustus Abe, and George S. Arnold the executor therein is permitted to qualify upon his executing bond with good and sufficient security in the penalty of $4500, conditioned according to law.

Given under my hand this 2nd day of May. 1898.
(signed) J. V. Bell Clerk


    Augustus "Gustus" Abe died on (1)April 28, 1898, just 12 days after he wrote his (18)will. He is buried in the (1)Long Cemetery in Short Gap, Mineral County, West Virginia with his parents and two nieces.

UPDATE:  Records for his service to the 77th Virginia Militia have now been added. Augustus Abe was released from service in the militia on December 31, 1861 as he had passed the age of 35. In most cases this was the upper age limit for military service.


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