Thursday, March 1, 2012

Letter to the Children 1905

Aaron Waller Mason

It isn't often that a parent writes a letter to his children outlining his wishes on the handling of his estate. The following very poignant letter was written by Aaron Waller Mason, who was born 28 August 1852 in Morganfield, Union County, Kentucky, to his children several months before his death. Many thanks are due the family of Aaron Waller Mason and especially Patricia Gallagher Campbell for sharing the letter and photo.

November 20th, 1905

To my four Children

I am leaving you an inheritance and hope each one of you will handle it judiciously and be able to add to instead of diminish. It will help to hold your station and be fine in sickness and old age whatever it is I can say it has all been gotten by honest effort; never have I lied, misrepsented, or in any way, used deception to make sales or a trade and I hope and believe you will all have the same idea of trade and life. I had fully intended makeing Gordon one of my executors but he being under age could not. I made the settlement of my estate five years on account of my youngest children having a home, but if in a little while it is broken up then you can

[pg.2] go to the court and get permission to sell the Home. The home question has bothered me more than all the other property and now I am no nearer a solution than at first. It will be quite expensive to run as it now is with so few there and I have thought maybe Mr. Newman and Camilla might take it free of rent and let the children pay only their part of the expense and then I have thought they might run it and the children board with them. They are all problems with me and I can only say as time passes it may adjust these things. They are two far in the future for me to decide. I don’t think any of the children would care to own the home it is too expensive with what is back of it. I mean

[pg.3] you would not have enough to own it and make a living out of the rest. . I think it will be wise to use any Insureance to pay A.Waller and Co, that is if they will pay the dividend to you yearly. I think Chapmans understands this. My other estate I think in good shape and not be hard to handle, but if you should need counsel I would suggest you counsel with Jim Waller for I know he is my friend as well as yours and will do all he can to assist you. If I had gone out of the family for an executor he would have been named. I feel sure he would be a great benefit to you in selling the home place. I know Chapman is from home [Submitter's note: Chapman was not living in Morganfield at the time of this letter. He was living in Henderson and I think this is what he is referring to here.] and may feel that it will be hard for him to attend to these

[pg.4] things and if you should give it up Jim or the Peoples bank and Trust Co. would be good people to handle it, except I would not want the reality sacrificed in order to get it in money. These are suggestions that I don’t suppose will amount to anything. Now Gordon will soon be grown and will probably save money and will probably be in the country. I feel he will be able to take care of himself; but now to Lide and Lucian you know they will need your care and sympathy and I feel you will both help care and look after them. Little sister will be all broken up but-she must-stand brave and lean on you boys and Camilla. I hope and believe Camilla will be the same aunt to them she has been so faithfully and so long. I am sure

[pg.5] her reward awaits her. Now in conclusion I want to say I don’t want you all to grieve after me, it will do no good at all and why worry, just take hold and get all the sweet out of life you can and after a while I hope to meet you all in a place prepared for them who are faithful to the end.

Your Papa

My aim has [faint; hard to read]

Aaron Waller Mason died 8 June 1906 in Morganfield. He married Lucy Allen Chapman 3 May 1877 and they had the following issue: Houston Chapman Mason (1879-1952), Allen Gordon Mason (1885-1955), Mary Lide E. Mason (1889-1921) and Lucian Carr Mason (1892-1918).

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