Lauderdale County, Alabama
Record Book F
Pages 95 - 209
Abstracted by Milly Wright on Jan. 2007 and submitted for use on these pages Aug. 2007
Note: The book has not been transcribed in its entirety, although each case is included. Spelling follows the original as closely as possible. [In some cases testimonies and proceedings have been summarized. msw]
Sarah Jackson et al vs Sarah M Polk and Sallie M Polk
Be it remembered that heretofore on the 17th day of March 1849 Sarah Jackson, James Kirkman and Thomas Kirkman filed their Bill of Complaint .. against Sarah M Polk and Sallie M Polk, defendants in said cause.
... Thomas Kirkman and Sarah Jackson citizens of Lauderdale County, and James Kirkman a citizen of New Orleans. That James Jackson late a citizen of said County of Lauderdale died in said county on the __ day of 1840 leaving a large real and personal estate. ... Will made and published in 1838.
... Sarah M Jackson mentioned in said will as one of the daughters of said James .. was married in the year 1840 to one Rufus K Polk of the County of Maury in the State of Tennessee. That the said Rufus died in the year 1843 leaving an only child of said marriage, a daughter named Sally M., now about eight years of age. That the said Sarah M. Polk
(formerly Jackson) is now a widow, and is of the age of twenty one years and upwards ... (directions of will as to division of the estate)
Will of Rufus K Polk
Left his property to his wife Sarah M Polk during her life or widowhood, and the remainder to my only child Sally M Polk, but in case my said child should die, without issue living at the time of her death, then I give devise and bequeath, what I have devised to her, to be equally distributed between my brothers Leonidas Polk, Lucius L? Polk, and George W Polk. ... in case of marriage of my said wife ... one third of all my personal estate and one third of my real estate .... Feb 8, 1843.
The complainants as the executors and executrix of James Jackson decd are hereby authorized and empowered to loan to the said Sarah M Polk as Executrix of Rufus K Polk decd the fund now in their hands as trustees under the will of the said James Jackson, for the use and benefit of the said Sarah M Polk ... taking by way of security for the same a mortgage on the plantation lately the property of the said Rufus K Polk, situate in the County of Maury and State of Tennessee and known as “West Brook.”
D G Ligon, Chancellor
Sarah Jackson et al vs Abram D Hunt and Others
... said A D Hunt and the said Ellen are desirous of removing to the City of Lexington in the State of Kentucky for the purpose of educating their children. The said A D and Ellen have a large and growing family of children, and require in consequence a good and commodious dwelling house. Under these circumstances, and these petitioners considering the investment of said trust fund, prescribed by the will a very insecure and undesirable one, the said A D Hunt with their knowledge, consent and approval on the __ day of May 1848 purchased for the use of said Ellen and her children from John Tilford Esqr a dwelling house and lot in said City of Lexington for the sum of $7500. upon a credit of one, two and three years, with interest at the rate of 6 pr cent per annum payable semi annually. The lot thus purchased is 164 feet front on Broadway running back unequal distances to an alley with an average depth of about 140 or 150 feet. The dwelling House is of brick with nine good rooms handsomely finished. There are attached to the main building brick negro rooms, kitchen, bath house, smoke house, stable and carriage house. There are also on the lot a well, cistern, wood house, ice house and dairy. The situation is a most eligible one, being on the most desirable street for dwelling houses in the City and the most desirable point on that street.
... To the extent of the purchase money your petitioners believe the said dwelling house and lot to be a proper and secure investment of the Trust fund devised to them, in trust for said Ellen and her children. ...
Deposition of James A Grinstead and Francis K Hunt taken on Monday the 23rd day of April 1849
We have resided in Lexington all our lives. Said Grinstead states that he is thirty five years old and said Hunt that he is thirty two years old. We both consider ourselves acquainted with the value of real estate in the City of Lexington Kentucky. .... That we are acquainted with the dwelling house and its appurtenances in said City now and for some time past in the occupancy of A D Hunt and formerly owned by John Tilford, Esqr. It is situated on Main Cross Street otherwise called Broadway. It is situate on the widest and one of the most pleasant streets in the city. Very near to the business or central portion thereof, fronts one hundred and sixty four feet on Broadway ... and runs back to an alley one hundred and twenty feet. ... The buildings thereon are extensive and commodious, a large portion thereof having been erected by said Tilford within the last twelve years. We think said property is worth $7500.. We do not think it likely to deteriorate in value. On the contrary we think it probable that it is common with other real estate in the City will advance in value.
“The great changes in the monied affairs the country since the publication of the will of the late James Jackson would seem to render an investment in Bank Stock not only hazardous but highly impolitic.” ..
D G Ligon, Chancellor, approved the investment of $7500. in the house and lot in the City of Lexington, Kentucky.
Harkins et al vs Willis Pope
Final decree at May term 1845, in this cause as recorded in Record Book B in this Office commencing at page 115, and ending on page 144. - dismissing the complainants Bill. A writ of error was prosecuted, to the Supreme Court of the said State, and said Decree reversed and the cause remanded.
It appears as between the parties themselves, the title of the defendant Pope to two thirds and that of Harkins, Brahan and Saffarans to one third of the Hotel was admitted, and the former leased from the latter during the life time of Saffarans their portion at a specific rent for the year 1840 and held possession after the expiration of that year without any new agreement for rent until the building was destroyed towards the close of the year 1841. A portion of the rent for the first year and the whole of that for the second being unpaid the question which arises is whether the defendant Pope is liable to pay rent for the second year according to the agreement for the first?
And the second is whether the portion coming to Saffarans goes to his administrators or to his heirs?
The common law idea that rent is only due where there is a demise has long since been changed both in England and in this country by Statutes authorizing recoveries for use and occupation.
Our Statute used the terms reasonable satisfaction, digest 505, 1, but is presumed not to be materially different from those in other states. In New York, the decisions are uniform, that where there is a lease for a certain annual rent, and the tenant holds over without any new agreement as to the rent the law implies he holds from year to year at
the Original rent. ...
Martin Harkins Answer to a bill filed against him, Robert W Brahan, the heirs of Peter Saffarans, Hugh Simpson, admr of the estate of Peter Saffarans, decd - by Willis Pope
He admits it to be true that he and his co defendants filed a bill in said court against said Willis Pope and other heirs of Mary A Pope ... Res’t admits that the Eagle Hotel mentioned in complete bill has not been rebuilt at any time since said Pope leased the same to Thomas Pearsall, or rather since the same was burnt down on the 26 December 1841. And this respondent states that by the agreement of lease the repairs was to be done by the lessee, or he was to have it done at the expense of the lessors so that said Pope as assignee of Pearsall was to have the work done if rebuilding was repairs contemplated by the contracting parties, and the lessors were there to pay the expense
thereof, now respondent states and answers that said Pope did not rebuild nor give to respondent and his co-defendants any notice so far as is known to him that he wished to rebuild said Hotel on Lot No. 75 and that he would join with them in the expense thereof so far as he had an interest in the lot as a fee simple owner. If he had received damage then as he in said bill alledges to $2000 and hundred dollars he has not these defendants to blame therefor, for up to this time he has never offered to this defendant to repair under the lease or otherwise by rebuilding said Tavern House so burned down.
In further answering said respondent says he admits it to be most true he never offered to contribute for the payment of the two small houses alledged to have been bought from Joseph Bigger and William G Thompson and it is his belief his co-defendants made no such offer because he says that him and his co-defendants Brahan and Peter Saffarans purchased t he property viz the one third part of said Lot No. 75 long after said houses had been placed thereon and without any knowledge that said Pope had any equitable right to any contribution from Percifer P Pearson under whom they purchased the 1/3 part as aforesaid if indeed said Pope had any right contribution from said Pearson which he cannot admit but on his belief denies.
Respondent admits because he had no personal knowledge of the outlay alledged by said Pope to be made in 1840 and 1841 on the Eagle Hotel for necessary repairs to the extent of $230?. Nor has he any knowledge of repairs done to the House got from Pearsall in exchange for the Eagle Hotel to the extent of $350.00. Nor has he any knowledge of the necessity of those repairs. Nor is he informed thereof otherwise than by complainant setting them up ... and therefore requires full proof of both.
Respondent further answering states neither he nor said Brahan or Saffarans to respondent’s knowledge ever offered to contribute for any part of the $1000. dollars paid by said Pope to Pearsall as a difference between the five years lease of the said Hotel, and the property got in exchange by said Pope, as they do not claim any interest in said
property got in exchange from said Pearsall any further than their interest in Lot 75 and the Eagle Hotel and appurtenances paid for that property. And as to contributing 1/3 for the release or assignment of the lease by Pearsall, respondent and his co defendants have not sought to take any benefit therefrom, but have allowed him to reap all advantages therefrom.
And he here says by this release or assignment said Pope got back, all the furniture saved from the fire which consumed the Hotel and Lot 75 and the appurtenances which he states in his answer was rented at 90 dollars, and the stables which he rented at 50 dollars per annum.
But even if respondent and his co defendants should be considered in duty bound to contribute 1/3 of the amount paid by Pope to Pearsall which was seven hundred dollars, said Pope has more than sufficient in his hands as a fair accounting of their money for rents due to them for 1840 and 1841 - for rent of stables and for rent of the houses reserved in the lease to Pearsall, as well as for brick and lumber sold from the wreck of the Hotel.
So that he has no reason to complain being as respondent believes on a fair and just accounting in debt to this defendant and his co defendants…
... the said Willis Pope in his answer to the original bill filed by this defendant and his now co-defendants i this court doth deny the title and right of this defendant and his now co-defendants, being complainants in that Bill to 1/3 of Lot No. 75 and appurtenances and the said Willis Pope doth also by that answer deny that they said complainants in that Bill had any right or title to any portion or interest in the houses and lands got in exchange for the five years
lease aforesaid of the Eagle Hotel and appurtenances. Whereas by his cross bill said Willis Pope doth claim all his right and title to damages for not rebuilding the said Eagle Hotel or tavern house and to contribution for outlays for repairs to said Eagle Hotel in 1840 and 1841 - and for repairs necessarily done to the amount of $350. dollars to the property got from said Pearsall in exchange for the property mentioned in Exhibit B - on the admission that this defendant and his now co-defendants were and are the true owners of the interest in said property to the extent and in the manner set forth in their original bill. ... do not entitle said Willis Pope to maintain his said bill as a cross
1. To Sidney C Posey: Have you any and what knowledge of a deed of conveyance from Percifer F Pearson to Andrew J Hutchings bearing date the 16th day of October 1838 conveying to the latter said Pearson’s interest in the Eagle Hotel
To James H Weakley, Andrew J Coffee and Alexander D Coffee
Look upon the paper now shown to you purporting to be an indenture entered into by and between Percifer F Pearson of the first part, Sidney C Posey of the second part and Robert W Brahan of the third part having
date 20 day of October 1838 and declare whether or no you were present when same was executed by said Percifer and others. If so state what was the state of said Pearson’s mind at the time he executed the same, was his mind sound or otherwise, and declare whether you saw the same executed by said Pearson the day said deed bears date, and declare whether all the subscribing witnesses were present at the time the said Pearson executed the same, and particularly was Andrew J Hutchings present and declare whether or no said Hutchings is now dead. Declare fully your knowledge.
Interrogatories to James H Weakley and S T Thustin
1. Declare whether or no you are well acquainted with the property sold by Thomas Pearsall and wife to Willis Pope mentioned in Exhibit C and D of Complainant’s bill, if you declare how near it lies to the Town of Florence and state what would be a fair rent therefor since 1st January 1842.
2. Declare how long said Pope hath had possession thereof under his purchase from Pearsall and wife, and whether or no said Pope since he acquired possession thereof hath not been selling fire wood off the same if you declare the quantity as near as you know the same, and the annule value of the same. Declare fully.
3. To S T Thustin. Declare whether or no you had any knowledge and if so what knowledge of a contract and the reason for entering into it by Pope and Pearsall under which said Pearsall took possession of said Eagle Hotel before his lease for five years commenced? ...
Cross interrogatory to Sidney C Posey
If you state that you were trustee in a deed in trust from Pearson to you for the benefit of Robert W Brahan dated 20 October 1838 declare whether you took upon yourself sd trust and acted thereunder. If you state that you were present when Pearson executed said deed, state where said (deed) was executed and who were present. And if you state any thing in relation to the conditions of said Pearson’s mind at the time declare whether if not thus drunk he was not stupified from the influence of liquor; and whether he had not been in a state of delirium tremors and was he not so then was he not flighty and fickle was he in truth a man sound in mind. State freely and particularly his condition. Declare at whose request Hutchings made this reconveyance, and declare whether said Pearson after he executed this deed of October 16 1838 executed a deed in trust to said Hutchings. And if so when and produce a
copy of it and state whether the signature to the original deed is genuine.
Thomas Pearsall’s Answer
Sworn and examined the 20th of April 1845 at the office of Gardner Knapp in the Town of Nichols in the County of Tioga and State of New York.
1. “I did on the 28th day of September 1841 contract with Willis Pope for a lease of the Eagle Hotel in the Town of Florence for the term of five years commencing January 1, 1842 at the price of $4500. for the term of five years. The rent was to be paid in a Farm and was paid accordingly.
2. An old brick house and an adjoining lot were taken by me as a part of the contract between me and said Pope. I think this lot and appurtenances were valued of fifty dollars pr annum.
3. I think there was no valuation fixed upon the use of the furniture by Mr. Pope and myself.
4. I think that said Pope stated at the time of the contract that Brahan, Harkins and Saffarans had an interest in the Hotel to the amount of one third of its value and that Mr. Pope was to pay them their portion of the rent.
5. The said Hotel was burned down on the night of the 24th of December 1841. I had taken possession thereof prior thereto; I obtained possession under Willis Pope.
6. The said Pope did make a contract with me after the house was burned; the contract was that I should give up to him the possession of the premises, which I did and he paid me therefor a sum of money, the precise amount of which I do not well remember but I think it was two hundred dollars. Most of the furniture that was left there by Mr. Pope was saved except the bed steads. I think all the beds and bedding were saved but I do not remember how many there were. The same were taken away to a building opposite the Hotel and on the next morning Mr. Pope came and took possession of the goods, and subsequently Mr. Pope disposed of most of the goods.
7. I am not aware that I know any thing more that is material for complainants, except that the contract I first made verbally with Mr. Pope for the lease of the said premises was for the rent of five thousand dollars for the term of five years, but when the lease was drawn it was for only nine hundred dollars per annum. In making our verbal agreement the farm was called worth six thousand dollars and Mr. Pope paid me one thousand dollars as the difference between the Farm and the rent.
1. The lease was in writing; Mr. Pope paid me the said sum of one thousand dollars at different times and all subsequent to the execution of the written lease, at what time and at how many different times, I do not recollect. There was no other property embraced in the lease as I have stated in answer to the second interrogatory, and the consideration which passed from me was in exchange for all the property leased by me and the one thousand dollars.
2. It was a “lumping trade.”
3. There was no separate and distinct valuation put upon the several items or parts of the property leased by me. The property I let him have was valued at six thousand dollars.
4. I once had a conversation with Mr. Harkins on the subject of the lease. He did not (to my recollection) say that Mr. Pope had no right to make the lease but he said that he was not consulted about it.
5. There was some agreement whereby I took possession of the property prior to the time fixed by the lease as the commencement of the term of 5 years, and Mr. Pope got the possession of the Farm, but I do not recollect the terms of that agreement.
6. My opinion is that there was a written instrument signed by me, surrendering the possession of the leased premises to Mr. Pope after the Hotel was burned, and I think the consideration I received therefor from Mr. Pope was $200. At the time of making the lease I did estimate that there was any benefit to me to be divided from that clause therein by which Mr. Pope was to furnish wood for the use of the Hotel; at that time it was estimated that the amount I was to pay for the wood would be the value of the wood.
Thomas Pearsall, Witness
Mrs. Mary Coffee’s Answer to Interrogatories
“The deposition of Mary Coffee taken by me at the House of Mrs. Mary Coffee in the County of Lauderdale and state of Alabama on this the 2nd day of May 1845 pursuant to the within enclosed commission to me directed by the Register of the 28th Chancery District of the Northern division of said courts in said state and issuing out of said court to be read on the trial of a cause pending in said Court in behalf of the complainants wherein Martin Harkins, Robert W Brahan et al are complainants and Willis Pope Sr et al are defendants which said witnesses after having been by duly sworn and solemnly cautioned on the Holy Evangelist of Almighty God the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth to speak did depose in answer to the Several Chief and cross interrogatories to them propounded and herein enclosed in the manner following viz Mrs. Mary Coffee being first examined deposes in
answer to the Several Chief and cross interrogations to her specially propounded as follows viz
1. I have been acquainted with the parties to this suit for some years.
2. I have known Percifer T Pearson intimately for upwards of fifteen years prior to his death.
2. & 3. After I heard that said Pearson had made an assignment to Willis Pope Jr I went to Florence and found said Pearson in great distress of mind and intoxicated. I then returned home and sent my son Alexander D Coffee after him and had him brought out to my house. When he arrived he was intoxicated but not so much as he appeared to have been; he seemed to be suffering more from the effect of his previous drunkenness, than present intoxication. After sleeping that night he seemed next day composed and rational, but was still weak and feeble from his previous
intoxication and distress of mind.
On the day that said Pearson executed a deed in Trust to S C Posey for the use of Robert W Brahan he seemed quite rational, tho’ he was still weak in body. I conversed with him frequently on that day about his business. In his conversation he talked rationally and spoke of his business in such a manner as to prove to my mind that he was rational. As said Pearson had been an intimate friend of the family I bestowed a good deal of personal attention to his condition and his wants as I was anxious to have him restored he having been my agent in important transactions which were unsettled; his mental condition was therefore particularly noticed by me. I do not recollect the day of the month, or the date on which he executed the trust deed above described, yet I remember the occurrences of that day so far as Pearson was concerned; for the reason that I felt much interest in his condition.
The said Posey called to see said Pearson the day before he executed the trust deed to him for the use of said Brahan. Pearson was still unwell from the effects of his intoxication as above stated, and I did not wish him to be interrupted or disturbed by business, especially that connected with his recent failure, as it preyed heavily upon his mind. And I advised said Posey to come back next day. He returned next day when said Pearson executed said Trust deed to him said Posey and Pearson appeared to be quite rational on that day. After said Posey left on that day said Pearson seemed to be very well satisfied that he had executed said deed, and said to me frequently if his affairs were well managed he would have enough to pay all his debts.
4. I sent for said Pearson to get him sober and in a condition to do business, and in further answer to this Interrogatory I refer to and adopt my answer to the 3rd Interrogatory.
1. I allude to the assignment made to S C Posey. I was not present when said Pearson executed a trust deed to Willis Pope Jr. for the benefit of A J Hutchings, and know nothing of his condition when said deed was executed.
2. I frequently called at said Pearson’s Store but never saw him drunk. I heard however that he was intemperate at night and I have no doubt he was, as his appearance indicated it.
3. I can not recollect the day of the month he came out to my house but it was two or three days before he executed the deed to said Posey. Sd Pearson was brought out from Florence by Alex. D Coffee in a carriage, and did not return to Florence ‘till after he executed said deed to said Posey. As I have already stated he was intoxicated when he came out to my house, but was suffering more, from the effects of his previous, than his present drunkenness. I can not state how long he had been intoxicated when he arrived at my house, he was taken to a room, washed, shaved, and dressed. I did not see him for two or three hours after he arrived - then he was not silly, but in great mental distress, as much so as any person I every saw. After Pearson came out no liquor was given to him for two or three days only as medicine and this his debilitated condition required. He was sober shortly after he arrived.
A day or two after he executed said Trust deed to said Posey, he bribed a negro to bring him liquor from Town and got very drunk. I found several bottles he had hid, one in his bed. I thought it advisable to send for a Physician and called in Dr. Hampton J Posey. He said Pearson was at that time affected with something like delirium Tremens. The
Doctor gave him some remedies and restored him. He got sober the first day after he got out to my house and remained so till he got the stolen liquor above spoken of, when he got drunk again. After he recovered from
the last mentioned drunkenness, he remained sober till he returned to Florence. He went to Florence several times and returned without getting drunk, but after a while he would go to Town and get drunk, and then he went to Florence and remained.
The deed executed to said Posey was done as well as I now remember on the 2nd or 3rd day after he came out above spoken of. On the day said Pearson executed that deed as I have already stated, said Pearson was walking about the house and conversed with one freely about his business, and as well as I remember sat at the table with the family,
and took his meals.
4. I have stated my motive in sending for said Pearson in my answer to 4th Interrogatory. I do not know what was his motive for coming other than the motive of having a home and retreat from his troubles, etc. I repeat he got sober on the day he came to my house, and remained some three or four days or as I suppose till about the 22nd Oct of that year. I was not present when said deed was executed. Shortly after it was done he came into the sitting or dining room and expressed himself highly gratified at what he had done; he spoke of the deed and seemed to
understand it fully and expressed himself as satisfied that he would have enough to preserve his securities from loss. At the time of the execution Pearson was feeble in body, but was walking about the house. The subjects of his conversation were different from those when he was in health and prosperity. His mind was harrassed on the subject of his failure and did not seem so vigorous as when he was undisturbed. Yet his mind was not flighty. He was greatly mortified at his failure in business, and had much conversation with me, with a view to satisfy me that gaming had not been the cause of his misfortunes and further this deponent saith not and hereunto subscribes her name.
Deposition of Ferdinand Sannoner
I am acquainted with the parties to this suit and have been for many years.
2. I was intimately acquainted with Percifer F Pearson in his lifetime. I cannot state what was the condition of said Pearson’s mind on the 20th October 1838. I do not know when he made the assignments here spoken of but I considered him when sober competent to transact business about the time he gave up his store to Willis Pope Jr.
3. I did consider him up to the time of his assignment of his property, an intelligent business man when sober and that he had sufficient business capacity when sober to transact business about that time.
1. Cross Inter.
... I believe said Pearson was a confirmed drunkard after he gave up his store.
Interrogatory to Robert M Patton
If you state that there was a decline in the business of Tavern Keeping at the Eagle Hotel from 1840 to the time the House was burned, declare fully whether or no said House in the years 1840 and 1841 was no negligently and badly kept. Now declare if it had been well kept in those years whether or no there would have been any declension in the
business of the House and if any to what extent. Jas Irvine, Solicitor for Complainants
Deposition of James Thustin
1. I am acquainted with the parties to this suit and have been for four or five years.
2. Deponent states that Thomas Pearsoll took possession of the Eagle Hotel in Florence on the 1st day of December 1841 together with the furniture and appurtenances belonging to said establishment under a verbal or unwritten agreement, substantially as follows, Pope at that time was in the possession of said Hotel and had several yearly
boarders, the precise number I cannot now state and he proposed to let Pearsall have the possession of the Hotel etc. up to the first day of January following provided he Pearsoll would continue to board those who were already regular boarders at the House for and on account of said Pope, without charge, during said month of December. This proposition was accepted by said Pearsoll and he entered the Hotel under it and deponent believes that Mr. Pope made out and collected the (bills) against those who boarded at the Hotel under said agreement during the month of December aforesaid, at all events he had the right to retain and collect them on his own account as he received no other consideration as rent of said Hotel for the month of December aforesaid other than the right to collect the board bills aforesaid.”
Thustin said that furnishings included about 40 feather beds and the usual quantity of bedding, a large number of mattresses, probably 30 or 40, about 50 bedsteads, double and single, about 120 common Windsor chairs (a plain durable article) and about 30 common wash stands and the same number of small common tables for the use of the sleeping rooms. “There were also dining tables, crockery, and cooking utensils. He thinks the furniture at the time was worth about $1200.00.”
Thustin said that the furniture in the first and second story of the Hotel was of an ordinary character such as is generally used in the public houses of the country; the articles were plain but strong and suitable for such an establishment. The beds in the third story, and there were probably 7 or 8, were mostly well worn? and were of less
value than those in the other parts of the building.
Alexander H Wood deposition
“I have resided in Florence for 23 years or upwards. I have been and am still acquainted with the rates of which real estate in said Town has rented for the last ten years. The annual value or rent of real estate has diminished within the last ten (years). It has been lower since 1839 and 40 than at any time previous, all kinds of real estate in this town has depreciated from former prices at least 50 per cent. I consider the rent of the Eagle Hotel in 1841 without furniture including the Barber’s and Tailor’s shop and excluding the Lot No. 74, worth $575.
For several years prior to the 1st January 1842 the Eagle Hotel was rented or leased to Willis Pope Sr at about $1000. per annum including buildings of all kinds, fixtures and furniture, as deponent is informed and believes.
I do not think Lot No 74 mentioned in defendants interogatory is in a business part of the town, nor do I think it desirable for a private residence. It is generally occupied but not by profitable tenants. There is an old Brick House situated on it, a common log stable and it is enclosed with a plank fence. I have stated before that I thought the
annual rent thereof was about $50.00.
Robert M Patton deposition
P F Pearson and myself were joint purchasers of the Eagle Hotel at a sale thereof under trust deed and afterwards permitted Caruthers and Kimble to become equally interested with us in the purchase, each party owning one third. We as owners purchased furniture for said House from Cincinnati and elsewhere, the cost of which was upwards of $3,000.00. The Hotel was kept about one year by Michael Erskine and the owners thereof under the superintendence of said Erskine. I think the Hotel was afterwards leased to Willis Pope and then to Matthew Neal at the rate of $1000. per annum. I do not recollect how long said Pope and Neal kept it. The lease included the House and furniture. I considered $1000 fair rent for said Hotel and furniture. I think there has been a declension in the business of Tavern Keeping at that Stand and all other places in this country from the time it was leased to Pope and Neal until it was
consumed in 1841.
I have a personal knowledge as to the manner in which said House was kept in the year 1841. I have frequently heard complaints as to the manner in which said House was kept. My impression is that there was a general declension in the business of tavern keeping in this country owing in a great measure to the embarrassments of the times. I cannot say that the declension of business at the Hotel aforesaid was greater than that at other public houses in this country at that time. ... He sold his interest being one third of the House and furniture to Willis Pope Sr about the time said Pope last took possession of said Hotel in or about the year 1836.
Thomas J Crow Answer to Interrogatories
I am acquainted with most of the parties and have been for the last ten or fifteen years. I was well acquainted with Peter Saffarans in his lifetime; he died in the fall of 1840. I would say that the annual rent of the furniture of the Eagle Hotel at the time T Pearsall took possession thereof would be 20 per cent on its value. I would suppose the value of the rent or use of said furniture for five years would be 20 per cent on its estimated value annually. I would estimate the annual rent of Lot No 74 from 1st January 1841 at about $60.00.
I reside in Florence now and have done so for the last 20 or 21 years. I have been acquainted with the rates at which real estate has rented for many years past. The value of the rent of real estate in the Town of Florence has greatly diminished within the last ten years. It has been lower since 1839 and 1840 than at any previous period. I would say that the rent of real estate in the Town of Florence has depreciated from 25 to 30 per cent taking rents generally within the last four or five years. I would estimate the rent of the Eagle Hotel in Florence in the year 1841 without furniture at about $720. This estimate includes the lot No. 74 and the houses of Stewart and Rapier above spoken of.
The Eagle Hotel was rented to Willis Pope Sr for several years prior to the 1st January 1842 and was rented as deponent is informed and believes at $1000. pr annum. The Eagle Hotel was not worth as much at the time it was consumed, as it was in the year 1837. ...
I would estimate the value of the House occupied by John Rapier in 1841 as a Barber Shop on Lot No. 75 at $25. pr annum, that of the House occupied by James W Stewart in 1841 as a tailor shop at $60 pr annum from that time till the present.
Lot No 74 is not in a business part of the Town nor is it in a desirable place for a private residence. It is generally occupied by some person. It has on it a brick house, in bad repair, a log stable and is enclosed by a plank fence. It is worth $60. pr annum rent.
Thos J Crow
To: James Sample, William Crow, Jacob Williams, James Chambers.
Declare whether you or either you have ever been employed by Willis Pope to do any repairs to the property formerly owned by Christopher Cheatham afterwards by Thomas Pearsall and since then occupied by said Pope, adjoining the Town of Florence. If so declare the character of the repairs so done by you when done and the value thereof the amount paid you therefor, by whom paid and when. ....
J W Stewart deposition
In the year 1842 whilst I was a tenant of Willis Pope, one of the defendants in this cause, occupying the small framed tenement described in this interrogatory as situate on Lot No 76 as a Taylor shop, I was authorized by said Pope to make certain repairs to be deducted out of the rent to be paid him therefor. Accordingly I found shingles, nails,
etc and had said house recovered. This was indispensably necessary both to the preservation of the House and the occupancy thereof. The repairs cost me at least $25.75 which amount was deducted out of the rents due by me to said Pope for the year 1842.
William S Crow deposition
In the year 1841, I was employed by Willis Pope, William Allen being then my partner in the carpenter business to repair the roof of the Eagle Hotel and hang a door, for which we charged said Pope five dollars and fifty cents. I considered the repairs necessary and proper. Willis Pope paid me.
I was employed by Willis Pope in the year 1842 to make repairs on the house now occupied by him. ... I covered one side of the dwelling house and fixed the cornish for which I charged him $67.50. I also repaired the valey and charged $1.00. These repairs I considered necessary. Said Pope paid me, therefor on the 26th September 1844 as appears in my books, also in the years 1843, 4, 5, I did other repairs on said house which I considered necessary; they amounted in all to $46.50. W Pope has paid me I suppose for all; there has been a running account between us, and I have no doubt I am now indebted to him. Said Pope bought the shingles, most of them from Mr. Curtis, say fifteen thousand four hundred, I do not know what said Pope gave pr Thousand. I would suppose at that time they were worth about $2.50 pr thousand. I covered the Kitchen which is included in the above item of account on Pope. It took about 4,000 shingles, they were purchased from William Billingsly; I gave $2.00 pr thousand last fall, and would consider that their value then. On the 1st January 1845, I repaired for Willis Pope the small frame building on lot No 76 occupied at this time by John G Warren and Jno Rapier. I put in a sill and other repairs which I considered necessary and proper for which I charged him $10.00. As I stated above I suppose I am paid, but cannot state with certainty not having settled
Jacob Williams deposition
I was employed by said Willis Pope to make a gutter and spout, repair fire place, clean out gutter, make valley gutter and eave gutter, for which said Pope paid me in all $49.95. I considered the above repairs necessary and proper. This work was done by me from the 8th December 1841 to the 26th April 1842 inclusive, as appears on my books. It was
due 1st January 1843 and I suppose was punctually paid. The work above described was done on the house now occupied by said Pope. My charges were customary. I also did repairs on the Eagle Hotel on valley and eave gutter in 1840 for which said Pope paid me about $5.00. ... I purchased 250 bricks from the wreck of the Eagle Hotel after it was burned from said Willis Pope, for which I paid him $1.00.
Robert Andrews deposition
A policy was issued by me to said Pope on said property as the agent for the Nashville Insurance and Trust Company, in the month of December 1841 for one year covering $3,000 on which said Pope then paid me 1 pr cent premium being $30.00 He also paid me at that time $1.00 for the policy and for the Survey $___. A great deal of the property in and Florence of value was insured about that time. A large amount of valuable property has been destroyed by fire in and about the Town of Florence within the last few years, amounting in all I would suppose $30,000.
I never did any work on the Eagle Hotel in Florence. I was employed by Willis Pope to do repairs on the House formerly occupied by Christopher Cheatham and at present by said Pope described in this Interrogatory viz splicing hand rails of porch, cellar door and frame, repairing floor in back porch, splicing columns, back porch finding? timber, and curbing well, finding 1 pair of hinges and 1 joist, and doing repairs on front porch, amounting in all to the sum of $20.50. I was paid that amount by said Pope in 1843 in which year said repairs were done. I considered them necessary at the time they were done, both to the safety and durability of the House. I have no knowledge of any materials purchased by said Pope except some nails the amount of which I cannot state. The repairs were worth what said paid for them.
I am not sufficiently acquainted with the property at present occupied by said Pope, to state what is the value of the annual rent thereof.
I have answered most of this Interrogatory in my examination in chief except as to my knowledge of the necessity of said repairs, as to which I will say I am a House Carpenter by profession, and from my knowledge of the condition of the House I considered said repairs necessary both to the comfort and durability of said house. I purchased of Willis Pope ten thousand brick from the wreck of the Eagle Hotel since it was burned for which said Pope charged me $4.00 pr thousand.
H A Pope deposition
Willis Pope did repair on the property refered to in this Interrogatory, and at present occupied by him in the way of painting. He employed for that purpose, Mr. Hogan Matin? who then resided in the Town of Florence, and who I believe now resides in Huntsville. This work was done in the year 1843, on the front and back porches on the front parlor and bedroom doors, this account therefor amounted, I think, to about $17.00 which was paid him by said Pope. Said Pope did purchase a set of steps from William S Crow in the year 1844 for which Pope paid him ten dollars, to
be attached to the front of said building.
I was well acquainted with the condition of the house, and considered the painting done requisite to the preservation of that part of the building on which it was applied. The steps, I also considered necessary.
James Sample deposition
I was employed by Willis Pope in 1840 to do certain repairs on the Eagle Hotel then occupied by said Pope as a tavern and described in this Interrogatory and accordingly did brick work on said House and appurtenances to the amount of $93.10 1/2. A small portion of this account consisted of lime furnished said Pope for white washing, etc.. I also did work for said Pope on said Hotel in the year 1841 to the amount (including a small quantity of lime furnished) of $17.25. Said work in 1840 and 1841 consisted principally in building a chimney on Tavern lot in the frame House now jointly occupied by John G Warren and John Rapier, laying hearths, putting in backs to fire places, fixing jams, and paving in part the front of said Lot on which said Hotel stood before burnt.
I considered the repairs by me done on said Hotel necessary and proper and have received payment therefor from said Pope.
I was employed by said Willis Pope in 1842 and 1843 to do certain repairs on the House now occupied by him and described in this Interrogatory to the amount of $18.00. 50 cents thereof being done in 1841, for which I have received full payment from said Pope. This work consisted mainly in raising a chimney higher on the kitchen, repairing backs, hearths etc. I considered the repairs by me done necessary.
I am acquainted with the property at present occupied by said Pope as a dwelling near Florence, and would estimate the annual rent of said House, and lots adjoining pr annum from 1st December 1841 to the present time to be $200.
I was employed and directed by said Willis Pope to do the repairs on said Hotel above spoken of. I did them in 1840 and 1841. I built a chimney as above described; it was double and amounted to $57.48. From my knowledge of the condition of the streets, I considered the paving above spoken of necessary. The other repairs on hearths, back, etc. I
considered necessary from an inspection of their situation at the time the work was done.
James H Weakley deposition
I know and am well acquainted with the property sold by Thomas Pearsall and wife to Willis Pope mentioned in this Interrogatory. The dwelling House on said property is situated about 3/4 of a mile from the Court House in Florence, the House is situated on the nearest portion to the Court House, and the land runs back about 1 mile and 1/2 from the Court House. I think that $200. would be a fair annual rent of said property from the 1st January 1842, including the out Houses, pastures etc..
Mr. Pope took possession of said property about the 1st Dec 1841 and has occupied the same from that time, till the present. Mr. Pope has been selling wood, but I do not know whether the wood was cut off of the land owned by Pope before the purchase the above property from Pearsall or from the property now in controversy.
I know that said Pope owns 1/4 section of land adjoining the land he purchased of said Pearsall and wife.
L. T Thustin deposition
I am well acquainted with the property sold by Thomas Pearsall and wife to W Pope, Sr. and mentioned in Exhibits “C” and “D” of Complainants bill. It lies something over a half a mile from the Court House in Florence, and I should think that two hundred dollars would be a fair annual rent for the property. Pope took possession of the property that
he purchased of Pearsall and wife on the 1st day of December 1841 and is still in the possession of the same. I know that Mr. Pope has had hands engaged in hauling wood part of the time, for the last two years. ... He owns a 1/4 section of wood Land adjoining the land he purchased of Pearsall on the East side of the same ...
James Sample deposition
Witness states that he bought brick from said Pope, taken from the wreck of said Hotel, say two or three thousand or perhaps more, at four dollars per thousand. I also hauled one thousand brick from said wreck for James Chambers, and I also settled as agent for Mrs. Brandon for the hauling of five thousand brick, as I understood, from the wreck of said Hotel. I do not know what said Pope received for said brick, but I would estimate their value at about $3.00 per thousand.
I paid said Pope 4 dollars per thousand for the hard whole brick I received. I do not know what he received for the others alluded to by me in my answer to the 2nd Interrogatory.
25 February 1839. I Sidney C Posey as trustee of Percifer F Pearson, for and in consideration of the sum of $1301.00 to me in hand paid by Robert W Brahan, Peter Saffarans and Martin Harkins .. sell unto Brahan, Saffarans and Harkins: the undivided third part of Lot No. 75, known as the Eagle Hotel bounded on the east by Court Street, south by the public square, north by the lot and residence of William W Garrard and by the brick tenement occupied by Joseph S Sloss, west by an alley and south by the public square. Also part of Lot No. 123 ...
20 October 1838 Between Percifer T Pearson of the first part and Sidney C Posey of the second part and Robert W Brahan of the third part. ... All his right title and interest in Lot No. 75 .. known as the Eagle Hotel. and does also hereby sell convey and transfer unto the said Posey all the stock of goods the said Pearson has no on hand in his store in the Town of Florence ... Also much other property (including a frame building now occupied by Wm H Allen as a furniture ware room - the same lot formerly occupied by Andrew Blair Stone Cutter. ...
The complainants, Robert M. Brahan, Martin Harkins and the Heirs of Peter Saffarans decd and the defendant Willis Pope in his own right and as Trustee for the heirs of Mary L Pope, decd are owners in common of the fee simple of Lot Numbered 75. Lot 75 was divided up - Willis Pope got the Eagle Hotel. Pope, as trustee for the heirs of Mary L Pope got adjoining property fronting Court Street, Pine Street, and Mobile Street.
Map of Lot No. 75, bounded by Court Street and Tennessee Street