Transcribed by William R. Stout

Source: Jackson County Chancery/Circuit Loose Records
Roll: #90
Available: Tennessee State Library & Archives and Tennessee Technological University Library

Charlotte Stout died intestate December 1888 in Jackson County.

To the Honorable W.W.Wade Chancellor of the 5th Division of Tennessee, residing at Gainesboro in said state.
The Bill of complaint of J.M. Lee a citizen of Jackson county and state aforeĀ¢ said.

Against

William Stout, Allen Sadler, wife Margarette Sadler, Robert Stout,W.M. Brown, wife Mahala Brown, G.W. Goolsby and wife Mary Jane Goolsby, James Stout, Caleb Vinson and wife Harriette Vinson, John Vantreese and wife Margarett Vantreese, the last married who is now dead, leaving the following heirs to wit, Harmil Vantreese and Lassie Vantreese at law who are all the heirs of Charlotte Stout deceased and the brothers and sisters of the whole blood share equally in the distribution of her estate being six in number, all of Jackson Co., except Caleb Vinson and wife Harriette who reside in Sumner Co., Tenn. Allen Sadler and wife Margarette who reside in Putnam Co. and William Stout of White Co. Your Orator states and charges that Charlotte Stout departed this life the ___ day of ___ 1888 in Civil District No. 7 Jackson County Tennessee, lawfully sized and possessed of the following described tract or parcel of land by deed of convey from W.H. Botts, bearing date January 15th 1885, and which is registered in the Registers office, in and for said county in land deed book D 156, which deed is here referred to for contents and marked exhibit "A", to this bill but will not be confined and bounded as follows to wit- "Bounded on the West by the lands of Wm. Stout, South by the lands of T.W. Kings heirs or widow, East by George Stout, North by W.H. Amistead, being the same lands for which I gave Charlotte Stout a Tittle Bond, some ten or twelve years ago" Your orator further states and charges that he has purchased all of the following heirs their portions of said estate and holds their deeds restrictively for their undivided interests in said land; and are as follows to wit; One deed from Robert Stout, Wm. Stout Jr and Allen Sadler and wife Margarett Sadler, Jointly for their interests in said land (un readable word) their distributive shares in the same and for the consideration of fifty dollars, which deed bears date February (?) 15th 1889, and is here referred to for contents and marked as Exhibit "B", to this bill, but need not be copied, also are other deed from (Wm. Brown and Mahala Brown) for their individual interests in said land, which said deed is for consideration of five dollars, being dated March the 30th 1889, marked exhibit "C" to this Bill but will not be copied, but referred to for contents. And also another deed from G.W. Goolsby and his wife Mary Jane Goolsby for all their interests in said land for the consideration of five dollars and bears the date the 18th day of May, 1889, which said deed is here referred to for contents but need not be copied and marked exhibit "D" to this Bill. Your orator further charges that he is the lawful owner of the land sought to be conveyed by exhibits B. C. and D and paid to the parties therein the amounts mentioned. Your orator further charges that he is entitled to the rents and profits of the amount conveyed to him from the state of his purchase. He states and charges the truth to be that said land is not susceptible of advantageous partition in kind among those entitled. It is a small hill or ridge farm with not sufficient wood and water for each as there are six shares in said land and to cut the same up into six parts would be ruinous to the whole parcel and damage the interest of those entitled. Hence he asks for a sale of the same and distribution of proceeds - he states and charges that he owns one half interest in said land. The jurist considered your orator prays that those named as such in the caption of this Bill be made defendants thereto. Let copy and all necessary process to bring them before the court. Let guardian adult be appointed for the minors and that he answer and defend this suit for them. He asks for an account for the rents and profits due him for the years 1888 and 1889, or since he has been in possession of the same. He asks that said land by decree of this honorable court be sold for cash to the highest bidder. Also that the proceeds arising from said sale be divided among those entitled to the same and that his own half interest together with the interest of those entitled be decreed to them respectively by decree of this Honorable Court, and as in duty bound he will even pray.
SIGNED:
Martrau M. Cox
Solmon Cornfelt

BOND FOR COST. No._____________
Know all Men by these Presents, That we, J.M. Lee as principal and Celay Reeves Security are held and firmly bound unto Wm. Stout and Others in the just and full sum of Two Hundred Fifty Dollars, for the payment of which, well and truly to be made, we and each of us, bind ourselves, our heirs, executors and administrators, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents.

Signed with our hands, and dated this 8 day of Aug 1889.
The Condition of the above Obligation is such, That whereas, the above bound J.M. Lee hath the day of the date hereof filed a certain Bill of Complaint in the Chancery Court at Gainiesboro Tenn against the above named Wm. Stout and Others as Defendants. Now, if the said Complainant J.M. Lee shall well and truly prosecute said suit or bill with effect, or pay such costs and damages as may be awarded against him by the Court having cognizance thereof, then the above obligation to be void; otherwise to remain in full force and effect.
Signed: J.M. Lee
Celay Reeves

J.M. Lee
Vs Decree Confirming Report
Of C & M
Wm. Stout and Others
Be it Remembered that on this the 1st day of September 1890, this cause came on to be heard before the Hon. B.M. Webb Chancellor. When the report of the C & M on motion was ordered to be confirmed. Which report is in the words & figured towit. (Here It is therefore ordered adjudge and secured by the Court that said report be & the same is in all things confirmed.


The separate answer of James Stout to the Bill of Complaint filed against him on the 8th day of August 1889 by J.M. Lee in the Chancery Court at Gainesboro Tennessee. Respondent saving all right of exceptions to said bill for answer hereto onto so much and such parts thereof as he is advised is material for him to make answer unto answering & says, He admits the death of Charlotte Stout, as stated, but denies that she died seized & possessed of any land at all; Respondent says that on the 1 day of _____ 1882 Charlotte Stout was owner of the tract of land mentioned in the bill the same by title bond and the purchase money of which was due to M.H. Botts her vendor and the said Charlotte Stout then being old and infirm with no meAns:with which to pay said purchase money and being unable to support herself & keep up said farm & pay the taxes thereon accrued and accruing made a parall contract of sale of said land with defendant James Stout & his brother Robert Stout both being sons of the said Charlotte by which it was agreed that in consideration on that said brothers would take charge of said farm pay taxes which had accrued & was accruing, pay said purchase money which amounted to sixty six dollars and support keep and pay doctors bills of their mother the said Charlotte for asnd during the balance of her natural life, she the said Charlotte for the consideration on aforesaid sold said land to this defendant this said brother and agreed to give them possession of the same & thereupon under said agreement she turned the absolute full & complete possession of said land over to them & they in accordance with said agreement on said _____ day of ______ 1882 took actual & adverse possession thereof and occupation by enclosure by fence and continued to hold and claim the same as their own from the inception of their possession upto the ____day of ______1883 when by the consult and agreement of the said Charlotte it was agreed by & between her & the said Robert Stout and this defendant that said Robert Stout for & in consideration of this defendant agreeing to pay him for the work he had done on the place and agreeing to keep board & take care of their mother & pay her doctors bills during the remainder of her natural life & also to pay all the purchase money, sold out an delivered possession of his one half interest in said tract of land to this defendant to all of which said Charlotte consulted and agreed to take this defendant for the same and this defendant continued to hold & claim said land for himself adversely to all others having the same enclosed by fence all the time from said last mentioned contract up to the filing of complaint ant's bill.

And defendant fiurther says that he has fully complied with his part of said contract and agreement that pursuance of his said purchase and as owner of said land responded during his said possession paid said purchase money debt improved the land by clearing up & fencing the same building a barn stables and otherwise improving the same in value to a considerable amount as well as paid the taxes thereon and maintained said Charlotte Stout up to her death which occurred on the __ day of December 1888, respondent further avers that his said possession commenced in the lifetime of said Charlotte Stout and has been continuously open notorious and adverse from said time to the present.

He denies that he is a tenant in common with complainant or that he is joint owner with him & pleads the above matters in barr of the bill.

Respondent neither denies or admits the existence validly of exhibits "B", "C", & "D" to complainants bill but calls for strict proof thereof and respondent says that the vendor or sellor in said supposed conveyances has not himself, his ____ tenants or ancestors been in the actual possession of the lands or tenements or the reversions on remainder or taken rents or profits thereof for one whole year next before the sale, sought to be established by said exhibits but that said land was in the adverse possession of respondent at the time of said supposed sale and a long time prior thereto as heretofore set out this answer therefore respondent says that supposed conveyances are champertous and void, he pleads and relies upon said matter in bars to relief sought in said bill. He denies that complaint is the owner of any pass of said land. And having fully answered he prays to be ____ dismissed,
J. Haile &
J.T. Anderson
For Respontent
James Stout makes oath that the foregoing answer is true to the best of
his knowledge & belief
His
James X Stout
Mark
Sworn to & subscribed before me This Dec. 1, 1890 B.A. Bulter DC&M

Note: Another Statement was made earlier in the year(January 27, 1890) and stated same information but was notarize by Henry T Loftis.


Affidavit

The complain tent J.M. Lee makes oath under form of Law, that the land mentioned and described in his Bill, was owned by Charlotte Stout and was acquired by him up to the time of her death. And that after her death the same descended to all the heirs of said deceased in common and that one of the heirs to wit, James Stout is now in the possession of said land and that too made some sort of claim that known to the other heirs and against their will Afficant living very recently that said James Stout is now setting some kind of pretend adverse claim to said land or a portion of it. Afficant is part owner of said land of purchase from same of the heirs as shown by his Bill. Said James is in solute and is litigating for mere delay as he believes so as to keep possession of said land and pay no rent. He is only entitled to a child's part of same.

Afficiant therefore prays to be permitted to file this as an amendment to his Bill and that the Court order that a receiver be appointed to take charge of said land and rent the same out.
J.M. Lee

Report of Clerk

In this case in obedience to an interlocutory order made at the last term of this Court, to rent out the lands described in the pleadings, I rented out the same to James Stout for the year 1890 at the price of Forty 05/100 dollars. I took a note for the same due Nov 15 1890 with Wm Brown and W.T. Dawes his security retaining a lien on the products raised on said farm for the present year to further secure rent, which note is good. Said James Stout bid was the highest and best bid offered for the rent of said premises.

All of which is respectfully submitted to the February letter 1890 of
the Chancery Court
James W. Stafford C&M
Receiver.
Report of C&M as to Renting
I, James W. Stafford C&M of the Chancery Court of Jackson County, Tenn in obedience to the order of the Court made at its last term after advertising the time and place of renting the lands offered the same for rent for the year 1891 to the highest bidder when James Stout became the renter for the sum of Twenty dollars he being the highest and best bidder for same the same was struck off to him and he executed his promissory note for same with John Vantrease his security and retained a lien on the products raised on said place to further secure said note.

All of which is respectfully submitted to the February letter 1891 of the Chancery Court

James W. Stafford C&M


State of Tennessee - Jackson County
To the Sheriff of White County

Greetings
You are hereby commanded to summon
Wm Stout
If to be found in your county to personally appear before the Chancellor holding the Chancery Court at Gainesboro Tenn, at the Court House in the town of Gainesboro Tenn on the first Monday in September next to make defense to the Bill of Complaint filed by J.M. Lee against him and Others in our said Chancery Court.herein said note and make due return of this wit showing how you have executed same.

Witness James W,. Stafford Clerk & master of said Chancery Court at Office in Gainesboro Tenn the 1st Monday in february 1889 and 113th year of American Independence.
James W. Stafford C&M
Know all men by these presents that we Robert Stout Wm Stout and Allen Sadler & wife Margarett Sadler liens of law of Charloty Stout have this day bonded and sold & do herby convey to J.M. Lee for the consideration of fifty dollars ten shone our undivided interest in the lands of said Charloty Stout our _____ one share each said lands. Tying and being in Civil district 1107 of Jackson County Tennessee and known as the old George Stout track and bonded as _____ on the north by Walker Vinson and G.W. Stout East by G.W. Stout and __ Decknard? South by Vitatoe West by Wm Stout We convenience with J.M. Lee that are lawfully leines of the said land and have _____ wright to convey the same and in_____ our sellers our heirs and representations to _____ and defend the Title to the same against all lawful claimants whomsoever given under our hands and seals this 25 day of February 1889.
His
Received on file for the same Robert X Stout
Mark
His
William X Stout Jr
Mark
His
Allen X Sadler
Mark
Her
Margarett X Sadler
Mark

Personally affirmed before me D.H. Armstead a notary republic in and for said county Robert Stout & Allen Sadler also Robert Stout agent for Wm Stout Jr with whom I am personally acquainted and acknowledge the fore going deed to be their actual deed for the purpose ___ contained given under my hand and official seal this the 25 day of February 1889.
D. H. Armstead
Notary Republic for Jackson County
Appeared before me D.H. Armstead a notary republic in and for said county Margarett Sadler separate and apart from her husband and acknowledged the due execution of the same of her free will and accord without fear on compulsion upon the hand of her husband understanding the purpose therein contained. Given under my hand and official seal this the 26 day of February 1889
D.H. Armstead


Mr J.M. Lee

You are hereby notified that on the 17 day of January 1891 at the office of the Clerk & master at the Court House in Gainesboro Tenn. We will take the depositions of Wm Dawes James Dawes Walker Vinson Wm O'Neil John Vantrease George Stout Wid Key(believe to be Keith) James Stout Marion Key( again Keith) Henry Pippin. To be read as evidence in behalf of defendants in the case of J.M. Lee vs Wm Stout Etals now pending in the Chancery Court of Jackson Co. Tenn and will continue from day to day until all are taken.
This Jan. 5. 1891
James Stout
We the parties defendant in a suit now pending and lately filed in the Chancery Court at Gainesborough, Jackson County Tennessee _____ J.M. Lee against William Stout and others and undetermined. Have no desire whatsoever to defebd the same and have not and will not employ any solicitor of this court for that purpose; and any attempt that has been made in that direction has not been authorized by us or either of us This the 6 day of Sept. 1889 Signed with their marks by the following: Robert Stout ,John Vantrease, Caleb Vinson, Harrette Vinson William Brown, Malaha Brown. Robert signed for William Stout as agent. One set of signatures unreadable.

Know all men by these presents that we Wm Brown & wife Mahala Brown have this day bonded and sold to J.M. Lee for the consideration of five dollars to was payed all our right & title to a certain parcel of land. T____ and being in civil district 1107 of Jackson County and bounded by the lands of Walker Vinson G.W. Stout Wm Stout & others and known as Charloty Stout land. Our interest being 1/3 of one share said land being undivided we covenant with the said J.M. Lee that we are lawfully seized of said land & have a perfect wright to convey the same & we further bind our selves our heirs & representing to forever defend said title against all lawful claimants whomever.
This the 30 day of March 1889
Signed with their marks and notarized by D.H. Armstead.


Answer of Guardian

The answer of R. A. Cox guardian adulate of Fannie Vantrease and Lassie Vantrease minor heirs of Margarett Vantrease decd. Who was a daughter of Charlotte Stout decd. To the Bill of Complaint of J.M. Lee filed in the Chancery Court at Gainesboro Tenn on the 8th of Aug 1889 against Wm Stout & others.

Respondant saving and reserving to himself the usual exceptions for answers to said Bill for to. So much and parts of same as he is adverse is material for him to answer unto answers and says he admits the death of Charlotte Stout as charged and that she died In testate seized and possessed of the lands mentioned and that his wards are heirs at law of said decease but as to all other matters charged in the Bill respondant neither admits or denies and requires strick proof upon all Quest:ions which affect the interest of his said wards. And here calls on the honorable court who is the peculiar guardian of minors to guard and protect the rights of his wards and having fully answered prays to be heirs demised
R. A. Cox
Guardian Salitum
R.A. Cox makes oath that the above answer is true in substance and full to the best of his information and belief and subscribes before me this
affidavit R.A. Cox
B A Bulter C&M


State of Tennessee - Jackson County
To the Sheriff of said county
Greeting:

You are hereby commanded to summon
Robert Stout
Wm Brown & wife Mahala Brown
G.W. Goolsby & wife Mary Jane Goolsby
James Stout
John Vantrease
Fannie Vantrease
Lassie Vantrease
Caleb Vinson & wife Harriette Vinson

If to be found in your county to personally appear before the Chancellor holding the Chancery Court at Gainesboro for Jackson County Tenn, at the Court house on the 1st Monday in September next to make defense to the Bill of Complaint filed against them and others in our said court Herein file out.

Witness James W. Stafford Clerk & Master
At Office in Gainesboro Tenn the 1st Monday in February AD 1889 amd American Independence the 113 year
James W. Stafford C&M


Bill of Sale:

For the consideration of Sixty six dollars to me in law paid I do hereby transfer and convey unto Charlotte Stout & heirs forever a certain track of land lying in the 7th district of Jackson county Tennessee bounded on the west by lands of Wm Stout South by lands of T.W. kings heirs or widow east by George Stout North by D.H. Armstead being the same land I gave said Charlotte Stout a title bond some ten or twelve years ago.

This January 15th 1885
A. West W.H. Botts
J.T. Anderson
A.J. (Can't read name)
Personally appeared before me Jas W. draper Clerk of the county court of
said county W.H. Botts the within named bargainer with whom I am
personally ____and who acknowledged that he executed the witnessed
instrument to be his deed and for the purpose therein expressed. Witness
my hand at office this Jan 15th 1885
Jas W. Draper Clerk
Register's Office
This Jan 19, 1885 at 8 o'clock A M, I J. H. Chaffin register in & for
the State & County aforesaid do hereby certify that the within deed is
together with the clerks certificate thereto is duly registered in my
office in land deed book D page 156, J.H. Chaffin.

In this case complainants of J.M. Lee does demand a jury and submits the
following issue of fact

  • 1st It is alleged in the Bill that Charlotte Stout died seized and possessed the land mentioned and described in Exhibit "A" to said Bill. This allegation is denied by the answer of James Stout and makes the first issue to be tried by Jury.
  • 2nd It is alleged in the Bill that at the death of said Charlotte Stout said lands descended to her children & heirs at law to wit : William Stout, Margarette Sadler wife of Allen Sadler, Mahala Brown, wife of W.M. Brown, Mary Jane Goolsby, wife of G.W. Goolsby, Harriette Vinson wife of Caleb Vinson, Margarette Vantrease, wife of John Vantrease, or her children , Fannie Vantrease, & Lassie Vantrease and James Stout. This allegation is denied in the answer and makes the second issue to be tried by the Jury.
  • 3rd It is alleged in the Bill that complainant has purchased from Robert Stout, Allen sadler & wife Margarette Sadler, W.M. Brown & his wife Mahala Brown, G.W. Goolsby & his wife Mary Jane & William Stout and Caleb Vinson and his wife Harriett Vinson

[Note: document ends here no further pages found my copy.]

Exceptions to report of C&M filed January 8, 1891
The complainant comes and excepts to the report of the C&M filed in the
cause on the 8th day of January 1891.

1st Because complainant had no notice of the renting and knew nothing of it
2nd Because the land is rented out for less than one half its rental value. The same place having been rented out the last year in this case under the orders of this court for $40.00 And could have been rented for the same or more this year if the complainant had been notified of the renting.
We therefore asks that the report of renting as reported by the C&M be set aside.
Nathan M. Cox
Solr. For Complainant

Complainant prays the judgment of the court is to sufficiency of said answer and that the same be stricken from the files in this cause.
Nathan M. Cox
& W.B. Bulter
Solrs for Complainant

Exceptions-awarded
The complainant J.M. lee excepts to the answer of James Stout because
(next five lines are lined through?)
They being ____ to deny anything stated in the plea by their answer We except because Robert Stout has filed his disclaimer in which he refuses to make any defense whatsoever to said suit. Which is now on file in this cause & has no interest in it. We therefore pray the honorable court to suppress said answer and strike it from the files in this cause.
Nathan M. Cox
Solr. For Complainant

In this cause Nathan M. Cox an M.B. Butler, who are the solicitors of the complainant J.M. lee; make oath in due form of law, that they not either of them were served with notice either written or verbal or in any other maner of the filing of the naswer of James Stout one of the defendants in the above cause on Fri dec 1 1890 or at any other time. Sworn to and transcribed before me this February 4, 1891 Nathan M. Cox B.A. Butler DC&M W.B. Butler

In the case Nathan M. Cox Solr. For complainant makes oath in due form of law that by the mere suggestion of the Clerk & master and that too whaile on the floor and before the court at the instance and re
Quest: of said Clerk and without looking to the papers or report in the case moves the court to have said report confirmed which he would not have done without exception if the same had been made to appear as fully as now developed. He therefore asks that said motion be set aside and that he be permitted to except to said report.
Sworn to & subscribed before me this February 7, 1891 Nathan M. Cox
B.A. Butler DC&M Solr.

Depositions of S.W. Vinson, James Stout, W.M. Neil, Walker Vinson, Wm Dawes, Marion Key(Keith?), George Stout, John Vantrease

Taken before B.A. Bulter DC&M on Jan 17 & 19 upon notice at Coun Office in Gainesboro Tenn in presence of James Stout deft and his solicitor Joshua Baile.


Witness S.W. Vinson also Walker Vinson of lawful age being duly sworn

Quest: State whether or not you are acquainted with the following track of land in the 7th civil district of Jackson county Tennessee and bounded by Walker Vinson and G W stout William Stout 7 known as the land of Charlotte Stout ___ state whether is not said land is fenced up if so how far has it been fenced and who has been in possession of said land for the last five years
Ans: I am acquainted with the land asked of said lands are now fenced up. I have been acquainted the place a good while and it has been fenced up all that time- say 15 years. James Stout has been living on the lands for the last 5 years and has been taking rents and profits of same I suppose
Quest: Say whether or not you was acquainted with Charlotte Stout in her life time and whether or not she was sick and confined to her bed for some time before her death
Ans: I was acquainted with Charlotte Stout in her life time. She was sick for sometime before her death. I suppose she was not able to wait on herself for 3 months before her death perhaps longer.
Quest: Who did she live with before her death and what was it worth to take care of her and pay her Dr. bills. State fully
Ans: She lived with her son James Stout, I don't know what it would be worth to take care of her and pay her Dr. bills. It was worth a might ____ to take care of her and wait upon her. I would think it would be worth $100.00 to take care of her for the length of time above spoken of. It was a day and night business. I don't know what the Dr bills were.
Quest: State whether or not James Stout controlled and used the land while Charlotte Stout was sick and several years prior to her death & claimed it as his own.
Ans: I think he did. I never heard anything to the contrary. James Stout paid the taxes on it every year. Walker X Vinson


Witness James Stout 25 years of age duly sworn states

Quest: Are you one of the defts to the law suit
Ans: I am
Quest: State whether or not you even made any contract with Charlotte Stout in regard to the lands described in Exhibit C to the Bill in this case. State what the contract was and anything as it may know with this case material Ans:Me & my bro Robert Stout made a contract with Charlotte Stout, the contract was if We would take care of her during her life and pay the taxes on the land and also pay off the remainder of the purchase money $66.00 that the land would be ours. Afterwards my bro Robert Stout agreed with me that if I would courfely with the letters of said comntract that he would give up his part of the contract. I complied with all the terms of said contract
Quest: state when it was you made the first contract as near as you can.
Ans: About 8 years ago.
Quest: State whether or not you have been in possession of said lands ever since holding the same adversely claiming it as your own
Ans: I have
Quest: State whether or not said land was all fenced up when you bought it and if not how much was fenced up.
Ans: It was not all fenced up when I first contracted for it. There was 7 or 8 acres thjat was not fenced up.
Quest: How much was in the whole track
Ans: 50 acres
Quest: When did you fence up the remainder of said land Ans:In about one year afterwards
Quest: State what improvements you put on the land & there value
Ans: I built a barn and a shed of a barn.Two fences and a entry. I covered the dwelling house. I also built a crib and stable. I think the improvements all together worth $50.00
Quest: State whether or not the contract made between you and you brother and your mother was in writing about said lands.
Ans: It was not in writing
Quest: State whether or not you are cultivated said land each year after you bought and appropriated the rents , profits and produce as your own
Ans: I did
Quest: State the condition of your mother's health from the time the contract was made till her death Ans:My mother's health was tolerable good up to about a year of her death. She was not able to do much at anytime after the contract was made.
Quest: State whether you cultivated & used said lands as your own.
Ans: I did
Quest: State whether or not it was part of said contract you was to pay your mother's Dr bills
Ans: It was
Quest: State whether or not you paid any Dr bills and if so to whom and for what amount
Ans: I paid $30.00 to Dr Lawson outside of other medicine about $25.00 I paid for her.
Quest: State whether or not it was part of the contract that you was to take care of her during her life and stae whether or not she staid at house all the time after the contract to her death.
Ans: It was part of the contract as atated above and she did stay at my house all the time after to her death.
Quest: State what was the value of said lands at the time of said purchase by you.
Ans: I suppose $150.00. It was all outside and in thickets and most of it was trees sawted down.
Quest: State whether or not you have fenced up and cleared up said lands since you have purchased it.
Ans: I have fenced up most of it and have cleared up most of said lands since my purchase.
Quest: Where did the heirs of Charlotte Stout live at the death of Charlotte and where do they now live. How far from this land do they live.
Ans: Some live one mile & a quarter and some 11/2 miles from said land and one lin about that distance and on lives in White county.
Quest: State whether you ever paid any rents to any of said heirs.
Ans: I never did. I rented to one of my brothers and he paid me once.
Quest: Did you rent the whole of the land to one of your brothers or just a part of it.
Ans: I rented just a part of it.
Quest: Which one of your brothers.
Ans: Will Stout my oldest brother.
Quest: State whether or not you paid the taxes on said lands. If so how long.
Ans: I paid for about 8 years and have receipts to show same in my own name and will file same marked exhibits 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, which will show amounts.
Quest: State whether you was in the actual adverse possession of the lands as of date of filing of the bill in this case and at the date of the Deed filed as Exhibits in this case.
Ans: I was.
Quest: State whether or not your possession of said land has been of noterous, adverse and hostile against all the world ever since your purchase.
Ans: It has been such
Quest: State whether or not that immediately upon the purchase said land Charlotte Stout turned over the possession of said land to you and your Bro and that after said purchase by you from your Bro you kept possession of same up to the present holding the same adversely. Ans:She did and I held it all the time adverse to the world
Quest: State whether or not Charlotte Stout is dead and when did she die.
Ans: She is dead and has been dead 2 years or better Attest B.A. Butler DC&M James X Stout


Witness W.M. Neil age 53 years sworn states:

Quest: State whether or not you are acquainted with Robert Stout James Stout and the balance of the parties of this suit.
Ans: I am.
Quest: State whether or not you ever heard Robt. Stout speak of a trade he ever made with Charlotte Stout and also with James Stout, State all about it.
Ans: Robt Stout told me that he and James had purchased the place from Charlotte Stout and that afterwards he and james Stout had traded, he giving his part up to james Stout, this occured 5 or 6 years ago.
Quest: State whether you are acquainted with said land.
Ans: I am.
Quest: State whether or not James Stout has been using & occupying the same and how long has he been so occupying it.
Ans: That has been my understanding and he has been so occupying it ever since Robt Stout left them.
Quest: State whether or not there had been any improvements put upon said land and what is there value.
Ans: I know of some improvements being put upon said lands, I don't know what their value is and who put them there.
Quest: State whether or not you ever heard James Stout clearing the land and how often cleared it and all about it.
Ans: I heard James Stout Clearing the land. I heard him speak of buying the land from Robert Stout. I heard him say that Bob had gave up his interest in it. I heard this while he was in possession of the land. I heard Jim say that he and Bob was to keep up the old lady during her life and that Bob had given up his part of the land to him and he was to perform the contract. I heard him claim it more than once.
Quest: State whether you was acquainted with Charlotte Stout in her life time and state whether or not she lived with James Stout prior to her death for several years.
Ans: I was acquainted with Charlotte Stout and she lived with James Stout for several years prior to her death. Charlotte Stout was aomewhere in 60 years of age at date of her death.
Quest: Give your best opinion what it would be worth to board and take care of Charlotte Stout and pay her Drs bills for the last 7 or 8 years of her life.
Ans: Of course it would be worth more to board her in her affliction than it would be when she was well. It would be worth $75.00 per year to board and take care of her.
Quest: State what would be a reasonable price for keeping Charlotte Stout for the last 3 months of her life. Supposing she was confined all the time.
Ans: Any one outside of my mother I would not take and take care of when they are confined like she was for $00 per day W.M. Neill


Witness Walker Vinson recalled and states as follows:

Quest: state whether or not you ever heard Robert Stout or james Stout claim said land while they were in possession of said lands. If so state what they said.
Ans: It was my recollection that Robert Stout told me, while he was in possession of said lands that he and James Stout had taken the land and was to pay the purchase money that was due on it and the same was to be theirs. He said their mother had given it up to them in consideration of their doing this, james Stout wanted to rent me some of the land before his mother's death. James Stout after Bob left claimed the land at all times as his own. I think Bob left the land about 7 years ago. Walker X Vinson


Witness Wm. Dawes 39 years of age sworn states:

Quest: Were you acquainted with Charlotte Stout and were you acquainted with the lands in dispute and how long have you known it. How far do you live from it.
Ans: I knew Charlotte Stout. Know the lands in controversy. I live adjoining same. I have known it all my life.
Quest: Are you acquainted with Jas Robt Stout. Did you ever hear either of them claim said lands in controversy while they were in possession of the same. Ans:I am acquainted with James and Robt Stout. I have heard James Stout claim the lands since the purchase from their mother. I have also heard Robt Stout speak of him and james buying the land from their mother and of his letting Jim have his part of the same.
Quest: State whether or not Robt Stout was ever in possession of said lands in connection with James Stout.
Ans: hw was.
Quest: State whether or not you ever heard Charlotte Stout sat she had sold the lands to the two boys and if so state all she said.
Ans: I don't know that I ever heard her say that she had sold to Bob but I heard her say that she had let Jim have it if he would pay off the purchase money on it and keep her up during her life.
Quest: State whether or not James Stout has stayed on said place and cultivated and control it as his own and whether or not Charlotte Stout did live with him up to her death.
Ans: James stout did live on and culivate said lands and claimed iot as his own and Charlotte Stout lived with him up to her death. I had heard her say that Jim was mighty good to her. I had never heard any complaint about him not taking care of her.
Quest: state whether or not James Stout improved said lands. If so what kind of improvements he put on it and their value.
Ans: James Stout did build fences and put some buildings on it. I reckon the improvements he put on it are worth $75.00 or $100.00
Quest: State whether or not James Stout has cultivated said land and using the rents and profits since his purchase.
Ans: James Stout has been cultivating said lands since his purchase and using the rents and profits up to the present.
Quest: State whether or not said lands have been fenced up & how long has it been so fenced.
Ans: Most of the lands have been fenced up for 25 or 30 yrs.
Quest: State the condition of the lands at the time of the trade.
Ans: It was mighty ____ out of repair when James and Bob went there.
Quest: Who was living with Charlotte Stout before James & Bob went to live with her Ans:First one and another lived with her before they went there.
Quest: State whether or not she was a woman of limited meAns:& very sickly and state her age.
Ans: She was of limited meAns:and was feeble health. She was sixty odd years old when Jim & Bob Stout went there. She was an old lady. I don't know exactly her age.
Quest: State whether or not James & Robt Stout were poor boys and had no property scarcely. Ans:They were very poor hard working boys. W. T. Dawes


Witness Marion Keith 25 years of age Sworn states:

Quest: Are you acquainted with James & Robt Stout and also of Charlotte Stout in her life time and also of the lands in controversy. Did you ever rent any of the lands in dispute from James Stout. If so how much lands and when was it.
Ans: I know James & Robt Stout knew Charlotte Stout and am acquainted with the lands in dispute. I rented part of the lands in dispute. It was 7 or 8 yrs ago during the life of Charlotte Stout. I rented 5 or 6 or 7 acres from him.
Quest: State whether or not you ever heard James Stout claim the lands and state whether or not you paid him rents.
Ans: I heard him James Stout claim the lands when I rented it and I paid him the rents.
Quest: State whether or not James Stout has lived on the lands ever since you rented it and has cultivated it and received the rents and profits claiming it as his own.
Ans: James Stout did live on the land when we rented it from him and has k\lived there ever since cultivating it and claiming same as his own.
Quest: State whether or not James Stout has received the profits and products raised on the land and whether or not the lands have been under fence or most of it since he has lived there.
Ans: he has received the profits of products of the land and some of the lands were under fence when he went there but it was rotten. James Stout has fenced some of it off since he has been there.
Quest: State whether or not you was at James Stout when his mother was sick and whether James was good to her and whether she was troublesome to wait upon.
Ans: I was at James Stout when his mother was sick, James Stout Was good to her and she remarked that "her baby(meaning Jas Stout) was very good to her and would often call for her baby when she got very low
Quest: What was it reasonably worth for taking care of Charlotte Stout during her last sickness. Ans:I think $100.00 would be reasonable
Quest: What was the improvements put up by James Stout. State what improvements were made on said place.
Ans: Robt and James Stout built a tobacco barn on the place and shedded one side and built two pews and an entry adjoining it. They also built a crib on it and covered the dwelling houses. Said improvements including the fencing and clearing up and everything worth $75.00 or $100.00.
Quest: State whether or not James Stout has cultivated the lands from the time you rented it up till the present time and has he been in the actual occupation and control of the lands from the time you rented it till the present time. Did you ever hear Charlotte speak about it. If so what did she say.
Ans: James Stout has claimed the land and renting it out and has been in actual occupation and control of the lands all the time from the time I rented it from him to the present time. I heard Charlotte Stout say that she had offered the lands to all rest of them and looked like none of the rest of them would thae hold of it bot Jim and that he paid off the purchase money and she let him have the lands.
Quest: What did you hear Harrett Vinson one of the Defts & one of the heirs say in regard to this lands
Ans: I heard her say that she had received a proposition from J.M. Lee the complainant in this case to buy the lands and she said she sent him word she had no interest to sell to him that it belonged to James Stout
Quest: What was said lands worth at the time of the purchase by complt.
Ans: I think it worth #300.00 Attest B.A. Bulter DC&M
Marion X Keith


Witness George Stout 44 years old sworn :

Quest: State whether you are acquainted with the parties to this suit, Are you related to any of them. If so state what relationship. Are you acquainted with the lands in controversy and were you acquainted with Charlotte Stout in her life time. State whether or not Charlotte Stout Lived with James Stout if so how long. Did you ever hear Charlotte Stout speak about selling the land. If so what did she say. Did you hear any of the rest of them speak of it. If so state what.
Ans: I am acquainted with the parties to this suit. I am cousin to James Stout. I am acquainted with the land in controversy and was acquainted with Charlotte Stout. Charlotte Stout lived with James Stout and lived with him all the time. I heard Charlotte Stout sat that there were some purchase money due on said lands and that she had sold the lands to James Stout and Robert Stout to pay this and keep her up during her life. I heard Bob speak about it and say that he had let James Stout take the lands and pay for it.
Quest: State whether or not there have been any improvements put on said lands. If so state their nature, character and value of same.
Ans: james and Robert Stout put up some improvements consisting of a stable and barn and a shed to the barn and two pews and a entry and also fenced and cleared up the land. The improvements are worth $100.00 to the land.
Quest: Did james Stout claim the lands, open notorious,adverse & hostle to all the world since purchase. Ana He claimed the lands, managed the same & cultivated all the time since his purchased. He used the same , occupied it cultivated it and enclosed the same and has claimed it all the time as his own. His farm adjoins mine. There is a fence between us.
Quest: State whether or not you ever heard Charlotte Stout speak about the lands and whether James & Robert was good to her and all about it.
Ans: yes Sir I have heard Charlotte Stout speak about James Stout paying off the purchase money and that she had let him have it. She said Jim was good to her. This occurred a year or so before her death, perhaps not so long. I have heard her speak of it several times. G.W. Stout Adjourned the further taking of depositions in this case until Monday Jan 19, 1891. Jan 19, 1891 Resumed the further taking of depositions in this case with Witness John Vantrease 32 years of age Sworn states:
Quest: Are you acquainted with the parties in this suit and the lands in controversy. State what you know of James Stout paying off to W.H. Botts the purchase money due by Charlotte Stout on the lands in controversy. State all you may know about it?
Ans: I am acquainted with the parties to this suit and am acquainted with the lands in controversy. Charlotte stout made a contract with James stout in which James Stout was to pay off the purchase money due on said lands and take care of her during her life and take the lands. James Stout sent the money by me. I took money at three different times to W.H. Botts for him which paid off the purchase money due Botts. Botts ____lands to Charlotte Stout.
Quest: Disd James stout keep and take care of the old lady during her life according to said contract.
Ans:Yes, he did as far as I know.
Quest: Did you or not live near James Stout and know that she stayed there all of her life from the time said land trade was made and was she or not much trouble to himtaking care of her.
Ans: I lived near Jas Stout and I know that she stayed with him the balance of her life. I was not there much and I don't know how much trouble she was to him.
Quest: When was it that Jas Stout Took possession of the land. Do you or not know how he has held the same and how long has he held it. Has he held the same as his own and adverse to all the world or adverse to the full extent of the boundary. State fully. Ans:Jas Stout took possessionā€¦..the depositions end here with my copy.

Motion to strike out Plea of Deft Jas' Stout Be it remembered that this cause came on to be heard by and before the Hon. B.M. Webb Chancellor of the 5th Division of the State of Tenn. Holding the Chancery Court at Gainesboro in said State, on this the 2nd day of September 1890. Upon Bill, Exhibits the plea of Deft James Stout and the Motion of the Complainant J.M. Lee to sit down said said plea for argument on the sufficiency of same or the insufficiency of said Plea and argument of counsel on both sides. From all of which it fully appeared to the satisfaction of the Court the Motion of complainant to strike out the Plea of the Deft James Stout for insufficiency as a fore said is well taken and is supported by both the law and Equity of the case and because the same is void under the Statutes of Friends and Purposes. And for other reasons apparent on the face of said Plea. Where upon the Court is of opinion 7 so decrees that said Plea is wholly insufficient in law and equity. From all of which it was made fully to appear to the Court that said Plea of James Stout aforesaid is wholly insufficient and therefore orders that the same be stricken out and taken out of the file of papers in this case and for nothing held . And the deft is hereby given till the second rule day in which to answer so as not to delay the hearing at the next time of this Court. And the Quest:ion of cost is reserved.

Motion to Strike out Plea Complainant moved to strike out the plea of deft James Stout because the same is insufficient because it shows that if time the contract ought to be set with is absolutely void because in violation of the Statute of Frauds & Perjuries. Be cause said Plea owns that Charlotte Stout only held said land by title bond when the deed on file in this case from W.H. Botts to Charlotte Stout. Date jan 15th 1885 which is absolute on its face and convey the estate in here. And defendents Plea was filed on the 27 Jan 1890.

Ans of Guardian The answer of R.A. Cox guardian alletion of Fannie Vantrease and Lassie Vantrease minor heirs of Margarett Vantrease decd who was a daughter of Charlotte Stout decd to the Bill of Complainant of J.M. Lee filed in chancery Court at Gainesboro Tenn on the 8th of Aug 1889 against Wm Stout & others. Respondent saving and reserving to himself the usual exceptions & C for answer to said Bill for to so much and parts of same as he is advised is material for him to answer unto answers and says he admits the death of Charlotte Stout as charged and that she died in testate seized and possessed of the lands mentioned and that his wards are heirs at law of said deceased. But as to all other matters charged in this Bill Respondent neither admits or denies and requires strict proof upon all Quest:ions which affect the interest of his said wards. And here calls on the Honorable Court who is the peculiar guardian of minors to guard and protect the rights of his wards and having fully answered prays to be heirs dis__. R.A. Cox Guardian Salitum Order Came the parties by their solicitors and on Motions of complainants to solicitor and it appearing to the Court from an allegation in complainant's Bill appearing amoung other things that GuardiAns:alliums be appointed for the minors to answer and defend this suit for them. It is therefore ordered by the court that Robert A. Cox a practicing solicitor of this court be and he is hereby appointed Guardian Adlitim for the minors to wit: Frannie Vantrease & Lassie Vantrease , who will file his answer as such intention and make their proper defense. It appearing that said minors are before the courtby service of process more than five days before the present time of this court.

This is all of the documents I received from Mitzi Freeman and transcribed as best as I could due to the difficultly of penmanship of past writers. One statement by J. Haile wasn't transcribed, Penmanship very difficult to read. William R. Stout Las Cruces, NM