Last Will and Testament of Ellen White
IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN.
I, Ellen White, (widow) a resident of Sanitarium, Napa County, California, of the age of eighty-four (84) years, and being at the date hereof of sound and disposing mind and memory, and not acting under duress, menace, fraud or undue influence of any person whomsoever, do make, publish and declare this my last will and testament, in the manner following, that is to say:
FIRST: I direct that my body shall be interred with appropriate religious services of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, without undue ceremony or ostentation.
SECOND: I desire and direct that as soon as possible, payment shall be made of the expenses of my last sickness and funeral, and in order that no property belonging to my estate shall be disposed of or sold at a sacrifice, I earnestly request all my creditors to waive and relinquish their claims against my estate and accept payment thereof under the provisions, which I am hereinafter making, for the liquidation of their claims through the handling of my properties by trustees.
THIRD: I hereby give, devise, and bequeath to my son, James Edson White, now residing at Marshall, Michigan, the sum of Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000).
FOURTH: I hereby give and bequeath to my son, William C. White, now residing at Sanitarium, California, all my right, title and interest in the copyrights and book plates in all languages of the books entitled: The Coming King and Past, Present and Future, also all manuscripts (and right to publish the same) pertaining to the following books and proposed books:
Life Sketches of Elder James White and Ellen White
Life Incidents of Elder James White
Spiritual Gifts, Volumes 1-4
Facts of Faith
How to Live
Appeal to Youth
Experience of Ellen White in Connection with the Health Reform Movement Among Seventh-day Adventists
Story of Mrs. White’s European Travels
Story of Mrs. White’s Australasian Travels
Mrs. White’s Letters to Mothers and Children
Youth’s Life of Christ
The Southern Work
Special Testimonies on Education
Also, my personal library, and all manuscripts, letters, diaries, and writings not otherwise herein devised.
FIFTH: I hereby give, devise, and bequeath to William C. White, Clarence C. Crisler, Charles H. Jones, Arthur G. Daniells, and Frank M. Wilcox all the real property of which I may die seized or possessed, all my live stock and farm tools, and implements, all notes and accounts due to me and also all of my right, title, and interest in the copyrights and book plates in all languages of the following publications:
Desire of Ages
Patriarchs and Prophets
The Acts of the Apostles
Testimonies for the Church Volumes 1-9 inclusive
Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene
Christ’s Object Lessons
Ministry of Healing
Steps to Christ
Mount of Blessing
Christ Our Saviour
Testimonies for Sabbath-school Workers
Manual for Canvassers
Also, my general manuscript file and all indexes pertaining thereto; also my office furniture and office library.
Together with all and singular, the tenements, hereditaments and appurtenances thereunto belonging, or in anywise appertaining in trust nevertheless for the uses and purposes hereinafter contained.
TO HAVE AND TO HOLD, the said real and personal property until said trustees, and their successors, upon the trust to enter into and upon and take possession of the said real estate and said personal property, to collect and receive the rents, issues and profits thereof, to manage and control said real and personal property, and to rent and lease the same, or any part thereof, to sell parts or portions of said real and personal property, excepting the book copyrights, for the purpose of re-investing the same in other real or personal property to be held under the same trust, and after paying all taxes, assessments, charges and encumbrances thereon and the expenses of repairing, administering, preserving and protecting the said real property and of handling said personal property, and publishing and selling said books and manuscripts and conducting the business thereof to distribute, pay over and apply the net proceeds from the rents and profits of said real property and from the business of publishing and selling said books and property in the manner following, that is to say:
(a) To pay over to my son, James Edson White,1 annually, during his natural life ten (10) per cent of the net proceeds of said properties for his sole use and benefit, and upon his death to Emma L. White, his wife, during her natural life should she survive him.
(b) To pay over to my son, William C. White, annually for his sole use and benefit ten (10) per cent of the net proceeds of said properties during his natural life, and upon his death, to Ethel M. White, his wife, during her natural life should she survive him.
(c) To pay over annually to William C. White, Ethel M. White and Dores E. Robinson as trustees2 five (5) per cent of the net proceeds of the said properties to be devoted to the education of my grandchildren, great grandchildren and other worthy individuals.
(d) The said trustees shall use the remainder of said net proceeds for the following purposes:
1. For the payment of creditors with accruing interest upon the principal indebtedness to the extent to which my creditors have agreed to relinquish their claims against my estate; such payments from said net proceeds to continue until all remaining indebtedness with interest has been fully paid.
2. If the entire remainder of said net proceeds from my said properties is more than sufficient to pay my said debts, with interest, in the manner in which my creditors shall agree to receive payment of their respective claims, then my said trustees shall use the over-plus for the improvement of the books and manuscripts held in trust by them, and herein provided; for the securing and printing of new translations thereof; for the printing of compilations from my manuscripts; for general missionary work of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination; for the support of mission schools, under the Negro Department of the Seventh-day Adventist General Conference; for the support of Mission Schools for the illiterate whites in the Southern States, Provided, however, that said trustees are hereby empowered and directed to sell my said real property or so much thereof as may be necessary to pay the following sums: to my granddaughter Ella May Robinson, now residing at Sanitarium, California, the sum of Five Hundred Dollars ($500); to my granddaughter, Mabel E. Workman, now residing at Loma Linda, California, the sum of Five Hundred Dollars ($500); to my faithful friend and helper, Sara McEnterfer, now residing at Sanitarium, California, the sum of Five Hundred Dollars ($500): to May Walling, now residing at Sanitarium, California, the sum of Five Hundred Dollars ($500); and to my faithful friend and helper Clarence C. Crisler, the sum of Five Hundred Dollars ($500).3
SIXTH: After the death of both James Edson White and his wife, my said trustees are hereby empowered and directed to apply the amount prescribed in subdivision (a) of paragraph FIFTH toward the discharge of any legal claims against the estate of said James Edson White, and then after the full discharge of such claims, the said amount mentioned in subdivision (a) shall be applied to the maintenance of the mission school for Negroes now conducted by the Negro Department of the Seventh-day Adventist General Conference.
SEVENTH: After the death of both William C. White and his wife, my said trustees are hereby empowered and directed to pay over to their surviving children, or grandchildren, if any, the respective amounts prescribed in subdivision (b) of paragraph FIFTH of this will; and if there be no children or grandchildren of my said son, then said respective amounts shall be devoted and used for the purposes set forth in subdivision (d) of said paragraph FIFTH of this will.
EIGHTH: Upon the termination of the trusts, or any of them, created and set forth in this will, from any cause whatsoever, I give, bequeath and devise all of the real and personal property mentioned in paragraph FIFTH or so much thereof as may from any cause be released or relieved from said trust to my said son, William C. White; or if he be not living, then to his heirs at law.
NINTH: My household furniture, dishes, carpets, pictures, photographs and clothing, I give and bequeath in equal parts to my sons, James Edson White and William C. White.
TENTH: All the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, real, personal and mixed, of which I may die seized or possessed, I give, bequeath and devise to my son, William C. White.
ELEVENTH: I hereby appoint William C. White and Charles H. Jones the executors of this my last will and testament, without bonds; and my executors are hereby authorized to sell any property of my estate without order of Court, and at either public or private sale, and with or without notice as the executors may determine.
I also direct that no bond be required of any of the trustees named or their successors.
TWELFTH: If a vacancy shall occur for any reason among said trustees, or their successors, a majority of the surviving or remaining trustees are hereby empowered and directed to fill such vacancy by the appointment of some other fit person, and in the event that the majority does not agree upon the appointment, then such vacancy shall be filled by the Executive Committee of the Seventh-day Adventist General Conference; and the new trustee or trustees, so appointed shall have the same power touching the trust premises and in the execution of the trusts, herein contained, as the original trustees named herein.
THIRTEENTH: I hereby revoke all former wills by me made,
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 9th day of February, 1912.
[Signed] Ellen White
1.Shortly after Mrs. White’s death, Edson and William White, for a relatively modest consideration, relinquished all claims on this potential income.
2.The three trustees relinquished, without any consideration, all claims to this proposed educational fund.
3.These bequests were not paid until all creditors had been paid in full.
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