The Disputed Deed of Henry Antle

(From a photocopy of the original, housed at the KY Department of Libraries & Archives, Box # 45, Accession # 1984-380.)

Willis Antle & others


v } Petition in equity


Geo.  W. Antle & others

 (from cover jacket of case file): 'Filed 6 October 1860, Test Junius Caldwell, C.A.C.C.' [Clerk, Adair County Court]

 Abbreviations as used in original document:

afs'd: aforesaid

& c: and so on

C.A.C.C: Clerk, Adair County Court

DC: Deputy Clerk

Dec'd: deceased

Dec'dt: decedent

Deft(s): defendant(s)

PJ acc: Presiding Judge [?]Adair County Court

Plff(s): plaintiff(s)

 (Some punctuation added for clarity; most original spelling maintained.)

 Willis Antle                                           }

George W. Antle [name marked out]            }

Lewis Antle [name marked out]      }

Nathaniel Franklin                                    }

Eliza Franklin                                        }

James Gifford                                       }

Nancy Gifford                                      }

Warfield S. Morrison                                  }

Polly Morrison                          }                      Plffs            }

Willie D. Sutherland                                }                                  }

Elizabeth Sutherland                                }                                  }

Jacob Antle                                          }                                  }

Henry Adley             [Hadley]                       }                                  }

Mya Adley            [Hadley]                       }                                  }

James Grant                                         }                                  }

Sarah Grant                                          }                                  }

Everheart Antle                         }                                  }            Petition in Equity


against                                                                          }


George W. Antle                            }                                  }

Lewis Antle                                          }                                  }

Samuel Floyd                                       }                                  }

Emeline Floyd                                       }                      Defts            }

John R. Antle                                        }

Henry M. Antle                                    }

Letty Antle                                           }


The Plaintiffs Willis Antle; Nathaniel Franklin (and his wife) Eliza Franklin (late Eliza Antle); James Gifford & his wife Nancy Gifford (late Nancy Antle); Warfield S. Morrison & his wife Polly Morrison (late Polly Antle); Willie D. Sutherland & his wife Elizabeth Sutherland (late Elizabeth Antle); Jacob Antle; Henry Adley & his wife Myra Adley (Late Myra Antle); James Grant & his wife Sarah Grant (late Sarah Antle); and Everheart Antle

State that, their ancestor Henry Antle who for many years before his death had been a citizen of Adair County and resided in said county up to about the day [blank] day of July 1859, at which time he died (intestate), leaving a widow, deft Letty Antle; and the following children & heirs at law (to wit): the said plaintiffs, viz: Willis Antle, Eliza Franklin (who intermarried with) Nathaniel Franklin; Nancy Gifford, late Nancy Antle & now the wife of James Gifford; Polly Morrison, late Polly Antle & now the wife of W.S. Morrison; Elizabeth Sutherland (late Elizabeth Antle) & now the wife of W.D. Sutherland; Jacob Antle; Myra Adley, late Myra Antle, now the wife of Henry Adley; Sarah Grant (late Sarah Antle) & now the wife of James Grant; and Everheart Antle, these being his children & heirs at law, by his first two wives, and the following who are made defendants hereto, are the children of said decedent by his last wife Letty as afs'd., viz: George W. Antle; Lewis Antle: Emeline Floyd (late Emeline Antle) & now the wife of Samuel Floyd; John R. Antle; and Henry M. Antle.

Plffs. state that said Henry Antle, dec'd., in his lifetime owned and had in his peacible (& adverse) possession several tracts of land, some lying in Adair County, & some lying in Russell County.

That there was tract containing about 119 acres & 3 poles, lying in Adair County, on the headwaters of Crocus Creek, which land he purchased from one Daniel Vinson & wife as will appear by reference to a copy of a deed from said Vinson & wife, herewith filed, marked (1) as part hereof.

And he also owned a tract of 100 acres of land lying in Russell County, on the Cabin fork of Russells Creek, which was purchased by him from Jacob Miller & wife, and by them conveyed to him, by deed dated about the 15th day of October 1830, said original deed having been lost or mislaid & Plffs, not having it in their power to file the same, they here file a copy of said original marked (2) & made part hereof.

Said decedent also owned & possessed other lands besides those refered to & as soon as they can procure the evidences of title they will set them up in this action.

Plffs state also that at said intestate's death, he left personal property to the value of $250 to $300, consisting [word 'of' marked out] in part of the following: 1 black mare & colt, worth $100; 1 sett blacksmith's tools worth $30; 1 four-horse wagon worth $40; 2 milk cows & calves worth $30; four heifers worth $20; hogs worth $10; household furniture, farming tools & c. worth $50.

Plffs state that no administrator has been appointed to take charge of & administer said estate but that the defts Letty Antle & George W. Antle have taken possession of said personal property & converted it to their own use, when in fact said property belonged to all the heirs of said decedent, & not tot he widow & one or two of the children, and that said George & Letty, by taking & converting to their own use said property, have thereby become indebted to plffs for their proportionable share of the reasonable value of said property.

Plffs state that George Antle and Letty Antle are now living on & claim the tract of land in Adair County on which said decedent died. And that Lewis Antle also lives on & claims a portion of said land in said Adair County. And they further state that said John R. Antle claims, lives on & has possession of a tract of land lying in Russell County on the waters of Cabin fork of Russells Creek, containing about fifty acres more or less, & being a part of the land which rightfully, & does actually, belong to the estate of said decedent, it being a portion of the tract conveyed to said decedent by deed from Jacob Miller & wife as heretofore refered to. Plffs state that they understand that said deft John R. Antle pretends to hold said land by some sort of title derived from said decedent through deft Henry Antle.

They state also that the land which is held & claimed by deft Georg W. Antle lies on the head waters of Crocus Creek in Adair County as afs'd. & contains about 100 acres more or less & is in part a part of the lands owned by dec'd. & which were conveyed to him by Vinson & wife as above stated.

They also state that the said Lewis Antle has possession & holds about 60 acres of the said land which belonged to said decedent & which is also in part a part of the land conveyed by Vinson & wife as afs'd.

Plffs state that their said ancestor Henry Antle, dec'd., was the true and proper owner of all the lands herein before mentioned & described, at the time of his death.

Plffs further state that their said ancestor was during his lifetime in the full, free, unmolested, and adverse possession of all the lands herein before mentioned & refered to, claiming & holding them as his own property, and that the said defts George, and Lewis and John took possession of the lands now held by them as afs'd. and are now holding them without right, against the plffs and the legal & proper owners thereof.

Plffs state that they, and the balance of the said heirs of said Antle, dec'd., who have been heretofore herein mentioned, are the owners of and are entitled to the possession of the said lands now in the possession of defts George, Lewis & John who as they are informed hold said lands respectively, under some sort of pretended deeds or conveyances from said decedent to them. Now Plffs state that said deeds or conveyances each & respectively are void, that they do not pass any title whatever from dec'dt to them, that said deeds or conveyances are without consideration, that said deeds are wholly voyd or voidable, that said deeds or conveyances are, & each of them, not the act and deed of their said ancestor Henry Antle, dec'd.

The Plffs state that for several years before the death of decedent (and before the execution of  the pretended writings above mentioned) he [sic] said decedent on account of his great age (being at the time of his death near or about 80 or odd years old) and from his long & habitual & excessive use of intoxicating drinks, and from disease of both body & mind, was incapable of rationally & properly transacting any business of any importance, and that he was not capable mentally of conveying his lands or other property. They state that said pretended deeds or conveyances were obtained from decedent through & by the fraudulent procurement of defts or others and were not the voluntary act or acts of decedent. Nor were they made by him with a full understanding of their meaning or true import, but were obtained from him by fraud as afs'd.

Plffs state that said decedent was greatly under the influence, at times, of his said wife who took great pains to cultivate & increase he [sic] influence over him, in order to induce him to give her & the children by her all the property. And taking advantage of his great age, & his helplessness both of body & mind, & his appetite for liquor, she a& her children had & exercised an undue, improper & illegal influence over him, and by these & other improper means & influences they succeeded in procuring from him the pretended deeds or conveyances afs'd.

Plffs state that at the time of the pretended execution of the said writings afs'd., by said decedent, he, said decedent, was not mentally capable of understanding what he was doing, and that if he even signed them (which plffs deny) he did it from threats & compulsion & not of his own unbiased will.

Plffs state that said land is situated that it would be greatly to the injury to the interests of all, & each of the heirs aforesaid, to divide it amongst them, that the shares would be so small & the lands so cut up that to divide it would render their shares of little value.

They state said lands are not worth $100 to the share [This line marked out.]

Plffs state that it would in their opinion re___ind greatly to the interests of all & each of the said children & heirs at law of said decedent for the land to be sold & its proceeds distributed.

Plffs therefore pray that the said widow may have her dower laid off to her, and that defts George & Lewis & John & all others who have possession of any of said land may be compelled to surrender it up. And that said deeds or conveyances (if any) be set aside & held for naught, and that said lands be sold and the proceeds distributed according to the law of descents. And that the plffs recover against said Letty & George $300 or whatever share they may be entitled to for the said personal property, and also $200 against the said George, Lewis, & John for the rent of said land & c. And for all judgements & c that may be necessary for a full & complete settlement of said estate & its distribution among the heirs of said decedent, and for all other proper relief.

Suddarth & Alexander

Plffs atto's


Nathaniel Franklin states that he believes the statements made in the foregoing petition are true.

/s/ Nathaniel 'his X mark' Franklin


Sworn to & subscribed before me by Nathaniel Franklin, this Oct. 5th 1860

/S/ E. ?L. Willis, PJ acc



Transcriber's notes:

In the text of the preceding lawsuit, the plaintiffs are specifically identified as Henry Antle's 'children & heirs at law, by his first two wives': Willis Antle; Eliza Franklin; Nancy Gifford; Polly Morrison; Elizabeth Sutherland; Jacob Antle; Myra [H]Adley; Sarah Grant; & Everheart Antle.

 As a point of clarification, all the above except Eliza and Nancy comprise the known children by Henry's first wife, Mary 'Polly' Simmons. By his second wife, Eve Helm, Henry fathered only one known child, Nancy. Eliza Antle Franklin was Henry's third (known) child by his third wife, Letty Moore.

 The five defendants and Eliza, above, comprise the known children of Henry and his third wife, Letty Moore.




 (source unknown, possibly the above lawsuit paperwork.)

 The Commonwealth of Kentucky to the Sheriff of Russell County, you are commanded to summon George W. Antle, Lewis Antle, Samuel Floyd, Emeline Floyd, John R. Antle, Henry M. Antle, Letty Antle to answer in twenty days after service of this summons on them a petition filed against them in the Adair Circuit Court by Willis Antle, Nathaniel Franklin, Eliza Franklin, James Giffford, Nancy Gifford, Warfield S. Morrison, Polly Morrison, Willie D. Sutherland, Elizabeth Sutherland, Jacob Antle, Henry Adley, Myra Adley, James Grant, Sarah Grant, & Everheart Antle and warn them that upon their failure to answer the petition will be taken for confessed or they will be proceeded against for contempt & you will make due return of this summons on the first day of the next November Term of said court.

Witness Junius Caldwell Clerk of said court this 8th day of October 1860.

/s/ Junius Caldwell


 (from cover jacket of case file): '1860 November Defts filed _____ to Plffs pet'n & overruled to which Defts except -- Defts filed ans'r.'

 Adair Circuit Court:

 Willis Antle & others, Plts                   }

Against                         }            Joint answer of Defts

George w. Antle & others, defts     }


Defts admit that their ancestor Henry Antle owned lands sometime prior to his death; but they deny that at the time of his death he owned or had any interest either in land or personal property that did not terminate with his life. They deny that said decedent at his death left personal property of the value of $250 to $300 or any other sum. They deny that decedent owned at this death & left a black mare & colt worth $100 or any horse beast of any description or value. They deny that he owned at his death & left a set of blacksmith tools or any such tools. They deny that decedent left a four-horse waggon as charged worth $40 or any waggon of any description or value. They deny that decedent left any milchcows & calves or heifers of any description or value or that he owned & left any hogs or household property of any kind. They also deny that said decedent owned & left at his death any farming tools of any kind belonging to his estate. They deny that Defts Letty Antle & George W. Antle, took possession of or converted to their own use any property of any kind that did not legally & properly belong to them, or that belonged to all the heirs of said Henry Antle, dec'd. but on the contrary the black mare, household property, farming tools & c. once owned by said decedent were by him in his lifetime lawfully & properly disposed of together with his lands by deeds regularly, legally, and properly made & executed by said decedent in his lifetime. They deny that defts George & Letty have become indebted to plffs for their proportionable share of the reasonable value of the property which they took & appropriated to their own use after the death of said Henry Antle because the property was their own property lawfully & fairly acquired from said decedent in his lifetime. They deny that the lands claimed & occupied by defts George Antle, Letty Antle, John R. Antle, & Lewis Antle rightfully & actually belong to the estate of said decedent, but on the contrary the only land & property now owned or claimed by deft George Antle that ever did belong to Henry Antle his father is imbraced & described in a deed of conveyance from said decedent & wife to said deft Lewis [word 'Lewis' marked through] George herewith filed, marked A & made part of this answer. [Transcriber's note: see deed following.] This deed was legally & properly made & executed upon a full, fair, good & valuable consideration & conveyed the title of the property therein described to deft George & the other heirs of said decedent have no interest whatever in that property or any part of it. The only land & property now claimed & owned by deft Lewis Antle that ever did belong to the said decedent is imbraced & included in a deed of conveyance from said decedent Henry Antle to said Lewis, herewith filed, marked B [copy not in my possession -- transcriber] & made part hereof. said deed was legally and properly made & executed & for a full, fair, good & valuable consideration and passed & vested the title of the land therein described in deft Lewis & is relied upon as a full & complete bar to the plffs action so far as the said Lewis is concerned. The only land and property now claimed & occupied by deft John R. Antle that was ever owned by said decedent is described and imbraced in a deed of of conveyance from said Henry Antle d____ in his lifetime to his son Henry M. Antle deft herein & deft John R. Antle holds the same by purchase from his said brother Henry M. The said deed to Henry M. was legally & properly made & executed & for a full, fair, good & valuable consideration & passed & conveyed a good title to the land therein described to deft Henry M. Antle the same be filed herewith as part hereof as soon as it can be procured. They deny that this land or any other part of any of the lands & property imbraced in these deeds belong to all the heirs of said decedent or t any person or persons whatever except the grantees on said deeds & those claiming under them. They state that said deeds were all made when said Henry Antle dec'd. was alive & in good health and of sound & disposing memory and mind. They deny that said decedent Henry Antle was at his death the true and proper owner of any part of the lands now claimed & occupied as aforesaid by defts, Lewis, George, & John R. Antle. They deny that their said ancestor Henry Antle was during his lifetime, or at any time after the execution of the deeds aforesaid, in the full, free, unmolested & adverse possession of all or any of the lands imbraced in the said deeds, claiming & holding them as his own property. They deny that defts Lewis, George & John are now holding said lands without right. They  deny that pltfs or any of them are the owners or joint owners, or have any  interest whatever in any part of the lands or property aforesaid now in the possession of defts George, Lewis & John. They deny that the deeds herein before referred to are void. They deny the charge that said deeds do not pass the title to the property imbraced in them to the grantees therein. They deny that said deeds are without consideration, void or voidable. They deny that said deeds are not the acts and deeds of their said ancestor Henry Antle dec'd. They deny, that for several years before the death of said decedent (& before the execution of said deed[?s]) the said decedent was on the account of his great age and long & habitual & excessive use of intoxicating drinks & from disease of both body & mind, incapable of mentally of conveying his land, or that he was incapable rationally & properly of transacting any business of any importance. They deny that said deeds were procured by the fraud of defts or any person or persons whatever. They deny that they were not the voluntary acts of said decedents. They deny that said deeds were not made by the grantor with a full knowledge of their meaning & import. They were not obtained from dec'd by fraud. They deny that decedent was greatly under the influence of his wife at any time or that his said wife deft Letty took great pains to  cultivate an influence over him in order to induce to give to her & her children all the property. They deny that any advantage was taken of his age & helplessness of body & mind because he was neither mentally nor bodily enfeebled when he made said deeds beyond the ordinary of age, & in fact was remarkably strong both in body & mind for one of his age when he made said deeds & was not as old as charged in the petition but was 79 years old only when he made the last of said deeds. They deny that defts or any of them [?]either had or exercised an undue & improper & illegal influence over said decedent at any time. They deny any & all improper means or influences as charged for the procurement of the deeds herein before alluded to. They deny that said decedent was not mentally capable of understanding what he was doing when he made & executed said deeds & each of them. They deny that he did not sign said deeds or that he signed them from threats & compulsion, &  not of his own voluntary will.

They charge that as to the arrangement & deed to deft George, his undertaking to support his parents was a full & fair consideration for the property conveyed to him, & the other lands were sold for a full price & their ancestor never was at any time  from any cause demented beyond the ordinary effects of age & now having fully answered they pray to be dismissed with costs & for proper relief.    

/s/          George Antle

Letty Antle

Lewis Antle

John R. Antle

Samuel Floyd & wife

Henry M. Antle

by Hays p.D.

 George Antle says he believes the statements in the foregoing answer are true.

/s/          George Antle

Sworn before me by George Ante Nov. 20th, 1860


/s/          Junius Caldwell CACC

by Nat Gaither Jr. DC

Transcriber's notes:

The 'Hays' above quite possibly was Joseph E. Hays, who practiced law in the Russell/Adair area.


[Defts exhibit] A

 Filed as a lawsuit exhibit November 22nd 1860

Att: Junius Caldwell, CACC


Henry Antle Sr.            }

to                     }

George W. Antle    }


1859 February 12th full proven by the Oaths of John C. Lester & Sam'l Floyd, Sub[scribing] Wit[nesses]

Att: Geo. Bryan, clk [Russell County KY court]

Recorded in deed Book P, page 196 [Russell County]

Tax & fees paid

 This deed made this 11th February 1859 by and between Henry Antle Sr of the one part and George w. Antle of the second part, son of said Henry Sr. Witnesseth that the said Henry Antle Sr for and in consideration of the undertaking of the said George W. Antle to sustain, keep & provide the said Henry Antle Sr and Letty his wife with necessaries for and during their natural lives, doth sell and convey unto the said George W. Antle two certain tracts or parcels of land herein after discribed. The first tract lying and being in Russell County Kentucky on the head waters of the Cabbin fork of Russells Creek and bounded as follows, to wit: Beginning  at a sugartree thence N68 E56 poles to a hickory and elm, thence N28 W108 poles to a hickory, thence S16 W70 poles to a gum tree & two dogwoods, thence N25 W 54 poles to the beginning, containing twenty nine acres by survey, more or less.

The 2nd tract lays in the counties of Russell & Adair on the ridge between Crocus Creek and the headwaters of the Cabbin fork of Russells Creek and bounded as follows (to wit): Beginning at a stone in the Columbia & Creelsborough Road, thence S46 E19 poles to a stone in the mouth of the lane [or land?] between Henry M. Antle and this tract, thence N62 E111 poles to a poplar, thence S52 E76 poles to two dogwoods, thence N28 W226 poles to a poplar and two dogwoods, thence, thence S66 W168 poles to a stake, thence S44 E162 poles to the beginning, containing one [word 'one' marked out] by survey one hundred & sixty one acres more or less together with the appurtenances thereunto belonging, to have and to hold the same unto the said George W. Antle his heirs and assigns forever, and the said Henry Antle Sr. covenants to and with the said George w. Antle, that he will warrant the titles to the aforesaid two tracts or parcels of land from and against the claims of all persons whatsoever and the party of the first part also sells and conveys to the party of the second part the following personal property (to wit): one four horse waggon, double trees and gearing; one black mare; two head of cattle, eight head of hogs; all of my household & kitchen furniture & farming utensils; one set of blacksmith tools including bellows, anvil, vice, hammers & fixtures, to have and to hold the same unto the said George w. Antle his heirs & c. forever. It is understood that the said land and personal property for the faithful performance of the undertaking on the part of said George W. Antle to take care and provide the aid Henry Antle Sr and Letty his wife during their natural lives with all necessaries for their comfort and support. Given under my hand this day and year first above written


Witness                                                                                    /s/ Henry Antle

/s/ John C. Lester                                                               /s/ Lettay Antle

/s/ Samuel Floyd


State of Kentucky, Sct.

I George Bryan, Clerk of the Russell County Court, certify that the foregoing deed of conveyance from Henry Antle Sr to George W. Antle was on this day produced to me and fully proven by the oaths of John C. Lester and Samuel Floyd, subscribing witnesses thereto.

Whereupon I have recorded the said deed together with this certificate in my office. Given under my hand this 12th day of February 1859.                                    /s/ George Bryan, Clerk


 Transcriber's notes:

This quite possibly is (a copy of) the original deed, not a handwritten copy of that recorded in the clerk's office. Had it been hand copied from the Deed Book, there should be a 'copy attest' statement signed by clerk.

The signatures of John C. Lester & Samuel Floyd are in distinctively different handwriting. The signatures of Henry Antle & 'Lettay' Antle, however,  were written by the same hand.



(from the cover jacket of the case file): 1861 May cont'd


(from the cover jacket of the case file): 1862 May by agreement dism'd at Plffs costs



[End of transcriptions.]