Mary W. Spencer

The Cartersville News
Cartersville, Georgia
March 14, 1907, Page 1
Transcribed by:  

Notable Law Suit
Heirs to Tumlin Property Meet Obstacle.
The Will of Mrs. Spencer Gives Bartow County Heirs the Old Tumlin Homestead.

Our county is likely to become the scene of a most sensational litigation involving the titles to one of the most valuable farms in Georgia, which lies in Bartow county, and is said to be worth between forty and fifty thousand dollars.  The history of the case is about as follows:

Some twenty-five years ago Col. Lewis Tumlin, of Bartow county, died, leaving several children and a second wife, who had no children.  In the division of the Tumlin estate the wife received as part of her share the farm in dispute.  She afterwards married Major H. L. Spencer, of Social Circle, and died in a few years, leaving no children and as was thought, no will.  Major Spencer under the law became her sole heir and inherited her estate.  He used and enjoyed the farm until his death, which occurred only a few weeks ago.  Macus L. Mobley was appointed administrator of the Spencer estate and was granted letters of administration last Monday by Judge Knight.

Last Saturday night Judge Knight received through the mails a large envelope addressed to him.  On opening it he found that it contained no writing whatever, but another large envelope seemingly sealed, on the back of which were written the words, “Mary W. Spencer, 1901.”  He did not open the envelope until the court met on Monday morning.  On Sunday afternoon’s train there came to Monroe three strangers, two well dressed ladies of middle age and a young man about twenty-five years of age.  They spent the night at the hotel and went to the ordinary’s office Monday morning after first employing Messrs. Walter & Roberts, the well known attorneys, to represent them.  They turned out to be Mrs. Lyon and Mrs. Austell, daughters of Col. Lewis Tumlin and step-daughters of Mrs. Mary W. Spencer, and the young man the son of Mrs. Lyon.  The mysterious letter which Judge Knight had received on Saturday was opened, and it turned out to be the will of Mrs. Mary W. Spencer, signed up a short time before her death, in which she gave a life interest in her estate to her husband, Major Spencer, and at his death she gave all her property to these ladies and their two sisters, naming Governor McDaniel as her executor.  We understand Governor McDaniel has refused to act, and the ordinary will have to appoint some one else.  We are not informed in whose care the will was left for these many years, or where the custodian lived.  It was evidently the intention of Mrs. Spencer that the existence of the will should be kept a secret until the death of Major Spencer.

We hear that Charles H. Carter and other heirs will resist the will and claim the property, and thus will arise the issue which will involve title to more property than has been in litigation in Walton county for many years.


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