APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Moultrie County; the Hon.
GROVER W. WATSON, Judge, presiding.
MR. JUSTICE FULTON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Rehearing denied November 17, 1950.
This is an appeal by the plaintiff, Bessie Mason Alexander, from a decree of the circuit court of Moultrie County dismissing her complaint by which she sought to quiet and confirm in her the title to certain real estate in Moultrie County and to have certain deeds of conveyance to the property set aside and declared null and void. A freehold being involved, the appeal has been perfected to this court.
The complaint alleged that the plaintiff was the daughter and sole and only heir-at-law of William H. Mason and Annie M. Mason, his wife, and that William H. Mason in the year 1901 acquired the title to the north half of section 29, township 14 north, range 4, east of the third principal meridian in said county, and that subsequently by deeds of conveyance duly recorded he conveyed the west half of the northwest quarter and the north half of the northeast quarter of the northwest quarter of said section 29 unto his wife, Annie M. Mason, and that from the date her father acquired the ownership of said property in 1901 until their respective deaths William H. Mason and Annie M. Mason exercised sole, complete and exclusive ownership of said real estate. She likewise alleged that in the year 1905 William H. Mason acquired the fee-simple title to a tract of land situated in the northeast quarter of section 22, township 14 north, range 4, east of the third principal meridian, of about six acres, and that from the date he acquired the same until his death on April 30, 1946, he was the sole and exclusive owner thereof, and that thereafter until her death on October 21, 1947, Annie M. Mason had the possession of said property, and that since the death of her mother the plaintiff has had the possession of the property.
She likewise alleged that her father and mother left a joint will which was duly admitted to probate as the last will of William H. Mason on June 5, 1946, and as the last will of her mother, Annie M. Mason, on November 20, 1947, said will being as follows:
KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS, namely: In devout and humble recognition of Almight God as the Giver of all that has been entrusted to our Stewardship, We, William H. Mason and Annie M. Mason, husband and wife, aged 88 and 92 years respectively, of the town of Bethany, Illinois, realizing that in the course of nature our tenure of earthly life is limited, deem it wise while still alert and competent without any outside help to put in our own handwriting our wishes concerning the final disposition of our property. This we do as mutually agreed in the following form which we declare to be our Last Will and Testament to-wit:
1. That Charles T. Calvert act as the Executor of our estate with full power of attorney in all matters thereto; provided however that, should he become incapacitated for this service, then Russell Younger is appointed to serve in his stead or in cooperation with Mr. Calvert.
2. In the event of the decease of either or both of us all our funeral expenses are to be paid out of available funds as provided.
3. Having decided to convey all our real estate by Warranty deeds and the said deeds properly safeguarded and placed in the care of The Shelby Loan and Trust Co. with instructions.
4. We further desire that all our personal property be liquidated in due time and the proceeds to be constituted a fund to be employed as designated on page 2 of this our last Will.
From the fund set forth on page 1 (one) of this Joint Will we desire the following payments made.
1. All contingent expenses.
2. Any Inheritance tax assessed against the legacy deeded to our daughter, Mrs. ...