Monday, May 3, 2010

Philip Pugsley Will and Probate, Executors

A petition was filed in the district court yesterday by the executors of the estate of the late Philip Pugsley, asking that his will be filed for probate. The executors are Ezra Thompson, J. E. F. Pugsley and J. S. Barlow. The estate is valued at about $35,576.31. (The Salt Lake Herald, Thursday, August 20, 1903, p 3, "Court Notes.")

Some Definitions

Philip Pugsley, the testator (a person who has written a will), died testate, which means that he died leaving a will. If he had not left a will, he would have died intestate, or without a will.

An executor to a will is a person who carries out the provisions of the will. A will may name one or more executors.

When a will is probated, it is presented in court. The court determines the validity of the will and appoints the executor(s). Probate administration involves resolving all claims to property, including paying all debts, and distributing the property to the heirs.

The Executors of the Pugsley Estate

Ezra Thompson was the husband of Philip and Martha Pugsley's third child and second daughter, Emily Pugsley. He was born July 17, 1850 in Salt Lake City. He served as mayor of Salt Lake City from 1900 to 1904 and from 1906 to 1907. He was a Republican, unlike his sister-in-law Elizabeth Pugsley Hayward and her husband Henry, who were prominent members of the Democratic Party. He helped found the anti-Mormon American Party. He was known as a successful businessman and progressive politician, but he resigned from his second term in 1907, citing reasons of health, amidst allegations of corruption and bribery among his appointees. Ezra and Emily lived purchased one of the Pugsley homes from the estate in 1903. They may already have been living in the home. They later moved to a home on South Temple. Ezra died in 1923.

Joseph Edward Franklin Pugsley was the oldest of Philip and Martha Pugsley's children. He was born in England in 1852 and emigrated with his parents to Salt Lake City when he was a year old. He married Evelyn Rosette ("Rosa") Harmon in 1875 and had a large family of nine children with seven of them living to adulthood. Joseph died in 1916.

Joseph Smith Barlow was the husband of Philip and Clarissa Pugsley's daughter Clarissa. He was born in 1856 in Salt Lake City, and he died in 1919 in Salt Lake City. Joseph and Clarissa had eight children. At the time of Philip Pugsley's death, his second wife Clarissa Ames Pugsley was living with Joseph and Clarissa Barlow. Joseph Barlow was a member of Salt Lake City's early successful baseball team, the Salt Lake Deserets. The team played games at Washington Square, now the City and County Building, and sometimes the games were attended by as many as 5,000 people. After a controversy in 1877 over the name of the team due to its connection to Mormon culture, Heber J. Grant and Barlow and others formed the Salt Lake Red Stockings, another successful team. In 1880 the city banned baseball in Washington Square due to its connection to gambling, and Joseph S. Barlow began a career in law enforcement.

Photo of the gavel from by way of

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