Last Will And Testament of Ephraim Bilderback, Sr.
In the name of God, Amen. I, Ephraim Bilderback, being through the abundant mercy and goodness of God, though weak in body, yet sound and perfect understanding and memory, do constitute this my last will and testament, and desire it may be received by all as such. First, I most humbly bequeath my soul to God, my maker, beseeching his most gracious acceptance of it through the all sufficient merits and mediations of my most compassionate Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who gave himself to be an atonement for my sins and is able to save to the uttermost all who come to God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make interception for them, and who I trust will not reject me a returning penitent sinner when I come to Him for mercy. Blessed be God.
I give my body to the earth from whence it was taken in full assurance of its resurrection from thence at the last day. As for my burial, I desire it may be decent, without pomp or state, at the discretion of my dear wife and my executors here after named who I doubt not will manage it with all requested prudence. As to my worldly estate, I will and positively order that all my debts be paid first. I give to my dear and loving wife for the term of her life the house wherein I now live — with all the furniture and two cows with fodder and grain to feed them and one horse with sufficient maintenance. To my son Charles’ son, Ephraim, I leave five shillings. To my son, Jacob, I leave five shillings. To my son Ephraim, I leave five shillings. To my son, Thomas, I leave five shillings. To my grandson, Daniel, I leave a horse when he comes of age. The cows and horses and sheep and hogs, with the plantation, to be divided between my three youngest sons; William, John and Gabriel… equally.
I do constitute my sons Ephraim and William to be the executors and Trustees for my Wife and children in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the Twenty Sixth Day of March, One Thousand seven hundred and ninety four.
Witness: Joseph Scott.
(Copied by Mrs. Mildred Midjaas from the record in Deed Record J, pg 203 of the county clerk’s office of Randolph Co. at Chester, IL.)