Taken from the Campbell Countian, Vol 11, #3, Oct -Dec, 2000
Smtd by Paul W, Lemasters
Note:The record was found on microfilm of the original record "Anderson County, Tennessee, Chancery Court Cases Determined, May 1872-Sept 1886". There may be more to this case in the original papers in the Anderson Co, TN Courthouse, or in the bound Anderson Co, TN Chancery Court Minutes Books for this time perios.
The Answer of JACOB DOSSETT and Henry P. Farmer, and his wife, Susan to the Bill of Complante filed against them and others in the Chancery Court at Clinton by Robert Dossett.
These respondents, reserving the benfit of all rightful exception to said bill for Answer thereunto say, the the statement in the bill that Camplainant purchased the farm therein mentioned about the time mentioned is believed to be true. At any rate, Complainant was possessed of said tract claiming it as his own against the world, and these respondents never heard his title disputed previous to his conveyance of the respondents in this case; and they therefore believe his title to said farm was perfect. This respondent before answering the various allegations in the Bill seriative deem it proper to give a
full history of the transactions referred to by Complaint. Complainant has what is know as two sets of children, on set raised in Campbell County, the other set in Anderson County, by different mothers having been twice married. The youngest of Complainants first set of children was tweleve or fifteen years old when he married the second time. The first set of children received an advancement of about three hundred dollars each in land or its equivalent from time to time as they became old enough. About August 1859, the Complainant moved with his second wife and the second set of children to said farm in Anderson County. where they continued to reside until about August 1867. About one year before August 1867, Complainant then an old man but in excellent health of body & mind being desirous of making the second set of children equal with the first, and as he himself often said in order to prevent any difficulty between the two sets of children, after his death concluded to divide said farm amoung the respondents to this bill who are said second set of children. Complainant accordingly propose the matter to those respondents, and these respondents here & now positively and solomnly aver that they never suggested or in any way intimated to Complainant that he should divide his farm among them. On the other hand these respondents declair that the division of said farm among the respondents was entirely an original invention of Complainant himself, and was by Complainants talked of to his friends and neighbors. In fact, Complainant actually selected and appointed Oliver HOSKINS, the COunty Surveyor of Anderson County, Alfred CROSS, William R. DAIL, and John A. McKAMEY, to divide said farm into four equal tracts in order that he might know how to deed them to respondents, Complainant was present on the ground, dicated the manner in which the dividing lines should be run and expressed himself as more then pleased, had all his second
set of children and said four Commissioners to dine with him that day, and every thing was as pleasant and harmonius as possible.After the said Commissioners had made said partition, and on the same day, at Complainant's own house by direction of Complainant, Respondents all drew for said lots.It so happened that Complainant was very anxious for Respondent Jacob to draw the fraction adjoining said Alfred CROSS, whoses daughter Jacob had married and had so expressed himself very often. But in the drawing, this Respondent Jacob drew the second fraction from said CROSS and Respondent David C., drew the fraction adjoining. It so happened that David C., had previously purchased a farm and was hard pressed to raise the purchase money, thereupon said Alfred CROSS proposed to buy Respondent David C's fraction, then and there for seven hundred dollars as an advancement for this Respondent Jacob's wife. David C. and Complainant gladly agreed to this, said CROSS becoming pay master to said MCKAMEY to whom said purchase money was owing, and Complainant made a deed to this Respondant Jacob for the tract he Jacob had drawn and also for the tract said David C. had drawn which deed is herewith filed marked Exhibit "C". These three deeds were then and there made instead of four, all of which were drawn by HOSKINS.The deed from Complainant to Respondent FARMER, is filed herewith marked Exhibit "D". The plan of Complainant was that the said farm was worth two thousand dollars and that each share was worth five hundred dollars, and that he would deed said farm to the Respondents, and require them to give him a bond for the maintenance of himself and wife during their natural life.All this was done and the bond given by these Respondents, accordingly, this bond is filed herewith marked exhibit "A" and speaks for itself. Said deeds and bonds were all drawn up by said HOSKINS, on the occasion referred to. At that time, Complainant was in good health of body and mind, and had so been always hither to and so continued to this date, and all the allegations in the bill charging "undue influence, srtefice and fraud", upon these Respondents, and that Complainant was at the time too weak and feeeble to attend to business, and never knew much concerning the facts and circumstances
attending said transactions are not only wholly untrue and absolutely false, but are so exactly the reverse of the truth that these Respondents deem it just to themselves and respectful to Complainant to say that they do not believe that Complainant "Knows much concerning the facts and cirsumstances attending", the drawing of said bill, because they know their father to be a truthful man. It is true Complainant is an illiterate man, but the deeds were carefully read over and explained to him by the draughtsman, Oliver HOSKINs; and fully acquainted with their contents in short dictated said deeds. And these Respondents beg leave right here to refer to the said HASKINS. McKAMEY, CROSS & DAIL, as men not likely to countenance any faud or imposition and above all not likely to be parties thereunto.