The Rest of His Story ~ Evan Marelous Black

Know all men by these presents:
That I, Evan M. Black, of Murfreesboro, Arkansas, in the County of Pike, and State of Arkansas, of sound mind and memory, do make and publish this, my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills by me at any time heretofore made.
I hereby constitute and appoint my wife, Eliza E Black, to be the sole executrix of my last will, directing my said executrix to pay all my just debts and funeral expenses, and the legacies hereinafter given, out of my estate.
After the payment of my said debts and funeral expenses, I give to my mother, Francis K Nichols, (nee Black) the sum of one dollar, and to each of my half brothers and sisters, namely: Gordon I Nichols, John M Black, Martha J Albritton, Alice S Hendrix, Handy H Rushing, and Beatrice Black, one dollar each, to be paid to each of them as soon after my decease , but within one year, as conveniently may be done.
And after the payment of the legacies aforesaid, I give and devise to my said wife and executrix all the property, real, personal or mixed, left with the full and complete authority to sell, rent, lease and with full and complete authority to convey absolute title, reserving nothing due my estate.
It is my further will that my said executrix take full and complete possession of all of my property at my decease without band.
In testimony whereof, I hereto set my hand and publish and declare this to be my last will and testament, in the presence of the witnesses names below, this the 6th day of May 1913.
Evan M Black
Signed, published and declared  by the said Evan M. Black as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us, who, in his presence and in the presence of each other, and at his request, have subscribed our names as witnesses hereto.
A.C. Steel
S S Langley
Filed October 23, 1924
Lee Garner, Clerk

 "Arkansas Probate Records, 1817-1979," images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 04 Oct 2013), Howard > Wills 1873-1970 vol A-B > image 237 of 814.

I've spent the last few "middle of the night- can't sleep" nights over at  one of my very favorite free research sites.  Last night, I was poring over the browsable Arkansas county records and just happened to find a will for a half-great grand uncle of mine.
Evan's half-brother Gordon Nichols, was my great grandfather.   This is the first time I have looked at any records for Evan and I am surprised to see his list of half brothers and sisters.  I have no knowledge of John Black, Handy Rushing or Beatrice Black.
Evan was born to Thomas and Keziah Smith Black on 12/23/1860 in Hot Spring County Arkansas. Family lore tells me that Thomas died sometime during or shortly after the civil war, and that Keziah then married my James Nichols, my 2 greats grandfather.  I have never confirmed this story- just assumed it was true.  Apparently not so.  The 1880 census shows Thomas A Black, a wife named Johana, and  5 children: John, Alva, Thomas W., Handy and Alma B.


  1. I wish I had the patience to do a search. I know a few things but...

    Wonderful to find this treasure.

  2. Oh Terri!!
    Isn't Family Search the very best!! We live parrell lives - I've been spending late nights and wee mornings going over probates from Family Search for Probates for the State of Georgia!! It you need the web site - I'll send it to you!! For ALL the counties of GA if you have any family that come through here!! Suzan