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Eliza J. Woodard Estate

Decatur County Journal
Leon, Decatur County, Iowa
February 9, 1905

SARAH C. KIRKPATRICK was yesterday appointed administratix of the estate of ELIZA J. WOODARD, giving bond in the sum of $200. The petition recites that the property of the estate consists of $100 and an insurance policy of $2,000 issued by the Burlington Mutual Life Association which the administratix claims as the mother and heir of said ELIZA J. WOODARD.

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Decatur County Journal
Leon, Decatur County, Iowa
March 16, 1905

SARAH C. KIRKPATRICK, administrator vs. Merchants' Life Association of Burlington. In her petition plaintiff claims that on November 5, 1903, ELIZA J. WOODARD was received into the association as a member thereof and so remained until her death. At that time, defendant delivered to her a certificate of membership whereby defendant agreed to insure the life of ELIZA J. WOODARD and in case of death, to pay her beneficiary $2,000. On the 15th of December, 1903, ELIZA J. WOODARD died, her death being brought about by poison administered by the beneficiary, CHARLES WOODARD. Subsequent to her death, CHAS. WOODARD obtained possession of the certificate and kept it until February 20, 1904. At that time defendant fraudulently procured possession of the certificate by conspiring with CHAS. WOODARD and held the same until the latter's trial, which was the first time the plaintiff ever saw the certificate, or had an opportunity to become familiar with its contents. Then petitioner asked defendant to furnish blank proofs of death, but defendant refused and disclaimed all liability on said certificate. For this reason, defendant waived proofs, but plaintiff furnished additional proofs of death.

CHARLES WOODARD was sentenced for poisoning his wife on January 21, 1905, and thereby forfeited all rights as a beneficiary or heir at law. At the death of ELIZA WOODARD, her father and mother were her sole heirs. Her father is dead and her mother has been appointed administrator of her estate. Plaintiff asks judgment against said insurance company for $2,000 and costs.

Marion F. Stookey and G.W. Baker for plaintiff.

Contributed by Nancee (McMurtrey) Siefert

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