John Augustus Pell

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John Augustus Pell

Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of Alfred Sands Pell and Adelia Pell
Husband of Susan Maria Field
Father of Eleanor Livingston Pell
Brother of Robert Livingston Pell; James Duane Pell; George Washington Pell and Richard Montgomery Pell

Managed by: James Duane Pell Bishop III
Last Updated:

About John Augustus Pell

NY Evening Telegram - May 21, 1897

Judge Chase. In the Supreme Court, resumed

taking testimony In the Pell will conteat

to-day. The Court Is asked to pass upon

one of the most peculiar cases that ever arose

from a will.

John Augustus Pell left the entire Income

of his estate to his daughter. Eleanor Livingstone

Phelps, provided she should live In

Europe. -

Mrs. Phelps Is an American citizen, and

says that this clause prohibits her from exerting

her rights as such. She asks the Court

to construe the clause.

Another question is whether Mr. Pell's domicile

was In France or this country. Although

an American, he lived in France almost

continually after 1865. The estate will

be administered according to the laws of the

country tn which the testator was domiciled.

The value of the estates left by Mr. and

Mrs. Pell is about 17.000.000.

When the case closed yesterday Lawyer

Blaikle was in the midst of a deposition

made by Ellen Theresa Corcoran. The deposition

is Introduced to show that Mr. Pell

often declared that he considered Paris his

home. Mrs. Corcoran declares that during

her thirty-eight years* service she frequently

heard Mr. Pell say that Paris was his home,

and be never wanted to return to America

When court opened to-day Mr. Blaikle continued

reading the • deposition. Under .the

laws of France Mrs. Phelps* husband will

receive a much larger Interest In the estate

than be would on this side.

Lawyer Jacob Marks Interposed frequent

objections during the reading of the crossinterrogations,

and especially those questions

and answers relating to conversations In

which Pell Is alleged to have declared that he

did not intend to come to America during the

latter years of his life. The objections were

based upon the ground of Pell'e alleged Irresponsibility,

he having once been legally declared

Insane. The majority of Mr. Marks'

objections were not allowed.

A deposition made by Mrs. Walden Pell, a

resident of Paris, Was then read. This deposition

also declared that the testator had frequently

expressed himself as having made

Paris his home, and as having said that he

never cared to return to America.

A deposition by Louis Crox. a sculptor, was

next read. Mr. Crox deposed that Mr. Pell

had ordered him to put Up a monument In

the remetery at Pau. France. Mr. Pell swears

Mr.urox. was very particular in selecting the

burial plot and monument.

One of Mr. Pell's letters to the sculptor

read:—"You may begin t once imposing monument:

price agreed upon -too francs." As to

Pell's acknowledged place of residence. Mr.

Croix's deposition corroborated the others.

After the reading of the disposition Colonel

8. Van Rensselaer Cruger. executor of the

estate, and who appears as plaintiff in the

action, took the stand. He Identified a copy

of the Will and then proceeded to give an outline

of the Pell family tree.

Colonel Cruger testified that Mr. Pell lived

abroad almost-continually from the early

sixties and visited America rarely.

The will of Mrs. Pell was offered In evidence

to show that she considered herself a

resident of America, and also considered her

husband as such. She described herself as

simply sojourning In Europe.

Colonel Cruger. In answer to questions.

said that all the beneficiaries under the will

are Americans.. He testified. that both My,

and Mrs. Pell had lived In Xew York Xof

years and owned valuable real '-property frf f

this city. When he offered the will for probate.

Colonel Cruger said he regarded the

Pells as being residents of America, and so

stated In his petition.

Colonel Cruger gave a long list of real

property owned by Mr. Pell. He said that

the house at No. $4 Fifth avenue had been

bought about 1S86.

"Did you ever hear Mr. Pell express any

dislike for America!" was asked of Colonel


"I never did." was the answer.

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John Augustus Pell's Timeline

Age 32
Age 69