The Last Will and Testament
John B. Denton
Some years ago it was my pleasure to find the Will of John B. Denton in the county records of Red River County. While pouring over some old records with the assistance of County Clerk Marie Hausler, and my wife Linda Lavender, we unfolded a tired looking old document and found the Last Will and Testament of Denton. From it we learn how extensive his land holdings were, what were the proper names of his children, and who he considered his friends. It should be noted that his partner John B. Craig was engaged in lawsuits for years with Denton's widow over proper division of the property they held in common. William Porter, mentioned in the document below, wrote the official Department of War account of the Village Creek encounter in which Denton perished.
The Last Will and Testament of John B. Denton
The Republic of Texas, County of Red River
Know all now by these present - That I John B. Denton, in view of the mortality of man do make this my last will and Testament. First I will that my debts be paid out of my property. 2nd, I will that my beloved wife Mary Denton, have and hold all my personal property during her life. 3rdly I will to my beloved wife Mary six hundred and forty acres of land which I obtained as a head right from the government of Texas. And also three hundred and twenty acres of land part of an undivided section of land belonging to Craig and Denton west of Dekalb, on Mud Creek- in fee simple to her and her heirs for ever. 4th, I will to my Daughter Elizabeth in fee simple, one thousand acres of land to be taken out of the land held by Craig and Denton in partnership. 5th The balance of my undivided interest in land held with J.B. Craig to be equally divided with my son Johnothan Denton, My Daughter Nancysu (J?) Denton. My son Eldredg(e) H. Denton, My Son Ashley N. Denton and My son Burnard P. Denton, to be held by them and their heirs in fee simple, for Ever.
Lastly I appoint, constitute and ordain, my friends William N. Porter, and John B. Craig the Executors of this my last will and testament in Testimony where of I have hereunto set my hand and seal this the 15 th day of July 1840.
Richard Miller J. B. Denton J. B. Cassidy
John B. Denton's Last Will and Testament