Last Will and Testament Of Allen Helm Sr.

Contributed by: Carol Lackey

Know all men by them present that I, Allen Helm, of the County of Lafayette in the State of Missouri, being in good health and of Sound mind, and Considering the uncertainty of life, do therefore hereby make, publish, and declare this to be my last will and testament hereby, revoking and annulling all former wills, by me heretofore made.
First- I will all my just debts to be fully paid.
second- I give, devise and bequeath to my seven youngest children namely to Louisa Helm, Allen Helm, Wesley Helm, Malinda Helm, Frances Helm, Charles Helm, and Nancy Helm the sum of one Hundred and fifty dollars each, to be paid to them as soon after my debts are paid as may be conveniently done.
Third- All the balance of my estate real and personal of every kind and description after the payment of the debts and legacies aforesaid, I give and devise to my wife, Elizabeth Helm, for and during her natural life or so long as she remains my widow, and at her death or marriage whichever event shall first happen the estate so willed to  my wife or so much thereof as shall then remain undisposed of, I will to be divided unto twelve equal shares. One of which share I will and give to each of my ten children., One share I give and will to my grand Daughter Elizabeth Helm, daughter of my son Riley Helm, and the remaining twelfth share I will to my said wife provided she shall then be living. But in case of her death then this said Twelfth share shall be equally divided among my said ten children and my said grand child above named giving to each the equal one eleventh part thereof.
The Share to which my daughter Elizabeth J. Barker wife of W. Barker may be entitled to under this will I direct to be paid over to my said wife, as trustee, who shall hold and control same for the sole and separate use and benefit of my said daughter Elizabeth J. Barker, and in no event to be subject to the control or liable for any debt or control of her husband. But the said Trustee may pay the same to her, the said Elizabeth J., at such time as she may in her discretion think proven. 
In this event my wife shall think it expedient so to do, she may sell all or any part of my estate at public or private sale, and may invest the proceeds in other estate which shall be divided among my children and grand Daughter above mentioned, in the manner as herein before provided.
As witness my hand and seal this 4th day of December 1854.
signed Allen Helm with seal
L.M. Smallwood
N.M. Smallwood
This is a handwritten will, clearly written and readable. It was written before the death of Elizabeth J. Helm Barker husbands death, and before they left Missouri to come to California.
It was given to Elizabeth Helm by Allen Helm to be sealed and put in the trunk. It stayed there until the time of his death in 1876. After he died Elizabeth took it to the courthouse and presented it to the court. She could neither read or write, and had no idea what the will said. She gave power of attorney to P. Y. Welch to follow the requests Allen had laid out in his will.