From the Richmond Times, 9/30/1900, p. 10, c. 5

Wills of Dr. Hunter McGuire and Miss Van Lew Probated.
Distinguished Surgeon Bequeaths All His Property to His Wife, While a Niece a Beneficiary in Other Cases.

Two wills, in which the Richmond public is intensely interested, were filed for probate in the office of the clerk of the Chancery Court yesterday. One was that of the late Dr. Hunter McGuire, the distinguished surgeon, who followed the Confederate flag in the dark days of 1861-1865. The other was that of Miss Elizabeth L. Van Lew, the Northern spy, who, after the war, became postmaster of Richmond.

Miss Van Lew leaves an estate valued at about $5,000. The instrument was prepared by Messrs. Otis H. Russell and J. R. V. Daniel, close friends of the deceased lady. The will is dated February 21, 1900, and leaves all of the property and estate affected to Miss Van Lew’s two nieces, Annie Randolph Hall, wife of John J. Hall, of Philadelphia, and Eliza Louisa Van Lew, to be equally divided between them.

The important features of the will are to be found in the two codicils, which are as follows:

“Codicil 1. Inasmuch as my niece Eliza Louisa Van Lew has died since I made my will, dated the 21st of February, 1900, I make this codicil to my will, and I hereby give, devise and bequeath all my property, real and personal, to my niece Annie Randolph Hall, sister of my deceased niece, Eliza Van Lew Hall.

“I leave to Mr. John Phillips Reynolds, Jr., any manuscript I may have put together.

“Witness my hand this 19th day of June, 1900.


“Codicil 2. I hereby direct that all my furniture, book-cases, &c., be sent to Boston , Massachusetts, and sold there, but subject to such directions as I may give by letter to my executors.

“I leave to my dear friend Mr. John Phillips Reynolds, Jr., of Boston, Mass., all my manuscript wherever found, he to make such disposition of the same as I may direct him by letter.

“I hereby appoint Mr. John Phillips Reynolds, Jr., of Boston, and Mr. John T. Goddin, of Richmond, executors of my last will, in the place of Mr. John T. Goddin heretofore appointed

“Witness my hand this 20th day of September, A. D. 1900.

“John G. Winston, James M. Taylor, witnesses.”

The estate was not appraised, but its estimated value is $5,000.


Dr. McGuire will filed just a few moments before that of Miss Van Lew.

The estate is left entirely to his wife, and is valued at $150,000. Mrs. McGuire is made executrix, without security, and qualified as such.

The will is dated March 21st, 1895, and is in Dr. McGuire’s own handwriting. The part of the will that is of general interest is as follows:

“I, Hunter Holmes McGuire, of Richmond, Henrico county, Va., do hereby make this my last will and testament.

“I give and bequeath to my wife, Mary S. McGuire, all my property of whatsoever kind, to hold and dispose of as she may see fit. I appoint my said wife my executrix, with full power of every kind, and request that she may be allowed to qualify without giving security.”

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