[John M. Gwin Note: Following is my attempt to transcribe a photocopy of an original handwritten court document sent to me by Barbara Smith, widow of my late cousin Roy Lester Smith.  The document appears to be what we today call a deposition--i.e., a session where a lawyer swears-in and interrogates a person before a court reporter in order to produce a sworn, written statement.  I have attempted to not edit it  in any way except to boldface names as they appear. The title shown here in red appears on the back of the first page; the first two lines thereof appear to me to have been added at a later time, perhaps even by Roy Smith. Actual signatures in the original document appear below in 18-point boldfaced Italics.]

--     A B S T R A C T    --
Nathaniel Burdine Wilson of Dallas Co., AL, has died.  He had lived with his son, Isham Griffin Wilson, M.D., the last five years of his life, leaving a total debt of over $300.  Joseph F. John, administrator of the NB Wilson estate, has petitioned Probate Judge Joe Gothard to liquidate the estate to pay the debt.  The judge commissions John Barron Phillips, Esq., to produce a deposition.  But the sworn testimony of the witnesses (Mr. John and Dr. Wilson) is that there is nothing left in the estate with which to pay any part of any debt.       --John M. Gwin


File #65
Dallas County Court House
Published by Order of Court January 10, 1876
Joseph Gothard, Judge


State of Alabama} In Probate Court
County of Dallas}  of Dallas County
    In the matter of the petition of Joseph F. John as Admr. of N. B. Wilson decd to sell lands of said Estate to pay debts.
    By virtue of the commission hereto attached issued from the office of the Probate Judge for the county of Dallas State of Alabama I John Barron Phillips the commissioner therein named have called and caused to come before me the said Jos F. John and Isham G. Wilson the witnesses named in said commission on this the 6th day of Jan. ___ office of Phillips & Mallory of Selma Ala and having sworn said witnesses to tell the truth the whole truth & nothing but the truth they answered as follows
X  Int 1st    I did not know Nathaniel Wilson in his life time nor where he lived nor at whose house he died but my information is that he died at his sons house in Dallas County Ala.
    I do not know of any personal property belonging to his Estate none come into my possession as administrator nor any money or any other species of personal property whatsoever
 J. F. John
            Answers to Cross Interrogatores
X  Int   One claim has been presented to me as administrator of about two hundred and ninety five dollars for attentions during his last illness including his doctors bill and funeral expenses said claim is in favor of Dr. Isham G. Wilson and was due at the date of Mr. Nathaniel Wilson's death.
    He left no personal property that I have any knowledge of or that has come into my possession.
    I do not know of any fact or facts that will tend to show that the personal property is sufficient to pay the debts of the estate or any part of them.   J. F. John

    Isham G. Wilson being duly sworn on oath says to 1st Int
X  Int 1st    I knew Nathaniel Wilson in his life time.  He lived five years prior to his death with me & died there.  I live in Dallas County Ala.
    There is no personal property, no money, no notes, or bills of exchange or solvent credits he left no watch horses mules or cattle.  He left no personal property
            Answers to Cross Interrogatores
X  Int 1st
    The debt due me at the time of his death and since for burial expenses for the sum of about two hundred & ninety five dollars and a claim in favor of William N. Wilson for twenty five dollars with interest for about five or six years
    He left no personal property.    I cannot state any fact or facts that will show or tend to show that the personal property of the Estate of said decedent is sufficient to satisfy the debts against the Estate.

Isham G. Wilson
I John Barron Phillips one of the commissioners named do hereby certify that the foregoing testimony & answers taken down and written by me in the words of the witnesses J. F. John & Isham G. Wilson were read over to them that they assented, swore to & subscribed thereto in my presence at the time & place herein mentioned that we have personal knowledge of the personal identity of said witnesses that we are not of counsel or kin to either of the parties to said cause nor interested in the event thereof.
John Barron Phillips (seal)
Given under my hand & seal as [comes?] this the 6th of January 1876
John Barron Phillips (seal)