Appeals, Nos. 32 and 33, Jan. T., 1959, from decree of Orphans' Court of Montgomery County, April 23, 1958, in case of Lester L. Bowman et al. v. Florence Brown et al. Decree affirmed.
Parke H. Ulrich, Jr., with him Warren Y. Francis, for appellants.
Robert W. Honeyman, with him Fox, Differ & Honeyman, for appellees.
Before Jones, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen and McBRIDE, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO.
On May 20, 1931, Aaron R. Bowman, feeling the premonitory chill of the final leveller, picked up his pen and wrote:
"I, Aaron R. Bowman of the Village of Zieglersville, Lower Frederick Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, I will and bequeath all my real estate and personal property to my wife, Hulda Leister Bowman, as long as she sees fit to remain on the premises and keep said premises in repair and pay taxes on same. I also direct that Three hundred dollars to be paid to my wife Hulda, with interest at five per cent per annum for money advanced me in the year 1910. In case my wife should die before me, the estate shall be sold and divided equally between my four children, Jerome Y. Bowman, Kate Y. Kulp, wife of Harvey Kulp and Lester L. Bowman and Crosley L. Bowman, all of my real estate and personal property is located in the village of Zieglersville, Lower Frederick Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. I appoint my son, Jerome Y. Bowman, my executor of my estate." (Emphasis supplied)
Ten days later, on May 30, 1931, he died. His widow, Hulda Bowman, fulfilled the conditions of the will by continuing to live on the property, keeping it in repairs, and paying taxes. Then on July 28, 1955, she joined the great majority, without, however, having anticipated the inevitable. She left no will.
Both Aaron Bowman and Hulda Bowman had been married previously, and each had left two children by their former respective spouses. Hulda's children by her former husband are Tracie Gottshalk and John Gottshalk, Aaron's children by his former wife (now deceased) were Jerome Bowman and Kate Kulp.
When Hulda Bowman died, her four offspring - Lester Bowman and Croskey Bowman by Aaron Bowman and Tracie Gottshalk and John Gottshalk by her former marriage - made a bid for the whole estate, claiming that Aaron had left all the property to ...