|ESTATE OF JAMES STEPPDOCUMENT #1 – Petition of heirs – 1857State of North Carolina
Henderson County—In Equity
To the Honorable The Judge of the Court of Equity for the county of Henderson in the state of North Carolina
The petition of William Stepp, James Case, William Case, Jesse Case, Toliver Lewis, wife Elizabeth, Christopher Summary and wife Mary, Sarah Case, James Stepp, Abraham Stepp, Robert Stepp William Harrel & wife Mary, James Laughter, Bird Laughter, Isaih Paine and wife Martha, John Case and wife Mourning, John Stepp, James Stepp, Shadrack Lewellen and wife Elizabeth, Tonsil, ( Stepp) & wife Leah, James Stepp, Ruebin Stepp, Isaac Lyda & wife Mary , David Lyda and wife Elvira, John Brock and wife Catherine, Felix Freeman & wife Agnes, William Stepp and Mary Stepp, plaintiffs against Joseph Stepp and Ruebin Stepp of Henderson county–defendants.
Humbly complaining, your petitioners showeth unto your Honor that one James Stepp of the said county died some years since in the said county, intestate. Seized and possessed of the following tract of land situated and being on Hungary Creek granted to Thomas Hall, No. 661.Beginning at a white oak, then south 10 degrees east 180 poles to a stake, then south 80 degrees west 90 poles to a stake, then south 10 degrees west 180 poles to a stake, then to the beginning, containing one hundred acres more or less.Your petitioners further showeth unto your Honor that the said James Stepp left heirs surviving him the following children who were his heirs at law, to wit:William Stepp, Elizabeth married to Thomas Case, John Stepp, Mourning married to John Laughter, James Stepp, Joseph Stepp, Ruebin Stepp, and Mary Stepp upon whom his real estate descended as tenants in common. That Elizabeth Case and Thomas Case are dead, leaving your petitioners James, William, Jesse and Sarah Case. , and Elizabeth Lewis wife of Toliver, and Mary Summary, wife of Christopher, their heirs at law. That John Stepp (this is the John Stepp who was husband of Rebecca Kuykendall – contributors note) died intestate, leaving James, Abraham, and Robert Stepp, and Mary Harrel wife of William, his heirs at law. That Mourning Laughter died intestate, leaving James Laughter and Bird Laughter, and Martha Paine wife of Isiah and Mourning Case wife of John, her heirs at law. That James Case died intestate leaving Elizabeth Lewellen wife of Shadrack, John Stepp, James Stepp, Jane Stepp wife of Tonsil, James Stepp, Ruebin Stepp, Mary Lyda wife of Isaac, Elvira Lyda wife of David, Catherine wife of John Brock, Agnes wife of Felix Freeman and William Stepp, his heirs at law. That Joseph, Ruebin and Mary are still living and each entitled to one share in said ____.Your petitioners further showeth unto your Honor that they and the respondents, Joseph and Ruebin Stepp are tenants in common in the said lands, and that the respondents are and have been in the possession and & in the enjoyment of the profits of the same and that from the great number of the owners and the small quantity of land that actual partition cannot be made without destroying the interest of all, and therefore prays your Honor to cause and order a sale of said land for the purpose of partition upon such terms as may be ____ must to your Honor and such other & further relief as the ___requires and will justify. And may it please your Honor to grant unto your petitioners the states right of subpoena to be executed to the defendants Joseph Stepp and Ruebin Stepp , commanding them to appear and answer this petition at the next term of this court. As in __ __ will we pray.
B. S. _____ ____ ______
Typed as spelled in the actual record. _____This denotes words I can’t decipher.
Comments in ( ) are mine. The date of this was 1857.
Submitted by Rita Stepp Ficht
DOCUMENT # 2 – Answer to petition 1857
State of North Carolina—In Equity Sale
Henderson County——-Term 1857
To the Honorable the Judge of the court of Equity of said county.
The joint answer of Ruebin Stepp & Joseph Stepp to the petition of William Stepp & others or ______ much as they are advised it material for them to and were_____& resolved to themselves the benefit of exception to the many errors & inaccuracies , misstatements & false allegations in sd ( said) petition contained for answer sayeth.
That the Father of your respondents, James Stepp, deceased departed this life in the year 1821- leaving the following children — William Stepp, Elizabeth Case, Joseph Stepp, Ruebin Stepp,Mary Stepp, heirs of Mourning Laughter & heirs of John Stepp. John Stepp and Mourning Laughter being long ago deceased.
Your respondents further state that one of them to wit Joseph Stepp purchased of the sd ( said) James, his father in his lifetime fifty acres of land & for which he took a deed bearing date 4th day of September 1814 which is marked A & prayed to be taken as part of their answer, Sd (said) deed has been regularly registered and recorded & for which your respondents paid a full & adequate considerations.Your respondents further state that soon after the death of the sd(said) James Stepp that the other fifty acres of land of which the sd (said) James died seised in full was sold & conveyed to the heirs & next of kin of the sd(said) James who were entitled to the same by decent to wit Ruebin Stepp and Joseph Stepp, your respondents. Also by Thomas Case & wife Elizabeth & James Stepp deceased to their sister Mary Stepp in consideration that they should support & maintain their mother Mary Stepp, widow of sd (said) James during her life sd (said) deed was bonifide & witnessed by one James Case & delivered to the sd (said) Mary & she was then in possession of said tract of land & to continue supporting their aged mother Mary to the date of her death. After which to wit in the year said Mary for valuable consideration conveyed the said fifty acres to her brother Ruebin Stepp one of your respondents.& one James Case who thereupon took immediate posession of said land under the deed aforesaid., which has been regularly registered & recorded Marked B and prayed to be taken as part of this answer. Your respondents further answering state that they & those of whom they respectively purchased & those claiming under them have had the uninterupted continued & adverse posession of the two 50 acre tracts of land ever since the death of said James Stepp deceased to wit in the year 1821.& that their title to said lands & tenant have been long ago perfected not only by purchase & regularly excuted deed of conveyance but have referred into absolute title by the operation of the statute of limitations said adverse posession having continued over thirty years continuously from year to year under colour of title & under & ____ ____ & visable boundried and marked line.
Your respondents further answering alledge & expressly charge that said petitioners fonded in fraud & that the petitioners prayer would go unheeded by this Honorable court upon the grounds that they have exhibited no evidences of title to sd (said) premises or any part there of that they have not shown themselves entitled to any undivided interest in said land & that if they or any ___ were entitled as heirs at law or next of kin of the said James Stepp deceased by descent or otherwise that they should have established their respective rights at laws before this Honorable court could entitle jurisdiction of a petition praying for the sale of land claimed by descent or other wiseYour respondents further alledge & expressly charge that the two deeds herein before referred to executed to Joseph Stepp & to Ruebin Stepp & James Case embraces the entire tract of lands lying on Hungary Creek containing one hundred acres originally granted to one Thomas Hall & afterward transferred to the said James Stepp deceased father of your respondents.& is the identical land described in the petition filed in this Honorable Court. The title to which being in vested in fee in ____ the petitioners. Your respondents pray this Honorable Court to order and decree that said petition be dismissed & your respondents having answered fully and in detail all the motional allegations in said petition contained. pray to be ____ dismised with their reasonable costs, sd (said)unjustly, appended in his behalf.
___ M Edney
The rest of it except for Joseph and Ruebin Stepp’s signatures is illegible. _____ This denotes word I could not decipher,
Transcribed as written as to punctuation and spelling and submitted
Submitted by Rita Stepp Ficht
DOCUMENT #3 James Stepp to Joseph Stepp 4 Sept 1814
ORIGINAL DEED LOCATED IN ESTATE RECORDS OF JAMES STEPP, NC STATE ARCHIVES, RALEIGH, NC
Know all men by these present that James Stepp of the State of North Carolina Buncombe County of the one part and Joseph Stepp of the other part witnesseth that the said James Stepp for in consideration of the sum of fifty dollars to him in hand paid by the said Joseph Stepp the receipt whereof I do acknowledge my self fully satisfied have bargined sold and conveyed a certain tract or parcel of land lying and being in the County of Buncombe and state of North Carolina on Hungary Creek of Green River unto the said Joseph Stepp his heirs and assigns for ever. Beginning on a white oak and runs thence south then East eighty poles to a chestnut a conditional corner and thece along the conditional line to the creek and thence with the creek forty? poles thence on the south side of a small branch up to the line thence with the line north ten west one hundred eighty poles from a stake at the lower end of the same line thence to beginning containing fifty acres more or less with all the privelages and improvements to have and to hold all the above land and property? to him the said Joseph Stepp his heirs and assigns forever._____further that said James Stepp for my self my heirs and executors , administrators do convey, _____ and ____ to and the land to Joseph Stepp his heirs and assigns that I shall have and hold all the above land and premises free from me my heirs and assigns forever and further to —-and forever defend all the above land and premises free and clear from all lawful claims whatever unto the said Joseph Stepp his heirs and assigns. In witness whereof I have set my hand and seal this 4th Day of September 1814 in the presents of
Reuben Stepp, James “X” Stepp
John Spann mark
State of North Carolina} Clerks office in _______
Henderson County } October the 3rd AD 1857
The —– execution of the within deed was duly proven before me by the oath of Reuben Stepp one of the subscribing witnesses thence recorded and ordered to be registered
Witness R. W. Allen CCC
State of North Carolina} Registers office 5th day of October 1857
Submitted by: Kathy Summers
DOCUMENT #4 Deed from Mary Stapp to Reuben Stepp and James Case
Know all men by these present that I Mary Stapp of the State of North Carolina nd County of Buncombe of the one part and Reuben Stapp and James Case of the State and County aforesid of the other part witnesseth that the said Mary for & in consideration of the sum of forty dollars to her in hand paid by the said Stapp and Case, the receipt whereof I do acknowledge my self fully satisfied and ____whereof I the said Mary Stapp hath bargined, sold and conveyed a certain tract or parcel of land being and lying in the state and county aforesaid on Hungry Creek granted unto the said Reuben Stapp and Case their heirs and assigns beginning at a stone and stake the South corner of a tract of land formerly belonging to James Stapp dec. and being a part of a tract and parcel South eighty West ninety poles to a stake thence North ten West to a conditional line made between Joseph Stapp and his father James Stapp thence with the conditional to the first line of said old tract thence south ten East to the beginning with its advantages, mines, and minerals and herrediments and apertainences thereunto belonging. I bind myself my heirs, assigns and administrators to warrent and forever defend said land from all lawful claims whatever unto the said Reuben Stapp and said James Case their heirs assigns and administrators forever where as I have set my hand and seal in the presents of our____ this fourteenth day of April AD 1834.
Mary (her mark)X Stapp
Witnesses: Thomas Leverette
Batshaba Leverett (X her mark)
Recorded Henderson Co NC Deed Book 6 Page 342)
Submitted by: Kathy Summers
(There are additional documents in this file.)