We have already posted Robert Campbell’s 1832 will. Nearly 60 years later — 59 years minus 1 day to be exact, Robert’s son Hugh did the same thing. Like his father’s 1832 will, this was not Hugh’s final will — he would write a later one to include bequests to faithful servants Gus Meyer and Mary Boerste. The museum does not have a complete copy of this will, so only the first page has been transcribed; it is posted here. However, this 1891 will did include a very large bequest to Yale University on the condition that they build the “James Alexander Campbell Memorial Building” and hang the portrait of James, Hugh’s youngest surviving brother, in the building. Although Yale did use and recognize Hugh’s eventual bequest after his death in 1931, the James Alexander Campbell building as Hugh had envisioned it was never built.
After Hugh’s death in 1931, several parties tried to break his last will. The lawyer who had prepared this will in Paris in 1891 testified in the case and described Hugh: “Physically he was sturdy, hearty, apparently well built, young and vigorous. Intellectually he appeared well poised, entirely conversant with what he wanted in the way of testamentary disposition, was specific … as to what he desired to do for each. he also manifested entire familiarity with the nature and extent of his property, real and personal. In temperament, he seemed to me cheerful, hearty, and genial.” We hope you enjoy learning about the thoughts of Robert’s hearty, cheerful, and poised son Hugh.
Last Will and Testament
On French Stamped Paper
Executed this April 9th, 1891
In the name of God, Amen. I Hugh Campbell of the City of St. Louis, State of Missouri, and United States of America, temporarily sojourning in Paris, France, being of sound and disposing mind and memory do hereby make, publish anddeclare this and for my last Will and Testament, here, by revoking and annulling all wills and codicils by me at any time heretofore made.
Clause First– I direct my executors herein after appointed as soon as may be after my decease to pay all my just debts and my funeral expenses.
Clause Second– I give and bequeath to my friend Miss Lillie B. Randell should she survive me or if not to her sister Mrs. Laetitia W. Garrison, both now or lately residing at Number Four (4) Great Stanhope Street, Mayfair, London all and several the shawls, laces, plate and other articles of whatever nature which may at the time of my death be contained in those certain cedar chests deposited by me and now on deposit in the Safe Deposit Company located in the building on the North West corner of Sixth and Locust Streets and between Sixth and Seventh Streets in the City of St. Louis, Missouri, also all precious stones, jewels and jewelry deposited by me and now on deposit in a box on the Safe Deposit Company located on the north side of.….[End page 1, for complete document, see originals]