|John Priest's Death
March 17, 1901, The St. Louis Republic reported that three lawsuits had been filed in connection with the administration of the Murdoch & Dickson estate. The article reiterated that this estate had been in litigation since the death of Charles Dickson in 1871. The new administrator of the estate, William C. Richardson, brought the suits against the Terminal Railway Association, the Mississippi Valley Trust Company and T. S. Evans and the Vornbrook Furniture Company. The suits all stemmed back to property that had been sold by the then-administrator of the estate, John Priest. The Richardson claimed that Murdoch had no authority to appoint Priest back in 1871, and therefore the property transactions handled by Priest should be declared null and void. Two more lawsuits followed in May of 1901.
|March 17, 1901
|May 19, 1901
The case regarding the legitimacy of John Murdoch appointing John Priest as administrator of the estate, which impacted the above referenced lawsuits as well as others, began in the St. Louis Circuit Court on October 5, 1905. The case was appealed and went to the Missouri Supreme Court in 1914, where it was ruled that Murdoch had inappropriately assigned Priest to handle the estate.
|October 6, 1905
The estate of John Priest, in the meantime, was having legal issues of its own. Following Priest's death, the Mississippi Valley Trust Company, as trustee for Sophia M. Capitain, Manette Capitain, Ringrose J. Capitain, Isabella Capitain and Chouteau Capitain filed suit against Ella B. Priest, Administratrix of the estate of John G. Priest, deceased, Auguste L. Priest, Warren G. Priest, John G. Priest, Jr., Virginia C. Priest, Annie Priest, Mark Priest, Chouteau Priest, Maude Priest and Ella B. Priest. John G. Priest was appointed trustee for the Capitains for the trust of Ringrose J. Watson, which was dated October 6, 1869. When Priest was removed as trustee in October of 1899, he was ordered to pay over to the new trustee the trust funds remaining in the estate. It was alleged that Priest received large sums of money belonging to the estate, but that he had not provided an accounting to the trust. He also did not turn over the funds as required upon his removal as trustee. The Court on January 27, 1902, ordered Ella Priest to pay the Capitains $5,100 plus six percent interest.
The allegations in the Capitain lawsuit sound suspiciously like John Priest's dealings with the Murdoch & Dickson estate.