As we begin the new year and new century, there will be a number of hundred-year anniversaries, beginning with Bernard Daly’s death. It was early in the morning on January 5, 1920, after having been ill since before Christmas, when Bernard Daly died while on the train to San Francisco where he was to be treated by specialists. On the train, he was accompanied by his Lakeview physician, Dr. Charles Liethead; long-time business partner, Fred Reynolds; and the love of his life, Pearl Hall. He died on route, near Livermore California. On the following Sunday, a crowd of about 700, almost everyone who lived in or near Lakeview attended his memorial service – that was most of Lakeview as the total population in 1920 was just over a thousand.

The day after Daly’s funeral, his will was filed for probate with the Lake County clerk. The next day, the Lake County Examiner printed Daly’s will in its entirety, noting that the value of Daly’s estate was about a million dollars. Soon most people in the county knew that Daly had amassed a much larger fortune than they had imagined and instead of leaving the money to relatives, he was giving most of it to the youth of Lake County so they could go to college. Within days, families were asking how they could apply for the funds.

However, the awarding of scholarships would have to wait as Daly’s will was challenged by relatives, including his only remaining sibling, Hugh Daly, and 14 nephews and nieces from many different states as well as Ireland, Scotland, England, Canada, and Italy.

More about the challenge to the will in a future post.

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