The National Packard Museum will present The Battle for Packard’s Estate Part II: Packard Music Hall,” a dramatization of the legal challenges to W.D. Packard’s Last Will and Testament that lasted from 1940 until 1955. This entertaining and educational program will be presented at the museum on Friday, October 26, 2018 at 6:00 PM.
W.D. Packard died in 1923 leaving an estate worth more than $700,000 ($10,000,000 in today’s dollars).
His son, Warren Packard II died tragically in a plane crash in 1929 leaving two young children. W.D. Packard’s widow, Kathryn lived until 1940. Shortly after her death, Mr. Packard’s daughter-in-law, Dorothy Packard Smith contested the estate, arguing that the provisions in Packard’s will providing for the construction of Packard Music Hall and the establishment of the Packard band were invalid.
Mrs. Smith’s challenge ended unsuccessfully in 1943. So what was so unusual about W.D. Packard’s will? What motivated Dorothy to sue her father-in-laws estate? Why did the Packard Park Board of Trustees end up back in court in 1949? Why did it take until 1955 for the Packard Band to play their first concert in the W.D. Packard Music Hall?
The answers to these questions may surprise you. Come listen to actors portray W.J. O’Neill, the lawyer who drafted Packard’s will; Kathryn Bruder Packard, the grieving widow; Dorothy Packard Smith, the daughter-in-law who challenged the will, and B.N. MacGregor, Packard Electric’s General Manager and the chairman of the Packard Park Board of Trustees while the legal battles raged.
Museum doors will open at 5:00 PM. The cost is just $10.00 and food concessions and beverages will be available for purchase. Don’t miss this entertaining and educational presentation!
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