Alleged Relatives of Late Mrs. Gopcevic Want a Portion of Estate She Left




Attorney Phillips Says He Has Evidence on Which to Base Claims of Clients


Heirs of the late Mrs. Harry Floyd-Gopcevic, whose name was Miss Harry Floyd until she married a gripman of Servian birth, are beginning to appear, and yesterday morning in Superior Judge Kerrigan’s court Attorney L/ Ernest Phillips gave notice that he would contest the will of the late heiress on behalf of David B. Floyd of Bridgeport, Conn., and Mrs. Rosalie B. Matthews of Brooklyn.

Phillips has been in correspondence with both of them and claims to have evidence to support his claims. Floyd, so Phillips says, was a brother of the late Captain Floyd, father of the dead heiress. Mrs. Matthews says she was a cousin of Mrs. Gopcevic and will endeavor to secure a portion of the big estate left by the latter.

The case was called for probate in Judge Kerrigan’s court yesterday morning and the testimony of several witnesses, including Miss Eliza Pritchard, was taken. Phillips asked for a continuance of the case until such time as he would be able to secure the power of attorney from his clients in the East. Judge Kerrigan refused to grant the continuance on the ground that Phillips had no power to act for the heirs and admitted the will to probate.


Phillips says he received a letter from an attorney of Bridgeport, Conn., on February 27, informing him that David B. Floyd of that place was a brother of the late Captain Floyd and that he was anxious to secure a portion of the estate. Phillips immediately communicated with Floyd, asking him for his power of attorney, which he expects will arrive in a few days.

Mrs. Rosalie B. Matthews of Brooklyn in a letter written to Phillips insinuates that Mrs. Gopcevic was unduly influenced by Miss Pritchard, and that the latter conspired with Gopcevic and arranged the marriage between the pair. Mrs. Matthews’ letter was full of sensational accusations and bitterly upbraided Gopcevic and Miss Pritchard.

Mrs. Gopcevic executed a holographic will nineteen days before her death in favor of her husband, who claims to be the scion of a royal Servian family. It is claimed by those who are about to contest the will that everything was not as it should and they will therefore ask the court to fully investigate the matter.


Phillips states that he will ask that the will be broken on the ground that Mrs. Gopcevic was deceived by a foreigner, who represented himself as a nobleman, and that she soon tired of her husband, but that he managed to induce her to make her will in his favor.

According to the terms of the will of the late Mrs. Floyd, mother of Mrs. Gopcevic, the estate was to go to her daughter when the latter attained the age of 21. She was to receive two-thirds of the income while she lived and one-third was to be devoted to the improvement and maintenance of the estate. In case of the death of the heiress the estate should go to her children, and in the event that she were to die childless the estate should go to whomsoever the daughter willed it.

The issue at stake at the present time does not concern the relatives of Mrs. Gopcevic’s father, claim her legal representatives, and they say that therefore they have not the slightest claim to her fortune. They also say that the late Captain Floyd never had a brother.

The San Francisco Call, Tuesday, March 8, 1904