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MIT losing 87-year suit

By Harold A. Stern

MIT's 87-year effort to obtain the multi-million dollar estate of Marian Hovey, a childless invalid who died in 1898, may come to an unsuccessful close in the near future, reported The Boston Globe Saturday.

Miss Hovey, a resident of Gloucester, bequeathed her $2.5 million estate to her brother Henry, her sister Fanny Morse, and Fanny's two children, John and Cabot Sr. Her will specified that if the nephews died without naming beneficiaries, their trust fund should be left to three charities -- MIT, the Harvard Medical School and the Museum of Fine Arts, the article said.

Henry died childless in 1900, as did John in 1928. Cabot Morse Sr. drowned in 1948, and left his only child Cabot Morse Jr. the sum of $1 dollar. He bequeathed the remainder of the Hovey estate to go to his wife Anna, who died in 1983, according to The Globe.

Morse Jr.'s will named his adopted daughter, Martha Seaver, as the beneficiary of his wealth. In 1948, Morse Jr. lost an attempt to acquire a share of his father's estate, a case Seaver "inherited." A Supreme Judicial Court decision, issued on November 7, ruled in favor of Seaver, despite the state attorney general's support of the charities' claims, The Globe reported.

The schools and the museum may still file a petition for a rehearing.