Although faced with contests in two phases of his legal relationship with the late Jack Bell, Dr. Sidney J. Tillim, superintendant of the
Nevada state hospital, prevailed in district court proceedings recently and was named administrator of the late Verdi man's estate.
Claiming that the value of the estate was less than $3000, Dr. Tillim said that the nearest heirs, out-of-state cousins, had waived any right of
appointment as administrator and nominated him.
Mrs. Maud Dowd, veteran recently-retired Washoe county deputy clerk, sought the letters of administration, contending that as a long-standing friend
she was more qualified than Dr. Tillim for the appointment.
District Judge Harold Taber ruled that the legal right of appointment belonged to Dr. Tillim, "althought I would like to appoint Mrs. Dowd" he said from
Dr. TIllim had previously been appointed as guardian in an uncontested action. J.E. Martie, head of the physical education departmet of the University of Nevada,
later contested this appointment on grounds Bell wasn't mentally incapacitated in a manner to require incarceration at the institution.
Bell died on Aug. 7, before this dispute could come to court.
Bell, a western author and sportsman of note, was 88 years old when he died. He left a will in which unusual bequests of individual items,
such as fishing gear, were made to friends; and detailed conditions of the disposition of his estate and of burial services were set forth.
His principal property holding was a house in Verdi.
Norman Samuelson was the attorney for Dr. Tillim in the legal actions, while Harry Atkinson represented both Mrs. Dowd and Martie.