On appeal from the Bergen County Court, Probate Division.
Lynch, Crane and Horn. The opinion of the court was delivered by Lynch, P.J.A.D. (retired; temporarily assigned on recall).
This case involves the construction of the last will and testament of Maude F. Thornton who was a resident of the Village of Ridgewood (village) at the time of her death on October 5, 1969.
The second codicil of testatrix' will which gives rise to this controversy reads, so far as pertinent:
THIRTEENTH: I direct that my real property located at 174 North Maple Avenue, Ridgewood, New Jersey, be sold and I give, devise and bequeath the net proceeds thereof together with all the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, real, personal and mixed, of whatsoever kind, nature and description and wheresoever situate to the VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD in the County
of Bergen and State of New Jersey, to be used to provide a teenage club house and recreation area.
I further direct that the Village of Ridgewood shall have six (6) months from the date of the probate of this my Last Will and Testament to accept or reject this gift and in the event of its failure to do so, or in the event it elects not to accept the same for the aforesaid uses and purposes, then and in either event it is my will and I direct that my residuary estate shall be divided into three (3) equal shares, parts or portions to be disposed of as follows:
(1) One (1) such share, part or portion I give, devise and bequeath to COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF PHARMACY , 115 West 68th Street, New York City, New York, for a scholarship or scholarships in memory of my beloved husband, Edward B. Thornton.
(2) One (1) such share, part or portion, I give, devise and bequeath to COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS , 630 West 168th Street, New York City, New York, for a scholarship or scholarships in memory of my grandfather, Dr. James H. Mills.
(3) One (1) such share, part or portion, I give, devise and bequeath to COLUMBIA COLLEGE , 116th Street and Broadway, New York City, New York, for a scholarship or scholarships in memory of my grandmother, Frances Clinton Mills, who was a direct descendant of De Witt Clinton, who was the first student to matriculate there after the Revolutionary War in what had previously been known as "Kings College". He was Mayor of New York City and died while Governor of the State.
The will and codicils were admitted to probate on October 17, 1969.
On December 23, 1969 the village governing body passed the ...