After John Wendel’s death, the sisters remained in the house, until Ella Wendel was the only one left. Only one of the sisters had married—and not until she was well past childbearing age because John Wendel had been concerned about gold-diggers. This meant there was no one to inherit the vast fortune. Despite this, Ella Wendel carried on living exactly as she had before.
She had a fortune valued at $100 million, but she continued to live in the vast house alone, without modern amenities. Her only pleasure seemed to be her dogs over the years, all of which were named Toby. At night, she would walk Toby on a vacant lot that they owned, which, following her brother’s business principle, she would never sell, despite it being worth millions.
After Ella’s death in 1931, over 2,000 “relatives” came forward to claim their share of the inheritance, almost all of whom were totally bogus. A large chunk of the estate was spent in legal fees fending off the claims, and the remainder went to charity.
So, totally worth it.