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Atchison County
Missouri


Public Buildings


FIRST COURT HOUSE -REMOVAL OF THE COUNTY SEAT FROM LINDEN TO ROCKPORT SECOND COURT HOUSE— PLANS FOR A NEW COURT HOUSE—COURT ORDERS A FIRE PROOF BUILDING—PETITION ASKING TO BUILD COURT HOUSE-ELECTION ORDERED —ADDRESS OF THE COURT—PROPOSITION DEFEATED—ANOTHER PETITION PRESENTED— SECOND ELECTION ORDERED-ADDRESS OF THE COURT—RESULT OF ELECTION-CONCLUSIONS-COUNTY POOR FARM.

Court House

FIRST COURT HOUSE.
The first court house that was erected in Atchison County, was located in the town of Linden, in 1846, some five miles north of the present town of Rock Port. It was built of wood, and cost $475.

PLAN OF COURT HOUSE IN LINDEN.

Said house to be 20x30 feet, two stories high ; the lower story to be nine feet in the clear, and the upper story seven feet ; the middle joists to be three inches wide and three inches thick ; the upper joists seven inches wide by three inches thick. The sleepers to be made of good oak timber, and joined with the sills ; the sleepers to be two feet apart, and the joists two feet apart and extend across the building ; the sills to be eight inches wide by ten inches thick ; side ties to be four inches by six ; the plates to be four by six inches ; the end ties to be eight by six inches, with a sill and ties across the middle of the building; four posts seven by seven inches, and two middle posts, four by six inches, each post to have four hanging braces ; the studding to be three by four inches ; rafters to be five by three inches at one end, and three by three at the other ; rafters to be three feet apart; the door and window frames to be of walnut, one and a half inches thick; the weatherboarding to be of walnut, dressed and jointed, with good dressed boxing and moulding under the eaves and front end; two doors in lower story, thick panel work; the roof to be sheeted and shingled with oak, walnut or pine ; the lower floor to be of oak and broken jointed; the upper floor to be of linn, tongued and grooved ; the walls and the upper story overhead, to be ceiled with dressed linn or walnut; the lower story to have five fifteen light windows, eight by ten glass; upper story four twelve light windows, eight by ten glass ; a partition across the building twelve feet from the front, up stairs, with two batten doors; a partition to divide the back room in the center the other way; all the partition to be of dressed linn, tongued and grooved, one inch thick; all doors and windows to be cased inside with single worked case and moulding ; the judges stand to be twenty-seven inches high, from the floor, three feet wide and five feet long ; the front thirty inches above the floor of the stand, with a cap ten inches wide and one and a half inches thick, braced and stayed ; three steps on each side, with a panel front, all to be dressed ; two benches on each side of the stand, .ten feet long, with backs, walnut seats one and a half inches thick ; plain stairs to be run up on the outside, four feet wide, with railing and platform at the top four feet wide, all of oak ; a batten door at the head of the stairs ; good window shutters ; a rock foundation under each part ; the whole house to be done in a good and workmanlike manner. Estimated cost, $475.00.

JESSE COOK, Superintendent.

N. E. The undertakers to find all materials.

Isaac F. Wallis was the contractor in the building of this house, and obligated himself to complete the same by the 15th day of October, 1847.

REMOVAL OF THE COUNTY SEAT.

The history of the removal of the county seat from Linden, where it was located upon the organization of the county, in 1845, shows much of the bitterness and strife which have ever characterized attempts to change seats of justice after they have been once located. The main cause for this change was, that after the line between Iowa and Missouri had been permanently established, ten miles of the territory of Atchison County was given to the former state, by reason of which Linden was found to be too near the northern line of the county. Linden, however, continued to be the county seat until 1856.

On the 2d day of October, 1855. a petition was presented to the county court, containing the name of Jonathan Shepherd and three hundred and seven others, taxpayers of the county, praying for a removal of the county seat, and asking that the question be submitted to a vote of the people. The law at that time required that three-fifths of the taxpayers of the county should sign a petition for that purpose, and the court after comparing the list of names on the petition, with the list of taxpayers in the county, ( the number then being four hundred and twentyfour,) an election was ordered to be held on the 21st day of June, (1856,) following, for the purpose of ascertaining the will of the people in reference to the removal. After the petition containing the names of the 308 persons had been presented to the county court, Silas Puyear, Esq., acting as attorneyin behalf of certain parties at Linden, presented a counter petition, setting forth that these persons had been induced to sign the petition under false pretenses, and asking that their names be erased from the list. This the court refused to do, and ordered the election, as above stated.

The court then appointed John Ish, John Gibson and Stephen C. Collins, of Holt County, and John Lamar and John Saunders, of Nodaway County, commissioners to locate the county seat, and instructed them to meet in Rock Port, November 12, 1855. From this order appointing commissioners to locate the county seat, the town of Linden, through Puyear, Crandall & McClelland, attorneys, appealed. The appellants were : John W. Cooper, A. Don Brown, P. J. Rudasill, J. W. Wood, J. W. Smith, A. S. Noblitt, George Harmon, Wood Worl, Thomas Hughes, John Gable, F. S, Moore, Peter Snider and Z. Mulky. The appeal was finally dismissed, in October, 1855, in the circuit court.

After the election, and on the 23d day of June, 1856, Silas Puyear again appealed, and objected to the court proceeding to examine the poll-books which had been returned, claiming that the poll-books could not be examined only at a regular term of court, (which would be the term following.) This objection was also overruled by the court.

A motion was then made by Puyear asking the court to set aside Friday, the 27th day of June, 1856, to hear testimony in reference to illegal votes which had been cast. This was sustained, and the day set accordingly.

On the 27th of June T. W. Collins, Esq., attorney for Rock Port, filed a motion asking the court to rescind its order in reference to hearing testimony concerning illegal votes. His motion was sustained, the order was rescinded, and the court proceeded to count the votes. It was ascertained that a majority of forty-eight votes had been cast in favor of Rock Port. The law then required but a majority of those voting. This, in brief, is the history of the removal of the county seat from Linden in 1855 and 1856.

The county court held its first term at Rock Port on the 19th day of August, 1856.

SECOND COURT HOUSE.

At its August term, in 1857, the court ordered the building of the present (1882) court house, and appropriated the sum of nine thousand five hundred dollars for that purpose. The building, however, at its completion cost the county about twelve or fifteen thousand dollars.

The superintendent of this building was William H. Dunbar, who received his appointment from the court, and was called "commissioner of the seat of justice." Mr. Dunbar, under the instructions of the court, proceeded to Oregon, Holt County, where he drew a plan of the court house at Oregon, and also a plan prepared by himself, and submitted them, with the probable estimated cost, the court selecting the plan prepared by him, which differed in some respects from the plan of the Oregon court house. In the construction of this building there were several contractors. It appears from the record that Isaac N. White laid the foundation and did the excavation, Jonas D. Murphy did the tin work, George A. Thomas and Granville Johnson the wood work, and F. L. Moore the brick work. The court house was located on parts of blocks seventeen and eighteen, in Nuckolls & White's Addition to RockPort, and contains altogether seven rooms, which have been occupied as offices and jury rooms. It is two stories high, and was considered when first built, a handsome and stately edifice, and is even now not an unattractive building. It is not only large, being about fifty by sixty feet, but is well lighted and ventilated. The windows are large, and sufficiently numerous to give an abundance of light and air on all sides. It is situated on a lofty hill on the west side of the city, where, from its graceful cupola (which was destroyed by wind a few years since) could be seen a broad stretch of country in many directions. The building was roughly used during the war. It was seized by the ruthless and iconoclastic hands of soldiers, who occupied the upper story themselves,, and used the lower story as a stable for their horses. It is now in a dilapidated condition, and was condemned in 1880, as being unsafe, the circuit court and a majority of the county officers vacating some months since.

PLANS FOR A NEW COURT HOUSE.

On the 26th day of December, 188 1, the county court made the following order:

" Ordered that the plans and designs for a new court house, presented to the county court for examination, by Messrs. Eckel & Mann, architects, be adopted upon the following conditions : Said Eckel & Mann are to prepare full and complete specifications and designs, and deliver by the 9th day cf January, A. D. 1882, for said court house, in accordance with said design, and to enter into bond and contract similar to the one in case of building court house and jail in Maryville, Nodaway County, Missouri. That said court house shall not cost more than $40,000, including commission of said architects. Said architects, in case the pending proposition to build a new court house be adopted by the people, to have the contract of furnishing said plans, and superintend the work of building said court house at the price of five per centum of the amount of the cost of such building, but in case said proposition be not adopted by two-thirds of the qualified voters of said county, and said court house in consequence be not built, then said architects to claim no compensation for said plans, designs and specifications. The county clerk and the county attorney are authorized to see that the contract and bond are properly prepared."

The architects who filed the above mentioned plan and design, were Eckel & Mann, of St. Joseph, Missouri.

THE PROPOSED NEW COURT HOUSE.

Having alluded to the fact that the present court house was deemed unsafe for further occupancy by the courts and county officials, we shall now present in as brief a manner as we can the history of the last enterprise of the county in its efforts to erect a new, a more costly and more substantial edifice—a court house that will be more in keeping with the present wants and necessities of a progressive and intelligent people. We find that the county court at its November term, 1881, made the following order :

"Ordered that an appropriation of $5,000 be made out of the expenditure fund for the purpose of building a fire-proof building for the offices of the circuit clerk and the clerk of the county court, said building to be located in the southeast part of the court house square ; each office to be provided with a fire-proof vault sufficient to contain all the records of each office ; and it is further ordered, that A. E. Wyatt be appointed the superintendent to superintend the construction of the same, and the said A. E. Wyatt being present, has taken an oath to faithfully discharge the duties enjoined upon him by said appointment."

The above order was made in pursuance of a petition presented to the court, asking the erection of fire-proof buildings for clerk's offices and safety vaults for the public records. The order was published and created considerable comment. A petition was then circulated and signed by a respectable number of tax-payers asking the court to rescind its former order, it appearing to have been the desire of the petitioners to have an opportunity to vote upon the proposition of building a new court house, out and out, rather than have the county funds used in building vaults and offices.

Another strong petition, containing the names of two hundred and eight tax payers, was presented at the same term asking that a proposition to build a new court house be submitted to the voters of the county. In consideration of this petition the court ordered an election to be held on Tuesday, the 31st day of January. 1882. Below we give the order for the election :

" SPECIAL ELECTION.

Now on this 17th day of December, A. D. 188 1, during a continuation of the regular November term of this court for that year, comes Lott Watts, and many others, in all more than one hundred in number, of the qualified voters, who are tax-payers residing in Atchison County, State of Missouri, and present to this court their petition in writing, by them duly signed, praying the court to call a Special Election for the purpose •of voting upon a proposition to appropriate forty thousand dollars ($40,000) with which to build a new court house at the county seat of said county, and to incur an indebtedness to that amount for that purpose by issuing the necessary amount of bonds therefor, and the court having fully examined the matter, and being satisfied that said petitioners are legal voters and tax-payers, residing in said county, that there is urgent need of a new court house in said county, and that forty thousand dollars ($40,000) will create an indebtedness less than seventenths of one per centum of the assessed valuation of said county.

It is therefore ordered by this court that a proposition be aijd the same is hereby submitted to be voted upon and authorized by the qualified voters of said Atchison County, at a special election to be held for that purpose at the usual voting precincts of said county, on the 31st day of January, A. D., 1882, to incur an indebtedness of forty thousand dollars ($40,003) to be used for the purpose of defraying the expense of erecting a new court house at the county seat of said county, such court house, when completed, not to cost exceeding forty thousand dollars {$40,000), including all expenses of every nature and kind. The indebtedness to be incurred for building such court house shall be paid in the bonds of said county, to be in denominations varying from one hundred to five hundred dollars ($100 to $500), to be issued by the county court as the exigencies upon the work of said building may require, and to mature as follows, that is to say : Ten thousand dollars in three years ; four thousand dollars respectively in four, five, six, seven and eight years ; five thousand dollars in nine years and five thousand dollars in ten years after dates of such bonds, in all eight installments ; all of said bonds to be made payable at the office of the county treasurer of said county, in lawful money of the United States, and each and all of said bonds to bear interest from date at the rate of six per cent per annum, payable semi-annually at the office of said county treasurer ; said interest to be evidenced by coupons attached to each bond and numbered seriatim from one to each number as will equal twice the number of years for which said bonds shall be respectively issued. And all of which said bonds shall be sold and disposed of. as now provided by law in such cases, at not less than their par value. For the payment of which said bonds as they shall fall due and the interest as aforesaid, the usual tax levy of said county shall be increased as follows : Four cents on the hundred dollars valuation shall be added annually to provide for the payment of interest, and six cents on the hundred dollars valuation shall be added annually to create a sinking fund for the purpose of paying off the principal of said bonds as they mature. At the special election to be held as aforesaid, those of the qualified voters who favor the creation of the indebtedness for the purpose aforesaid shall have written or printed upon their ballots the following words : " Appropriation of forty thousand dollars for the purpose of erecting court house—Yes." And those who are opposed to the creation of said indebtedness shall have written or printed upon their ballots the following words : " Appropriation of forty thousand dollars for purpose of erecting court house—No." And if it appear from the returns of such election, that two-thirds of the qualified voters voting at such election voted in favor of incurring said indebtedness by issuing such bonds, the county court of said county at its first regular term, held after such election, shall make an order reciting the election and the result of the vote, and directing the issue of bonds for the amount of said debt in accordance with this order, and shall at such term appoint some suitable person to superintend the erection of said building, according to the plans, drawings and specifications adopted and selected by the court, and which shall be and remain on file in the office of the clerk of this court during the twenty days next preceding the day of such election. Said superintendent shall, with the court, proceed to let the contract or contracts for erection of said building in the manner prescribed by law, requiring all contractors to give bond with security, to be approved by this court, in double the amount of their contracts.

It is further ordered by the court that notice of such election and of the proceedings contained in this order be given by publication in the. Atchison County Journal, the Atchison County Mail, the Sun, the Tarkio Blade and the Tarkio Republican, all newspapers published in said county and state, for the period of twenty days next before the day of said election. A true copy. Attest. M. L. LEE, [L. S.] Clerk of the County Court.

After ordering the special election above mentioned, the court issued the following address to the people of the county :

To the Citizens of Atchison County:—At the regular November term of the county court, a petition was presented, asking the erection of fire-proof buildings for clerk's offices and safety vaults for the public records. The law calling for such a proceeding was, to the court, a new statute, our attention being called to it for the first time. Upon careful examination, the court became well convinced not only that the situation of public affairs was such as to make such a proceeding necessary, but that, under the law, it became our positive duty to carry it out or. take some other step for the protection of the public property. An order of appropriation was made, a superintendent appointed and the matter continued until December 12, to which day the term of court adjourned. In the meantime petitions were circulated remonstrating against the measure,- or rather asking the court to rescind the order. On the 1 2th these petitions were presented and the court allowed parties time to fully discuss the matter pro and con, which was ably done. The parties opposing the measure suggesting the building of a new court house instead of the improvement contemplated by the court, and promising to present a petition praying for a special election for that purpose. The agitation calls forth much expression of public sentiment. Many who signed the remonstrance expressed themselves in favor of building a new court house out and out, and others wrote the words "new court house " opposite their names upon the paper. This diversity of opinion as to the best manner of meeting an urgent necessity, of necessity, placed the court in an embarassing situation.

The superintendent's report and plans now on the files of the court, show that if new buildings are erected separate from the court house, $3,500 will be required ; if new buildings are attached to the old court house, with such other repairs as must be made, in order to that end, $7,600 will be required, upon the outside only, which will leave the entire inside of the building to be worked over and repaired at heavy expense. In open court a workman was ordered to raise a part of the floor in the court room, that the court might examine the condition of the joists, which it did, and deem them unsafe. In company of Mr. Eckel, an architect by profession, the court made thorough examination of the en-S tire building, and found it to be in such an unsafe and dangerous condition, that we have no hesitancy in declaring that to attempt to hold cir* cuit court in said building, with any considerably crowded house, would be but little short of criminal negligence. The public records are piled here and there, exposed to the mice and rats, the wear and tear of tossing to and fro, new and old alike, in one general haphazard want of arrangement and protection. The public school fund, amounting to $135,000 are secured by bonds and mortgages which must be kept at the court house in this condition of things, more or less exposed. The entire probate records of the county, containing the evidence of the settlement of estates, involving thousands of dollars, as well as the bonds of administrators, executors and guardians, are badly exposed ; the records of the entire landed interests of the county, together with the public law libraries, are in the same condition.

The assessed valuation of the county is something over five and onehalf millions of dollars. Seventy-five cents on the one hundred dollars, or the three-fourths of one per cent, will raise $41,250, or more than is necessary to build a court house worthy of the people of this county, and sufficiently commodious to protect her material interests.

An election has been ordered upon the petition of many taxpaying citizens, and the court hopes that every legal voter who visits the county seat between now and the day of election, will make careful examination and learn for himself whether the condition of things is as we have herein represented. Should this be done, we feel assured of the result of the election.

Should the election carry, it will be the duty of the court to issue bonds for the amount of money, running for a number of years, bearing interest at not more than six per cent per annum ; after the first year the court will have the option to pay off all, or a part of said bonds at any time before maturity. Provided it is thought best to allow the bonds to run for eight or ten years before paying them ; it will be the duty of the court each year to levy a small proportional part of the amount thereof as a sinking fund with which to pay them off in the end. By adopting this plan the tax would scarcely be felt.

Should the court be compelled to repair the old building, which must of necessity be done, if the election fails to carry, the amount ot money for that purpose will be an instantaneous draft upon the treasury.

Speaking as citizens and tax payers only, we deem it far wiser to build anew than to expend the necessary amount of money to repair the old building and provide safe depository for the records of the county and have nothing but an old dilapidated building in the end.

The court desires to take no step in a measure so important without the full approbation of all good citizens in every section of the county, but should the people decide not to build a new court house, we see no honorable means of escape from the necessity of protecting and preserving the public property, and making such repairs upon the old court house as will render it reasonably safe. We have reached this conclusion through careful study of the law, and a personal examination ot,the facts, and cannot clear our consciences as public servants by any other course

J. T. WELLS, President.

William Campton, Albert Gerdes, Associates

The election occurred on the 31st day of January, 1882, as ordered by the court. The whole number of votes cast was 2,918 ; the number of votes in favor of the proposition, was 1,878, and the number against it was 1,040. The law required a two-thirds majority, to carry the proposition to build, or in round numbers, 1,945 votes. It failed therefore, in round numbers by sixty-eight votes.

We give below the official vote of every precinct in the county on the proposition to erect a new court house in this county, as polled at the election on Tuesday, January 31, 1882 :

Townships  Yes  No
Clay-563-
E. Clark-95-74
W.Clark-195-50
Benton-132-
Templeton-147-14
Nishnebotna-120-79
W. Buchanan-38-1
E. Buchanan-55-4
Polk-278-40
Lincoln-135-247
E. Tarkio-16-139
W. Tarkio-31-246
Dale-73-146
Total- 1878-1040
-1040-
Majority for -838-

Number of votes necessary to carry the proposition, 1946. Actual majority No—68.

Not satisfied with the result of the first election, another petition was presented to the county court on the 9th day of February, 1882, nine days after the first election, containing the names of 1,090 taxpayers, asking that body to submit the proposition again to the people of voting the sum of forty thousand dollars for the erection of a court house at Rock Port.

After due consideration, another special election was ordered, to be held on the 7th day of March, 1882. Following will be found the order of the court in reference thereto:

" SPECIAL ELECTION.

Now, on this 9th day of February, A. D. 1882, during the regular February term of this court for that year, comes David McNeal, John Stoner, A. S. Noblitt, Simpson Finnell, W. B. Houts, Thomas H. Oliver, H. L. Davis, Harmon Cooper, R. M. Rhodes, P. A. Thompson, James W. Granger, W. T. Hunt, Sam Proud and one thousand and seventy-seven others, the same being more than one hundred in number of the qualified voters, who are taxpayers, residing in Atchison County, State of Missouri, and present to this court their petition in writing, by them duly signed, praying the court to call a special election for the purpose of voting upon a proposition to appropriate forty thousand dollars ($40,000) with which to build a new court house at the county seat of said county, and to incur an indebtedness to that amount for that purpose by issuing the necessary amount of bonds therefor, and the court having fully examined the matter and being satisfied that said petitioners are legal voters and taxpayers residing in said county, that there is urgent need of a new court house in said county, and that forty thousand dollars ($40,000) will create an indebtedness less than seventenths of one per centum of the assessed valuation of said county.

It is therefore ordered by this court that a proposition be and the same is hereby submitted to be voted upon and authorized by the qualified voters of said Atchison County, at a special election to be held for that purpose at the usual voting precincts of said county, on Tuesday, the 7th day of March, A. D. 1882, to incur an indebtedness of forty thousand dollars ($40,000) to be used for the purpose of defraying the expense of erecting a new court house at the county seat of said county, such court house when completed not to cost exceeding forty thousand dollars ($40,000) including all expenses of every nature and kind.

The indebtedness to be incurred for building such court house shall be paid in the bonds of said county, to be of denominations varying from one hundred to five hundred dollars ($100 to $500), to be issued by the county court, as the exigencies of the work upon said building may require, and to mature as follows, that is to say : Five thousand dollars ($5,000) in one year ; seven thousand dollars ($7,000) respectively in two, three, four, five and six years after the dates of such bonds—in all, six installments ; all of said bonds to be made payable at the office of the county treasurer of said county in lawful money of the United States, and each and all of said bonds to bear interest from date at the rate of six per cent per annum, payable semi-annually at the office of said county treasurer ; said interest to be evidenced by coupons attached to each bond and numbered seriatim from one to such number as will equal twice the number of years for which said bonds shall be respectively issued. And all of which said bonds shall be sold and disposed of as now provided by law in such cases, at not less than their par value. For the payment of which said- bonds as they shall fall due and the interest as aforesaid, the usual tax levy of said county shall be increased as follows :

Nine cents and one mill on the hundred dollars valuation shall be added to provide for the payment of the principal, and four cents and four mills on the hundred dollars valuation shall be added to provide for the payment of the interest for the first year. Eleven cents on the hundred dollars valuation shall be added annually thereafter to create a sinking fund for the purpose of paying off the principal of said bonds as they mature, and three cents and five mills on the hundred dollars valuation shall be added to provide for the payment of the interest for the second year.

And two cents and eight mills on the hundred dollars valuation shall be added to provide for the payment of the interest for the third year.

And two cents and one mill on the hundred dollars valuation shall be added to provide for the payment of the interest for the fourth year.

And one cent and four mills on the hundred dollars valuation shall be added to provide for the payment of the interest for the fifth year.

And seven mills on the hundred dollars valuation shall be added to provide for the payment of the interest for the sixth year.

At the special election to be held as aforesaid, those of the qualified voters who favor the creation of the indebtedness for the purpose aforesaid, shall have written or printed upon their ballots the following words, "Appropriation of forty thousand dollars for the purpose of erecting Court House—Yes." And those who are opposed to the creation of said indebtedness shall have written or printed upon their ballots the following words, "Appropriation of forty thousand dollars for purpose of erecting Court House—No."

And if it appear from the returns of such election, that two-thirds of the qualified voters voting at such election, voted in favor of incurring said indebtedness by issuing such bonds, the county court of said county at its first regular term, held after such election, shall make an order reciting the election and the result of the vote, and directing the issue of bonds for the amount of said debt, in accordance with this order, and shall at such term appoint some suitable person to superintend the erection of said building according to the plans, drawings and specifications adopted and selected by the court, and which shall be and remain on file in the office of the clerk of this court, during the twenty days next preceding the day of such election.

Said superintendent shall with the court proceed to let the contract or contracts for the erection of said building in the manner prescribed by law, requiring all contractors to give bond with security to be approved by this court, in double the amount of their contracts.

It is further ordered by the court that notice of such election, and of the proceedings contained in this order, be given by publication in the Sun, a newspaper published in said county and state, for the period of twentv days next before the day of said election. A true copy.

Attest: M. L. LEE, [I. S.] Clerk of the County Court.

After making the above order, the court issued another address to the people setting forth their reasons for having done so. The following is the address of the court:

At the recent court house election in this county, there were 1,878 ballots favoring the proposition, and 1,040 opposed.

At the regular February term of our court another petition is presented, signed by more than 1,040 legal voters, tax paying citizens of the county, praying another special election upon the proposition. As we understand it, one hundred petitioners may petition the court at any regular term of the court, and the court must submit the proposition in compliance with such petition. Actuated by the result of the last election, the report of the last grand jury, and realizing that such building when built must be done by the sovereign authority of the people, we have fixed the day of the election at the earliest possible day in order that the citizens engaged in agricultural pursuits may fully represent their desires in the matter without too great interference with their spring work.

The costs of these special elections must be paid out of the countytreasury, but the expenses to that end we deem light and trifling compared with the regular running monthly expense of our present condition of things. We have no word of reproach for anyone for the course pursued at the last election. As a grand jury taken from the body of the people, have given in a sworn report upon our old court house, and in that report have suggested the course in their judgment we should pursue, and as the men who composed the grand jury are all well known in various parts of the county, we do not desire to add anything, or call any further attention to our present deplorable condition.

In order to meet the best view of the people enmass, as nearly as possible, as best we have been able to ascertain those views, we have changed the time of the indebtedness from ten to six years and have the matter so arranged that the levy of taxes for each year will only be sufficient to pay the interest and the bonds maturing for that year ; by this means as the money comes into the treasury it will be paid out in the liquidation of the debt from year to year, and will not accumulate and lay idle in the treasury.

We have the honor to be your well-wishing but humble servants,

J. T. WELLS, President.

William Campton, Albert Gerdes, Associates

In the meantime the friends of the two rival towns were busy, preparing for the second struggle, which was to occur on March 7. The newspapers of the respective places did much to fire the hearts of their followers and sympathisers, and the citizens who were in the habit of public speaking canvassed the county in every direction and addressed the people upon the all-important issues which were then pending. February 25, 1882, the town of Tarkio, through its agents, J. H. Davis and James Anderson, made oath to the following, which appeared in an extra of that date, issued by the Tarkio Republican :

"This 25th day of February, 1882, personally appeared before me James Anderson and J. H. Davis, and, being first duly sworn, on their oaths state that they, on the 25th day of February, 1882, presented to M. L. Lee, clerk of the County Court of Atchison County, for filing, a certain bond guaranteeing che building of a court house at Tarkio, together with the plans and specifications accompanying the same, and that M. L. Lee refused to place the same on record, or file the same among the records of his office or to certify to the receipt of the same and contents thereof as a private citizen, or even give a receipt for the same to us, and on this refusal we left the bond and plans and specifications with him and in his care and custody.

JAMES ANDERSON, J. H. DAVIS.

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 25th day of February, 1882.

[Seal.] S. P. BAILEY,

Com. expires Oct. 30, 1883. Notary Public."

Following were the comments of the editor of that paper :

"As will be seen from the above, we have been acting in perfect good faith. The Rock Port papers and speakers, during the other canvass, told the people all over the county that we had no bond and that we never intended to file a bond, and when we published a copy of the bond they made numerous objections to its validity. We changed the bond somewhat in order to quiet their objections, and as you will perceive Ex-Gov. Hall, one of the most eminent jurists in the state, certifies that it will bind all parties executing or signing it. The county clerk, of Rock Port, not of Atchison County, refused to file it ; refused to give even a receipt for it. Actions speak louder than words. They well knew that the bond was as nearly perfect as human ingenuity and skill could make it, and that their only hope lay in refusing to all6w it to be filed at all. We couldn't compel him by force of arms to make it a matter of record, therefore the bond, together with the plans and specifications of a better court house than the forty thousand dollar building which they purposed erecting, were left in the clerk's office. The signers of the bond will wait upon the clerk next Monday, the 27th inst., and insist on the bond being filed. In case of refusal a second time, legal steps will be taken to compel him to act. In case he consents, a copy of the bond, with his certificate, will be published immediately, so that all can see it. The plans and specifications are entirely too lengthy to publish, but a synopsis will be given. The bond, as published in this extra, is an exact copy of the original bond now in the county clerk's office."

Below will be found the bond which was contained in the same extra, and also the opinion of Willard P. Hall :

THE BOND.

Know All Men by These Presents: That we, the undersigned, in consideration of the sum of one dollar paid to us, and for other considerations and conditions hereunder written, are bound and indebted to Atchison County, in the State of Missouri, in the sum of forty thousand dollars, for the payment of which, well and : truly, we hereby jointly and severally bind ourselves, our heirs, executors and administrators.

Witness our hands and seals, this 20th day of February, A. D. 1882.

The conditions of this bond are such that if within twelve months after the legal and final removal of the county seat of justice of said Atchison County, from its present location, to, and location permanently, by due course of law, within the present limits of the town of Tarkio, pursuant to a vote of the citizens and legal voters of said county at the next general election held in said county, the undersigned shall erect and deliver to said county finished and complete, a court house of the dimen-J sions and materials and built according to the plans and specifications' hereto attached, and made part hereof as fully as if written at length' herein, and with said building deliver to said county, through its commissioner or agent, a deed conveying in fee simple title and free from all] liens, charges or claims, the ground upon which such building shall be located, a piece of land 220 feet by 206 feet, within said town of Tarkio, to be selected and conveyed in the manner provided by law in such cases, and shall deliver said ground and building to said county free of; cost, and at the sole cost of these obligors, then these obligations shall be void, otherwise to remain of force. This obligation to be delivered into the custody of the clerk of the County Court of said county before said election.

C. E. PERKINS,
per H. B. SCOTT, [SEAL.]
D. RANKIN, [seal.]
D. A. MOORE, [seal.]
J. F. HANNA, [seal.]
R. M. STEVENSON, [seal.]
J. A. RANKIN, [seal.]
A. CRAIG, [seal.]
W. A. RANKIN. [seal.]
W. O. MILLER, [seal.]
W. H. VAN LEUVEN, [seal.]
W. F. RANKIN, [seal.]
JOHN P. STEVENSON, [seal.];

EX-GOVERNOR HALL'S OPINION OF THE BOND.

"The within bond is in due form, and in my opinion, will bind all those who may execute it." WILLARD P. HALL, [seal.]

On the 27th day of February, 1882, appeared the following extra, issued by the Atchison Comity Journal, published at Rock Port, reviewing the bond referred to, and containing also the statement and affidavit of M. L. Lee, County Clerk of Atchison County :

THE TARKIO BOND AGAIN.

Know All Men by These Presents :

That we, the undersigned, in consideration of the sum of one dollar paid to us, and for other considerations hereunder written, are bound and indebted to Atchison County, in the State of Missouri, in the sum of forty thousand dollars, for the payment of which well and truly, we hereby jointly and severally bind ourselves, our heirs, executors and administrators.

Witness our hands and seals this 20th day of February, A. D. 1882.

The conditions of this bond are such that if within twelve months after the legal and final removal of the county seat of justice of said Atchison County from its present location to, and location permanently by due course of law, within the present limits of the town of Tarkio, pursuant to a vote of the citizens and legal voters of said county at the next general election held in said county, the undersigned shall erect and deliver to said county, finished and completed, a court house of the dimensions and materials and built according to the plans and specifications hereto attached and made part hereof, as fully as if written at length herein, and, with said building, deliver to said county, through its commissioner or agent, a deed conveying in fee simple title, and free from all liens, charges or claims, the ground upon which such building shall be located, viz : A piece of land 220 feet by 206 feet within the town of Tarkio, to be selected and conveyed in the manner provided by law in such cases, and shall deliver said ground and building to said county free of cost, and at the sole cost of these obligors ; then this obligation shall be void, otherwise to remain in force.

This obligation to be delivered into custody of the clerk of the county court of said county before said election.

C. E. PERKINS,
Per H. B. SCOTT, [SEAL.
D. RANKIN, [seal.
D. W. MOORE, [seal.
J. F. HANNA, [seal.
R. M. STEVENSON, [seal.
J. A. RANKIN, [seal.
A. CRAIG, [seal.
W. A. RANKIN, [seal.
W. O. MILLER. [seal.
W. H. VAN LEUVEN, [seal.
W. F. RANKIN, [seal.
JOHN P. STEVENSON, [seal.
, The following is the endorsement on the back of the bond :

"The within bond is in due form, and, in my opinion, will bind all those who execute it. WILLIARD P. HALL."

That the above is a clumsy device to hoodwink and deceive the voters, must be evident to every man who carefully reads the document.

There is form enough about the instrument, in fact, more form than anything else—formality and validity are very different things.

First—Even if the bond were not void as against public policy, it is not executed and cannot be executed until delivered, for a bond must be ** signed, sealed and delivered " before it is fully executed, and it can not 1 be delivered unless some one is authorized to accept it. Neither the county clerk nor the county court would have a right to accept a proposition to move its county seat, for a county seat can not be moved except at a general election, by two-thirds of the qualified voters. So the bond could not be accepted until the two-third vote is had, and consequently is not yet executed and is not a complete bond. So that Mr. Hall is safe enough when he says " The bond will bind those who execute it," forj the reason that it is not and can not be executed.

Second—If it be considered a proposition it is no better, for a proposition is not a contract until it is accepted, and if valid in every other respect, which is denied, yet it could not be accepted until next general election, and that too, by a two-thirds vote, and everyone knows enough of business to know that a proposition can be withdrawn at any time up to the last minute before the other party accepts it. So there is nothing to prevent any or every man from withdrawing from the bond at anyj time before two-thirds of the voters vote to move the county seat.

Third—With two or three exceptions, there is no man on the bond able to pay the $40,000 without breaking him up entirely, yet each one binds himself, jointly and severally, for the entire amount. Is it likely they would sign such a bond if they had the slightest idea of having tea pay it ?

Fourth—There are not now, and never were, any plans or specifications attached to the bond as recited. So they. are not after all bound to build any particular kind of a house, of any particular size nor of any particular value. True, Mr. Scott, the agent of the town site company, on the 22d of February, brought to Tarkio, a set of cheap, incomplete plans and specifications that no mechanic could work by, to use as campaign documents, but they are not now, and never have been, attached to the pretended bond.

Fifth—Without mentioning numerous other objections that could be raised to the bond, it must be evident to every man who has thought at all upon the subject, that the county seat can not be moved at the next general election, which will be held next fall, and nobody knows this better than the men who signed the bond ; yet the bond by its own terms is void\i the county seat is not then moved. Undoubtedly they know they are s:fe in signing such a bond ; but why did they sign it at all ? There can be but one answer. Their only object is, if possible, to deceive the people and induce them to vote against the proposition. The motive is either not an honest one, or the parties to the measure are indulging in mere child's play. Any school district or village could make such a proposition, and any man could with impunity sign such a bond.

There is no more to prevent the makers of this instrument from withdrawing and destroying it as soon as the present election is over, than there was to prevent them from destroying the one they pretended to have filed prior to the last election.

Since printing the above the Tarkio people have come in and withdrawn their bond. For further particulars see statement of Mr. Lee.

ROCK PORT, Mo., February 27, 1882.

To the People of Atchison County : In an extra issued by the Tarkio Republican, under date of February 25, 1 am charged with having refused to receive from Messrs. J. H. Davis and James Anderson, certain papers purporting to be a bond and plans and specifications for a building at Tarkio, to be erected there for the purpose of a court house.

Now, in justice to myself and the people of the county, it is proper for me to make the following statements of the facts in the matter, under oath, as follows.

Very respectfully, M. L. LEE. ss. State of Missouri, County of Atchison.

I, M. L. Lee, upon my oath, state that I am the clerk of the County Court of said county, that on the 25th day of February, 1882, James Anderson and John H. Davis came to my office and brought with them two papers and a roll, one paper purporting to be a bond to build a court house, on condition that the county seat was removed to Tarkio at the next general„election—another purporting to be specification for a court house at Tarkio, and the roll purporting to be plans for such court house, and they required me as clerk to file and certify to the bond. I informed them that I knew of no law authorizing me to receive or file such papers., and that I could not see that they had anything to do with the county business, I declined therefore to file them in an official capacity, but told Anderson that I would take charge of the papers as an individual and use due diligence in taking care of the same and that I would present them to the County Court for their action when they met again, but declined to do anything further with the papers, considering them, as I then did and still do, the private property of parties owning or controling them. On the 27th day of February, following, James Anderson and two other persons I did not then know, but who I afterward learned were Mr. Rankin and Mr. Miller, appeared again and Anderson requested me to file the papers, but I still insisted that I knew no law authorizing the proceeding, and Mr. Anderson, though an attorney, failed to offer any law or authority for filing them. He then says : "You folks say the court house is liable at any time to fall down and burn up, and so I guess the papers will be safer in our hands than in yours, and I think we had better take charge of fhem," or words to that effect. I thereupon showed him where the papers were in the safe and he took possession of and carried them all away with him from my office. Subscribed and sworn to before me this 27th day of February, 1882.

STOKELEY S. HUGHES, Notary Public.

Commission expires November 11, 1882.

The bond mentioned in the Tarkio Republican extra was submitted by the people of Rock Port to Ex-Governor Woodson, Hon. John S. Crosby and Vinton Pike, Esq., of St. Joseph, Missouri, and their opinions solicited as to its validity. On the 28th day of February, 1882, these gentlemen submitted their opinion as follows :

" After duly considering the questions presented and an examination of the authorities upon the subject, we answer :

First—That it does not purport to be a contract between the county of Atchison and the persons who sign the bond. It is simply a proposition to the county, not accepted by it, and one which the county has no power to accept. It is then, for two reasons at least, worthless, first, because no consideration is expressed in it—more than a nominal one—and consequently must be regarded as voluntary ; second, because it cannot be binding upon the obligors until accepted by the county, even if there were a sufficient consideration to support it. Consequently the persons signing said bond may repudiate it at any time before it is accepted and acted upon in such a manner as to estop the obligors from denying its binding force.

But there is another objection to the bond, that we regard as insurmountable and that would always prevent its legal enforcement, independent of the reasons already suggested. Hence, \ve hold in the second place, that no such obligation or agreement as that embraced in the bond under consideration could under any circumstances be made binding upon the bondsmen. The very essence of the agreement is contrary to public policy and such as to render the pretended obligation utterly void.

The bond recites: "The conditions of this bond are such that if within twelve months after the legal and final removal of the county seat of justice of said Atchison County from its present location to, and location permanently, in due course of law," etc., " pursuant to vote of the citizens and legal voters of said county at the next general election," etc., "the undersigned shall erect and deliver to said county finished and completed a court house" of dimensions described, "then this obligation to be void." Disguise the matter as you may, it is patent on the face of the bond that it is intended as a bribe, and only a bribe, to induce the voters of Atchison County to change the location of the seat of justice.

County seats can only under the law be changed by the qualified voters of the county, and the same laws, qualifications and rules that govern in respect to the election of public officers at a general election are applicable to the election of a permanent county seat. Persons not possessing the constitutional qualifications of a voter for senators, representatives, etc., have no right to vote that this or that named place shall be the county seat. And the casting of illegal or fraudulent votes in favor of, or against a change of the county seat of Atchison County would vitiate the selection of a county seat, just as certainly, and upon the same terms, as the casting of such votes would vitiate any other election. All votes in favor of a change of the county seat to Tarkio, which should be induced by the bond under consideration would be clearly illegal and void, and as the only purport and object of the bond is to induce such votes, it is illegal and also void and the courts do not permit actions to be maintained upon such obligations.

That we are correct in these views will be seen by reference to the authorities, some of which are here cited :

In the case of the State of Wisconsin on the relation of J. E. Newell against Purdy, reported in 36th Vol. Wisconsin Reports 213, it appeared that Newell was a candidate at a county election in Wisconsin, for the office of county judge, the salary of which was fixed by law at $1,000. Newell, in a published card, which was placed in the hands of voters generally, offered and pledged to perform the services required by said office for $700 a year, in case the voters would elect him to the office. In a subsequent contest between him and his opponent at the election (Purdy) the supreme court of Wisconsin held that the offer of Newell "was within the spirit of the laws of bribery."

The court said: "The proposition of the relator (Newell) to the electors of the county, was simply an offer that if they would elect him county judge, he would give the county $300 per annum "—the difference between the salary fixed by law, and the salary for which he proposed to serve.

After citing and quoting many authorities to show that the law denounces such an offer as Newell's as unlawful, the court uses this language : "The grounds upon which this doctrine is based, are so clearly and fully stated in the above extracts from the authorities, that it seems unnecessary to repeat them. Indeed, every intelligent person knows that free, unbiased, and (in the language of some of the books) indifferent elections, are absolutely essential to the existence of free institutions."

Among the cases cited by the court, illustrating the principle announced by it, is the following :

"A very notable case in which the same principle was applied by the Legislature of Massachusetts, occurred in the year 18 10. It seems that certain towns were each entitled to several representatives in the legislature, and, among them the town of Gloucester was entitled to six representatives. Each town was required by law to pay its own member, and for economical reasons the town of Gloucester usually returned but two instead of six. For political reasons it was thought desirable that the town should elect a full delegation, and therefore certain individuals, with a view to induce the town to do so, gave a bond for the use of the inhabitants, conditioned that the whole expense of a full representation should not exceed the pay of two members, and six members were acordingly elected. Although the members elected had no agency in procuring the bond to be given, the house of representatives, by a vote of 224 to 125, declared the election void, and the seats of the whole delegation from Gloucester vacated. (Reports of Controverted Election Cases, by Cashing, Story & Josslyn (Massachusetts) 97, Gloucester Case). This decision by the highest court in Wisconsin, has been approved and adopted by the supreme court of this state, in the recent case of State on the relation of the attorney general against Collier, reported in 72 Missouri Report, page 13, in which a similar question arose. In referring to the Wisconsin case, our court quotes and approves the following language :

"The doctrines which we think established by the foregoing authorities, and which we believe to be sound in principle, is that a vote given for a candidate for a public office, in consideration of his promise in case he shall be elected to donate a sum of money, or other valuable thing to a third party, whether such party be an individual, a county, or any other corporation, is void."

In the case of Webb vs. Albertson, decided by the Supreme Court of New York, and reported in Fourth Barbour's Reports, page 51, a question similar to the one we are considering, was presented. It was an action brought upon a bond, " taken in the name of the commissioners of highways of the town, not for their own benefit individually, but for the benefit of the town in its corporate capacity, and was intended, as would seem, from the recitals, and from the averments in the declaration, to relieve the taxable inhabitants from the payment of a tax for a public improvement ;" provided the highway in question was opened 01 extended, or extended in a particular way, to suit the desires of the obligors in the bond. Of this bond the court said : " In all of this proceeding the commissioners ought to have no other inducement for action than their regard for the public good. It is their duty to decide whethei public convenience requires a new road or highway to be laid out or not. They have no business to be tampering with parties and making conditions. They have no right to say that if they order a highway to be laid out, individuals shall assume or become bound to pay the expense. If the convenience or interest of the public require it, and the commissioners are honestly of that opinion, the expense should be left where the law places it, a public charge upon the town. On the other hand, if, in the opinion of the commissioners, it does not require the laying out of a new road, as applied for, they ought not to swerve from their opinions by the offer of individuals to bear fhe expense. Such a step would look very much like surrendering their judgments and opinions to the highest bidder."

In the case of the Pacific Railroad Company vs. Seely, 45 Missouri Reports, page 212, the Supreme Court of this state held that an agreement between a person and railway corporation, that the corporation would locate a freight and passenger depot on his land, was void against the public policy ; that the public had an interest in having the fittest location selected, and that the corporation had no right to agree to a location to suit the interest of individuals. The court said : " It is easy to perceive how such a transaction might be perverted so as to operate most injuriously to the public. Speculators and land proprietors, for the purpose of enhancing their property, would always be on hand to obtain locations and forcing people to their premises, regardless of the consideration, whether they were the most fit and convenient. And the companies tempted by the prospect of gain, would accede to their propositions and thus the general welfare and good of the public would be sacrificed to subserve mere private interests." As we have before said, the county seat of Atchison County can not be changed without an election by the legal voters of the county, and, when called upon to vote at such election, the voters should be controlled only by considerations of public interest and convenience. But the proposition embraced in this bond disregards such considerations, and all others, except the expense of erecting new buildings. Stripped of the verbiage in which it is clothed, the proposition of the signers of this bond to the taxpayers of Atchison County is simply this :

" If you will vote to change the county seat from its present location to Tarkio we will pay all the taxes required of you to build a court house at the new seat."

Let us suppose the taxpayers of Atchison County should endeavor to comply with the conditions imposed upon them by the proposition of the signers of this bond. To do so an election must be held and the removal of the county seat authorized by the requisite majority of the legal voters of the county. The county seat is then formally removed to and established at Tarkio. A new court house must be erected at that place, and let us suppose further that the signers of this bond fail and refuse to "erect and deliver" to the county the new court house. What would be the county's remedy ? It could not compel them to build ; it could only bring an action for damages for breach of the bond. What could the county show in its behalf ? It would have lost nothing by reason of the removal, or have paid nothing for the agreement contained in the bond. The only consideration, therefore, which the county could show would be that the taxpayers of the county had been induced by the execution of the bond to vote for the removal and by reason of such inducement the county seat had been removed. The county would then be in the attitude of alleging that its taxpayers had been bribed to vote, so as to comply with the wishes, and subserve the interests of the signers of the bond, and of asking damages for failure to deliver the consideration for their votes. Such a proposition is too absurd to require further argument or illustration to refute it.

SILAS WOODSON,

JOHN S. CROSBY,

VINTON PIKE.

DEFEATED.

The election occurred on the 7th day of March, 1882, as ordered, and notwithstanding the large vote polled, and the general interest taken in it, the proposition was again defeated by thirty-seven votes. The Rock Port Sun of March 8th, in speaking of that election, said :

" Once more the people have been defeated. The great body of the tax payers, the unterrified sovereigns, came nobly to the front, but landlordism and the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad met them at the polls and the result is, the will of the great majority is strangled out. But we'll hold the fort. We have enlisted for the war. We want to proclaim that our motto will be, " Lay on McDuff." We represent the best interests of the county and will never bow down and do the bidding of railroad kings and grasping landlords. It is high time the people were aroused to a realization of the true situation. Following is the result:

Clay- 601-
W. Clark -125-15
Fairfax Precinct -228-106
Benton-165-
Templeton -173-14
Nishnebotna-157-77
E. Buchanan-61-14
W. Buchanan-46-
Polk M.-289- 40
E. Lincoln -11- 95
W. Lincoln -101-187
Colfax -13-140
Tarkio-34- 267
Dale -101- 153
Total- 2105 -1108
Majority - 37

The vote shows an increase over the last election of 295.

We simply insert the above to show the manner in which the defeat of the proposition to vote the $40,000 and the building of the court house was received by the papers and people of Rock Port. Of course the people of Tarkio, and its friends, were elated at the result, not because the question of the removal of the county seat to Tarkio had thereby been settled or even impliedly determined, but because the vote taken showed that the new courthouse was not to be erected yet awhile, which meant to them—not at Rock Port.

CONCLUSIONS.

From these orders and controversies involved in the efforts of 1881 and 1882, to erect a second court house at Rock Port, we draw the following conclusions :

First—That the building heretofore in use has for some time past been insufficient and unsafe for both persons and property

Second—That the county -court, believing it to be their duty, under the Statutes of the State, so far as possible to protect the valuable records of the county from destruction, loss or injury, undertook to provide, as far as they could reasonably do, with the revenues at their command, for the protection of the county records and property, by building fire-proof clerk's offices and vaults.

Third—That a rivalry had sprung up between the new town of Tarkio, on the Tarkio Valley Railroad, and the old county seat, growing out of the hope of the former place being able some time to remove the county seat from Rock Port to Tarkio, so that while perhaps a large majority of the people of the county actually preferred building a new court house, yet very likely the opposition would have taken no tangible form, but for the special exertions of the people of Tarkio, who looked upon the enterprise as inimical to their expected efforts towards moving the county seat. The petition to the court to rescind the order to build offices and vaults, was presented and argued with great force by the attorneys and agents of Tarkio, and the order was as vigorously sustained by the attorneys at Rock Port.

Fourth—The general discussion called forth among the people of the county, led many to believe that the people were in favor of building a new and respectable court house, and as the ordinary revenue did not seem to permit, a petition was presented in the manner required by the constitution and laws of the state, requesting the court to submit to the voters of the county, the question of incurring an extra indebtedness of $40,000, to be used in building a court house at Rock Port, which was accordingly done, the court fixing the day of election on January 31, 1882, and fixing the time of paying the proposed indebtedness at periods ranging from three to ten years.

The contest, while ostensibly involving only the building of the house by the means proposed, was really very bitterly fought upon the county seat question. Though in most of the townships there were more or less votes against the measure, yet it is plain enough on examining the vote of the townships most interested in the respective towns, that the opposition was not so much against a court house, as against one at Rock Port. The majority in favor of the new court house was very large, lacking only a few votes of the necessary two-thirds majority.

Fifth—The large majority of the first election in favor of the proposition naturally led to the belief among the friends of the measure that the opposition would not very seriously urge any further their county seat pretensions, as it took a two-thirds majority to move the county seat, and the opposition to the court house in the first proposition had only been slightly over one-third of the votes of the county. A second petition was presented and another election ordered and held upon substantially the same terms, with the exception of shorter paymerits than the first election. The result was a largely increased vote, both for and against the proposition to build, still lacking a few votes of the necessary two-thirds majority. The last election was more bitter than the first. In these contests David Rankin, C. E. Perkins and other, being land owners in and about Tarkio, proposed to the people of the county that they would build a new court house as good as the one proposed at Rock Port, if the people would move the court house there and offered bonds to that effect. The Rock Port people questioned the sincerity and legal morality of their proposition and the validity of their proposed bonds. What the result may ultimately be is hard to foretell. Certainly, while the people of Atchison County may well feel proud of her fertility and natural resources, they are not to be envied for the unpleasant and disastrous controversy which we fear has only fairly begun.

COUNTY POOR FARM.

The county poor farm is located about one mile north of Rock Port, on sections 21, 22, 27 and 28, containing about 200 acres. The first tract of 103 acres was purchased from John W. Golden, on the 26th day of February, 1875, at a cost of $4,767. The next tract of eighty acres was purchased from the Miller estate (E. J. Miller), and twenty acres have been added since. The entire farm, implements, expenses, etc., cost the county, during 1875 and 1876, about $14,000. The superintendents of the poor farm have been J. B. Gray, A. S. Jones, John F. Hum and Alexander Ely. The paupers average about seven persons annually. The farm is a good one, and in excellent repair. The house is brick, and contains a sufficient number of rooms to accommodate the paupers, who are well taken care of.

COUNTY JAILS.

The old jail at Linden was a rude structure, made of wood. The present jail was built with the new court hpuse, after the county seat was located at Rock Port. It is also of brick, and served its purpose for many years after its erection, but the present requirements of the county demand something more substantial, more commodious, better ventilated, and more in keeping with the modern style of architecture.

The History Of Holt and Atchison Counties 1882

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