Commissioners of Marion County v. Clark

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtCLIFFORD
Citation24 L.Ed. 59,94 U.S. 278
Decision Date01 October 1876
PartiesCOMMISSIONERS OF MARION COUNTY v. CLARK

94 U.S. 278
24 L.Ed. 59
COMMISSIONERS OF MARION COUNTY
v.
CLARK.
October Term, 1876

ERROR to the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Kansas.

Page 279

Mr. A. L. Williams for the plaintiffs in error.

Mr. Alfred Ennis, contra.

MR. JUSTICE CLIFFORD delivered the opinion of the court.

Power is vested by law in the constituted authorities of counties and other municipal corporations to subscribe for and take stock in any railway company duly organized under the law of the State or Territory, or to loan the credit of the municipality to such a railroad company, subject to the condition that the majority of the qualified voters of the same, voting at the election, shall, at a regular or a special election to be held therein, first assent to the proposal for such subscription; and the provision is that it shall be the duty of the municipal authorities, when the terms of the proposal are so approved, to make subscription to the stock of the railway company. Laws Kansas 1869, 108.

Sufficient appears to show that the railway company became duly incorporated for the purpose of constructing a railway from the northern to the southern line of the State through Davis, Marion, and other counties named in the certificate of incorporation. Tax-payers and citizens of the County of Marion petitioned the county commissioners of the county to submit a proposition to the qualified voters of the county to subscribe for two thousand shares of $100 each of the capital stock of the railway company, to be paid for in thirty-years seven-per-cent bonds of the county. Pursuant to the prayer of those petitioners, the county commissioners submitted that question to the qualified voters of the county, at a special election held at the time and place appointed in the order of the county commissioners; and it appears by the record that the election was duly held at the time and place appointed, and that a majority of the votes cast at the election were in favor of the subscription by the county for two thousand shares of the capital stock of the railway company.

By the terms and conditions of the proposition submitted and adopted, the stock to be subscribed was to be paid for in the bonds of the county, payable thirty years after their date,

Page 280

with annual interest at the rate of seven per cent per annum; and the proposal was that the bonds should be delivered to the railway company as follows: 1. That, on the completion of the grading of the railway from the northern line of the county to Marion Centre, one-half of the bonds should be due and deliverable under the contract. 2. That, upon the completion of the railway from Marion Centre to the village of Peabody, other bonds to the amount of $75,000 should be due and deliverable as a second instalment. 3. That, upon the completion of the railway to the south line of the county, the residue of the stipulated amount of the bonds should be due and deliverable.

Due canvass of the qualified votes cast at the election was made by the county commissioners, and they made the proper entry in their records that the subscription of the stock was then and there made by their board for and in behalf of the county; and it appears that the board did then and there elect one of their number to make the subscription, and that the member so elected entered the same in the books of the railway company.

Beyond all doubt, the subscription was legally made; and it is not controverted that the railway company graded their line of railway from the north line of the county to Marion Centre, and that the authorities of the county executed and delivered to the railway company the bonds of the county to the amount of $100,000, in pursuance of the terms of the subscription, with coupons attached for the payment of interest at the rate of seven per cent semi-annually.

Purchases of the bonds with coupons annexed to a large amount were made by the plaintiff from the First National Bank of Junction City, where they were deposited for sale. Payment of the interest coupons being refused, the plaintiff, as the owner and holder of the same, instituted a suit in the Circuit Court to recover the amount. Two other suits were subsequently instituted by him for a similar purpose; and the three suits in the course of their prosecution were consolidated, the claim of the plaintiff being for the amount of one hundred and ninety-four coupons, each for the sum of thirty-five dollars. Service was made, and the defendants appeared and set up the several defences exhibited in the answer. Special reference to

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the separate defences as set up in the answers may be omitted, as the questions to be re-examined sufficiently appear in the bill of exceptions.

Questions of fact were submitted to the jury; and the transcript shows that the verdict and judgment were for the plaintiff, in the sum of $6,703.54, and that the defendants excepted to the rulings and instructions of the court.

Two thousand shares of the stock were subscribed; but the bonds were issued in shares of $1,000, with interest coupons attached. On the trial of the cause, the plaintiff, to maintain the issue on his part, offered one of the bonds in evidence, with an overdue coupon attached; and the defendants objected to its admissibility, upon three grounds: 1. Because it was signed only by the chairman of the county commissioners. 2. Because it was made due and payable thirty years and twenty-seven days after date. 3. Because the interest coupons attached provide for the payment of interest semi-annually instead of annually. But the court overruled the objections, and the bond with the coupon attached was admitted, subject to the objections of the defendants. Coupons of a similar character, to the number of one hundred and ninety-four in all, were also introduced in evidence by the plaintiff, subject to the same objections.

Exceptions were duly taken by the defendants to the rulings of the court in admitting the bond and coupons, and the plaintiff rested his case in the opening. Evidence was then introduced by the defendants, consisting, in the first place, of the deposition of the plaintiff and a certified copy of the record of a suit previously instituted in the County Court to cancel the bonds issued by the county and to restrain the First National Bank from transferring the same to the railway company.

They also introduced a copy of the proposition submitted to the qualified voters of the county to subscribe for the capital stock of the railway company, in payment for which the bonds in question were executed and delivered, to which reference has already been made; but it also provides, that, before any county bonds should be issued and delivered, the railway company shall execute to the county a good and sufficient bond that the...

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191 practice notes
  • Koonse v. Mo. Pac. Railroad Co., No. 27609.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • 5 Abril 1929
    ...purpose or that he was off the train for the purpose of performing any duty pertaining to his employment. Commrs. Marion Co. v. Clark, 94 U.S. 278; Hardy-Burlingham Co. v. Baker, 10 Fed. (2d) 277; Patton v. Railway Co., 179 U.S. 658; Railroad v. Harris, 247 U.S. 368; Seaboard Air Line v. Ho......
  • Hughes County, S.D., v. Livingston, 1,337.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • 9 Octubre 1900
    ...v. Rockingham Ten-Cent Sav. Bank, 92 U.S. 631, 23 L.Ed. 631; Commissioners v. Bolles, 94 U.S. 104, 24 L.Ed. 46; Commissioners v. Clark, 94 U.S. 278, 24 L.Ed. 59; Commissioners v. January, 94 U.S. 202, 24 L.Ed. 110; Warren Co. v. Marcy, 97 U.S. 96, 24 L.Ed. 977; Pana v. Bowler, 107 U.S. 529,......
  • Ketterman v. Dry Fork R. Co
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 21 Diciembre 1900
    ...Trials, § 2249. The scintilla rule has been frequently condemned in the United States supreme court. Commissioners v. Clark, 94 U. S. 284, 24 L. Ed. 59; Railroad Co. v. Munson, 14 Wall. 448, 20 L. Ed. 867; Pleasants v. Fant, 22 Wall. 120, 22 L. Ed. 780. So, in Hillyer v. Dickinson, 154 Mass......
  • Illinois Cent. R. Co. v. Johnston, 6 Div. 775.
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • 30 Junio 1920
    ...part, if not chiefly in point of premise, upon the definition of the pertinent rule to be later quoted from Commissioners, etc., v. Clark, 94 U.S. 278, 284, 24 L.Ed. 59--that in determining, at nisi prius, the legal inquiry raised by appropriate, requested instructions, whether there is any......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
191 cases
  • Koonse v. Mo. Pac. Railroad Co., No. 27609.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • 5 Abril 1929
    ...purpose or that he was off the train for the purpose of performing any duty pertaining to his employment. Commrs. Marion Co. v. Clark, 94 U.S. 278; Hardy-Burlingham Co. v. Baker, 10 Fed. (2d) 277; Patton v. Railway Co., 179 U.S. 658; Railroad v. Harris, 247 U.S. 368; Seaboard Air Line v. Ho......
  • Hughes County, S.D., v. Livingston, 1,337.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • 9 Octubre 1900
    ...v. Rockingham Ten-Cent Sav. Bank, 92 U.S. 631, 23 L.Ed. 631; Commissioners v. Bolles, 94 U.S. 104, 24 L.Ed. 46; Commissioners v. Clark, 94 U.S. 278, 24 L.Ed. 59; Commissioners v. January, 94 U.S. 202, 24 L.Ed. 110; Warren Co. v. Marcy, 97 U.S. 96, 24 L.Ed. 977; Pana v. Bowler, 107 U.S. 529,......
  • Ketterman v. Dry Fork R. Co
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 21 Diciembre 1900
    ...Trials, § 2249. The scintilla rule has been frequently condemned in the United States supreme court. Commissioners v. Clark, 94 U. S. 284, 24 L. Ed. 59; Railroad Co. v. Munson, 14 Wall. 448, 20 L. Ed. 867; Pleasants v. Fant, 22 Wall. 120, 22 L. Ed. 780. So, in Hillyer v. Dickinson, 154 Mass......
  • Illinois Cent. R. Co. v. Johnston, 6 Div. 775.
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • 30 Junio 1920
    ...part, if not chiefly in point of premise, upon the definition of the pertinent rule to be later quoted from Commissioners, etc., v. Clark, 94 U.S. 278, 284, 24 L.Ed. 59--that in determining, at nisi prius, the legal inquiry raised by appropriate, requested instructions, whether there is any......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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