Commonwealth v. Bowman

Decision Date15 June 1846
Citation3 Pa. 202
PartiesCOMMONWEALTH <I>v.</I> BOWMAN & DUNCAN.
CourtPennsylvania Supreme Court

Cases, 139, 140, and referred to the authorities there cited. Rung v. Shoenberger, 2 Watts, 23; Commonwealth v. Alberger, 2 Whart. 469.

They argued, that the cases established the doctrine, that the public square was a public highway, and that the county had no control over it. The buildings seriously affect the interests of the town, and are a nuisance, injurious to the sale of private property in the square.

Cox, for defendants in error.—In the grant by the proprietaries of the town, there is no designation of the uses for which this public square was granted. The intention was to appropriate it to public purposes. Purdon's Digest, 190, Act of 15th April, 1834. Under the report of the grand jury, the county treasurer was directed by the commissioners to keep his office in this building. He was liable to a penalty of $500, if he kept his office anywhere else. Commonwealth v. Alberger, 1 Whart. 485. In this case, there was a designation of the uses to which the grant was to be appropriated. There was no evidence to show, that the occupation of the public square complained of, was to be appropriated for any other than public purposes and uses.

June 15. GIBSON, C. J.

To allow the county reasonable accommodation for its court-house and offices in the great square of the county town, is one of the usages of our state, which has acquired the consistence of law. Such is the foundation of the county's right, and the extent of it; for it certainly has no inherent right to property which has been dedicated, not to its use, but to the use of all the citizens of the Commonwealth. It was a similar usage which, in Piper v. Singer, 4 Serg. and Rawle, 354, exempted the court-house of Westmoreland county from taxation for borough purposes, though built on a town lot in, Greensburg, which it held like any other proprietor. County commissioners have no greater right than an individual has to disturb the citizens in the enjoyment of a municipal franchise, at least beyond the bounds of absolute necessity;...

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8 cases
  • Hoffman v. Pittsburgh
    • United States
    • Pennsylvania Supreme Court
    • 2 Octubre 1950
    ...v. Rush, 14 Pa. 186; Ormsby Land Co. v. Pittsburgh, 276 Pa. 68, 119 A. 730; Commonwealth v. Alburger, I wharton 468; Commonwealth v. Bowman, 3 Pa. 202; Pittsburg Epping-Carpenter Company, 194 Pa. 318, 45 A. 129; Pennsylvania Mutual Life Ins. Co. v. Philadelphia, 242 Pa. 47, 53, 88 A. 904; B......
  • Versailles Township Authority v. City of McKeesport
    • United States
    • Pennsylvania Superior Court
    • 17 Julio 1952
    ...under the Cheltenham case, the dedication carried with it a dedication of the mains for public use. But all our cases, from Commonwealth v. Bowman, 3 Pa. 202, to Hoffman v. Pittsburgh, 365 Pa. 386, 75 A.2d hold that dedication of land to a public use does not vest a fee simple title in the ......
  • Society of Cincinnati's Appeal
    • United States
    • Pennsylvania Supreme Court
    • 15 Mayo 1893
    ... ... Reimer's Ap., 100 Pa. 182; act of March 16, 1847; ... Wartman v. City, 33 Pa. 202; Rung v ... Shoneberger, 2 Watts, 23; Com. v. Bowman, 3 Pa ... 202; act of Feb. 2, 1853; Com. v. Alburger, 1 Whart. 469 ... The ... decree was entirely proper under the cy pres doctrine s ... adopted in the jurisprudence of this commonwealth: City ... v. Girard Heirs, 45 Pa. 28 ... Soohan ... v. Phila. 33 Pa. 9, does not apply ... Before ... STERRETT, C.J., ... ...
  • | Hay v. Martin
    • United States
    • Pennsylvania Supreme Court
    • 21 Mayo 1888
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