The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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for trial: he asked for a continuance which was rejected by the court.  

John A. Newell had signed Billings' bond as district treasurer, so when Billings' term of office expired he left receipt on file showing that he had made proper use of the money.  He had one receipt from W. B Jones for $500 for laying school house foundation and another from Sam and Ed Newell and D. C. Coleman for the balance of the money for the erection of the school house.  Jones hauled some rock and began the foundation but never did much toward the erection of the building.  Two five hundred dollar bonds were afterward traded by either Coleman or the Newell's to Joel Hull, of Lowell, Neb. for lumber for the purpose of building the house; this lumber was afterward hauled to Norton and other buildings were erected with it.  

After suits had been started in these cases a prominent citizen of Norton, on examination, found the receipts of Billings and the bond of John A. Newell on file in the office of the clerk of school district No. 1; also a carefully prepared poll book of election when bonds were voted that all matters of record were perfectly straight so far as the district was concerned.  These records were promptly consigned to the flames.  The county clerk's office never had any record of this election or the issuance of any bonds.  The first record we find in county superintendent's office of district No. 1, was made by J. H. Simmons, county superintendent, May 19, 1879.  He made the following entry in his books: 'There is no record to be found of organization of district No. 1."

These two five hundred dollar bonds that were sold to Hull, were sold in the east.  Suit was brought in the United States court at Leavenworth on June 10, 1878, against the district for the amount with accrued interest, amounting all told to $1,900. 50.  Archie Williams, now general attorney for the Union Pacific railroad, appeared for the bondholders, while the district employed Peck, Ryan & Johnson, of Topeka, to assist J. R. Hamilton in the defense.  The papers were served on the district by W. B. Rogers, deputy United States marshal, June 19, 1878.  The board at that time was Sol Marsh, director; Samuel Mathews, clerk; J. R. Hamilton, treasurer.

The case came on for hearing in the next term and resulted in a judgment being rendered against the district.  The attorneys for the district did not appear and judgment was taken by default, but it afterward developed that an agreement had been made between the lawyers that this should be done, so that Williams could get his fee, after which the case was reopened with Williams consent and the case tried on its merits before Judge McCreary in 1880, which resulted in a decision in favor of the district.

The only witnesses that appeared in favor of the district were Henry Oliver and J. H. Simmons.  A decision was rendered in favor of the district on the grounds that the bonds failed to recite on their face that they were regularly and legally issued, which, according to the statutes at that time, was a fatal defeat.  We give these points as given us by J. R. Hamilton, in other words: "In giving his opinion in the case Judge McCreary suggested that if there had been a recitation in the bonds that they had been issued in accordance with law that under the evidence his decision might have been different." 

The facts in both cases were that the issue of bogus and forged bonds were in our favor, it was difficult for the courts to determine the forged from the real bonds, as at the time of trial no one who had participated in the bond issue was present.  A great deal of censure was put on the parties connected with these

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