Osborne v. County of Adams
106 U.S. 181 (1882)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Osborne v. County of Adams, 106 U.S. 181 (1882)

Osborne v. County of Adams

Decided November 20, 1882

106 U.S. 181

Syllabus

A steam grist mill is not a work of internal improvement within the meaning of the act of Nebraska of Feb. 15, 1869, entitled

"An Act to enable counties, cities, and precincts to borrow money on their bonds, or to issue bonds to aid in the construction or completion of works of internal improvement in this state, and to legalize bonds already issued for such purpose."

This was an action brought by Osborne against the County of Adams, Nebraska, to recover the amount of certain coupons detached from bonds of Juniata Precinct, a legal subdivision of that county. Pursuant to a vote of the qualified electors of the precinct to aid in the construction of a steam grist mill therein, the bonds were issued by the county commissioners under the authority supposed to be conferred by the Act of that Feb. 15, 1869, the first and seventh sections of which are as follows:

"SEC. 1. That any county or city in the Nebraska is hereby authorized to issue bonds to aid in the construction of any railroad or other work of internal improvement to an amount to be determined by the county commissioners of such county, or city council of such city not exceeding ten percent of the assessed valuation of all taxable property in said county or city, provided the county commissioners or city council shall first submit the question of the issuing said bonds to a vote of the legal voters of said

Page 106 U. S. 182

county or city in the manner provided by chapter nine of the Revised Statutes of the State of Nebraska, for submitting to the people of a county the question of borrowing money."

"SEC. 7. Any precinct in any organized county of this state shall have the privilege of voting to aid works of internal improvement, and be entitled to all the privileges conferred upon counties and cities by the provisions of this act, and in such cases the precinct election shall be governed in the same manner as is provided in this act, so far as the same is applicable, and the county commissioners shall issue special bonds for such precinct, and the tax to pay the same shall be levied upon the property within the bounds of such precinct. Such precinct bonds shall contain a statement showing the special nature of such bonds."

The court sustained a demurrer to the declaration, and Osborne brought this writ of error.

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