Hedrick v. Hughes - 82 U.S. 123 (1872)
U.S. Supreme Court
Hedrick v. Hughes, 82 U.S. 15 Wall. 123 123 (1872)
Hedrick v. Hughes
82 U.S. (15 Wall.) 123
1. The Act of Congress of March 6, 1820, admitting Missouri into the Union, and the Act of March 3, 1823, respecting grants of land to that state, without further grant or patent, vested in the state the 16th section of each township for school purposes; but where this section had been sold or disposed of by the government, it required the selection of other lands in lieu thereof by the register and receiver of the proper land district, and such selection when made and entered in the register's hooks, vested the title of such substituted lands in the state.
2. In such case, where the register's book, or the leaf supposed to contain the entry, is lost or destroyed, the fact of such selection may be proved by other evidence -- as that the lands claimed to have been so selected had been treated and sold as school lands by the proper state authorities
near to the period when the selection should have been made; also that the original township plat kept in the register's office had a memorandum on the lot in question that it was "reserved for schools."
3. Where a county school commissioner in Missouri kept in a book a record of his transactions in selling the school lands in the county, which was deposited in the county clerk's office, and preserved as a public monument among the county archives, it is de facto a public record, and proper evidence of his official acts. It is also admissible as the entries of a deceased person, made in the course of his official duty, in a matter of public concern, to prove his official transactions.
4. If a township plat be lost or destroyed, it may be proved by a copy, and memoranda on such copy, not contained in the original, if accounted for and explained, will not exclude the copy as evidence of the contents of the original even though such memoranda be a translation of corresponding memoranda in the original.