Converse v. City of Fort Scott - 92 U.S. 503 (1875)


U.S. Supreme Court

Converse v. City of Fort Scott, 92 U.S. 503 (1875)

Converse v. City of Fort Scott

92 U.S. 503

Syllabus

Pursuant to the authority conferred by the act of the Legislature of the State of Kansas, and by virtue of a popular election thereby authorized, the Mayor and Council of the "City of Fort Scott" were empowered to issue $25,000 of bonds of the city for the purpose of procuring the right of way for the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Company through that city, and also procuring grounds for depots, engine houses, machine shops, and yard room, and donating the same to the company, provided that the company, in the judgment of the mayor and council, had first given evidence of their intention to comply with certain specified conditions. The company did comply with the conditions. The mayor and council did then, upon an understanding with the company, agree to deliver to it the $25,000 of bonds in lieu of said grounds and right of way, and in full satisfaction of all the obligations resting on the city in relation thereto. Thereupon the bonds were duly issued, and registered in the office of the state auditor, who certified upon each bond that it had been regularly and legally issued, that the signature to it was genuine, and that it had been duly registered in accordance with the state law. The bonds were thereupon delivered to the railroad company. Held that the bonds were binding on the city.

This was an action to recover the interest on certain bonds

Page 92 U. S. 504

issued by the City of Fort Scott, Kan. One of the bonds (all of which were similar) is as follows:

"No. 1 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA $1,000"

"STATE OF KANSAS,"

"City of Fort Scott, in the County of Bourbon:"

"Issued under the laws of Kansas and in pursuance of an ordinance of the City of Fort Scott, approved Dec. 22, 1870. $25,000 subscription to the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Company."

"Know all men by these presents that the City of Fort Scott, County of Bourbon, in the State of Kansas hereby, for value received, acknowledges itself indebted and firmly bound to pay to the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Company, or bearer, the sum of $1,000, lawful money of the United States of America, which sum of money the said city promises to pay on the first day of July, A.D. 1890, at the Fourth National Bank, in the City of New York, with interest thereon at the rate of seven percentum per annum, payable semiannually at the office of said Fourth National Bank, in said City of New York, on the first day of January and July in each year, or presentation and surrender of the annexed coupons as they severally become due."

"The city, the maker hereof, reserves the right to pay this bond at its option at any time before maturity."

"In witness whereof, the said City of Fort Scott has caused this bond to be signed, sealed, and delivered on its behalf and for its benefit by its mayor, and countersigned by its clerk, duly and legally appointed and authorized in this respect."

"FORT SCOTT, KAN., July 1, 1870."

"B. P. McDONALD, Mayor [SEAL]"

"T. A. CORBETT, City Clerk"

"[Across the face in red ink] $1,000"

Each of said bonds, in order to distinguish it from others of like character, was numbered and pursuant to law was duly registered in the office of the Auditor of the State of Kansas. Attached to each bond was the following certificate of such auditing; to-wit:

"I, A. Thoman, Auditor of the State of Kansas, do hereby certify that this bond has been regularly and legally issued, that the signatures

Page 92 U. S. 505

thereto are genuine, and that such bond has been duly registered in my office in accordance with an act of the legislature entitled 'An Act to authorize counties, incorporated cities, and municipal townships, to issue bonds for the purpose of building bridges, aiding in the construction of railroads or other works of internal improvement, and providing for the registration of such bonds, the registration of other bonds, and the repealing of all laws in conflict therewith,' approved March 2, 1872."

"Witness my hand and official seal this seventh day of January, 1873."

"A. THOMAN, Auditor of State"

Attached to each bond were coupons falling due on the first days of January and July, one of which is as follows:

"$35.00 STATE OF KANSAS "

"City of Fort Scott, in the County of Bourbon, will pay the bearer hereof thirty-five dollars, at the Fourth National Bank, in the City of New York, on the first day of July, 1872; being six months' interest on bond No. 1."

"T. A. CORBETT, City Clerk"



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