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CLARK V. BEVER, 139 U. S. 96 (1891)

U.S. Supreme Court

Clark v. Bever, 139 U.S. 96 (1891)

Clark v. Bever

No. 116

Argued December 15-16, 1890

Decided March 2, 1891

139 U.S. 96




In 1872, an Iowa railroad corporation, being indebted to a construction company in the sum of $70,000 which it was unable to pay in money, had a settlement with the latter whereby the debt was paid in shares of the stock of the railroad company of the par value of $350,000. The stock was taken at 20 cents on the dollar, but was not at the time, worth anything in the market. Greene, a member of the construction company, received 910 shares as his part. Subsequently, in 1876, the railroad and its appurtenances were sold under a decree foreclosing a mortgage given to secure the bonds of the railroad company. Clark, a holder of bonds issued by the railroad company in 1874, obtained judgment for the amount due him, upon which execution was issued and returned in 1880, no property. Greene having died, Clark brought suit against his administrator in one of the circuit courts of Iowa, sitting in probate, to hold his estate liable for the difference between what was paid for the stock and its face value, upon the ground that the stock of the corporation was a trust fund for creditors, and that as between creditors and stockholders, the latter was bound to account for its face value. Upon the petition of Clark, the case was removed to and tried in the circuit court of the United States, where a verdict was returned by direction of the court for the defendant.


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