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Citizens' Saving & Loan Ass'n v. Perry County, 156 U.S. 692 (1895)

Citizens' Saving and Loan Association v. Perry County

No. 56

Argued and submitted March 29, 1894

Decided March 4, 1895

156 U.S. 692


July 3, 1869, the qualified voters of Perry County, Illinois, voted to subscribe to the capital stock of the Belleville & Southern Illinois Railroad and to issue its bonds in payment thereof, conditioned that "no bonds should be issued or stock subscribed until the railroad company should locate their machine shops at Duquoin." In December, 1870, the county court directed the bonds to be issued, and they were issued duly executed, and were delivered to the company and by it put into circulation, but the shops were never located at Duquoin. Held, in view of the legislation of Illinois reviewed in the opinion, and of the provisions in the constitution of 1870, which came into force after the vote to issue the bonds, but before their issue, that the county court by its order to issue the bonds, and the county officers by issuing them, violated their duty as prescribed by the statutes, and as the bonds contained no recital precluding inquiry as to the performance of the condition upon which the people voted in favor of their issue, it was open to the county to show

Page 156 U. S. 693

that it had not been performed, which being shown, the bonds became subject to the provisions of the constitution of 1870, and were invalid.

The bonds issued by the same county to the Chester & Tamaroa Coal & Railroad Company were issued in obedience to a vote of the people taken at an election ordered and held with reference to the Act of April 16, 1869, referred to in the opinion of this Court, which act required that a majority of the legal voters living in the county should be in favor of the subscription, and as the county court, in ordering the issue of the bonds, certified on its record that all the conditions prescribed had been complied with, and as the fact that a majority of the voters living in the county at the time of the election did not vote for the issue of the bonds is not determinable by any public record, held that it would be rank injustice to permit it to be set up after the lapse of so many years, and that the issue was valid and the bonds are binding in the county.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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