1: Before asking Mr. Kelley any questions, we desire to offer in evidence a certified copy of a warranty deed made by Jones H. Flourney, and Clara Flourney his wife to Edward Partridge dated the 19th day of December 1831, acknowledged on the 19th day of December 1831, and recorded in book “B”, page one, or the records for deed of Jackson County, – Missouri, – filed for record on the 19th day of December 1831, and recorded on the 24th day of May 1832, conveying land, of which the property in question in this suit is a part. Before formally offering this deed in evidence I desire to ask Mr. E.L. Kelley the Bishop of the Re-organized church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the plaintiff in this actions some questions.
1: By what authority do you hold that position Mr. Kelley, – that is the position of Bishop in the Re-organized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?
By virtue of an election to the position which I know hold by the society, and ordination to the office of Bishop in the regular way.
2: What are the duties pertaining to that office?
It is to look after the temporalities of the church, – its properties and the support of its ministry and the poor of the church.
3: Where is the place of your headquarters?
At Lamoni Iowa. I would say that all this is really in evidence in a former examination of mine.
4: I believe it is. Well I will ask you what is the extent of your jurisdiction with reference to the care of the properties of the church?
It is where ever the church as property or properties in all the states.
5: In all the states?
6: Do you mean by that all the United States?
7: Does it go beyond the United States?
Yes sir, where ever we have property in all the world.
8: Where ever you have property, – any where in the world?
9: Does the church own property?
10: What is the character of that property?
Real estate and personal property.
11: In what way is title to the real estate and personal property held?
By virtue of or under the articles of in incorporation, – the deeds usually run directed to the corporation, – that is the name of the society.
12: The name of the society?
Yes sir, for there is certain states requiring trustees, where the deeds run to the Bishop as the trustees, and others where it requires local trustees, local trustees are mentioned in connection with the Bishop.
13: Then where the property is not held directly in the name of the church, if I under stand you correctly, it is held in the name of an individual as trustee?
14: Is it ever held in the name of any other individual excepting the bishop?
He is the one that properly holds it.
15: Is all the property of this church, – is the title I say to all the property in this church vested either in the church directly
as a corporate body, or in you as its trustees?
Yes sir, with the exception I have stated of a few church buildings that are held in some of the states under the law which requires local trustees.
16: In what way is the property belonging to the church in this state held?
The property in this state is held by the church in its corporate name. All that I remember of at the present time is so held. There might possibly be a few pieces of property that are not in the bishop, but I do not recall any such instances now.
17: Now you claim title to the property in question in this suit?
18: Now state in what way that is held?
It is held by deeds conveying it to the church in its corporate name. I think the name of the Bishop, – Bishop Blakeslee was the bishop at the time of the conveyance, but I think the name of the bishop is not used. However that may be if I am in error I can quickly rectify it, for I have the original deed in my pocket, and I can soon tell you how it is if you desire to know.
19: You have the original deed you say?
20: Did you hear me discribe the deed which I propose to offer in evidence in this case?
21: I had you that deed and ask you now, whether you as bishop or as the proper officer of the church have the original of which that purports to be a copy?
No sir, I have not.
22: Have you ever had it?
23: Has the church ever had it?
No sir, not to my knowledge.
24: It is in your power or under your control any way?
No sir, it is not.
25: I mean in the power or under the control of the complainant in this case?
No sir, not to my knowledge. To my knowledge it is not and I will state in connection with this, that, as Bishop and trustee I hold all the deeds belonging to the society, and all legal papers of every discription, and it is not amongst them.
26: I now offer the deed in evidence? The deed above referred to, offered in evidence and marked Exhibit 20 J.M. Orr” is in words and figures as follows, – to wit, – “To all the people to whom these presents shall come, Greeting know ye that Jones H. Flourney and Clara Flourney, wife of the said Jones of he county of Jackson and the state of Missouri for the consideration of one-hundred and thirty dollard, received to our full satisfaction of Edward Partridge of the county and state aforesaid, do Give, Grant, Bargain, Sell and Confirm to the said Edward Partridge, the following discribed piece or parcel of land: being a part of the south east quarter of Section Three in Township Number forty nine of Range No Thirty five in the aforesaid county, bounded and discribed as follows, – to wit, Commencing on the south line of said quarter section forty poles from the South east corner of said quarter section at the corner of a certain piece of land sold by said Flourney and wife to one Lewis Jones, and from thence running west one-hundred and twenty to the south west corner of said quarter section. Thence north sixteen poles and ten links, thence north forty degrees, East ten poles, thence North twenty one degrees, East fourteen poles, thence north fifteen thirty four poles, thence North fifty five degrees, east thirty poles, thence north sixty four degrees East forty poles, thence north seventy degrees, East seventeen poles and fifteen links to the corner of a certain tract of land sold by Flourney & wife to one G.M. Hensley.
south on-hundred and twenty two poles and seventeen links to the place of beginning counting sixty-three acres and forty one-hundred and sixtieths of an acre, be the same more or less. To have and to hold the above granted and bargained premises with all and singular the rights and privileges thereunto in any wise belonging and appertaining unto him the said Edward Partridge, his heirs and assigned for ever, to his and their own proper use and behoof. And also we the said Jones H. Flourney and Clara Flourney, wife of the said Jones as aforesaid, for ourselves, our heirs and assigns, covenant to the said Edward Partridge, with his heirs and assigns, that at and until the en-sealing of these presents we are well seized of the premises as a good indefeasible and have good right to bargain and sell the same in manner and form as above written and that the same is free from all incumbrancers whatsoever, and further we the said Jones H. Flourney and Clara Flourney, wife of the said Jones as aforesaid, do by these presents bind ourselves, our heirs and assigns, for ever, to warrant and defend the above granted and bargained premises to him, the said Edward Partridge, he heirs and assigns, against all lawful claims and demands whatsoever. In witness thereof we have hereunto set our hands and affixes our seals the 19th day of December in the year of our Lord 1831 Jones H. Flourney. Seal. Clara Flourney, Seal. State of Missouri County of Jackson Be it remembered that on this 19th day of December in the year of our Lord 1831 before the under signed deputy for Samuel C. Owens, Clerk of the Circuit Court for the aforesaid county, personally came Jones H. Flourney and Clara Flourney both personally known to the said undersigned, to be the persons whose names are subscribed to the foregoing instrument of writing as having executed the same and acknowledged said instrument of writing to be their act and deed for the purposes therein mentioned. She the said Clars Flourney being by me first made acquainted with the contents thereof and examined separate and apart from her husband, whether she executed said deed and relinquishes her dower in the lands and tenements in said deed mentioned, freely voluntarily and without compulsion or undue influence of her said husband. Acknowledged and declared that she executed said deed and relinquishes, her dower in the lands and tenements in said deed mentioned, fully, voluntarily and without compulsion or undue influence of her said husband. Taken and certified under my hand and the private seal of Samuel C. Owens Clerk of the said Circuit court, there being no official seal at said office the day and year above written. Russel Hicks Deputy for Samuel C. Owens Clerk C.C.J.C. State of Missouri County of Jackson I, Samuel C. Owens, Clerk of the Circuit Court, and ex-officie recorder within and for the said county, do hereby certify that the foregoing deed of bargain and sale from Flourney to Partridge was filed in my office for record on the 19th day of December 1831. 555ded in my said office on the 24th day of May 1832 in Book B, page L Samuel C. Owens, Clerk. State of Missouri ) )sss County of Jackson ) I.R.T. Hinde, Recorder of deeds, within and for said county of Jackson and state of Missouri, do hereby certify that the forgoing is a full true and complete transcript of the record of the W.D. ————————– acknowledgement ——————————— and not of record thereon endorsed from Jones H. Flourney and wife to Edward Partridge, as the same now remins of record in my office in Indep Mo ——————————- Book No B, at page 1 and following. In testimony whereof I, have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of said office, at my office in the city of Independence, in said county, this 11th day of June A.D. 1887. R.T. Hinde. Recorder. By W.R. Hall Deputy.