26 – E.L. Kelley

1: You are the same E.L. Kelley that was on the witness stand yesterday, are you not?
Yes sir.

2: You are the Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the the Complainants in this action?
Yes sir.

3: I will as you, who if any body, was the bishop of the Re-organized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, prior to your appointment to that office?
George A. Blakeslee of Galien Michigan.

4: Is George A. Blakeslee living now, – if not when did he die, if you know?
No sir, he is not living. He died on the 20th of September 1890. I think it was the 20th, – it was the 17th or the 20th, and I think it was the 20th. He was the bishop of the church up to the time of his death on either of these days.

5: Who acted as the bishop of the church from the time of the death of Blakeslee until the time of your appointment as bishop? If any body?
I acted as the bishop of the church, by virtue of being the Counsellor of the bishop prior to his death, the incorporations providing that the counsellors shall hold their office s trustee upon the death of the bishop until the new bishop is elected and qualified.
And in that connection I will state by virtue of an appointment by the Presidency of the church.

6: I did not hear the answer?
I said I would also state in addition to that, by virtue of an appointment by the Presidency of the Church. “Well I will renew my objection to the answer in that form.”
The appointment is in writing and you can call it forth if you wish to do so.

7: I will ask you what you have done either as the bishop of the church, or as the agent of the church, in trying to secure the possession of the property in controversy in this case, or in the way of exercising or attempting to exercise any acts of ownership over the same for or in behalf of the church? State full all you have done in that connection?

8: In connection with that question if any reference is made to any papers of any kind, you may produce the papers and have them identified as a part of your answer to this question?
Well acting for the society or for the church, I caused or serve notice on the party who claimed to be the trustee of the church here, Mr. Hill, I believe it was in 1887 that notice was served upon him. It was served upon him by reading it to him, and by giving him a copy and I have also paid taxes upon the property myself since I have been Bishop.

9: I will ask you if this is the duplicate or original of the notice that was served on him. The paper above referred to and identified by the witness is marked “exhibit 24.J.M.Orr” (the foregoing exhibit 24 was afterwards withdrawn).

10: You can present that to the reporter and have it identified as an exhibit? (which was done, the same being marked as herein before act forth).

11: Have you in your possession the receipt of taxes paid?
Yes sir.

12: You have?
I think I have, – a part of them at least. I have a receipt on lot 16 in Temple place “Received of E.L. Kelley of the Latter Day Saints church $1,47 in full for taxes, ect”. The receipt for taxes identified by the witness, and from which the foregoing extract was read, is marked “Exhibit 25, J.M. Orr”.

13: Who signed that receipt?
E.W. Hayes by J.D. Eubank, I , think it is. If I can read it right that is it.

14: What else is there?
Also on the 2nd day of January 1891″ received from the Re-organized Church of Latter Day Saints by, E.L. Kelley trustee in full for taxes on real estate for the year 1890 described as follows; – Lots 17 to 22 all E Grand Avenue, Lot 23 Woodson and Maxwell’s Addition $32,22, signed Frank C. Wyatt, by Jno. H. Modie, Deputy”. That is not the property in question if I remember rightly. It is the lot north of it that I spoke of yesterday. Tis is lot 16.

15: Is there two lots numbered 16?
There may be. I don’t know about that. This Exhibit 26 is on the property in question though.

16: We offer these in evidence.

17: Did you, – have you any other tax receipts for money that you paid for taxes on this property?
No that I remember for now.

18: Did you ever pay any other taxes on the property in question excepting the taxes that you paid represented by the receipts here that you have presented?
No sir. I called at the collectors office once or twice to do so, but some else had get ahead of me and paid them.

19: You did not Call at the office more than once or twice?
No sir.

20: The taxes have been paid on this property for a great many years?
Yes sir. I suppose so, but not that I know of of my own knowledge.

21: Did you not pay the taxes as you did on this property for the purpose of this suit and to assist the plaintiff or complainant in this litigation?
No sir, we claim this property now, and we claimed it then, and wanted to pay the taxes on prpoerty that we considered was our property.

22: Why didn’t you pay all the taxes on this property?
We did whenever they were due and we knew it.

23: Well you never found the taxes due but one or two instances?
Yes sir, that is all.

24: Were these taxes you paid, county or city taxes?
It is county taxes.

25: At the time you paid that, did you pay the city taxes?
I thought I had paid that up, except the sidewalk tax.

26: Did you ever have a receipt for it?
I thought I had, but I see it is not in my pocket.

27: Did you ever attend to having this property assessed?
No sir.

28: You never did at any time?
No sir.

29: Did anybody representing the church you represent, ever do it?
Not to my knowledge. All I ever did in reference to that was to place our deed upon record, which at the time run to the church, and when we had our deed put upon record, requiring this to run to the church, we claimed it was church property.

30: I have one more question, – did you ever make any effort to get this property exempted from taxation because it was church property?
I never made application for that We have been trying to get that far along.