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Introduction to Allen v. JS et al.

Allen v. JS, Cowdery, Carter, Knight, Orton, and Cahoon
Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., Ohio, Justice of the Peace Court, 8 January 1838
 
Historical Introduction
In 1834, Latter-day Saints in , Ohio, began operating a water-powered sawmill on ’s property, allowing the church “a better opportunity to use its own resources” in constructing the and other buildings. Two years later, in an effort to transform the mill from water-powered to steam-powered production, JS, , , , , and formed the Kirtland Steam Company. Like other business ventures in Kirtland, the steam company apparently fell into financial difficulties during the Panic of 1837, and it failed by early 1838. According to , the church spent “some thousands of dollars in building a steam mill, which never profited them anything.” At some point, the steam company accrued a debt of twenty-three dollars to Matthew Allen, and on 8 August 1837, justice of the peace awarded Allen the debt and assessed to the defendants $1.31½ in court costs. On 16 August, as part of a stay of execution, became surety for the payment, acquiring responsibility for both the debt and court costs if JS and the others could not or did not pay. By January 1838, the defendants had not made any payments on the debt, and justice of the peace summoned them to appear before him on 8 January.
On the appointed day, with dissent dividing the Saints and threats of violence hounding JS, none of the defendants appeared in court. Since the defendants did not appear, the court assessed $0.57½ interest to the debt of $23, added another $1.32½ for court costs, and issued an order of execution to collect the judgment. On 24 January, constable returned the execution, stating that he was able to collect only $9.25 of the debt. Two days later, constable James Markell received $5.41 of the judgment. The defendants’ failure to satisfy the balance led Allen to bring an action against , the surety.
 
Calendar of Documents
8 August 1837 Frederick G. Williams, Docket Entry, Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., OH
8 Aug. 1837. Not extant.
 
16 August 1837 Oliver Granger, Bond, Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., OH
16 Aug. 1837. Not extant.
 
3 January 1838 Writ of Scire Facias, Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., OH
3 Jan. 1838. Not extant.
 
Ca. 8 January 1838 Docket Entry, Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., OH
Ca. 8 Jan. 1838; Cowdery, Docket Book, p. 293; handwriting of Warren A. Cowdery; notations in handwriting of Warren A. Cowdery and James Markell.
 
Ca. 8 January 1838 Execution, to Luke Johnson, Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., OH
8 Jan. 1838. Not extant.
 
5 April 1838 Execution, Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., OH
5 Apr. 1838. Not extant.
Allen v. JS, Cowdery, Carter, Knight, Orton, and Cahoon
Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., Ohio, Justice of the Peace Court, 8 January 1838
 
Historical Introduction
In 1834, Latter-day Saints in , Ohio, began operating a water-powered sawmill on ’s property, allowing the church “a better opportunity to use its own resources” in constructing the and other buildings. Two years later, in an effort to transform the mill from water-powered to steam-powered production, JS, , , , , and formed the Kirtland Steam Company. Like other business ventures in Kirtland, the steam company apparently fell into financial difficulties during the Panic of 1837, and it failed by early 1838. According to , the church spent “some thousands of dollars in building a steam mill, which never profited them anything.” At some point, the steam company accrued a debt of twenty-three dollars to Matthew Allen, and on 8 August 1837, justice of the peace awarded Allen the debt and assessed to the defendants $1.31½ in court costs. On 16 August, as part of a stay of execution, became surety for the payment, acquiring responsibility for both the debt and court costs if JS and the others could not or did not pay. By January 1838, the defendants had not made any payments on the debt, and justice of the peace summoned them to appear before him on 8 January.
On the appointed day, with dissent dividing the Saints and threats of violence hounding JS, none of the defendants appeared in court. Since the defendants did not appear, the court assessed $0.57½ interest to the debt of $23, added another $1.32½ for court costs, and issued an order of execution to collect the judgment. On 24 January, constable returned the execution, stating that he was able to collect only $9.25 of the debt. Two days later, constable James Markell received $5.41 of the judgment. The defendants’ failure to satisfy the balance led Allen to bring an action against , the surety.
 
Calendar of Documents
8 August 1837 Frederick G. Williams, Docket Entry, Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., OH
8 Aug. 1837. Not extant.
 
16 August 1837 Oliver Granger, Bond, Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., OH
16 Aug. 1837. Not extant.
 
3 January 1838 Writ of Scire Facias, Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., OH
3 Jan. 1838. Not extant.
 
Ca. 8 January 1838 Docket Entry, Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., OH
Ca. 8 Jan. 1838; Cowdery, Docket Book, p. 293; handwriting of Warren A. Cowdery; notations in handwriting of Warren A. Cowdery and James Markell.
 
Ca. 8 January 1838 Execution, to Luke Johnson, Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., OH
8 Jan. 1838. Not extant.
 
5 April 1838 Execution, Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., OH
5 Apr. 1838. Not extant.