Introduction to L. Holmes and C. Holmes v. JS and Cahoon

Document Transcript

L. Holmes and C. Holmes v. JS and Cahoon
Geauga Co., Ohio, Court of Common Pleas, circa 3 April 1838
 
Historical Introduction
In October 1837, Lory Holmes and his son Charles Holmes began proceedings to reclaim an unpaid debt for a land transaction with JS and . In fall 1836, JS and his associates purchased several pieces of land in the vicinity of , Ohio. These property transactions were meant to provide land for new church members moving to the area and may also have served as collateral for the bank JS and other church leaders were working to establish. On 5 October 1836, JS and Cahoon bought approximately 232 acres from Lory and Charles Holmes. The deed stipulated a purchase price of $12,000 plus interest, to be paid in several installments over the next year. JS and Cahoon made an initial payment of $1,000 and then paid another $1,000 two weeks later. The next installment—$5,000—was due by May 1837, but only $1,001.72 was paid. Lory and Charles Holmes agreed to allow the balance to be paid in September 1837, when a final payment of $5,000 was due. In addition to the deed, JS and Cahoon apparently borrowed $200 from the Holmeses on 15 October 1836, leaving $9,200 due on 1 September 1837.
When JS and failed to make the final payment in October 1837, the plaintiffs filed a plea of in the Court of Common Pleas to collect the debt. A copy of a summons was left with in JS’s absence, while Cahoon was personally notified. The plaintiffs by their attorneys and filed their declaration in December, seeking $15,000 in damages, and the case was continued to the next court term. When the matter came to trial in April 1838, neither JS nor Cahoon appeared and the court issued a default judgment, awarding the Holmeses $10,071.48 plus court costs. By September 1838, the judgment had been satisfied in full “by an arrangement between the parties,” and “a paper to that effect” was filed with affiliated case documents. The satisfaction of judgment is not extant.
 
Calendar of Documents
This calendar lists all known documents created by or for the court, whether extant or not. It does not include versions of documents created for other purposes, though those versions may be listed in footnotes. In certain cases, especially in cases concerning unpaid debts, the originating document (promissory note, invoice, etc.) is listed here. Note that documents in the calendar are grouped with their originating court. Where a version of a document was subsequently filed with another court, that version is listed under both courts.

Footnotes

  1. 1

    Summons, 25 Oct. 1837 [L. Holmes and C. Holmes v. JS and Cahoon]. The most substantial of these purchases included 239 acres from Peter French, 105 acres from Timothy Martindale, and over 197 acres from Claudius Stannard. (See Historical Introduction to Mortgage to Peter French, 5 Oct. 1836; Introduction to Martindale v. JS et al.; Introduction to Stannard v. Young and JS; and Introduction to Stannard v. Young et al.  

  2. 2

    See Historical Introduction to Mortgage to Peter French, 5 Oct. 1836.  

  3. 3

    Deed from Lory and Charles Holmes, 5 Oct. 1836. According to 1836 tax records, Charles Holmes owned 93 acres in lot 34, while his father owned 12 acres in the same lot. Lory Holmes owned lot 46, consisting of 101 acres, and lot 19, which consisted of 22 acres. This property totaled 228 acres, not the estimated 232 acres recorded in the deed. (Geauga Co., OH, Duplicate Tax Records, 1816–1850, Tax Record for 1836, pp. 18–19, microfilm 559,345, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)  

    U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

  4. 4

    Deed from Lory and Charles Holmes, 5 Oct. 1836. The value of the land, for tax purposes, was $637 (Geauga Co., OH, Duplicate Tax Records, 1816–1850, Tax Record for 1836, pp. 18–19, microfilm 559,345, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; An Act Pointing Out the Mode of Levying Taxes [14 Mar. 1831], Statutes of Ohio, vol. 3, p. 1804, sec. 16, part 1).  

    U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

    The Statutes of Ohio and of the Northwestern Territory, Adopted or Enacted from 1788 to 1833 Inclusive: Together with the Ordinance of 1787; the Constitutions of Ohio and of the United States, and Various Public Instruments and Acts of Congress: Illustrated by a Preliminary Sketch of the History of Ohio; Numerous References and Notes, and Copious Indexes. 3 vols. Edited by Salmon P. Chase. Cincinnati: Corey and Fairbank, 1833–1835.

  5. 5

    Deed from Lory and Charles Holmes, 5 Oct. 1836. For a discussion of JS’s financial difficulties and opposition he faced in 1837, see Documents, Volume 5, Introduction to Part 5: 5 Oct. 1836–10 Apr. 1837; and Historical Introduction to Letter from Parley P. Pratt, 23 May 1837.  

  6. 6

    Deed from Lory and Charles Holmes, 5 Oct. 1836; Declaration, 4 Dec. 1837 [L. Holmes and C. Holmes v. JS and Cahoon].  

  7. 7

    Summons, 25 Oct. 1837 [L. Holmes and C. Holmes v. JS and Cahoon]. JS traveled to Far West, Missouri, in fall 1837 to address issues relating to settlement and church authority. (See Minutes, 6 Nov. 1837.)  

  8. 8

    Hitchcock and Wilder were partners in the Painesville, Ohio, law firm Hitchcock & Wilder. (History of Geauga and Lake Counties, Ohio, 61.)  

    History of Geauga and Lake Counties, Ohio, with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Its Pioneers and Most Prominent Men. Philadelphia: Williams Brothers, 1878.

  9. 9

    Declaration, 4 Dec. 1837 [L. Holmes and C. Holmes v. JS and Cahoon]. According to legal practice of the time, attorneys sought damages for amounts exceeding the actual debt. Though the pleading, or declaration, appears to seek multiple claims of $10,000 for goods sold and delivered and $10,000 for “money lent,” it represented a single claim of $10,000, expressed in various ways. (Swan, Practice in Civil Actions and Proceedings at Law, 1:203–217; for further discussion, see Historical Introduction to Declaration to the Geauga County Court of Common Pleas, 7 May 1838, in JSP, D6:137.)  

    Swan, Joseph R. The Practice in Civil Actions and Proceedings at Law, in Ohio, and Precedents in Pleading, with Practical Notes; together with the Forms of Process and Clerks’ Entries. 2 vols. Columbus: Isaac N. Whiting, 1845.

    JSP, D6 / Ashurst-McGee, Mark, David W. Grua, Elizabeth Kuehn, Alexander L. Baugh, and Brenden W. Rensink, eds. Documents, Volume 6: February 1838–August 1839. Vol. 6 of the Documents series of The Joseph Smith Papers, edited by Ronald K. Esplin, Matthew J. Grow, and Matthew C. Godfrey. Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2017.

  10. 10

    JS departed Kirtland on 12 January 1838 to relocate to Far West, Missouri. (See Historical Introduction to Revelation, 12 Jan. 1838–C.)  

  11. 11

    Transcript of Proceedings, ca. 3 Apr. 1838 [L. Holmes and C. Holmes v. JS and Cahoon]. The court determined the amount owed by multiplying the debt ($9,200) by 6 percent interest, then by 1.58 (representing the 19 months the debt had been outstanding). Six percent was the highest rate of interest allowed by law. (An Act Fixing the Rate of Interest [12 Jan. 1824], Statutes of Ohio, vol. 2, p. 1297, sec. 1.)  

    The Statutes of Ohio and of the Northwestern Territory, Adopted or Enacted from 1788 to 1833 Inclusive: Together with the Ordinance of 1787; the Constitutions of Ohio and of the United States, and Various Public Instruments and Acts of Congress: Illustrated by a Preliminary Sketch of the History of Ohio; Numerous References and Notes, and Copious Indexes. 3 vols. Edited by Salmon P. Chase. Cincinnati: Corey and Fairbank, 1833–1835.

  12. 12

    Docket Entry, Costs, ca. 3 Apr. 1838 [L. Holmes and C. Holmes v. JS and Cahoon].