Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Joseph Zenophile Lanctot Land Records - Part 7


See previous posts here.

During the process of proving up the pre-emption, my great-great grandfather had to ask two of his friends/neighbors to act as witnesses for him and sign an affidavit under oath regarding his residency and cultivation of his land.  The second witness for Zenophile was Amos Truesdell.  I located Mr. Truesdell's family on the territorial census records for 1885, on the lines just above Zeno's.  They were probably next-door neighbors (as much as you can be on 160 acres ...)

I had to change the layout a little when transcribing it - for readability.  This is otherwise a verbatim transcription of the document.

===========================
PRE-EMPTION PROOF ---TESTIMONY OF WITNESS.

Amos Truesdell being called as a witness in support of the Pre-emption claim of Zenophile Lanctot, to the Northwest 1/4 Sec. 13, Twp. 99, Rge 67th testifies as follows:

Ques. 1.  What is your postoffice address?
Ans.  Darlington Charles Mix Co., Dak.

Ques. 2.  How long have you known claimant, and what is his age?
Ans.  Ever since making his D.S. entry.  25 years.

Ques 3.  Is claimant married or single?  
               2d. Of whom does this family (if any) consist?  
               3d. Is he a native or naturalized citizen?
Ans.  Married; 
          2d. Wife and two children; 
          3d. Has declared his intention to become a citizen.

Ques 4. Are you familiar with the character of the land?  
              2d. Are there any indications of coal minerals or salines thereon? (If so state plainly the nature).  
              3d. Is it more valuable for agricultural than mining purposes?  
              4th. Do you reside in its vicinity?  
              5th. Is it within the limits of an incorporated or selected town site, or used in any way for purposes of trade or business? (Answer to the point and in detail).
Ans. 1st. Yes;  
         2d. No;  
         3d. Yes;  
         4th. Yes;  
         5th. No.

Ques. 5.  Is claimant the owner of 320 acres in this or any other State or Territory?  
                2d. Did he leave or abandon a residence on his own land in this Territory to reside on the land herein described?  
                3d. Has he ever filed for or entered other land under the pre-emption law? 
                4th. Has he mortgaged or agreed to sell the land herein described?
Ans. 1st. No;  
         2d. No;  
         3d. No;  
         4th. No.

Ques. 6.  When did claimant first settle on his claim?  
                2d. What was his first act of settlement?  
                3d. What improvement has he on land?  
                4th. What is the value of such improvements?  
                5th. When did he commence his residence thereon?  
                6th. Has his residence been continuous?  
                7th. What use has he made of the land?  
                8th. How much has he broken and cultivated? (Answer to the point and in detail).
Ans.  1st. August 1st, 1884.  
          2d. Built house and broke prairie.  
          3d. House 12x14, stable 12x16, 65 acres breaking, well;  
          4th. $600.00.  
          5th. Aug 1, 1884.  
          6th. Yes.  
          7th. Farm and home;
          8th. 65 acres

Ques. 7.  Are you in any way interested in the claim, or by blood or marriage related to claimant?
Ans.  No, and am in no way related.
and the reason of this testimony being sworn to before the clerk of the court of Charles Mix county is on account of the great distance from my residence to the local land office at Yankton, D.T.

[Amos Truesdell]

I hereby certify that the witness is a person of respectability, that the foregoing testimony was read to him before being subscribed, and was sworn to before me, this 22nd day of August 1885, as provided by the amendatory act of Congress, approved June 9th 1880.

[Adam Grimes]
Judge and Ex Officio
[see note fourth page]

Clerk of the Probate Court, Charles Mix County, Dakota Territory, within and for the Judicial District of said Territory.
============================

Again, this is good information to have.  I realized when I was making this post that with the exception of Mr. Truesdell's name on this document, everything else is answered exactly the same as Mr. Gregoire's affidavit from yesterday.  Verbatim.  Now I'm wondering how much stock to put into these answers.  The document was clearly completed by the clerk and simply signed by the witness ... now I question it.

Tomorrow ... Zenophile's Testimony!

2 comments:

FrustratedSue said...

I didn't notice this in South Dakota last year, BUT in northern Indiana, houses were often placed at the four corners so that you did have neighbors:

lH|Hl
__|__
lH|Hl (Ignore the extra space below the top set. The "l" stands for the land, extending 160 acres away from the House in that direction; 160 acres of farm land and 4 neighbors.)

Sue

Jenny Lanctot said...

It makes sense to build them that way. 160 acres (or more) is a long way to walk to borrow a cup of sugar :)

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