Territory of Dakota,
County of Charles Mix
Zenophile Lanctot being duly sworn, according to law, deposes and says that he is the identical person who is an applicant for government title to the Northwest Quarter of Section Thirteen (13) in Township Ninety-nine (99) N. of Range Sixty-seven (67) N. that he is well acquainted with the character of said described land, and with each and ever legal subdivision thereof, having frequently passed over the same, that his knowledge of said land is such as to enable him to testify understandingly with regard thereto; that there is not, to his knowledge, within the limits thereof, any vein or lode of quartz or other rock in place, bearing gold, silver, cinnabar, lead, tin or copper, or any deposit of coal; that there is not within the limits of said land to his knowledge any placer, cement, gravel or other valuable mineral deposit; that no portion of said land is claimed for mining purposes under the local customs or rules of miners or otherwise; that not [sic] portion of said land is worked for mineral during any part of the year by any person or persons; that said land is essentially non-mineral land, and that his application therefor is not for the purpose of fraudulently obtaining the title to mineral land, but with the object of securing said land for agricultural purposes.
Subscribed and sworn to before me, this 22nd day of August A.D. 1885, and I hereby certify that the foregoing affidavit was read to the said Zenophile Lanctot previous to his name being subscribed thereto; and that deponent is a respectable person, to whose affidavit full faith and credit should be given.
Judge and Ex officio Clerk
of Probate court
Charles Mix Co Dak.
Whew! Good to know that Zeno was a respectable person! I always knew I came from good stock.
Now, after reading through this, I had a couple of questions. First ... what the heck is cinnabar? So I found this website, that told me a lot about it ... but I still didn't really know anything except that it's a red rock with perfect cleavage (this has something to do with the way it breaks under stress ... get your minds out of the gutter!) So I kept looking. Turns out cinnabar (mercury sulfide) is primarily used as an ore for mercury. It's also used as a pigment. Apparently, it's also used to make jewelry (though I'm not sure I would wear mercury jewelry). It is quite toxic to humans and animals ... in case anyone was thinking about looking for some.
Bottom line is that there wasn't any of it on Zeno's land, and since he was respectable, we can take him at his word. Besides, I'm pretty sure I would have inherited something by now if there were any valuable minerals on that land, right?