Sunday, December 6, 2009

1832 Lawsuit County of Boone vs Roger North Todd

From The Bench and Bar of Boone County Missouri by North Todd Gentry, Columbia, Missouri, 1916, pp. 206-207. Available in the Wilson-Wulff History and Genealogy Library at the Walters-Boone County Historical Museum.


In 1832, the case of County of Boone vs Todd (3 Mo. 140) was decided by the supreme court. It was a proceeding by mandamus to compel the county court of Boone county to pay one hundred and twenty dollars for the rent of a room in the residence of Roger North Todd, which was used by him as a clerk's office and recorder's office for a number of years. The court house of 1824 did not have any office for the clerk, and the county court insisted that he was not entitled to any. The court went so far as to refuse to pay for a record book in which to copy deeds, holding that Mr. Todd must bear that expense also. But the circuit court decided that he was entitled to an office, and if none was provided the county should pay rent for one; and this decision was affirmed by the supreme court. This was the first Missouri case to hold that the county should furnish an office for its officers. In this day when the county furnishes an office, heat, light, stationery, office furniture, janitr service, ice water and telephones, it seems hardly possible that an office or a record book would not be considered necessary. This suit resulted in the clerk's office building in 1835.

As late as may 8, 1866, the following appears of record in the county court: "Ordered by the court that the room in the southeast corner of the court house on the lower floor be set apart for the use of the county attorney, and that he pay a reasonable amount for the use of the same, to be deduced out of his salary."

February 1, 1871, was the first time the prosecuting attorney was furnished with an office free of rent (it was afterwards the sheriff's office), and he was allowed "sufficient fuel for the use of one stove."

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