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PERMANENT SCHOOL FUND-SETTING APART RECOVERED LANDS FOR.

CHAPTER LXXXI.

S. B. No. 20.]

An Act to set apart and appropriate to the permanent school fund of the State of Texas all of the lands heretofore or hereafter recovered from railway companies or other persons, firms or corporations; and to provide for the disposition of the same.

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas: That all of the lands heretofore or hereafter recovered from railway companies, firms, persons or other corporations, by the State of Texas, by suit or otherwise, shall at once become a part of the permanent school fund of the State, and shall be disposed of as other school lands, except as herein provided. If it should hereafter develop that the State is indebted to the general school fund, for land appropriated or sold by it, this is construed as a transfer in part payment thereof.

SEC. 2. In all cases where said land or any portion thereof has been surveyed into tracts of six hundred and forty acres, more or less, and field notes thereof returned to and filed in the General Land Office, the same is hereby declared a sufficient designation of said land, and the Commissioner of the General Land Office shall dispose of the same by the survey and block numbers contained in said field notes.

SEC. 3. Where any of such lands, at the time of such recovery, were leased by any one from the person, firm or corporation from whom the State recovered such land, such lessee shall have a preference right to lease from the State such portion of said land for a period of thirty days. from and after the taking effect of this act, upon his filing with the Commissioner of the General Land Office evidence that at the time said land was recovered by the State he had under lease from the person, firm or corporation from whom said land was recovered, such portion of said land as he desires to lease, and upon the filing of such evidence with the Commissioner of the General Land Office, such applicant shall have the preference to lease such land, over all other applicants; and where any of such lands, at the time of such recovery, were owned by any one by purchase from such person, firm or corporation, such owner shall have a preference right for a period of ninety days from and after the taking effect of this act, to purchase from the State such portion of said land, or so much thereof as he may be entitled to purchase under the law, and on the terms authorized by law, upon his furnishing satisfactory evidence to the Commissioner of the General Land Office of his said ownership. But in all other respects the lease and sale of such lands shall be governed by the general laws governing the disposition of said lands; provided, that the preference right to lease, given herein, shall not apply to any lands obtained through any suits brought upon any official bond of State, district or other officers; provided further, that this act shall not apply to lands acquired by the State under the law relating to the collection of taxes.

SEC. 3a. Where any person or persons, not a corporation, have bought lands from the person, firm or corporation who originally located such land, and paid full value therefor, without actual knowledge of any defect

in the title to said land, prior to the time of the institution of proceedings on the part of the State to recover such land, and not having been made a party to the suit, such land is now here declared not to be embraced within any of the preceding provisions of this act, that the same shall hereafter be disposed of by the Legislature; said land shall not be subject to location, lease or sale, unless hereafter so provided by the Legislature. Said persons, or their assigns, claiming such land, shall have ninety days, and no more, from and after the taking effect of this act, to file with the Commissioner of the General Land Office proof of such purpose and payment of full value of said land; and that at the time of such purchase, such purchaser was an innocent purchaser for full value and without notice, and was not a party to such proceeding; provided, that nothing herein contained shall be construed as validating said titles on the lands referred to in this act.

SEC. 3b. All preemption locations on any of the lands mentioned in this act, which were settled upon and surveyed as required by law prior to May 20th, 1898, and which have been continuously so occupied as a home, shall not be disposed of under this act, nor shall same be sold or leased by the Commissioner of the General Land Office under any law now in force, but shall remain for future legislative action; provided, that all such claimants shall, within ninety days after the taking effect of this act, and not thereafter, file their applications and field notes in the General Land Office, together with their proof of continued occupancy; provided, those who have attempted in good faith to acquire any such lands under the homestead donation act shall have a preference right of six months, regardless of the provisions of this section, to purchase such lands at one dollar per acre.

SEC. 4. The fact that the State has recovered three million acres of land from railway companies and other persons, and that there is now no law authorizing the disposition of the same and that the State is now losing the rent of said lands, thus causing great loss to the school fund of the State, creates an emergency and imperative public necessity which justifies the suspension of the constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several days in each house, and that this act take effect and be in force from and after its passage, and it is so enacted.

[NOTE. The enrolled bill shows that the foregoing act passed the Senate, no vote given; and was reported to the House where it was amended and passed by a two-thirds vote, yeas 93, nays 7, and reported back to the Senate; Senate refused to concur in House amendments and asked for a Free Conference Committee; the report of the Free Conference Committee was adopted by both Senate and House, vote not given in either.]

Approved April 18, 1899.

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY- ROAD SYSTEM.

H. B. No. 621.]

CHAPTER LXXXII.

An Act to create a more efficient road system for Nacogdoches county, Texas, and making the county commissioners of said county ex-officio road commissioners, and prescribing their duties as such, and providing for their compensation as road commissioners, and providing for the appointment of road overseers and defining their duties, and for working of county convicts upon the roads of said county, and providing for officers' fees and rewards for the capture of escaped convicts, and authorizing the working of county convicts partly upon the county convict farm, as well as upon the public roads, or partly upon both, in the discretion of the commissioners' court, and making provision of act applicable, as far as practicable, to convicts when worked on county farms, and to provide for the summoning of teams for road work, and for an allowance of time for the service of same, and fixing a penalty for a violation of this act, and repeal all laws in conflict with this act as to Nacogdoches county, and to authorize the commissioners' court of Nacogdoches county to create the office of superintendent of public roads and bridges for Nacogdoches county, and defining his duties, and providing for compensation of said superintendent, and prescribing bond to be given by said officer; providing that delinquent poll taxpayers shall be subject to three days road duty; providing for the condemnation of any land needed for the widening, straightening, changing or draining of roads; providing for the taking of timber, gravel, earth, stone or other necessary material for the improvement of roads, and giving persons summoned to work on roads the right to be relieved from the discharge of such duty on the payment of specific sums of money herein stipulated.

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas: That the members of the commissioners' court of Nacogdoches county shall be ex-officio road commissioners of their respective districts, and, under the direction of the commissioners' court, shall have charge of all the teams, tools and machinery belonging to the county and placed in their hands by said county, and it shall be their duty, under such rules and regulations as the commissioners' court may prescribe, to superintend the laying out of new roads and the making or changing of roads and the building of bridges. Each of said commissioners shall, before entering upon the duties of his office, in addition to his regular bond as such county commissioner, execute a bond of one thousand dollars, with two or more good and sufficient sureties, payable to the county judge of said county for the use and benefit of the road and bridge fund, conditioned that he will perform all of the duties required of him by law or by the commissioners' court, and that he will account for all money or property belonging to the county that may come into his possession; provided, that with the consent of the commissioners' court, any one of said commissioners shall be allowed to appoint any competent person as deputy road commissioner, who shall be required to execute the same bond that is required of commissioners in this section, and such deputy road commissioner shall be entitled to the same compensation that is allowed county commissioners for the same service; provided, that county commissioners shall not be allowed any compensation when a deputy road commissioner has been appointed.

SEC. 2. The commissioners' court of said county shall have full power and authority, and it shall be its duty, to adopt such system for working, laying out, draining and repairing the public roads in said county as it may deem best, and from time to time said court may change its plan or

system of working. Said commissioners' court shall have full power to purchase such teams, tools and machinery as may be necessary for the working of its roads. Said court shall have full power to construct, grade or otherwise improve any road or bridge by contract. In such case said court or county judge of said county may advertise, in such manner as said court may determine, for bids to do such work, and the contract shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, who shall enter into bond payable to the county judge of said county, for the use of the road and bridge fund, with good and sufficient sureties, to be approved by said court, and in such sum as said court may determine, for the faithful compliance with the terms of said contract; but said court shall have the right to reject any and all bids. At the time of making such contract, the court shall direct the county treasurer to pass the amount to a particular fund for that purpose, and the treasurer shall keep a separate account of such funds; same shall not be used for any other purpose, and can only be paid out on the order of said court; and the said court shall have authority to employ any hands or teams to work on the roads, under such regulations and for such price as they may deem best, not to exceed two dollars per day, of ten hours per day, for a team and driver, and not to exceed one dollar per day for day hands; and no road hand, when working out his time on the road, shall be required to work but eight hours per day; but when hands are hired by the day they shall be required to work ten hours per day.

SEC. 3. The commissioners' court of said county shall require all county convicts, not otherwise employed, to labor upon the public roads, under such regulations as they may prescribe, and each convict so worked shall receive a credit of fifty cents on his fine first and then on the cost, for each day he may labor. The commissioners' court may provide such reasonable regulations or punishment as may be necessary to require such convicts to perform good work, and may provide a reward, not to exceed ten dollars, to be paid out of the road and bridge fund, for the recapture and delivery of any escaped convict, to be paid to any person other than the guard or person in charge of such convict at the time of his escape. The commissioners' court may grant a reasonable commutation of time for which a convict is committed, as a reward for faithful service and good behavior, in no case to exceed one-tenth of the time. Said court may provide the necessary houses, prisons, clothing, bedding, food, medicine and medical attention and guards for the safe and humane keeping of the convicts. The commissioners' court may, at a regular meeting, allow to the officers such amount of their costs for the arrest and conviction of said convicts as is now provided by law; provided, that said court shall not allow any officer or officers more than one-half of the costs due them and adjudged against such convict. The aforesaid amount shall be paid out of the road and bridge fund upon the order of said court, when said fine and costs have been worked out as provided in this section; provided, that this act shall not be construed so as to relieve any convict from payment of all costs for which he would be liable under the general laws of this State. Nothing in this section shall be construed so as to deprive the commissioners' court of the right to have convicts to work a part or all of the time on the county convict farm, but authority is herein expressly given said court to require convicts to labor in payment of fines and costs, either upon the county convict farm or upon the public roads, or partly

upon both, as to said court it may seem best, and the provisions of this section shall apply, as far as practicable, in all cases where convicts labor upon the county convict farm.

SEC. 4. Each county commissioner shall have charge of all road overseers in his district, and shall deliver to each of them all teams, tools and machinery necessary in working the roads in the district of said overseer so far as he has been supplied therewith by the commissioners' court, taking receipt of his overseer therefor, specifying each item and giving its value, which receipt shall be full answer for the liability of the commissioner, and shall fix the liability of the overseer; and any commissioner or overseer who shall have been entrusted with any team, tools or machinery belonging to said county shall be liable for any damage that may occur to the same while in his possession caused by negligence or want of due care of same, and shall not use or permit the same to be used for private purposes without the consent of the commissioners' court. It shall be the duty of the road overseer, when he has finished work on his road, to return to said commissioners all teams, tools and machinery received from them by him and take up the receipt given therefor.

SEC. 5. It shall be the duty of the commissioners when acting as road commissioners to inform themselves of the condition of the public roads in their districts, and they shall determine what character of work shall be done upon said roads, and shall direct the manner of grading, draining or otherwise improving the same, which direction shall be observed and obeyed by all overseers of their districts.

SEC. 6. The commissioner may require each overseer in his district to call out the hands in such numbers as may be sufficient to perform the work, but no road hand shall be required to work exceeding five days in any one year or two and one-half days with himself and team, unless the term of service as prescribed by the General Laws shall be extended beyond that time; and provided, that all road hands in any particular district shall, as far as practicable, be worked a uniform time. Each road overseer, or in case of his absence, any person deputized by him, shall have full control of all road hands within his road district, and shall see that each hand when called out shall perform a good day's work, and if any hand when so called out shall fail or refuse to do a good day's work, or to work in the manner the overseer may direct, shall be liable to the same penalty as if he had failed to appear in obedience to the summons. The commissioners' court may allow any overseer who shall be engaged in the discharge of the duties of his office for more than five days during one year a compensation not to exceed one dollar per day for each day served over five days during any one year.

SEC. 7. Any citizen of Nacogdoches county who is subject to road duty who shall, on or before the first day of February of any year, pay the county treasurer of said county the sum of two dollars and fifty cents, or who shall pay the overseer of his respective district the sum of two dollars and seventy-five cents on or before the first day of February of any year, shall be exempt from road duty for such year, beginning on the first day of February. Overseers shall receive and receipt for all moneys so paid them, and shall immediately, or within ten days after the receipt of the same, pay all amounts so received over to the county treasurer, taking a receipt therefor, and shall furnish the county treasurer a statement under oath, showing the amount so collected and by whom paid.

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