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CHAPTER XXVII.-An act to amend article 3962, chapter ten, title seventy-nine of the Revised Statutes.
Section 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas, That article 3962, chapter ten, title seventy-nine of the Revised Statutes shall hereafter read as follows:
"Article 3962. The commissioner of the general land office is authorized and required to patent surveys in the order in which they may be made ready for patenting without regard to the order of filing in the general land office or the order of application; provided, that when application is made for patent on any claim and the office fees therefor have been paid, such claim shall have preference over claims for which no application has been made; provided, such surveys shall have been regularly mapped, or there be sufficient evidence that no previous survey has been legally filed in the land office covering the same ground as represented on the maps of the office."
Sec. 2. That the large amount of revenue to be secured to the state by this act and the near approach of the close of this extra session creates an emergency and an imperative public necessity that the constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several days, be suspended, and it is therefore so suspended, and that this act take effect and be in force from and after its passage, and it is so enacted.
Approved July 8, A. D. 1879.
Takes effect ninety days after adjournment.
CHAPTER XXVIII.-An act to provide for the sale of the alternate sections of land in organized counties, as surveyed by railroad companies and other works of internal improvement and set apart for the benefit of the common school fund; to provide for the investment of the proceeds, and to repeal all laws in conflict therewith.
Section 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas, That all the alternate sections of land in organized counties heretofore surveyed, or which may be hereafter surveyed by any railroad company or other work of internal improvement and set apart for the benefit of common schools, shall be brought into market and disposed of in the manner hereinafter provided.
Sec. 2. The county surveyor of the county in which said lands are located shall view and appraise the same, under oath, and make return of the same to the county commissioners' court, which court shall examine, approve or disapprove of the same, and may take other evidence to ascertain the true value of the land, and, in case of disapproval, said court shall fix a value thereto, and the valuation of said lands, in no case, shall be less than one dollar per acre. County surveyors acting as appraisers of lands in their respective counties shall each receive the sum of one dollar per section, and in no event to exceed fifty dollars for the appraisement of all the lands in any one county, to be paid out of the proceeds of the first sales of the land under the provisions of this act. Any person having improvements upon any of such lands, prior to the taking effect of this act, shall have the preference in the purchase thereof
for the period of six months next after taking effect hereof, at the valuation exclusive of the value of such improvements.
Sec. 3. That as soon as the appraisement is completed, the county commissioners' court shall prepare tabulated reports of their action, setting forth the following, viz: Number of survey, block, quantity in each survey, name of company or individual to whom the certificate was granted, price per acre of each section or quarter thereof, if differences exist, value of improvements, remarks giving general description of soil and water. One copy of the above report shall be filed in the office of the county surveyor, and shall constitute an archive of his office. One copy shall be forwarded to the commissioner of the general land office, and one copy to the treasurer of the state.
Sec. 4. That upon the receipt of the above report by the commissioner of the general land office, he shall examine the same, and if made in conformity with this act he shall notify the county surveyor of the fact; and until he receives such notice the surveyor shall not entertain any proposition for the purchase of said land.
Sec. 5. That so soon as the surveyor shall receive the notice provided for in section four of this act, he shall be authorized to receive application for the purchase of said lands in any quantity not less than one hundred and sixty acres, except fractions of less than one hundred and sixty acres that may now exist in said counties, provided, that one person or corporation shall not be allowed to purchase more than one section of said land when the same is classed as arable land suitable for farming purposes; but when the same is classed as land suitable only for grazing purposes, it shall be sold in quantities to suit the purchaser, but no person shall be permitted to purchase less than one hundred and sixty acres nor more than three sections.
Sec. 6. That any person desiring to purchase any of the above lands shall make application in writing to the county surveyor, designating the number of the survey, block, name of company or individual to whom the certificate, by virtue of which such survey was made, was issued, the quantity he or she wishes to purchase, and, if less than a whole section, the particular part of such section; provided, that no fraction of any section of less than one hundred and sixty acres shall be left by any such selection, and that no fractional section of less than three hundred and twenty acres shall be divided. The surveyor shall be entitled to a fee of one dollar for each application, to be paid by the applicant; and he shall, upon payment of said fee, record said application in a well bound book to be kept by him for that purpose; he shall endorse such application "Recorded," giving the date, page and volume of the record, and sign his name thereto, and deliver said application to the proposed purchaser.
Sec. 7. That the purchaser shall immediately forward to the state treasurer the above application, together with one-tenth of the appraised value of the land therein designated; provided, that one-fourth of the purchase money shall be paid in advance on all lands valuable only for the timber thereon. The treasurer shall enter a credit on his books in the name of the purchaser for the amount so received, giving such description of the land as will identify the same. He shall then issue his receipt for said amount and forward it, with the above named application, to the commissioner of the general land office, who shall file said application and receipt in his office, and issue his certificate in lieu thereof, setting forth the amount paid to the treasurer and the quantity and
valuation of the land applied for; which certificate shall authorize the county surveyor to survey the land embraced in the original application, and to enter the same on his books as sold, and he shall not entertain another application to purchase said lands until notified of their forfeiture as hereinafter specified; provided, that, should the applicant fail to make his first payment of one-tenth of the appraised value of the land embraced in his application to the treasurer, and present the certificate of the commissioner of the general land office to the surveyor or his deputy within ninety days from the date of the record of his application, then and in that case the said land shall be again for sale and the surveyor shall be authorized to receive application for the same.
Sec. 8. That so soon as the application above named has been received by the surveyor, the applicant shall execute his obligation or promissory note for the balance of the appraised value of the land he desires to purchase, agreeing and stipulating to pay to the governor of the State of Texas and his successors in office, on the first day of January of each year, one-tenth of the amount of his obligation or promissory note, with ten per cent. interest on such amount of the principal as may be due at the date of each payment, giving in said obligation such description of the land purchased as is contained in his application; provided, that the purchaser may have the privilege of paying the entire amount of the appraised value of such land at the date of purchase, or such amount of principal and interest as may be due at any time subsequent to the execution of his obligation or promissory note; provided, that any payment of principal may be deferred for one or more years, except the first onetenth or one-fourth, but all payments of both principal and interest must be paid inside of ten years, and all interest must be paid annually on or before the first day of March of each year. Where any land sold under the provisions of this act shall be timbered land, no person shall have the right to cut and remove any of the timber therefrom for the purpose of selling the same until the purchase money for said land has been paid in full.
Sec. 9. That the note or obligation so executed by the purchaser, shall be forwarded to the commissioner of the general land office, and he shall have the same registered in a well bound book kept for that purpose, setting forth the name of the purchaser, the amount and date of the obligation or note, the tract or tracts for which it is given, and the county in which situated; and shall then endorse the same "Registered," with the date of such registry, sign his name thereto, and deliver the same to the treasurer of the state who shall carefully file the same in his office.
Sec. 10. That upon presentation of the certificate of the commissioner of the general land office provided for in section seven of this act, to the surveyor or his deputy, the said surveyor shall immediately proceed to survey the land embraced in the original application of the purchaser; he shall record the field notes of such survey or surveys in his office and forward the same, duly certified, to the commissioner of the general land office, who shall file the same with the application and treasurer's receipt of said purchaser. For the surveying and recording herein provided for, the surveyor shall be entitled to the legal fees provided by law, to be paid by the purchaser; provided, that when the field notes are on file in the general land office, the applicant shall not be required to have the same surveyed.
Sec. 11. That the commissioner of the general land office shall pro
cure a well bound book in which shall be kept an account with the purchaser of said lands, showing the amount for which the original obligation was given and the interest accruing thereon; and it shall be the duty of the state treasurer, upon the payment of the amount due by any purchaser of these lands, to execute his receipt for the same in the name of the purchaser, and deliver said receipt to the commissioner of the general land office, who shall credit the account of said purchaser with the amount so paid, and forward his certificate of such payment to the purchaser.
Sec. 12. If, upon the first day of March following the maturity of any payment, the interest on money due has not been paid to the state treasurer, and his receipt filed with the commissioner of the general land office, as provided in section eleven of this act, it shall be the duty of said commissioner to notify the county or district attorney of the county in which such land is situated of such failure, giving the name of the purchaser so failing to make payment, with the amount and date of his note, and the amount of principal and interest due at the time of such failure; and upon the receipt of such notice it shall be the duty of the county or district attorney to cause a writ to be issued and served on the purchaser, or, in case of his death, upon his heirs or legal representatives, requiring him or them to show cause why he or they should not be ejected from such land; and upon his or their failure to show that the annual installments of interest have been paid, as above provided, a judgment shall be rendered against him or them, and a writ of possession shall be issued in favor of the state. That a copy of such judgment, under the signature and seal of the clerk of the court rendering the judg ment, shall be forwarded to the state treasurer, who shall immediately indorse the obligation of such purchaser "forfeited," note the fact of such endorsement on the copy of judgment aforesaid, and forward the same to the commissioner of the general land office. The said commissioner shall file said copy of judgment with the claim of such defaulting purchaser, and shall note such forfeiture on the account kept with said purchaser, and shall notify the surveyor of the county in which said land is situated that said land is again for sale.
Sec. 13. That such forfeited tracts shall be sold in the same manner as hereinbefore provided for the original sale of such lands: provided, however, that any improvements on said land shall be paid for by the purchaser, and the value of said improvements shall be assessed by the board of appraisers hereinbefore provided for, or such other persons as the governor may designate, when the same proceedings may be had as provided in this act for the original appraisement and purchase.
Sec. 14. That should any purchaser die before the payment of any one installment, and interest thereon falls due, his administrator, executor or heirs shall have an extension of twelve months within which to pay the same.
Sec. 15. That in case any purchaser desires to sell said land after he has made his first payment on the same, he may do so, but in that event his vendee shall file in the general land office a properly authenticated transfer from said purchaser, and said vendee shall be liable to the obligations and penalties imposed upon said original purchaser; and upon final and full payment on any purchase made under the provisions of this act, the commissioner of the general land office shall issue a patent to the purchaser making the same, or to his vendee or heirs; provided,
no one patent so issued shall include more than one section of land, nor portions of any two sections.
Sec. 16. Said lands shall be subject to taxation from the date of the first payment into the treasury of the state.
Sec. 17. That the proceeds arising from the sale of these lands shall be paid into the common school funds; the principal to be invested in United States or state bonds, and the interest arising therefrom shall be applied to the use of common schools.
Sec. 18. The commissioner of the general land office and the attorney general shall prescribe such minute details as may be necessary to carry out the objects of this act, and necessary instructions to surveyors and appraisers.
Sec. 19. That all laws and parts of laws in conflict herewith are hereby repealed; provided, nothing herein contained shall effect the rights or obligations of purchasers of these lands under former laws.
Sec. 20. That whereas, the present session of the Legislature is so near final adjournment, and the existing law would operate almost to the destruction of the school fund and entail unreasonable expense upon the state, an emergency exists for the suspension of the constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several days in each house, and said rule is hereby suspended, and as a public necessity requires that this act should take effect and be in force from and after its passage, it is therefore so enacted.
Approved July 8, A. D. 1879.
Takes effect ninety days after adjournment.
CHAPTER XXIX.-An act to amend "an act to authorize the governor, attorney general and superintendent of the penitentiary to contract for conveying convicts from the places where sentenced to the penitentiary," approved April 22, 1879.
Section 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas, That section two of the above recited act be so amended as to hereafter read as follows:
"Section 2. That the operation of all laws concerning the transportation of convicts be and the same are hereby declared to be suspended during the existence of any such contract as that provided in the preceding section, and the governor shall by proclamation give notice for the making of such contract, and a copy of such proclamation shall be forwarded by the secretary of state to each sheriff in the state, and each sheriff shall, after the issuance of said proclamation, upon demand, deliver to the order of the party contracting with the state, all convicts, together with a copy of the decree of the court before which said convict or convicts were tried, convicted and sentenced, taking and filing among the papers in his office a receipt therefor. When a contract is made according to the terms of this act, the contractors shall enter into a bond in the sum of twenty thousand dollars, payable to the governor and his successors in office, with two or more securities, to be approved by said board, conditioned that said contractor will faithfully and fully carry out and comply with said contract; provided, that should the person making such contract fail or refuse to call on the sheriff of any county for any convicts where the place of confinement of the prisoner or prisoners is