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The first provides for founding cities and towns on the public domain, and limits the area of each to 640 acres, and of lots in the same to an area of 4200 square feet.
The amendatory act provides that in towns or cities actually existing at the date of its passage, the lots may be acquired according to existing plats or surveys without restriction as to size.
Actual settlers are entitled to pre-empt one lot and any additional lot on which they may have substantial improvements, at the minimum price, but must prove up and pay for the same, as in ordinary pre-emption cases prior to the day of public sale.
Lots neither claimed by pre-emption nor sold at the public sale will thereafter be subject to private entry by any individuals at the minimum price.
Parties who have already founded or may hereafter found a city or town, are required—
1st. To file with the Recorder of the county in which the town or city is situate a plat thereof, not exceeding 640 acres, describing its exterior boundaries according to the lines of the public surveys, where such surveys have been executed.
2d. Also the plat or map of such city or town must exhibit the name of the city or town, the streets, squares, blocks, lots, and alleys; the size of the same, with measurements and area of each municipal subdivision, the lots in which shall each not exceed 4200 square feet, with a statement of the extent and general character of improve
3d. Further, the said map and statement to be verified by oath by the party acting for and in the behalf of the founders of the city or town.
4th. Within one month after filing the map or plat with the Recorder of the county, a verified copy of said map and statement is to be sent to the General Land Office, accompanied by the testimony of two witnesses
that such city or town has been established in good faith.
5th. Where the city or town is within the limits of an organized land district, a similar copy of the map and statement must be filed with the Register and Receiver.
6th. The third section provides for cities or towns founded on unsurveyed lands, and directs that it may be lawful to adjust the exterior limits of the premises with the lines of the public surveys, where it can be done without impairing the rights of others.
Patents are to issue for all lots sold under the provisions of this act as in ordinary cases.
7th. "By the second section of act of 1st July, 1864, after the transcript and statement have been filed in the General Land Office, the lots are to be offered at public sale to the highest bidder at a minimum of ten dollars per lot; but, by the supplemental act, where the area of each lot exceeds the maximum of 4200 square feet, the minimum price of each lot shall be increased to such reasonable amount as the Secretary of the Interior may establish," and which price has been established by the Secretary as follows:
"The minimum price of each lot in a town surveyed before the above-named act of March 3d, 1865, took effect, containing over 4200 square feet and not more than 8400 square feet, shall be fifteen dollars; of each lot containing over 8400 square feet and not more than 12,600 square feet, the minimum price shall be eighteen dollars; of each lot containing over 12,600 square feet and not more than 16,800 square feet, the minimum price shall be twenty dollars; and for larger lots the price shall be increased two dollars for every additional 4200 square feet.
"In the case of out-lots in any such village, town, or city, the minimum price of such out-lots shall be ten dollars; of such out-lots containing more than one acre, the minimum price shall be ten dollars for the first acre, and five dollars for each additional acre in such lot."
TOWN SITE ACT OF 1867.
AN ACT for the relief of the inhabitants of cities and towns upon the public lands.
Be it enacted, etc., That whenever any portion of the public lands of the United States have been or shall be settled upon and occupied as a town site, and therefore not subject to entry under the agricultural preemption laws, it shall be lawful in case such town shall be incorporated, for the corporate authorities thereof, and if not incorporated, for the judge of the county court, for the county in which such town may be situated, to enter at the proper land office, and at the minimum price, the land so settled and occupied in trust for the several use and benefit of the occupants thereof, according to their respective interests; the execution of which trust as to the disposal of the lots in such town, and the proceeds of the sale thereof, to be conducted under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the legislative authority of the State or Territory in which the same may be situated: Provided, That the entry of the land intended by this act to be made shall be made, or a declaratory statement of the purpose of the inhabitants to enter it as a town site under this act, shall be filed with the Register of the proper Land Office prior to the commencement of the public sale of the body of land in which it is included, and that the entry or declaratory statement shall include only such lands as are actually occupied by the town, and the title to which is in the United States. If upon surveyed lands, the entry shall in its exterior limits be made in conformity to the legal subdivisions of the public lands authorized by the act of twenty-fourth of April, one thousand eight hundred and twenty, and when the inhabitants are in number one hundred and less than two hundred shall embrace not exceeding three hundred and twenty acres; and in cases where the inhabitants of such town are more than two hundred and less than one thousand shall embrace not exceeding six hundred and forty acres; and where the number of inhabitants is one thousand
thousand shall embrace not exceeding twelve hundred and eighty acres: Provided, That for each additional one thousand inhabitants, not exceeding five thousand in all, a further grant of three hundred and twenty acres shall be allowed: And provided further, That in any territories in which a land office may not have been established, declaratory statements, as hereinbefore provided, may be filed with the SurveyorGeneral of the surveying district in which the lands are situate, who shall transmit said declaratory statement to the General Land Office: And provided further, That any act of said trustees not made in conformity to the rules and regulations herein alluded to shall be void; effect to be given to the foregoing provisions according to such regulations as may be prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior: And provided further, That the provisions of this act shall not apply to military or other reservations heretofore made by the United States, nor to lighthouses, custom houses, mints, or such other public purposes as the interest of the United States may require, whether held under reservations through the Land Office by title derived through the crown of Spain or otherwise: And provided further, That no title shall be acquired under the provisions of this act to any mine of gold, silver, cinnabar, or copper.
REPAYMENT OF PURCHASE MONEY AND CHANGES OF
To secure prompt action in this class of cases, the following regulations must be complied with:
1st. The duplicate receipt must be surrendered, and accompany the papers in all cases of application for refunding money submitted by you for the action of this office. Where it has been lost or destroyed, the party applying must advertise it, and give notice of his intention to apply to have refunded the purchase money, which must be inserted weekly, for six weeks, in some paper of extensive circulation in the vicinage of the land. A copy of this must be filed with you, having attached the affidavit of the publisher that it was inserted the requisite number of times.
2d. The applicant must make affidavit that he has not transferred or otherwise encumbered the title to the land. This affidavit may be taken before either of you officially, before a Notary Public using a seal, or a Justice of the Peace; in the last case, a certificate of magistracy must accompany it.
3d. Where a patent has been issued and delivered to the patentee, a deed of relinquishment reconveying the title (conveyed by the patent) to the United States should be made. This deed of relinquishment should be recorded, and a certificate should also be produced from the officer having charge of the books in which conveyances are required to be recorded, showing that said deed is so recorded, and that the records of his office do not exhibit any other conveyance or encumbrance of the title to the land.
4th. In cases of a change of entry, as the purchaser will reasonably wish to hold some evidence of his title until the issuing of the patent, he must first designate the tract he desires to enter, and effect the change of entry, and then across the face of the receipt issued upon the original entry (which will be returned to you from this office when the case has been decided), the Receiver should note the facts of the case, to wit: that the entry has been changed from the tract paid for by said receipt to another, designating the latter, and the number of certificate
issued thereon. The receipt must then be delivered to the party, to be surrendered when the patent is delivered to him.
CHANGE OF ENTRY.
The following regulation is prescribed respecting the CHANGES OF ENTRY which may be ordered pursuant to the acts of Congress of 3d March, 1819, and 24th May, 1824, viz.:
"The Receiver will take a receipt from the purchaser for the purchase money of the tract erroneously entered, as if the same was refunded, which receipt will be a voucher to the Receiver's credit, to be introduced into the proper monthly and quarterly accounts," etc.
These acts, it will be observed, do not authorize an actual repayment, which, in fact, it is obvious, was never contemplated by the regulation itself, but merely require the application and transfer of the money which was paid on the wrong entry to the right one; the rule having been adopted as one of official convenience.
By an act of Congress, approved 3d March, 1849, all moneys receivable from customs, and from all other sources, are required to be paid immediately into the Treasury "without abatement or reduction," etc.
To avoid any apparent or real incompatibility in practice with that act, when a change of entry'is ordered, pursuant to the acts aforesaid, the Register will issue, as in ordinary cases, his certificate of purchase, only adding to it a MARGINAL NOTE showing the transfer of the payment from the erroneous entry to the new one, referring to the date and number of the former, the date of the authority for the transfer, and making proper references to the proceedings on the books and plats of the local office.
No receipt in such a case is to be issued by the Receiver, unless the area of the new entry is greater than the old one; when, of course, such excess must be paid for, and receipts issued for the same.
The new entries must always be reported in the monthly returns, with an explanatory note showing, in each case, when fully paid for by the transfer of the payment from the old entry, and also when there is a further payment on account of excess; and