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DISTRICT 17 LAWSUIT Supreme Court Rules That Wilkes, Freer and Brant Are Lawful Officers* of the District. Ladeen Testifies That an Outsider Prepares Spurious Jllnutes of Alleged Board Meeting. The supreme court has handed down its decision in the notorious district 17 school casethis being one of the very few and unusual cases in which the supreme court assumed original jurisdiction. In brief the court holds that Gilbert Wilkes, chairman Charles L. Freer, clerk and Chas. Brant, treasurer, are the lawful officers of school district 17 and that O. A. Ladeen has no right to the office of clerk and should be ousted. For a considerable period of time trouble has existed in this district, but the case at issue starts from the annual meeting of the school board in July, 1907. The board then consisted of Gilbert Wilkes, chairman, whose term would expire in July, 1909 Chas. Brant, treasurer, whose term would expire in July, 1908 and O. A. Ladeen, clerk, whose term expired in July, 1907. At this meeting in July, 1907, Chas. L. Freer was elected clerk to succeed O. A. Ladeen by a vote of 19 to 1, and Mr. Freer shortly thereafter qualified by filing his acceptance and taking the oath of office. The board then consisted of Gilbert Wilkes, chairman Chas. L. Freer, clerk, and Chas. Brant, treasurer. On August 22, 1907, a meeting of the board was held for the purpose of en gaging a teacher and making arrange ments to open school in the fall, and also for the purpose of disposing of the question as to the sufficiency of Brant's bond as treasurer. It appears that one of the sureties of Brant's old bond had transferred his property out of his name and that the bond was for only $1,000 whereas, in view of the fact that the annual revenues aggre gated about $1,000, the bond should, under the law, be $2,000. Brant was requested to either give a sufficient bond or resign and permit the appointment of some one who would give a bond as required by law. He replied that he had been told by other parties that if he resigned he would never get some $30 or $40 which he claimed was owing to him by the district. He was, however, assured by the other members of the board that he would get this money in any event, whether he resigned or not, but that if he did not resign he would have to give a sufficient bond so that money could be drawn from the county treas ui'y and his bill, in common with other bills of the district, could be paid. He refused to give another bond, saying he had been to too much trouble about it already, and signed the written resignation. A few days after Ladeen and Brant met and signed minutes of an alleged meeting which Ladeen testified had been prepared by Thos. F. Norton, and by which they pretended to oust Wilkes from his office as chaiuman and to appoint C. J. Sandberg as his successor. The case at issue was a proceeding in the nature of quo warranto com menced by the state of Minnesota ex rel. E. T. Young, attorney general, against Ladeen, Brant and Sandberg, requiring them to show by what war rant oi authority they presumed to act as the school board in district 17. P. M. Woodward was appointed referee by the supreme court to take and report the evidence and a hear ing was had at Princeton before said referee on February 24 and 25. The evidence taken at this hearing was returned to the supreme court. There after printed briefs were prepared by the respective parties and the matter was argued in the supreme court on April 24. On the taking of the evidence the state was represented by Attorney E. L. McMillan, who also prepared the brief and made arguments in the supreme court, and the respondents were represented in like manner by Attorney George W. Stewart of Stewart & Brower, St. Cloud. The syllabus and opinion, both written by Judge Brown, follow: State of Minnesota, Supreme Court, April Term, A. D. 1908. State of Minnesota, ex rel., Edward T. Young, Attorney General, relator, vs. O. A. Ladeen, Charles Brant and C. H. Sandberg, respondents: SYLLABUS. 1. An oath of office in the language of the constitution (Sec. 8, Art. 5) taken by a person who has been elected to public office with reference to the duties of the same and for the purpose of qualifying the person so elected to enter upon the discharge thereof, filed in the proper office is valid and sufficient even though the particular office be not specially designated therein. 2. To constitute a complete and operative resignation of public office there must be an intention to relin quish a part of the term, accompanied by the act of relinquishment. 3. A written resignation delivered to the board or officer authorized to receive it and to fill the vacancy thereby created is prima facie, but not conclusive, evidence of an intention to relinquish the office. ^wrp- 4. A resignation of public office" pro cured by coercion and duress is void able and may be repudiated and a refusal immediately subsequent to the resignation to surrender the office is sufficient repudiation. OPINION. Proceedings in quo warranto insti tuted in this court on the information of the attorney general to determine the right of respondents to hold and exercise the offices of chairman, clerk and treasurer of school district No. 17 in Mille Lacs county. Evidence was taken before a referee appointed for the purpose, and upon his report and the pleadings the controversy was submitted for determination. The offices of clerk and treasurer only are in dispute. It is conceded that Gilbert Wilkes is the qualified and acting chairman of the board respondent Sandberg, who, the information alleges, claimed to be the chairman, now makes no claim to the office. We have for determination, then, (1), whether respondent Ladeen is the duly qualified clerk, and, (2), whether respondent Brant is the duly qualified treasurer of the district. 1. Ladeen was elected to the office of clerk at the annual election in 1904and for the term of three years, and he duly qualified and entered upon the discharge of the duties of the office. His term expired in July, 1907, atat which time, at the annual school election of that year, Charles L. Freer was elected his successor. There is no controversy about these facts. The only question as between Ladeen and Freer is whether the latter ever properly qualified subsequent to his election if he did, his right to the office is conceded. So the sole ques tion is whether Freer did so qualify. The evidence upon this question is somewhat conflicting, but a full con sideration thereof leads to the ^con clusion that he did soon after his elec tion duly qualify as clerk in the manner prescribed by law. He testi fied that he took and subscribed the oath of office required by statute and filed the same with Ladeen, who wastreasurer then clerk. That he took the oath is corroborated by the justice of the peace before whom it was taken, and while Ladeen denies that it was ever filed with him, we conclude that he is mistaken and that it was properly filed in his office. In reaching this conclusion, we do not consider the declaration of Freer to the effect that he had filed his oath of office or was about to, which respondent insists was incompetent evidence. The oath of office so taken and filed was in the form prescribed by the state superintendent of public instruc tion, as follows: "Form of oath to be administered to school district officers upon qualify ing I do solemnly swear that I will support the constitution of the United States, the constitution of the state of Minnesota, and faithfully discharge the duties of my office to the best of my judgment and ability. So help me God. Chas. L. Freer. Subscribed and sworn to before me the 22nd day of July, 1907. T. E. Potts, Justice of the Peace." lb is insisted that this oath was wholly insufficient and ineffectual as a qualification of Freer because it did not name the office the duties of which he swore faithfully to perform. The objection is not well taken. The oath is in the language prescribed by statute and the constitution (Sec. 8,of Art. 5 of the Constitution Sec. 2677, R. L. 1905), and was taken and filed with reference to the office of clerk to which he had been elected and under which he asserts the right to assume the duties thereof. Though the office might well have been designated, it is clear that it obligated Freer faithfully to discharge the duties of clerk, with reference to which it was taken, and for a violation thereof he would not be heard to say that he was not bound by the oath, because the particular office was not expressly mentioned. 2. Respondent Brant was duly elected treasurer of the district at the annual election in 1905, and he duly qualified and has since continued in the discharge of the duties of the office. His term expires in July of the present year. It is claimed by the relator that he resigned his office in August, 1907, and that H. G. Booth was duly appointed to fill the vacancy thus created. Booth qualified and now claims the office. The only question on this branch of the case is whether Brant ever intentionally and of his own free will resigned the office. That he signed what purported to be his voluntary resignation is not questioned, but it is urged in his be half that it was forced from him by duress and coercion, that it was notCapitalstock his voluntary act and consequently was of no force or effect. We sustain this contention. To constitute a com plete and operative resignation of a public office there must be an inten tion to relinquish a part of the term, accompanied by the act of relinquish ment. Biddle vs. Willard, 10 Ind. 62. A written resignation delivered to the board or officer authorized to receive it and to fill the vacancy created thereby would be prima facie evidence of an intention to relinquish the offce, but it is not conclusive. A resigna tion obtained by coercion or fraud, if not void, is at least voidable, and may be repudiated. People vs. .Good win, 66 Hun. (N. Y.) 88. Coercion or duress exists where one is by the un lawful conduct of another induced to do or perform some act under circum stances which deprive him of the exer cise of his free will. 7 Cyc. 270. The evidence in this case sufficiently establishes the fact? that Brant was wrongfully and unlawfully induced to sign a prepared resignation, and in doing so he did not exercise his free will nor intend by the act to relinquish or give up the office. It appears from the record that for two or three years past there has been considerable wrangling and illfeeling between different factions in this school dis trict, that Brant belonged to one fac tion, and Wilkes and Freer, the chair man and clerk of the board, to another. It Js evident that these two members were anxious to get Brant out of office, for what purpose it is unnecessary to inquiry. Brant testi fied that they, who had power to fill a vacancy in the office of- treasurer, threatened him with personal violence if he did not resign, charged him with embezzling the funds of the district, intimated to him that his farm would be taken to cover his shortage if he did not give up the office. These threats and insinuations were offered different times, but particularly at a meeting of the board called by those two members for the announced pur pose of considering the matter of em ploying a teacher, and which Brant attended for that purpose. But if Brant's testimony is to be believed, the real purpose of the meeting was to intimidate Brant and. secure his resignation. Brant further testified that he was frightened by the threats against him and signed the resigna tion under the influence thereof, but did not intend to relinquish his right to the office. He is corroborated in this by his subsequent conduct in refusing to surrender the office and the books and papers pertaining thereto, to Booth, who was appointed immediately after the resig nation was signed. While all this testimony is contradicted by the other members of the board, who insist that the only reason they sug gested the resignation of Brant was that in their opinion his bond was insufficient and he had refused to execute a new one. We have read the evidence carefully and are impressed with the entire honesty of Brant, and are satisfied that, whether the other members so intended or not, he was intimidated and coerced into signing his resignation and did so only to avoid what seemed to him impending harm. Such being the case, the resignation was at least voidable, and Brand's rondupt in. at. all time* since, insisting on his right to remain in the office, and his refusal to turn over the books and papers to Booth, was a sufficient repudiation thereof. Our conclusion, therefore, is that Gilbert Wilkes is chairman, Charles L. Freer is clerk, and Charles Brant is treasurer, of the school district in question and that Ladeen should be ousted from t!he office of clerk. Let judgment be entered accordingly. Rabies and the Pasteur Cure. Dean Westbrook of the state uni versity medical college urges all who are bitten by mad dogs to take the Pasteur treatment immediately. Dr. Westbrook declares that 99 per cent those who take this treatment are cured. "Seventeen per cent of all persons bitten by mad dogs die of rabies," says the doctor. 'N'It takes several days to determine whether a dog is infected with rabies, and if a person who has been bitten waits until the dog's brain has been examined he places himself in the greatest danger thereby. There is no cure for anyone after rabies has developed." Hollister's Rocky Mountain Tea tones the stomach, stimulates the lazy liver strengthens the bowels and makes their action easy and natural. The best tonic for the whole system. 35 cents, tea or tablets. C. A. Jack. -STA.TEMEN"T- OF THE CONDITION O Princeton State Bank, at the close of business on May 6, 1908. Date of call by Supt. May 14.1908. Date of report by bank May 16, 1908. RESOURCES Loans and discounts $18,564.45 Overdrafts Banking house, furniture and fixtures Due from banks 4,507.17 Checks and cash items 286.44 Cash on hand, items below, Currency $3,859.00 Gold 450.00 Silver 84.30 4,393 30 Total cash assets 564.61 6,000.00 9,186 91 $9,186.91 Total 1*34,315.97 LIABILITIES $20,000 00 Undivided profits, net 525.29 Deposits subject to check $3,232.68 Cashier's checks 60.00 Total immediate liabilities $3,292.68 Time certificates 10,498.00 Total deposits $13,790.68 13,790.68 Total $34,315.97 STATE OF MINNESOTA, css. County of Mille Lacs. We J. E. Skahen, president, and J. J. Skahen, cashier of the above named bank, do solemnly swear that the above statement is true to the best of our knowledge and belief. J. E. SKAHEN, President. J. J. SKAHIN, Cashier. Correct E. SKAHEN I Attest: 1 VAKCE E. SKAHEN Directors. Subscribed and sworn to before me this 16th day of May, 1908. (Seal) G. A. EATON, Notary Public. My commission expires April 13,1910. ^iiUUiiUUiUiUiiUUUUUUUU American Society of Equity Directory No. 4526, Schmidt District, will meet the first Friday of every month at the Schmidt district school house No. 3. at 8 p. m. E D. BENSEMAN, Pres. H. F. HOI/THUS, Sec. No. 4273, Bogus Brook, will meet the second and fourth Friday of each month at Emil Jopp's house. A. SCHMATZ, Sec. INo. 3/4, Berry District, will meet the first Friday of every month at the Berry school house, district 24, at 7 30 p. m. O. D. ORNE, Pres. L. A. HATC H, Sec. No. 4734, Woodard Brook, will meet the first and third Saturday of each month at the Woodard Brook school house at 8 p. ALBERT RlEBE, Pres. FRANK MA&NUSON, SeC. No. 4804, Blue Hill, will meet the first and third Saturday of every month at the Wheeler school house at 8 p. m. JAMES DTJGAN. Pres. FRED STEH L. Sec. No. 4703, Greenbush, will meet the second and fourth Saturday of each month at the Aug. Bines house, in school district 5, at 8 p. m. S. E. TILLE Y, Pres. E. C. STARK, Sec. No. 4991, Baldwin District, will meet the second and fourth Saturday of every month at the Baldwin town hall, at 8 p. m. CHAS. JUDKIN S. Pres. H. B. PISK. Sec. No. 4211, Oxbow, will meet the first and third Tuesday of each month at the Gates school house in Dist. No. 32, at 8 p. m. GEO. ToMiiiNSON, Pres. E. RADEKE, Sec. No. 5057, West Branch, will meet the first and third Saturday of each month at the school houst, Dist. No. 4, at 8 p. m. ARCH IE TAYLOR, Pres, J. L. WBTSEL, Sec No. 4117, Zimmerman, will meet the first and third Saturday of each month in Woodman hallatl:30p. m. H. B. PRATT, Pres. GEORGE JAMES, Sec. No. 4243, Green Lake, will meet the second and fourth Monday of each month at M. B. A. hall, Wyanett, at 8 p. m. AUGUST JOHNSON, Pres. E. N YSTROM. Sec. JOHN BARRY Expert Accountant, Over 30 Years Experience. 1011 First Ave. North, MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. SALE FOR SALE My Entire Stock Of SHOES AND OXFORDS at a discount of 15 percent. This sale will last two weeks, commencing May 9 and lasting until May 23. You will miss it if you do not come in before the stock is picked over. I am overstocked have more shoes than I have room for. Solomon Long T. J. KALIHER, Proprietor, Princeton, Minn. Single and Double Rigs at a iloments' Notice. Oommercial Travelers' Trade a Specialty. vPirst Pub. May 7) Citation for Hearing on Petition for Determination of Descent of Land. State of Minnesota, County of Mille Lacs. In Probate Court. In the matter of the estate of Edward M. Bringen, decedent. The State of Minnesota to all persons inter ested in the determination of the descent of the real estate of said decedent: The petition of Tonnetta Bringen having been filed in this court, representing that said decedent died more than five years prior to the filing thereof, leaving certain real estate in said petition describod, and that no will of decedent has been proved nor administration of his estate granted in this state, and pray ing that the descent of said real estate be determined by this court: Therefore, you, and each of you, are hereby cited and required to show cause, if any you have, before this court at the probate court room in the court house, in the village of Princeton, in the county of Mille Lacs, state of Minnesota, on the 1st day of June, 1908, at 9 o'clock a. m., why said petition should not be granted. Witness the Judge of said court, and the seal thereof, this first day of May, 1908. gmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm A Timely Suggestion J& & |ij*iji iji igi 1ji igiigi L. S. BRIGGS, (Court Seal) Probate Judge. J. A. Boss, Attorney for Petitioner. M. S. RUTHERFORD Stocks, good both in grade and assortment. Orders coming freely 2 have a tendency to decrease the -stock and ckt up the assortment. A You can see this means you had better anticipate your wants and. S fc, place your order early. Our stock is mostly Aite Pine and we are Z*' sure you will make no mistake in placing your rder with us. 3 6 Paid up Capital, $30,000 A General Banking Busi ness Transacted. Loans Made on Approved Security. a G*nral Farm Mortgages, Insurance, Collections. Capital and Surplus, $34,000. JOHN W. GOULDING, President. G. A. EATON, Cashier COAL- I Now & 3 JC PRINCETON LUMBER CO. i I DEALERS IN I 3 4- Coal, Lumber, Sash, Doors and Building Material =3f GEO. A. COATES, Hanager limiauiaiiaiaiuiuuiiaiuiaituuiiiaiiiiaiiiiiuiauiiaaiiui First Nationat\Bank of Princeton, Minnesota. Interest Paid on Time De posits. Foreign and Domestic Ex change. S. S. PETTERSON, President. T. H. CALEY, Vice Pres. J. F. PETTERSON, Cashier. Princeton State Bank Capital $20,000 Banking Business Interest Paid on Time Deposits. Security State Bank of Princeton, Minnesota. J. J. SKAHEN, Cashier. ___ E. L. MCMILLAN W Make A Specia Farm Loans/0ytl M. S. RUTHERFORD SL CO Townsend Building, Princeton, Minn. ForestonMercantile& LiveStockGo. Are fitters of men, women and children in shoes, dry goods groceries, hardware, and all kinds of farm machinery and fencing. Foreston Mercantile & Live Stock Co. FORESTON, MINN. t i.<p>COAL A full line of the finest quality on hand all the time. Hard coal in stove, egg, nut and pea sizes. Try our pea coal at $7.00 per ton. Charcoal always on hand. J. L. LARSON & CO L. C. HUMMEL D*al*r i a Fresh and Salt Meats, Lard, Poultry, Fish and Game in Season. Both Telephones. Main Street, (Opposite Starch Factory.) Princeton, Minn. i A. A. A. A. A. A. A.