Volume 36 , Number 2 , Fall 1996
Forsyth, Taney County Missouri, May 3rd, 1911
Tax levy for the year 1911, Taney County Missouri.
Now at this day the County Court proceeded to set apart, appropriate, apportion and sub-divide the revenues of Taney County for County purposes for the year 1911, which as follows;
There is set apart appropriated and apportioned for the payment of the Grand and Petit Jurors, witnesses before the Grand Jury including the payment of the Judges, Clerks and Constables of election, Scts (cents) on the hundred dollars($ 100.00) assessed valuation to be known and designated as the County Jury fund of 1911.
September 2-19 12, Be it remembered, that the Honorable County Court of Taney County Missouri, met in the Courthouse in the Town of Forsyth, with the County Seal, pursuant to adjournment, and the court was duly convened by public proclamation by the sheriff and the following officers were present towit; Honorable Duncan Campbell Presiding Judge, J.R. Combs and W.A. Branson associate Justices, George B. Wilson Prosecuting Attorney, Robert Adams Sheriff and J.B. Hicks Clerk of the County Court, where and when the following proceedings were had and made a matter of record towit;
Ordered by the Court that the following be drawn as Grand Jurors for the October term of the Circuit Court 18 of Taney County towit; 1. J.A. Blair, 2. J.N. Ray, 3. G.T. Hicks, 4. S.D.Hammond, 5. U.S. Gloyd, 6. H.H. Hutching, 7. Tom Collins, 8. V.J. Curly, 9. Elmer Goodall, 10.J.M. Holliday, 11. George Gross, 12. N.P. Box.
March 10 1913, The Court now takes up the question of building a jail upon the recommendation of the Circuit Court and the Grand Jury made at the October term of Court 1912 of the said Court, and this Court desiring instruction in the law giving County Courts authority to erect public buildings and to create a fund for payment of a site and erection of a jail building thereon, request the opinion in writing of the Prosecuting Attorney of Taney County in relation to the matters and things herein under consideration.
In the matter of building a County Jail, now comes William R. Adams Prosecuting Attorney for Taney County Missouri and at the request of the County Court, files herein, his opinion in writing in relation to the authority of the County Court to erect public buildings and to create a fund to purchase a site and build a jail thereon. Ordered that the court adjourn till 9 oclock tomorrow morning.
Whereas; That honorable body, the Grand Jury of Taney County has recommended that the County Court proceed to procure a suitable Jail site, and build a Jail thereon, at the seat of justice, out of any surplus funds in the County Treasury, and whereas; there is now in said Treasury collected pursuant to the tax levy of A.D. 1912 the sum of ($6500), six thousand five hundred dollars, after all warrants and debts properly chargeable to the County revenue
funds of said year are paid and provided for including all prior years.
Therefore; It is ordered by the Court that of these surplus County Revenue Funds, Four thousand dollars ($4000) be transferred and constitutes a building fund to be used to secure, or purchase a Jail site, and build a Jail theron, and the County Treasurer is hereby ordered to transfer on his books from various County funds, said amount of Four thousand dollars($4000) for the use and purpose aforesaid.
Ordered by the Court that a warrant be drawn on the building fund in favor of R.C. Ford for $75.00 as part purchase price for a Jail site, with the express understanding that R.C. Ford see to the settlement of all costs arising from a certain suit now pending, wherein the property or a portion of same is involved.
As is normal Ive been told, often many questions are raised and the lack of detail records leave you to ponder, how and when and where was this question addressed? for example, when did they decide that the levy as set in 1912 would produce enough surplus revenues to build a jail and purchase a site? and further, in the meeting of May 3rd 1911 ( Book 11/13/09 to 12/31/14 page 196) the Court ordered the Sheriff to repair the jail building as soon as the deed is made to the County by Jesse A. Tolerton. Well, the records reveal that Jesse Tolerton bought the property at a sheriffs tax sale, (Delinquent Tax Sale) November 14, 1895 (Book 1, page 99) that being lots 25 thru 29. It also reveals, that R.C. Ford owned lot 30, all in the northeast section of the Town of Forsyth, Taney County Missouri. (They did not use block numbers, rather the town was laid off in four sections, NE, NW, SE, SW) R.C. Ford also owned Fractional # 2, so when the County purchased the property, each owner listed his property accordingly in his deed to the County, which included all of Lots 25 thru 29 owned by Tolerton, and lot number 30 and Fractional #2 owned by Ford. The deed by Tolerton was dated March 8th 1913, and the deed by Ford was dated March 10th, 1913, however both deeds were recorded at 4 p.m. March 13th 1913 by U.G. Johnson recorder of deeds for Taney County. The levy of 1911 and the levy 1912 do not reveal anything about the purchase of a site or of building a jail, and no indication that it was intended to produce a surplus of revenues for that purpose.
Conclusion, the jail before 1913 must have been on the property of Jesse A. Tolerton lots 25 thru 29 in the Northeast Section of the Town of Forsyth. A picture made in 1898 shows very plainly, a log building at that location which would be under the north end of what is now known as Shadow Rock Lodge Hotel. The property of Tolerton and Ford was separated by a 14 foot street running east to west. Should anyone have any information to the contrary, I would be most pleased to have such.
I know without doubt, that there is bound to be more information out there about the details of a jail before the jail of 1913, but I have not found it. Im sure someone will fill me in at a later date.
May 6th, 1913, the plans and specifications are approved and that C.C. Stuffier is selected to construct this building on the site as mentioned above, however I could find no other records in regards to the bid process, or how much they paid R.C.Ford for the property and no mention was ever made to what if anything was paid to Jesse Tolerton for his property. He may have been paid for his part back when the Court directed the Sheriff to repair the jail, but not before they received the deed mentioned at the meeting of the Court on May 3rd, 1911.
April 9th, 1913 Arthur James the County Treasurer was appointed Superintendent of construction and authorized to make total payments to Contractor Stuffier of $4288.00 for the construction the jail. September 23rd, 1913 the Court declared the liquidation of the contract and was certified to by the Superintendent Arthur James in saying "said Jail and the supplement contract therewith have been fulfilled according to the terms of the contract without prejudice to the same."
The construction went well and had the usual changes of construction plans in that it was agreed to raise the walls two feet higher than the plans called for so as to give the roof more pitch for the purpose of drainage, and the roof was to be self supporting however that was changed and a petition was used in the center to support the concrete roof that was placed on top of the decking.
With all due respect to those who made the decisions in regard to the construction of the 1913 Taney County Jail, they did very well, it has stood the test of time for 83 years.
Jerry W. Gideon
President, White River Valley Historical Society
Copyright Ó White River Valley Historical Quarterly
Next Article | Table of Contents | Other Issues
Local History Home