Wilson v. Salamanca/Opinion of the Court

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Opinion of the Court

United States Supreme Court

99 U.S. 499

Wilson  v.  Salamanca

The first question certified is answered in the negative upon the authority of Marcy v. Township of Oswego (92 U.S. 637), decided in this court since the trial below.

The second question is likewise answered in the negative upon the authority of County of Scotland v. Thomas (94 id. 682), also decided here since the trial below. The power of the State Line, Oswego, and Southern Kansas Railroad Company to consolidate with other companies existed when the vote for subscription was taken in the township. When the consolidation took place there was a perfected power in the township to subscribe to the stock of that company, and there was also an existing privilege in the company to receive the subscription. That privilege, as we held in the Scotland County case, passed by the consolidation to the consolidated company.

The township trustee and the township clerk who made the subscription and issued the bonds in this case were the officially constituted authorities of the township, and when they subscribed to the stock and issued the bonds they acted in their official capacity as the legal representatives of the township, and not as mere agents. In this particular they occupied the position of the county court in the Scotland County case. They were to all intents and purposes the township in its corporate capacity. In Harshman v. Bates County (92 id. 569), the case was different. There the county court was the mere agent of a corporation, with which it had no official connection. The difference between the two cases is precisely that between a principal and an agent, and it is so expressly said in the Scotland County case. In the one case the corporation is bound if the action of the officers is within their corporate powers, while in the other the action must be within the corporate powers delegated to the agent.

The judgment of the Circuit Court will be reversed, and the cause remanded for such further proceedings, not inconsistent with this opinion, as may appear to be necessary; and it is

So ordered.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).