Minnesota and Montana Land and Improvement Company†
Sunday, November 01, 2009
In the land of intrigue and investment opportunities, there is no better
example than this. The creation of a specialized business venture of this
magnitude took great skills and courage, not to mention personal trust and
financial resources. There are a lot of underlying layers to this company, and
some of them are presented here, all taken from the Yellowstone Genealogy
Forumís file records.
Articles of first incorporation were prepared on 23 March 1882 with a
capital investment of $200,000, distributed in stockholders shares of 4,000.
The effective dates of incorporation were from 15 March 1882 through 30 years.
The maximum liability of the corporation was limited to $100,000. Original
investors were Heman Clark, John B. Westbrook and Thomas C. Kurtz. The
execution of the incorporation was made on the 23rd before a Notary
Public (CL Roher) in Ramsey County,
MN. They held the incorporation
papers private until 11 November 1883, when they filed them for public
knowledge, but only in MN. By July 1883, George Hulme was secretary, and EG
Woolfolk was Vice President.
Articles announcing the incorporation for filing in Montana was created on 23 April 1883, but
set for filing thirteen years later on 26 March 1896.
One year after founding the venture, they signed a deal with the Northern
Pacific Railroad Company & the NPR broker, the Central Trust Company of NY,
creating a transfer of railroad assets deed for the western land adjacent to
the town of Billings on 23 April 1883 for $73,558.86. This deed they held from
filing until 6 October 1883 in New York. This gave them the right to resell the
land and further develop the town. On April 10, 1882 the land company held the
titles in Fee Simple, including all of Billings.†
All of the railroad sectional land, excepting for
their 400 foot right-of-way and their attendant coal and mineral rights from the
various sections were transferred. NPR took out mortgages on 1 May 1879 and 1
September 1879 with the Central Trust Company for construction of the rail
line, placing all lands of which they could take immediate title (odd numbered
sections along 40 miles each side of track) within the Territory of Montana as
collateral. Another loan was acquired on 1 January 1881. Clear titles could not
be administered to the new owners until NPR paid off their broker. This wasnít
accomplished until 18 August 1896.
This made a real mess for later land transfer ownerships, but simply took time
to complete. Other loans ensued along with asset transfers, clouding the land
titles even further.
All odd numbered sections within the ranges and
townships within Yellowstone County as of this time were sold by the land
S5, T1S, R26E Frederick
Billings $25,600 June 15, 1883. (Sold November 17, 1885 to Alfred &
Benjamin Myers for $3,500)
S3 &19, T1S, R25E†††† Frederick Billings $1,600 December 12, 1884 (plus re-conveyance
of Section 5)
All lands owned by the land company were
mortgaged to Oliver Billings as Trustee of the company, on 1 November 1888 for