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These are county court documents for a case alleging the misuse of tax funds intended for educational purposes.
In the late 1800s, public schools began to receive funding from various taxes in order to support the educational system, including those taxes imposed on the railroads. In 1888, W.M. Ponder and the other directors of School District number 19 in Lawrence County filed a compliant alleging that James P. Coffin, Commissioner of Public Buildings, did not distribute to their district the money from railroad taxes that under the law was meant for the school district funds. They allege that said tax revenues were used to build a new county courthouse instead of given to the schools. James P. Coffin offers answers to their complaints denying that funds were misappropriated or undistributed.
[Page 1] Lawrence circuit court
M W Pader[Ponder]
James P Coffin
William M Pader[Ponder] being duly
Sworn States, that he is one of the School directors
for School District No 19 in Lawrence county,
and that they have not received any funds
from the county Treasurer of said County
amesing[amassing] from the Rail Road taxs[sic] distributed
under the act of 21 of Feby[February] 1887, and that
they have appealed to said treasurer within
the last week or so ^two weeks, and wen[sic] - - - found
that the apportionment had not as yet
been made, but that it would be in a short
time and that District ^ no. 19 would be entitled
to five or six hundred dollers[sic]
Sworn to and subscribed before me this
Jany[January] 11 1887
A A - - - clerk
Documents, 14.25" x 8.5"
Rural schools; Taxes; Education; Schools; School boards; County government; Law
Lawrence County (Ark.)
MSNE.0070, Box 31, Folder 114
Lawrence County (Ark.) Circuit Court records, MSNE.0070
Arkansas State Archives
Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives
Court Case, William M. Ponder v James P. Coffin, commissioner, Lawrence County (Ark.) Circuit Court records, Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives, Powhatan, Arkansas.
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Education | United States History