Chapter 241Swamplands, Islands and Abandoned Riverbeds
241.010. In order to provide for the reclamation of all overflowed and swamp lands which were granted to the state of Missouri for that purpose by an act of congress, entitled "An act to enable the state of Arkansas and other states to reclaim the swamp lands within their limits", approved September 28, 1850, all of said lands in this state are hereby donated to the counties in which they may be respectively situated, and shall be the absolute property of such counties for the purposes designated in sections 241.010 to 241.280; and the secretary of state is hereby required to furnish to the clerks of all the county commissions a certified copy of the approved and corrected list of swamplands in each county, whenever called on for such list by the said clerk or clerks.
Duty of governor and secretary of state as to lists and plats.
(RSMo 1939 § 12752)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11128; 1919 § 6992; 1909 § 7995
241.020. Whenever the situation, description and quantity of said lands are made known to the governor, as soon as he shall receive from the government of the United States lists and plats of said lands, he shall cause such lists and plats to be filed in the office of the secretary of state, and the secretary of state shall furnish such information and copies of such lists and plats to the county commissions respectively of the counties in which said lands severally lie; and said lists and plats shall be received in all the courts of this state as prima facie evidence of the title in said counties to said lands.
Secretary of state to act as swampland agent--his duties.
(RSMo 1939 § 12757)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11133; 1919 § 6997; 1909 § 8000
241.030. 1. It is made the duty of the secretary of state of this state to act as swampland agent, to locate such public lands as the state of Missouri may be authorized to locate under the provisions of the act of congress of September 28, 1850, granting swamp and overflow lands to the state of Missouri, and other acts of congress since that time passed, relating to said lands, and to obtain the right of the state under said acts, and settle and adjust any and all claims the state of Missouri may have against the United States growing out of said grant of land. He is hereby authorized to obtain such proof from the various county commissions as is necessary to secure the indemnity from the general government under the act of March 2, 1855, and is hereby authorized to employ assistants for the performance of the duties required of him in sections 241.010 to 241.280, subject to the approval of the governor.
2. He shall receive all moneys, scrip or certificates of indemnity on account of swamp and overflowed lands sold by the government of the United States since the donation of such lands to the state of Missouri, and deposit the moneys or scrip so obtained in the state treasury, to the credit of the county in whose favor the same is drawn, and cancel all records in his office on which indemnity has been received. He shall locate all certificates of indemnity received as aforesaid in the name of the county in whose favor said certificate is drawn, making said location from sight or personal knowledge of the same, and deposit the certificate of said location in the state treasury, subject to the orders of the respective county commissions, and he shall immediately notify said county commissions of all deposits made in conformity with sections 241.010 to 241.280.
Governor to relinquish title to certain lands, when.
(RSMo 1939 § 12775)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11151; 1919 § 7015; 1909 § 8018
241.040. The governor of the state is hereby authorized to relinquish the title of the state to such swamp and overflowed lands as may have been sold by the general government since the passage of the law donating said lands to the state in which they lie, whenever the counties interested in said lands may, by an order of the county commission, authorize him so to do.
Duty of treasurer.
(RSMo 1939 § 12774)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11150; 1919 § 7014; 1909 § 8017
241.050. It is made the duty of the treasurer of this state to pay said money or scrip mentioned in section 241.030 to the authorized agents of the counties to which such money or scrip may be made payable by the provisions of sections 241.010 to 241.280.
Expenses, how paid.
(RSMo 1939 § 12776)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11152; 1919 § 7016; 1909 § 8019
241.060. All expenses incurred by the secretary of state in performing the duties under the law relating to the disposition of overflowed and swamp lands shall be paid from the state treasury upon warrants upon the general revenues of the state.
Compensation of persons appointed to designate lands.
(RSMo 1939 § 12777, A. 1949 S.B. 1081)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11153; 1919 § 7017; 1909 § 8020
241.070. Whenever the lands contemplated in sections 241.010 to 241.280, in any county, shall have been designated and reported by the person or persons appointed in such county for that purpose, the county commission shall audit the account of such person, and allow such reasonable compensation for such services as they may deem just, to be paid from the county treasury.
Title to be conveyed by patents.
(RSMo 1939 § 12758)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11134; 1919 § 6998; 1909 § 8001
241.080. In order to convey to the different counties in the state of Missouri a complete title to all the swamp and overflowed lands which have been granted and patented to the state of Missouri by an act of congress, entitled "An act to enable the state of Arkansas and other states to reclaim the swamp lands within their limits", approved September 28, 1850, the secretary of state is hereby directed to prepare a patent or patents, embracing all the swamp or overflowed lands lying within the limits of the several counties of this state, conveying thereby all the title and interest of the state of Missouri in and to such lands, to the counties in which such lands may lie, and when such patents have been prepared as provided in sections 241.010 to 241.280, they shall be presented to and signed by the governor of this state, attested by the secretary of state, and recorded by the secretary of state in his office.
Preparation of patents.
(RSMo 1939 § 12780)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11156; 1919 § 7020; 1909 § 8023
241.090. Whenever possible so to do, all the overflowed and swamp lands situate in any one county shall be included in one patent and described numerically by sections, townships and ranges, having due regard for county lines.
Lands hereafter patented to be also conveyed.
(RSMo 1939 § 12781)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11157; 1919 § 7021; 1909 § 8024
241.100. It shall be the duty of the officers named in section 241.080 to convey by patent or patents, as provided in said section, all such overflowed and swamp lands as may hereafter be patented to the state of Missouri by the government of the United States, to the respective counties in which the same may lie.
County recorder to record patents.
(RSMo 1939 § 12782)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11158; 1919 § 7022; 1909 § 8025
241.110. It shall be the duty of the secretary of state to forward all patents, when the same shall be executed and recorded as required by sections 241.010 to 241.280, to the clerks of the several county commissions of this state, and so soon as the same shall be received by said clerks, the several county commissions shall cause the same to be duly recorded in the recorder's office of their respective counties, as other conveyances are required by law to be recorded.
Patents to be evidence of title.
(RSMo 1939 § 12783)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11159; 1919 § 7023; 1909 § 8026
241.120. All patents issued, executed and duly recorded, as required by sections 241.010 to 241.280, or a certified copy of the same, which shall include all the land therein described, or which shall include any separate and distinct description of the lands therein described, either under the hand of the secretary of state or the recorder of the proper county, shall be received and read in all courts in this state as prima facie evidence of the title in the counties where such overflowed and swamp lands severally lie.
Construction of this law.
(RSMo 1939 § 12784)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11160; 1919 § 7024; 1909 § 8027
241.130. Nothing in this law shall be so construed as to require the secretary of state to patent to the several counties, as provided in sections 241.010 to 241.280, any swamp or overflowed lands heretofore patented to the several counties in which such lands lie or which have been patented to any person or persons by the state, nor shall the secretary of state issue patents to any individuals for any overflowed or swamp lands situate in the various counties in this state.
County recorder to be lawful custodian.
(RSMo 1939 § 12786)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11162; 1919 § 7026; 1909 § 8029
241.140. In all counties where lands have been sold, patents issued, and the same have been recorded, the clerk of the county commission in whose office any such records may now remain, or that hereafter may be made under the laws respecting the sale of swamp and overflowed lands, the issuing of patents therefor, and providing for the record thereof, shall, upon application of the recorder of deeds of such county, or the clerk of the circuit court when ex officio recorder of such county, deliver up to said recorder, or clerk when ex officio recorder, all completed record books of such patents, with the indices and abstracts thereof, and upon the completion of each and every such record book, until all the swamp and overflowed lands in each and every county to which this law applies shall be sold, patents issued, and the same shall be recorded, the clerk of the county commission shall deliver the records thereof to the recorder of deeds, or the clerk of the circuit court when ex officio recorder of the county, with the indices and abstracts of such recorders, for which said recorder, or clerk, when ex officio recorder, shall give the clerk of the county commission a receipt, which he shall file in his office and the said recorder of deeds, or clerk of the circuit court when ex officio recorder, shall be the lawful custodian of all such records received by him, and certified copies of the same shall be received in evidence in all courts of this state, and shall have the same force and effect in all matters of law and equity as if said records had been made by the recorder of deeds, or clerk of the circuit court when ex officio recorder, under the laws of this state providing for the recording of conveyances of real estate.
Control over patented lands vested in county commissions.
(RSMo 1939 § 12788)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11164; 1919 § 7028; 1909 § 8031
241.150. The several county commissions shall have full power and control over all such overflowed and swamp lands patented to their respective counties under the provisions of sections 241.010 to 241.280, and to sell and dispose of the same in like manner and with like effect as is or may be provided by law for the conveyance of other real estate belonging to their respective counties.
County commission may employ counsel, when.
(RSMo 1939 § 12785)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11161; 1919 § 7025; 1909 § 8028
Swamplands may be appropriated for purpose of constructing levee, 245.540
241.155. The county commission of any county in this state owning swamp or overflowed lands may employ special counsel or attorneys to represent the county in prosecuting or defending any suit by or against the county for the recovery or preservation of the swamp or overflowed lands, and quieting the title of the county thereto and may pay the special counsel or attorneys reasonable compensation for their services, to be paid out of any funds arising from the sale of the swamp or overflowed lands, or out of the general revenue fund of the county.
Sale of public lands by county commission--procedure.
(L. 1957 p. 580)
241.160. Whenever, in the judgment of said county commission, it shall be to the interest of said counties to do so, they shall order the sheriff to sell the same at public vendue to the highest bidder, after giving sixty days' notice, by publication in some newspaper published in the county, if there be one, or if there be no such paper published in the county, then by at least ten written or printed handbills put up at ten public places within the county, containing a general description of the lands to be sold, by section, township and range. Such lands shall be sold in such quantities, at such times and places, and on such terms as they may think proper, and as set forth in such notice, with or without draining or reclaiming the same, as in their discretion they may think most conducive to the interest of their respective counties; and all sales made under the provisions of sections 241.010 to 241.280 shall conform to the subdivisions prescribed by the laws of the United States; provided, however, that no land shall be sold under the provisions of said sections for less than one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre; and provided further, that the county commissions of the several counties in this state may, if in their judgment it is deemed advisable, sell any of the swamp or overflowed lands in their counties at private sale, without advertisement as provided in this section, at a price not less than one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre; provided further, that in all cases where the county commissions of this state have, prior to 1880, sold or disposed of any such swamplands in their respective counties and issued, or caused to be issued, patents for the same, and the patentees, or those holding under them, have been claiming such lands and paying county and state taxes thereon for more than twenty years, such grant shall be deemed and held to be good and valid, and no action shall be maintained for the purpose of setting aside or calling in question such patent or patents.
County commissions may cancel contracts, upon conditions.
(RSMo 1939 § 12754)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11130; 1919 § 6994; 1909 § 7997
241.170. In every case where persons have become the purchasers of swamp and overflowed lands in the several counties in this state, on credit, either in whole or in part, and shall, by death or otherwise, become unable to pay for the same, the county commission of such county, on the application of such purchaser, or, in case of death, of his or her legal representatives, is hereby authorized to cancel the contract, in whole or in part, upon these conditions: The said commission shall not, in any case, pay back any money or interest that has been paid upon said contract, nor rescind a contract for timbered land, when the timber or any portion of it has been removed since the sale of said land by said commission, without full indemnity being made therefor; and whenever any such sale is cancelled the county commission may resell said land as provided in section 241.160.
Cancellation of contract when process cannot be served, how.
(RSMo 1939 § 12770)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11146; 1919 § 7010; 1909 § 8013
241.180. If the purchaser of any swamplands has absented himself from this state, so that no process at law can be served on him, the county commission of the county where the said swampland lies may, upon the application of anyone who may have become surety for the purchase of said lands, cancel the contract on such terms as may be deemed equitable and not inconsistent with the provisions of sections 241.010 to 241.280, as provided in section 241.160.
Insufficient title cause for cancellation.
(RSMo 1939 § 12771)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11147; 1919 § 7011; 1909 § 8014
241.190. Whenever the county commissions of this state shall have sold swamp or overflowed lands to which they are unable to make a good and sufficient title, the said commissions are hereby authorized and empowered, with the consent of the purchaser, or, in the case of his or her death or absence from the state, then with the consent of his or her sureties or legal representative, to cancel said contract.
Power to cancel discretionary with commission.
(RSMo 1939 § 12772)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11148; 1919 § 7012; 1909 § 8015
241.200. This law shall not be so construed as to make it obligatory upon any county commission to rescind or cancel any contract or sale heretofore made, but the same shall be wholly discretionary with said commission, having in view the best interests of the county.
Lands may be resold, when--conditions.
(RSMo 1939 § 12773)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11149; 1919 § 7013; 1909 § 8016
241.210. In all cases where swamplands have been or may hereafter be sold, which had been previously sold and patented by any county commission in this state, to a bona fide purchaser, it shall be the duty of the county commission of the county in which such sales were made, upon proper application of the subsequent purchaser, accompanied by the proper proof, showing the facts, to draw a warrant on the county treasury in favor of the person who paid the same, for the amount of such purchase money actually paid into the county treasury; provided, that such person in whose favor such warrant is drawn shall relinquish all interest and title in such land in favor of the county or the prior purchaser holding a prior patent to such lands.
Issuance of patent, how.
(RSMo 1939 § 12779)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11155; 1919 § 7019; 1909 § 8022
241.220. Whenever full payment shall be made for any of said land by the purchaser thereof, the county commission shall cause the clerk of said commission to issue to the purchaser or purchasers, his or their heirs or assigns, a patent for the same, which patent shall be signed by the presiding commissioner of the county commission, countersigned by the clerk thereof, and recorded in the swamp land patent book, in the office of the county clerk.
Errors in description, how corrected.
(RSMo 1939 § 12755)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11131; 1919 § 6995; 1909 § 7998
241.230. The county commission of any county in this state, authorized by law to sell and make title to bona fide purchasers to any swamp and overflowed lands granted by the state to the county for the purposes of reclamation, shall, by an order of record, upon sufficient proof being made by the owner of any swamp and overflowed lands undertaken to be sold, that an error has been made in the description of such lands, correct such error or misdescription wherever it occurs, whether in record of entry, certificate of purchase, patent, or the record thereof; provided, such correction shall not prejudice the rights of other parties.
Net proceeds of sales to county school fund.
(RSMo 1939 § 12787)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11163; 1919 § 7027; 1909 § 8030
241.240. The net proceeds of the sales of all such lands, after defraying the expenses of draining, reclaiming, surveying and selling the same, as provided in sections 241.010 to 241.280, shall be paid into the county treasury and become a part of the county school fund of the county.
Drainage and reclamation commissioners, appointment, duties.
(RSMo 1939 § 12756, A. 1949 S.B. 1081)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11132; 1919 § 6996; 1909 § 7999
241.250. As soon as the several county commissions shall be furnished with the proper description of lands contemplated in section 241.010, they may have said overflowed and swamp lands drained and reclaimed, so as to render them tillable, or otherwise subservient to the purposes of sections 241.010 to 241.280, and for that purpose may appoint one or more drainage and reclamation commissioners, who shall, under the direction of the county commission, superintend the draining and surveying of said lands.
County commissions may borrow money, how.
(RSMo 1939 § 12753, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1554 Revision)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11129; 1919 § 6993; 1909 § 7996
241.260. To enable the county commissions to carry the provisions of sections 241.010 to 241.280 into effect, they shall have power to borrow money, and to issue bonds of the county therefor, in the manner and to the extent provided in Sections 26(e) and 27 of Article VI of the Constitution.
Landowners may protest, when--proceedings.
(RSMo 1939 § 12762)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11138; 1919 § 7002; 1909 § 8005
241.270. 1. If the owners of any lands through which any ditch or levee is proposed to be made or cut, by virtue of any of the provisions of sections 241.010 to 241.280, shall notify the drainage and reclamation commissioners that he objects to the making of such levee or cutting such ditch, such commissioners shall apply to an associate circuit judge of the county in which such land may be situated for a summons for a jury to inquire into the damages such owner may sustain by the making of such levee or the cutting of such ditch, or both; and it shall be the duty of such associate circuit judge to issue a summons, under his hand, to the sheriff of said county, commanding him to summon a jury of eighteen good and lawful persons, to meet at a time and place, upon such land, to be specified in the summons, at the time and place specified; such drainage and reclamation commissioners and the owner of such land shall proceed to select a jury of twelve persons out of the number thus summoned, and the associate circuit judge shall administer an oath to them to faithfully and impartially inquire into the amount of damages the owner of such land will sustain by reason of the making of such levee or ditch, and the jury shall render their verdict in writing, and shall specify therein the amount of damages they assess.
2. The selection of such jury, and the trial in such case, shall be conducted in the same manner that other civil cases are tried and conducted in the associate divisions of the circuit courts, and the associate circuit judge shall make an entry on his docket of the verdict of the jury and other proceedings in such case.
3. A transcript of such proceedings shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the county commission, and if the county commission shall be of opinion that it is best to pay such damages, such county commission shall issue a warrant on the county treasury, in favor of the party entitled thereto, for the amount of damages assessed, as aforesaid, and also a warrant in favor of the officers for the fees to which they may be entitled in any such case, which amount shall be paid out of any money in the treasury arising from the sale of land by virtue of sections 241.010 to 241.280, and not otherwise appropriated, and shall be paid by the treasurer to the parties entitled to the same, from whom he shall take, and file in his office, a receipt for such payment; and when such damages are paid, or tendered in money and refused, such ditch or levee may be made, and the owner of such land shall be forever barred from maintaining any action for the making such levee or the cutting such ditch; and if such money is tendered, and the parties entitled thereto shall refuse to accept the same, such money shall remain in the county treasury, subject to the order of the parties thereto entitled; provided, however, that should such jury fail or refuse to find any damages, such complainant shall pay all costs necessarily incurred in the proceedings; provided, that the complainant may have an appeal according to law.
Abandoned riverbeds and islands granted counties for schools.
(RSMo 1939 § 12759, A.L. 1945 p. 1110, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1554 Revision)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11135; 1919 § 6999; 1909 § 8002
241.290. All lands belonging to the state, not otherwise appropriated under the laws thereof, which have been formed by the recession and abandonment of their waters of the old beds of lakes and rivers in this state, or by the formation of islands in the navigable waters of the state, are hereby granted and transferred to the respective counties in which such lands are located, to be held by such counties for school purposes.
Mississippi and Missouri River islands to conservation commissionor park board, exceptions--to county, when.
(RSMo 1939 § 12789)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11165; 1919 § 7029; 1909 § 8032
241.291. 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 241.290 to 241.340, all lands belonging to the state, not otherwise appropriated, which have been formed by the formation of islands in the Missouri and Mississippi rivers within this state are hereby granted and transferred to the Missouri conservation commission for wildlife purposes. If the commission certifies that such islands have no present or potential value for wildlife use or recreation involving wildlife species, the islands shall then be transferred to the state park board for recreational purposes. If the park board certifies that the islands are of no present or potential value for recreational purposes, they shall be transferred to the respective counties in which they are located.
2. All islands formed in the Missouri and Mississippi rivers within this state after September 28, 1971, are the property of the state, and shall pass to the conservation commission or the state park board for wildlife or recreational purposes respectively in the same manner as provided in subsection 1 of this section for islands already formed, and if certified by both the conservation commission and the park board as having no value for wildlife or recreational purposes, they shall pass to the counties in which they are located, for the purpose and subject to the power of survey and sale, as provided in sections 241.291, 241.309 and 241.311.
Future abandoned riverbeds and islands granted counties.
(L. 1971 H.B. 140 §§ 1, 2)
241.300. All lands that may hereafter form by the recession from and abandonment of the bed of any lake or river, and islands which may hereafter form in the navigable waters of said state, which would otherwise have become the property of the state, shall pass in the same manner as in the case of such lands already formed, to the counties in which they are situated, for the purpose and subject to the power of survey and sale, as provided in sections 241.290 to 241.340.
Counties may sell land, how--proceeds, how used.
(RSMo 1939 § 12792)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11168; 1919 § 7032; 1909 § 8035
241.309. All counties in which such islands are situated may, subject to the provisions of section 241.311, cause them to be appropriately surveyed and sell and convey them in the same manner as lands are sold under the provisions of section 241.310, and for the same purposes.
Lands may be sold, how--disposition of proceeds.
(L. 1971 H.B. 140 § 3)
241.310. All counties in which any such lands are situated shall have the power to cause the same to be appropriately surveyed, and to sell and convey them in the same manner that the swamplands acquired under the act of congress of September 28, 1850, entitled "An act to enable the state of Arkansas and other states to reclaim the swamp and overflowed lands in their limits", afterward donated to the counties in which they were situated, or conveyed; and the proceeds of all such sales shall become a part of the swampland school funds of the counties in which said lands are situated.
Land to be auctioned to highest bidder.
(RSMo 1939 § 12790)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11166; 1919 § 7030; 1909 § 8033
241.311. Any land sold under the provisions of sections 241.291, 241.309 and 241.311 or under the provisions of sections 241.290 to 241.340, shall be sold only at public auction to the highest bidder.
Lands to be surveyed, how.
(L. 1971 H.B. 140 § 4)
241.320. In surveying the lands and islands referred to in sections 241.290 to 241.340 the surveyor shall connect the survey thereof with some established section, quarter section, meander or other United States survey corner conveniently near or adjacent to the land or island to be surveyed; he shall meander islands and such lake and riverbed lands as may abut on a navigable river or lake; he shall subdivide such lands into sections and quarter sections by producing and extending the lines of the surveys made by the United States surveyors over such islands and lands from the shore from which said islands or lands may be surveyed.
Limitation against counties.
(RSMo 1939 § 12793)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11169; 1919 § 7033; 1909 § 8036
241.330. No statute of limitations shall begin to run against the counties in which any such lands are situated to prevent them from recovering or acquiring such lands, for twenty years after the passage of this law; but after that date such counties, as to such lands, shall be subject to the same limitation laws as private individuals.
County commission may employ surveyors and attorneys.
(RSMo 1939 § 12791)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11167; 1919 § 7031; 1909 § 8034
241.340. The county commission may employ surveyors to survey said lands and islands, and attorneys to represent them in any suits pertaining thereto, and shall pay such surveyors and attorneys reasonable compensation for their services, to be paid out of any funds arising out of the sale of such lands and islands, or out of the general revenue fund of the county as may be agreed upon at the time such surveyors and attorneys are employed.
(RSMo 1939 § 12803)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 11179; 1919 § 7043; 1909 § 8046