feet in diameter, affording an abundant and unfailing supply of pure running water. During the first year, from May 10, 1874, to May 10, 1875, the Commissioners distributed within the State 100,000 shad, 300,000 California salmon, 10,000 bass, 80,000 Penobscot (Maine) salmon, 5,000 land-locked salmon, 20,000 of other species.

By act approved March 10, 1876, the law was amended so that there should be one instead of three Fish Commissioners, and B. F. Shaw was appointed, and the Commissioner was authorized to purchase twenty acres of land, on which the State Hatching House was located, near Anamosa.

In the fall of 1876, Commissioner Shaw gathered from the sloughs of the Mississippi, where they would have been destroyed, over a million and a half of small fish, which were distributed in the various rivers of the State and turned into the Mississippi.

In 1875-6, 533,000 California salmon, and in 1877, 303,500 lake trout were distributed in various rivers and lakes in the State. The experiment of stocking the small streams with brook trout is being tried, and 81,000 of the speckled beauties were distributed in 1877. In 1876, 100,000 young eels were distributed. These came from New York, and they are increasing rapidly.

A. A. Mosier, of Spirit Lake, was appointed Assistant Fish Commissioner by the Governor, under Chapter 156, Laws of 1880.


The grants of public lands made in the State of Iowa, for various purposes, are as follows:

1. The 500,000 Acre Grant.
2. The 16th Section Grant.
3. The Mortgage School Lands.
4. The University Grant.
5. The Saline Grant.
6. The Des Moines River Grant.
7. The Des Moines River School Lands.
8. The Swamp Land Grant.
9. The Railroad Grant.
10. The Agricultural College Grant.



When the State was admitted into the Union she became antitled to 500,000 acres of land by virtue of an act of Congress, approved September 4, 1841, which granted to each State therein specified 500,000 acres of public land for internal improvements; to each State admitted subsequently to the passage of the act, an amount of land which, with the amount that might have been granted to her as a Territory, would amount to 500,000 acres. All these lands were required to be selected within the limits of the State to which they were granted.


The Constitution of Iowa declares that the proceeds of this grant, together with all lands then granted or to be granted by Congress for the benefit of schools, shall constitute a perpetual fund for the support of schools throughout the State. By an act approved January 15, 1849, the Legislature established a Board of School Fund Commissioners, and to that Board was confided the selection, care and sale of these lands for the benefit of the School Fund. Until 1855, these Commissioners were subordinate to the Superintendent of Public Instruction, but on the 15th of January of that year, they were clothed with exclusive authority in the management and sale of school lands. The office of School Fund Commissioner was abolished March 23, 1858, and that officer in each county was required to transfer all papers to and make full settlement with the County Judge. By this act, County Judges and Township Trustees were made the agents of the State to control and sell the sixteenth sections; but no further provision was made for the sale of the 500,000 acre grant until April 3d, 1860, when the entire management of the school lands was committed to the Boards of Supervisors of the several counties.

THE SIXTEENTH SECTIONS. By the provisions of the act of Congress admitting lowa to the Union, there was granted to the new State the sixteenth section in every township, or where that section had been sold, other lands of like amount for the use of schools. The Constitution of the State provides that the proceeds arising from the sale of these sections shall constitute a part of the permanent school fund. The control and sale of these lands were vested in the School Fund Commissioners of the several counties until March 23, 1858, when they were transferred to the County Judges and Township Trustees, and were finally placed under the supervision of the County Boards of Supervisors in January, 1861.

III. THE MORTGAGE SCHOOL LANDS. These do not belong to any of the grants of land proper. They are lands that have been mortgaged to the school fund, and became school lands when bid off by the State by virtue of a law passed in 1862. Under the provisions of the law regulating the management and investment of the permanent school fund, persons desiring loans from that fund are required to secure the payment thereof with interest at ten per cent. per annum, by promissory notes endorsed by two good sureties and by mortgage on unincumbered real estate, which must be situated in the county where the loan is made, and which must be valued by three appraisers. Making these loans and taking the required securities was made the duty of the County Auditor, who was required to report to the Board of Supervisors at each meeting thereof, all notes, mortgages and abstracts of title connected with the school fund, for examination.

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When default was made of payment of money so secured by mortgage, and no arrangement made for extension of time as the law provides, the Board of Supervisors were authorized to bring suit and prosecute it with diligence to secure said fund; and in action in favor of the county for the use of the school fund, an injunction may issue without bonds, and in any such action, when service is made by publication, default and judgment may be entered and enforced without bonds. In case of sale of land on execution founded on any such mortgage, the atttorney of the board, or other person duly authorized, shall, on behalf of the State or county for the use of said fund, bid such sum as the interests of said fund may require, and if struck off to the State the land shall be held and disposed of as the other lands belonging to the fund. These lands are known as the Mortgage School Lauds, and reports of them, including description and amount, are required to be made to the State Land Office.

UNIVERSITY LANDS. By act of Congress July 20, 1810, a quantity of land, not exceeding two entire townships, was reserved in the Territory of Iowa for the use and support of a university within said Territory when it should become a State. This land was to be located in tracts of not less than an entire section, and could be used for no other purpose than that designated in the grant. In an act supplemental to that for the admission of Iowa, March 3, 1845, the grant was renewed, and it was provided that the lands should be used "solely for the purpose of such university, in such manner as the Legislature may prescribe.'

Under this grant there were set apart and approved by the Secretary of the Treasury, for the use of the State, the following lands:

In the lowa City Land Distr'ct, Feb. 2:9, 1849...

20,150.49 In the Fairfield Land District, Oct. 17, 1849.

9,685.20 In the lowa City Land District. Jan. 28, 1850..

2,571.81 In the Fairfield Land District, Sept. 10, 1850.

3,198.20 In the Dubuque Land District, May 19, 1852.

10,552.24 To al.....

45,957.91 These lands were certified to the State November 19, 1859. The University lands are placed by law under the control and management of the Board of Trustees of the Iowa State University. Prior to 1865 there had been selected and located inder 282 patents, 22,892 acres in sixteen counties, and 23,036 acres unpatented, making a total of 45,928 acres.

V. SALINE LANDS. By act of Congress approved March 3, 1815, the State of Iowa was granted the use of the salt springs within her limits, not exceeding twelve. By a subsequent act, approved May 27, 1852,


Congres, granted the springs to the State in fee simple, together with six sections of land contiguous to each, to be disposed of as the Legislature might direct. In 1861 the proceeds of these lands then to be sold were constituted a fund for founding and supporting a lunatic asylum, but no sales were made. In 1856 the proceeds of the saline lands were appropriated to the Insane Asylum, repealed in 1858. In 1860, the saline lands and funds were made a part of the permanent fund of the State University. These lands were located in Appanoose, Davis, Decatur, Lucas, Mouroe, Van Buren and Wayne counties.

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By act of Congress, approved August 8, 1846, a grant of land was made for the improvement of the navigation of Des Moines River, as follows:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there be, and hereby is, granted to said Territory of lowa for the purpose of aiding said Territory to improve the navigation of the Des Moines River from its mouth to the Racoon Fork (so called) in said Territory, one equal moiety, in alternate sections, of the public lands (remaining ungold and not otherwise disposed of, incumbered or appropriated), in a strip five miles in width on each side of said river, to be selected within said Territory by an agent or agents to be appointed by the Governor thereof, subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the lands hereby granted shall not be conveyed or disposed of by said Territory, nor by any State to be formed out of the same, except as said improvement shall progress; that is, the said Territory or State may sell so much of said lands as shall produce the sum of thirty thousand dollars, and then the sales shall cease until the Governor of said Territory or State shall certify the fact to the President of the United States that one-half of said sum has been expended upon said improvements, when the said Territory or State may sell and convey a quantity of the residue of said lands sufficient to replace the amount expended, and thus the sales shall progress as the proceeds thereof shall be expended, and the fact of such expenditure shall be certified as aforesaid.

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That the said River Des Moines shall be and forever remain a public highway for the use of the Government of the United States, free from any toll or other charge whatever, for any property of the United States or persons in their service passing through or along the same; Provided always, I'hat it shall not be competent for the said Territory or future State of Iowa to dispose of said lands, or any of them, at a price lower thin, for the tim; beinz, shall be th: mini.nim price of other public lands.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That whenever the Territory of Iowa shall be admitted into the Union as a State, the lands hereby granted for the above purpose shall be and become the property of said State for the purpose contemplated in this act, and for no other; Provided, the Legislature of the State of Iowa shall accept the said grant for the said purpose. Approved August 8, 1846.

By joint resolution of the General Assembly of Iowa, approved January 9, 1847, the grant was accepted for the purpose specified. By another act, approved February 21, 1847. entitled t.An act

creating the Board of Public Works, and providing for the improvement of the Des Moines River," the Legislature provided for à Board consisting of a President, Secretary and Treasurer, to be elected by the people. This Board was elected August 2, 1847, and was organized on the 22d of September following. The same act defined the nature of the improvement to be made, and provided that the work should be paid for from the funds to be derived from the sale of lands to be sold by the Board.

Agents appointed by the Governor selected the sections designated by "odd numbers" throughout the whcle extent of the grant, and this selection was approved by the Secretary of the Treasury. But there was a conflict of opinion as to the extent of the grant. It was held by some that it extended from the mouth of the Des Moines River only to the Racoon Forks; others held, as the agents to make selection evidently did, that it extended from the mouth to the head waters of the river. Richard M. Young, Commissioner of the General Land office, on the 23d of February, 1848, construed the grant to mean that "the State is entitled to the alternate sections within five miles of the Des Moines River, throughout the whole extent of that river within the limits of Iowa. Under this construction, the alternate sections above the Raccoon Forks would, of course, belong to the State; but on the 19th of June, 1848, some of these lands were, by proclamation, thrown into market. On the 18th of September, the Board o Public Works filed a remonstrance with the Commissioner of the General Land office. The Board also sent in a protest to the State Land Office, at which the sale was ordered to take place. On the 8th of January, 1849, the Senators and Representatives in Congress from Iowa also protested against the sale, in a communication to Hon. Robert J. Walker, Secretary of the Treasury, to which the Secretary replied, concurring in the opinion that the grant extended the whole length of the Des Moines River in Iowa.

On the 1st of June, 1849, the Commissioner of the General Land Office directed the Register and Receiver of the Land Office at Iowa City "to withhold from sale all lands situated in the odd numbered sections within five miles on each side of the Des Moines River above the Raccoon Forks.” March 13, 1850, the Commissioner of the General Land Office submitted to the Secretary of the Interior a list "showing the tracts falling within the limits of the Des Moines River grant, above the Raccoon Forks, etc., under the decision of the Secretary of the Treasury, of March 2, 1849," and on the 6th of April following Mr. Ewing, then Secretary of the Interior, reversed the decision of Secretary Walker, but ordered the lands to be with held from sale until Congress could have an opportunity to pass an explanatory act. The Iowa authorities appealed from this decision to the President (Taylor), who referred the matter to the Attorney General (Mr.

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