Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

Series 25011

District Court (First District) Case files

Dates: 1851-1885.

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These records are housed in the Utah State Archives' permanent storage room.

Historical Note

An agency history is available.

Scope and Content

An original complaint, summons, indictment or arrest warrant which initiated a legal action together with all legal papers subsequently filed in connection with the civil or criminal proceeding through disposition or dismissal of the case make up these case files. These files document the legal process and the administration of justice in the First Judicial District.

Both civil and criminal cases are included throughout the time period covered by the series. The majority of these cases are civil matters. A civil action is a lawsuit brought by one person or a group against another to enforce a legal right or to recover money as payment for an injury or loss. A civil case commences with the filing of a complaint with the court or by service to the defendant of a summons together with a copy of the complaint. A crime or public offense is an act committed or omitted in violation of a law forbidding or commanding it, and to which is annexed, upon conviction, a prescribed punishment. A criminal case is initiated with a complaint, information, indictment, or arrest warrant. Records and documents pertaining to a particular action were maintained by the court clerk, who was required to file pleadings and other legal papers for cases arising throughout the district. Collectively they constitute the case file.

The First District Court was restricted to adjudication of actions involving real property located within the First Judicial District, those in which the defendant resides within the First Judicial District, and those involving incidents occurring within the First Judicial District. The court was required to hold at least four terms within the district each calendar year. Matters from throughout the several counties assigned to the district generally were heard in Great Salt Lake City. Cases from Salt Lake County are most numerous but matters from outlying counties are included.

Arrangement

Chronological thereunder alphabetical

These cases were created prior to adoption of a numbering system and are filed chronologically by the year the court action commenced and thereunder alphabetically by the plaintiff's personal surname or corporate name. Files dealing with court business (orders to issue subpoenas) appear at the beginning of each new calendar year, 1851-1856. As criminal cases are considered an offense against the public, the plaintiff may variously be recorded originally as "People" or "United States." In the interest of consistency, all such differentiations now are filed collectively as "People."

Research Note

Incidents of interest include: an infamous 1851 criminal case involving Pedro Leon and other Spanish traders engaged in the illicit trading of American Indian slaves; an 1853 criminal action against James Bridger; two 1851 civil suits filed by Brigham Young, Trustee in Trust for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and an 1855 civil suit against Porter Rockwell (Judson Stoddard vs. Orrin P. Rockwell). Eight judges from throughout the district filed ten performance bonds with the court. Included are the following: Elias Smith, Great Salt Lake County, chief justice (1851) and probate judge (1852 & 1856); Thomas Rhoads, Great Salt Lake County, associate judge (1851); James Holbrook, Davis County, probate judge (1852); Joseph Holbrook, Davis County, probate judge (1856); Alfred Lee, Tooele County, probate judge (1852); William I. Appleby, Green River County, probate judge (1854); Isaac Bullock, Green River County, probate judge (1855); and John P. Barnard, Malad County, probate judge (1856). Other bonds filed with the court include two bonds involving granting ferry rights over the Green River to Daniel H. Wells (1853) and one related to the sale of land (1851). Petitions to be admitted to the bar and permitted to practice law were filed in 1851 by Seth M. Blair, Andrew Siler, and Joshua Slayton. Included in the series are two declaration of intention certificates filed by individuals seeking United States citizenship: Alexander Findlay McDonald of the United Kingdom (10 September 1855) and Charles Caster of the United Kingdom (10 March 1865). Two certificates of appointment naming Alexander McRae and Hosea Stout as deputy U.S. marshals are included with the orders to issue subpoenas in the 1856 court business folder. A single divorce case, Maria Wakeham vs. John A. Wakeham (Great Salt Lake County, 1855), is included in the series.

Related Records

Southern division criminal case files from the District Court (First District), Series 1521, include later case files from the same judicial district.

Northern division civil and criminal case files from the District Court (First District), Series 1529, include later territorial case files from the same judicial district.

Territorial criminal case files from the District Court (Third District), Series 6836, include other case files from the territorial period.

Case files from the District Court (Third District), Series 9802, include other case files from the territorial period.

Territorial criminal case files from the Department of Administrative Services. Division of Archives and Records Service, Series 24052, include a compilation of miscellaneous documents from the earliest surviving territorial criminal cases from each of the three judical districts.

Criminal case files from the District Court (Second District), Series 24291, include other case files from the territorial period.

Civil case files from the District Court (Second District), Series 24293, include other case files from the territorial period.

Custody History

Throughout the territorial period, case files were created and maintained by the clerk appointed by and serving at the pleasure of the judge of the district court. At statehood, the Salt Lake County Clerk was constitutionally designated as ex officio clerk of District Court in and for Salt Lake County. The county/district court clerk maintained custody of the case files until their transfer to the Utah State Archives.

Access Restrictions

This series is classified as Public.

Preferred Citation

Cite the Utah State Archives and Records Service, the creating agency name, the series title, and the series number.

Processing Note

Since 1983, case files have been listed as permanent records in the records retention policy of the Utah Judicial Council. In spite of the uncertain provenance of some of the documents found with the case files, papers of unsure origin have been left with the series. Archival processing of these records was completed in May 2003 by W. Glen Fairclough, Jr. An updated container list was added to this finding aid by Jim Kichas in November 2009.

Indexing Terms

  • Criminal courts--Utah.
  • Actions and defenses--Utah.
  • Court administration--Utah.
  • Slave traders--Utah.
  • Mormons--Utah--History.

Container List

REEL BOX FOLDER DESCRIPTION
pending 1 2 Court Business; 1851
pending 1 2 S.M. Blair - Petition; 1851
pending 1 3 Lafayette Granger vs. Charles Snow; 1851
pending 1 4 Levi Gifford vs. the heirs of Daniel C. Davis; 1851
pending 1 5 Lyman Hawkins vs. David Holland/Holladay
pending 1 6 Victor Leffering vs. William Blakely and James Schropshire; 1851
pending 1 7 James Pace - Bond; 1851
pending 1 8 A.V. Patterson vs. Isaac Parchal; 1851
pending 1 9 People vs. Howard Egan; 1851
pending 1 10 People vs. Ralph Hunt; 1851
pending 1 11 People vs. Thurston Larson; 1851
pending 1 12 People vs. Pedro Leon; 1851
pending 1 13 People vs. John O'Laughlin; 1851
pending 1 14 John Reese vs. Alfred Ashumbo; 1851
pending 1 15 J & E Reese vs. James M. Crabb; 1851
pending 1 16 Thomas Rhoads - Appointment; 1851
pending 1 17 Andrew Siler - Petition; 1851
pending 1 18 Joshua Slayton - Petition; 1851
pending 1 19 Elias Smith - Appointment; 1851
pending 1 20 Judson Stoddard vs. Alvin Stoddard; 1851
pending 1 21 Brigham Young vs. James Gambell; 1851
pending 1 22 Brigham Young vs. Samuel Hanson; 1851
pending 1 23 Court Business; 1852
pending 1 24 Samuel Burger vs. Stephen Lucas & Daniel Levan; 1852
pending 1 25 Seth Blair vs. Miles Beach; 1852
pending 1 26 Victor Leffering vs. Henry Cook; 1852
pending 1 27 Jacob Deetze vs. Stephen Lucas & Daniel Levan; 1852
pending 1 28 Joseph Holbrook; 1852
pending 1 29 Alfred Lee - Appointment; 1852
pending 1 30 George Livingston & John Kinkead vs. Lafayette Granger; 1852
pending 1 31 John Nebiker vs. William James; 1852
pending 1 32 James Peebles vs. James Hines; 1852
pending 1 33 People vs. William Allen, Peter Carter, & Simon Lance; 1852
pending 1 34 People vs. John Byron; 1852
pending 1 35 People vs. Samuel P. Davis; 1852
pending 1 36 People vs. James Hadden; 1852
pending 1 37 People vs. Alexander Hoffine & Ambrose Sabin; 1852
pending 1 38 People vs. William Jeans, Terrance McBrien, & William Wansley; 1852
pending 1 39 People vs. Stephen Lucas & O.H. Cogswell; 1852
pending 1 40 People vs. Isaac Neibur, James Goddard, Seth Bromly, & George Grant; 1852
pending 1 41 People vs. Charles James, James Phelps, Peter Shirts, & Edwin Lamb; 1852
pending 1 42 People vs. Robert Phillips; 1852
pending 1 43 People vs. Peersen J. Rister; 1852
pending 1 44 People vs. Albert Sharp; 1852
pending 1 45 People vs. Edward Wade; 1852
pending 1 46 People vs. George Wales; 1852
pending 1 47 J & E Reese vs. George Levy & Eli Abby; 1852
pending 1 48 J & E Reese vs. Charles McVicar & John O'Laughlin; 1852
pending 1 49 J & E Reese vs. Joseph Risley; 1854
pending 1 50 Thomas Scott vs. Stephen Lucas; 1852
pending 1 51 Lucuis Scovil vs. James Neal; 1852
pending 1 52 Elias Smith - Appointment; 1852
pending 1 53 Eli Walker vs. Stephen Lucas & Daniel Levan; 1852
pending 1 54 Thomas Williams vs. Henry D. Lindsay; 1852
pending 1 55 Thomas Williams vs. James Peebles; 1852
pending 1 56 Henry Winters vs. Stephen Lucas & James Canaan; 1852
pending 1 57 Court Business; 1853
pending 1 58 Bridger, Hawley, Thompson, & Co. vs. Dennis, et al; 1853
pending 1 59 Bridger, Hawley, Thompson, & Co. vs. Sweeney, et al; 1853
pending 1 60 Livingston & Kinkead vs. George Goddard; 1853
pending 1 61 People vs. James A. Austin; 1853
pending 1 62 People vs. James Bridger; 1853
pending 1 63 People vs. James Hendricks; 1853
pending 1 64 People vs. David Hull; 1853
pending 1 65 People vs. William May; 1853
pending 1 66 People vs. William Shortridge, et al; 1853
pending 1 67 Francis M. Russell - Bond; 1853
pending 1 68 Daniel H. Wells - Bond; 1853
pending 1 69 C.W. West vs. Jerome Zabriske; 1853
pending 1 70 Willis Young & Thomas Wheeler vs. James Simpkins; 1853
pending 1 71 Court Business; 1854
pending 1 72 Levi Abrams vs. William A. Hickman; 1854
pending 1 73 Dustin Amy vs. Beck & Roundy; 1854
pending 1 74 William J. Appleby - Appointment; 1854
pending 1 75 Almon Babbitt vs. Abel Lamb; 1854
pending 1 76 Almon Babbitt vs. William Muir & Robert Ure; 1854
pending 1 77 Isabel Brooks vs. William Twitchell; 1854
pending 1 78 John Ellis vs. George Greathouse; 1854
pending 1 79 George Goddard; 1854
pending 1 80 George Goddard & Bradford Leonard vs. A.E. McConnell; 1854
pending 1 81 Russell, Jones, & Co. vs. Elisha Ryan; 1854
pending 1 82 A.E. McConnell vs Goddard, et al; 1854
pending 1 83 Aurelius Miner vs. George B. Wallace; 1854
pending 1 84 People vs. Big Belly & Snake Track; 1854
pending 1 85 People vs. John H. Blazzard & James Allen; 1854
pending 1 86 People vs. J. Ward Curtis; 1854
pending 1 87 People vs. John Ellis; 1854
pending 1 88 People vs. William J. Hawley; 1854
pending 1 89 People vs. Joseph Leary; 1854
pending 1 90 People vs. Long Hair & Antelope; 1854
pending 1 91 People vs. Charles Perry; 1854
pending 1 92 People vs. John Platts; 1854
pending 1 93 People vs. Henry C. Ross; 1854
pending 1 94 People vs. Elias Smith & James Cummings; 1854
pending 1 95 People vs. Thomas Sullivan; 1854
pending 1 96 People vs. William Sullivan; 1854
pending 1 97 People vs. Lewis Trombley; 1854
pending 1 98 William Reynolds vs. Alfred Lambsen; 1854
pending 1 99 E.B. Ryan vs. Russell, et al; 1854
pending 1 100 Benjamin Simons vs. Charles Lindsey; 1854
pending 1 101 Benjamin Simons; 1854
pending 1 102 Philip Smith vs. William Hawley; 1854
pending 1 103 Cornelius Vorheis & Co. vs. Thomas Grover; 1854
pending 1 104 Charles Woodward vs. J.B. Tomilson; 1854
pending 1 105 Robert Yardell vs. George Greathouse; 1854
pending 2 1 Court Business; 1855
pending 2 2 Edward Barr vs. George Simpson; 1855
pending 2 3 Lucien Bedele vs. Edwin Webb; 1855
pending 2 4 Christopher Branham & Kenzie Norris vs. Daniel Bagley & B.H. Young; 1855
pending 2 5 Christopher Branham & Kenzie Norris vs. George Goddard; 1855
pending 2 6 Christopher Branham & Kenzie Norris vs. Stephen Goddard; 1855
pending 2 7 Christopher Branham & Kenzie Norris vs. Brigham H. Young & William H. Walton; 1855
pending 2 8 Isaac Bullock - Appointment; 1855
pending 2 9 William Camp vs. Alvin Green; 1855
pending 2 10 Louis Drexler vs. George Goddard & Bradford Leonard; 1855
pending 2 11 Mark Earnshaw vs. Daniel Patterson; 1855
pending 2 12 A. Grow vs. Jacob Hatch; 1855
pending 2 13 William Hawley, Joseph Thompson, & Co. vs. John Kerr & John Robinson; 1855
pending 2 14 Lewis Hatch vs. David Malcolm; 1855
pending 2 15 Hockaday, Morris, & Co. vs. Thomas Johnson; 1855
pending 2 16 J.M. Horner & Co. vs. Nathaniel Leavitt; 1855
pending 2 17 William Howard vs. George Goddard; 1855
pending 2 18 William Howard vs. Charles Perry and Elias Perry; 1855
pending 2 19 John Kerr vs. George Goddard & Bradford Leonard; 1855
pending 2 20 John Kerr vs. William Hawley; 1855
pending 2 21 Bradford Leonard vs. John Oakley; 1855
pending 2 22 Livingstead, Kinkead, & Co vs. William Hawley; 1855
pending 2 23 Livingstead, Kinkead, & Co vs. Abel Lamb; 1855
pending 2 24 Joseph Mason vs. William Hawley; 1855
pending 2 25 Alexander Findlay McDonald Declaration of Intention; 1855
pending 2 26 MacDonells & Adams vs. Joseph Thompson; 1855
pending 2 27 Reuben Middleton & Amos Riley vs. Abel Lamb; 1855
pending 2 28 John Ostler vs. Eliza Knight; 1855
pending 2 29 Daniel Patterson vs. Mark Earnshaw & Thomas Johnson; 1855
pending 2 30 People vs. Levi Abrams; 1855
pending 2 31 People vs. Oliver Bess; 1855
pending 2 32 People vs. Edward Eylsom; 1855
pending 2 33 People vs. Thomas Greenwood; 1855
pending 2 34 People vs. George Holmes; 1855
pending 2 35 People vs. Rufus Ingalls; 1855
pending 2 36 People vs. Jo (Spaniard); 1855
pending 2 37 People vs. David Jones; 1855
pending 2 38 People vs. Aurelius Miner; 1855
pending 2 39 People vs. Carlos Murry; 1855
pending 2 40 People vs. Nickerson & Engall; 1855
pending 2 41 People vs. Henry Rau; 1855
pending 2 42 People vs. Nathaniel Wells; 1855
pending 2 43 People vs. Ranson Young; 1855
pending 2 44 Charles A. & Elias H. Perry vs. William Barton; 1855
pending 2 45 Charles A. & Elias H. Perry vs. Matthew Gaunt; 1855
pending 2 46 Charles A. & Elias H. Perry vs. George Goddard & Bradford Leonard; 1855
pending 2 47 Charles A. & Elias H. Perry vs. Abraham Hoagland, Samuel Richards, & Joseph Horn; 1855
pending 2 48 Charles A. & Elias H. Perry vs. Francis M. Pomeroy; 1855
pending 2 49 Charles A. & Elias H. Perry vs. Andrew Stewart; 1855
pending 2 50 Charles A. & Elias H. Perry vs. E.P. Thomas; 1855
pending 2 51 Charles A. & Elias H. Perry vs. James Townshend; 1855
pending 2 52 Charles A. & Elias H. Perry vs. Charles White; 1855
pending 2 53 Henry Polydore vs. Samuel W. Richards & Jane Mayer; 1855
pending 2 54 Henry Pugh vs. Elijah Thomas; 1855
pending 2 55 John Richard vs. Ezra Benson & Co.; 1855
pending 2 56 George B. Simpson vs. Resides; 1855
pending 2 57 Skeggs & Reiley vs. Nathaniel Leavitt; 1855
pending 2 58 Judson Stoddard vs. Orrin Porter Rockwell; 1855
pending 2 59 Cornelius Vorheis vs. Robert Caldwell; 1855
pending 2 60 Maria S. Wakeham vs. John A. Wakeham; 1855
pending 2 61 Court Business; 1856
pending 2 62 Almon W. Babbit vs. A.B. Lambson; 1856
pending 2 63 John P. Barnhard - Appointment; 1856
pending 2 64 Blair vs. Johnson & Sproce; 1856
pending 2 65 Billa Dickson vs. James Whitaker; 1856
pending 2 66 Barnham & Norris vs. John Greene; 1856
pending 2 67 Almeron Grow vs. Almon Babbitt; 1856
pending 2 68 I & J.M. Hockaday vs. W.B. Twitchell, Benjamin Hawkins, Levi Abrams; 1856
pending 2 69 Joseph Holbrook - Appointment; 1856
pending 2 70 Benjamin Jenne vs. Daniel Russell; 1856
pending 2 71 James Jones & Co. vs. W. Hawley; 1856
pending 2 72 kinney, Greene, & Co. vs. Elijah Thomas; 1856
pending 2 73 E.A. McConnell vs. George Goddard & Bradford Leonard; 1856
pending 2 74 People vs. Pah Bitch & Mo See (Indians); 1856
pending 2 75 Charles A. & Elias H. Perry vs. William France; 1856
pending 2 76 Charles A. & Elias H. Perry vs. Henry Green; 1856
pending 2 77 Charles A. & Elias H. Perry vs. D.W. Jones; 1856
pending 2 78 Charles A. & Elias H. Perry vs. Joseph Kanaugh; 1856
pending 2 79 Charles A. & Elias H. Perry vs. Leonard Rice; 1856
pending 2 80 Charles A. & Elias H. Perry vs. Taylor Lufkin; 1856
pending 2 81 John Russell, et al vs. William Hawley; 1856
pending 2 82 Russell, Jones, & Co. vs. William Hawley; 1856
pending 2 83 Elias Smith - Appointment; 1856
pending 2 84 Joseph Troskolawski vs. Thomas Rhoads; 1856
pending 2 85 Thomas Wheeler vs. Israel Hoyt; 1856
pending 2 86 Thomas Williams vs. Levi Abram; 1856
pending 2 87 Thomas Williams vs. Bradford Leonard; 1856
pending 2 88 Jacob Winter vs. John Parker, James Duncan, Lot Smith, & Sarah Jane Winter; 1856
pending 2 89 Charles Caster Declaration of Intention; 1865