22 November 2014

Did the Lawyer Use the Facts to Seize the Moment--And the Land?

Without the surrendered bounty land warrant file for James Kile, I never would have located this interesting little item.

James Kile received a bounty land warrant for 40 acres based upon his service in the War of 1812. The resident of Mercer County, Illinois, died after the warrant was issued but before any specific land could be patented.

As a result his heirs surrendered the warrant in order to patent 40 acres in Mercer County, Illinois. They appointed Cyrus Aldrich as their "attorney-in-fact" to complete the process at the Dixon, Illinois, land office.

This image below shows part of the entry for the completed Kile patent in the tract books of the Bureau of Land Management. These books effectively serve as a geographic index to who patented property were.

Aldrich completed the patent process for the Kile heirs as evidenced by the green entry above-all the properties shown in this clip are for parcels in section 35 in Township No. 13 of Range No. 5 West of the 4th Principal Meridian in Mercer County, Illinois). It's rather difficult to read the names of who received the property, but it appears to be Enoch Kile and others (based upon the information in the surrendered bounty land warrant file).


There was another piece of property in the same section that was "located by" Cyrus Aldrich in August of 1853. A review of the dates that property in section 35 was all located by August of 1853, except for the Kile parcel and the Aldrich parcel.

The Kiles were Mercer County, Illinois, residents and would have known that no one was farming the property. Aldrich does not appear to have been a Mercer County, Illinois, resident and appears to have been living near the Dixon Land Office at the time.

Did he discover that there was an "unclaimed" 40 when he did the paperwork for the Kiles?


We might have to get that paperwork and see if more about how Aldrich obtained the property can be located.

Links to the BLM Tract Books on FamilySearch and the guide to the books can be found here. My webinar on using these tract books can be ordered here for only $6.

Stay tuned!