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First Among Equals:
Plaintiff's Win Collections Cases

"Way, Bush & Co. vs. Smith & Crapper and J. R. Scranton (1862)"

By Adam Attwood

Overview: Way, Bush & Co. vs. Smith & Crapper and J. R. Scranton (1862) is an example of business versus business. Plaintiffs made multiple allegations for satisfaction of debt, because many businesses had credit accounts that they would place purchases against. Eventually, during the down economy of the 1860s, some businesses defaulted on large amounts of debt.

Source: Way, Bush & Co. vs. Smith & Crapper and J. R. Scranton (1862). Case 262. Frontier Justice Records. Washington State Archives-Eastern Branch, Cheney, WA.

Subject: Collections, Business

Synopsis: In this “Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment,” the plaintiffs issued a plethora of allegations for why the amount of several hundreds of dollars was owed to them. As was typical in business vs. business collections cases, the plaintiff usually had more than enough proof to request a summary judgment. The Court ruled that the defendants were required to pay all requested moneys. It is also interesting to note that the plaintiff's attorneys' handwriting was more legible in the "demand" section at the end of the Motion.


In the District Court of Walla Walla County
Territory of Washington
County of Walla Walla

C. H. [Shmehring], [Husaw] Way,
and C. S. Bush, partners doing
business in the City of Walla Walla,
under the name and style of
Way Bush & Co. Plffs:


J. H. Smith and H. S. Crapper –
late partners doing business in said
City of Walla Walla under the firm
name of “Smith & Crapper” – and –
J. R. Scranton Defdts:

The Plffs: above named complain of the Defdts: and allege: That the said Defdts: Smith & Crapper in the 28th day of December A.D. 1861 Executed their [___] promissory note payable to Plffs in the [___] and figures following [herewith?]: Walla Walla J. R. Scranton “28” 1861 - $398. 88/100. Three Months after date we promise to pay to Way Bush & Co. the sum of Three Hundred and Ninety Eight 88/100 Dollars with interest thereon at the rate of [___] per cent per month Value received – (signed, Smith & Crapper – That in the 30th day of December A.D. 1861, the said Defdts: Smith & Crapper, for the purpose of receiving the faithful payments of the afford note, duly Executed, acknowledge and delivered to the Plffs: a mortgage, whereby they granted, bargained, sold and [quit ?] claimed under the Plffs: the following described premises together with the tenements and [appurtenences ?] [___] belonging or in anywise appertaining – namely all that certain piece of real property [___] being in the town of Walla Walla, and known and described upon te plat in the office of the County Auditor – as Set Ten (10) in Block Eleven (11) upon conditin that if the said note was duly paid at maturity that then the said conveyance was to be void, otherwise to remain in force force [sic] and effect.

And Plffs: further allege that the said mortgage was duly received in the office of the County Auditor – on the 30th day of December A.D. 1861 in book “B” of Mortgages, Page 245.

And the Plffs: further allege that the said - Defdts: here failed to pay the said promissory note or any portion thereof and that the same still remains due and unpaid – and that there is now justly due and owing by Defdts Smith & Crapper: to Plffs: upon the same the sum of Three Hundred and Ninety Eight ($398. 00/100) Dollars and Eighty-Eight cents – and interest upon the same at the rate of [___] per cent per month from the 28th of December A.D. 1861.

And the Plffs: further allege that they are informed and [beline ?] that the Defdt: J. R. Scranton, has or claims some interest in or lien upon the said mortgaged premises, or some portion thereof which interest or lien, if any, has accrued, subsequently to the lien of the said mortgage. And Plffs: further allege that they have not prosecuted, nor are they now prosecuting – any other action for the recovery of the said indebtedness.

The Plffs: therefore demand that the Defendants Smith & Crapper, and the Defendant J. R. Scranton – and all persons claiming under them subsequent to the commencement of this action be foreclosed – That the said premises may be decreed to be sold according to law: that the moneys accruing from the sale may be brought into Court – that the Plffs: may be paid the amount due upon the said note and mortgage with interest thereon at the rate of two per cent per month to the time of such payment and the costs and Expenses of this action so far as the moneys properly applicable therefore will pay the same – and that the Defdts: Smith & Crapper may be adjudged to pay any deficiency which may remain after applying all of said moneys & applicable therefore: and that the Plffs: may have such other and or further relief on both in the premises as shall be just and equitable.

Cain & Sargent
Attorneys for Plffs:

Transcribed by Adam Attwood