Series 1456
Territorial Supreme Court Bankruptcy minute books

Dates: i 1867-1869; 1872-1874.

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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

These books contain the minutes for bankruptcy cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court for Utah Territory. Bankruptcy hearings were conducted under federal laws enacted in 1867 and amended in 1874. Under federal law, either an individual (including a business) or his creditors could apply for bankruptcy. Until 1874, cases from around the state were heard by the supreme court as a whole; thereafter they were heard by a supreme court judge presiding over the appropriate territorial district court.

In the minutes, each day's activities are summarized. A typical case will span multiple dates and several different cases may be heard on the same date. The actions taken in a case during the day are summarized; the minute entries do not constitute a full transcript of a case.

The bankrupt's name and the date is included for each entry. Names of those officials present are given and usually include the judges, clerks, U.S. Marshall, and Register in Bankruptcy. The Register in Bankruptcy was an official appointed by the court to assist the judges in examining cases and keeping records. The initial volumes of minute entries have quite brief notes. There are orders issued to file schedules and appear before the Register. There are notations that the Register has made an adjudication of bankruptcy, filed warrants for a meeting of creditors, etc. Notation might also be made of the Marshall having served the warrants. Orders of sale are also common, and the final discharge will be noted.

The location of any minutes from 1869 to 1872 is unknown. The 1872-1874 volume is more detailed; rather than using a Register, the judges were handling the cases. A copy of the petition is recorded. Minutes of hearings regarding lien holders, orders to sell and regarding the distribution of proceeds, orders to publish notice, etc. are all included. Any court bankruptcy cases started before 22 June 1874 and not completed were turned over to the district court in which the bankrupt resided.


Entries are chronological. Originally, the middle minute book was part of a docket book (series 1457). (Starting from one end was the docket. Turning the volume upside down and starting from the other end were the minutes.)

Related Records

Bankruptcy docket book from the Territorial Supreme Court, Series 1457, contains dates of actions in some of these same cases for the 1867-1869 period.

Bankruptcy case minute book from the District Court (Third District), Series 3814, contains minutes of some of the cases continued in the Third District Court.

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.

Gaps in Series

Minutes for any cases which may have been heard from 1869-1872 have not been located.

Processing Note

Microfilmed and destroyed in 1991. Docket and minute books filmed separately. Archivally processed by A.C. Cone, 1990.

Finding Aids

Indexes: The Bankruptcy docket book, series 1457, can be used to locate dates of actions in individual cases and those dates to locate entries in the series, covering from 1867 thru 1869.

Indexing Terms

  • Bankruptcy—Utah.
  • Assignments for benefit of creditors—Utah.

Container List

1 1867 Sep 26 - 1869 May 13
1 1869 May 15 - 1869 Oct 18
1 1872 Nov 06 - 1874 Dec 19

Page Last Updated October 18, 2012.