Series 23642
Iron County (Utah). Probate Court Land certificates (Parowan)

Dates: 1872-1879.

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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

The Iron County Probate Court issued land certificates as one step in the process of adjudicating ownership of town site lots in the public domain. Probate court adjudications were prompted by national and territorial legislation. In March 1867 Congress passed "An Act for the Relief of the Inhabitants of Cities and Towns upon the Public Lands" (Statutes at Large, Treaties, and Proclamations, of the United States of America, vol. XIV, chap. CLXXVII). This act provided that corporate officials, for incorporated towns, or the judge of the county court, if not incorporated, should enter the appropriate land at the land office and purchase it for the benefit of all inhabitants. Congress further specified that State or Territorial legislatures should prescribe rules for the disposal of individual lots.

Pursuant to this law, the Territorial Legislature established regulations for disposing of town site lots (Compiled Laws of Utah, 1876. Title 19, Chapter 4). Within 30 days after making the entry, the probate judge or mayor was required to give public notice and advertise the land he had entered. Any person or corporation claiming to be the rightful owner of any part of this land was required to present a claim to the probate court. In case of adverse claims the probate judge was required to "decide according to justice in the case," and when claims were undisputed, to determine the validity of the claim.

As the Iron County Probate Court proceeded to follow this direction it issued land certificates to individuals judged to be the rightful owners of town site lots in Parowan. These certificates authorized the county recorder to record a deed transferring ownership of the lot from the mayor to the individual owner. Each certificate is headed with the information about the probate court and is addressed to the mayor of Parowan. It certifies that a certain individual was on a certain date judged by the court to be the rightful owner of a certain town lot and was entitled to a deed for the same. Certificates were signed by the probate court clerk. Each certificate also indicates the date a deed was recorded.


Chronological by date.

Research Note

The majority land certificates for Parowan were issued in May 1872. Additional certificates were issued in the summer of the same year. Only a few are of later date. Handwriting on many of the certificates has faded.

Related Records

Deeds from Iron County (Utah). County Recorder, Series 6205, contain the deeds that were authorized to be recorded when the land certificates were issued.

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

Land certificates were microfilmed at Southern Utah University under the direction of Utah State Archives in November 2001 and processed by Rosemary Cundiff in April 2002.

Indexing Terms

  • Land titles—Registration and transfer—Iron County (Utah).
  • Real property—Parowan (Utah).
  • Iron County (Utah)—Recording and registration.

Container List

1 1872 May
2 1872 May-1879 Jul

Page Last Updated October 18, 2012.