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IFFUTURA PRESS oic. Phone 512/442.7836 1714 SOUTH CONGRESS P.O. BOX 3485 AUSTIN._TEXAS 14 The Texas Observer Jesse’s land deals PACHA MAMA In -wort -cc] gifts from South America alpaca ponchos, sweaters, shawls, muslin shirts and pants Monday-Saturday, 11 to 8 503 W 17th, Austin Q4 OX* BOOX5 6oaks Ar //v/itq 42 -oft. 1001R a56 1/it 9 ck–1 QUALITY GENERAL BOOK STORE With Best Selections In: Children’s Literature Oriental Philosophy Movement Books American Indian Culture Organic Food and Gardening And Much More 503 W. 17TH ST., AUSTIN Between Nueces and San Antonio Hours: Mon-Sat. 10 A.M.-8 P.M. fixi$4. -ekwon .Vo 4r A /4We alb 60# Criest z9M ag 0907 1:35″ Mt. 476-86-9,452-1670 or C33641599 \(Ft4ed 41701 , Mt /ash-tic/Ai. By Burt Solomon Austin What is unmoveable, unimproved and has been bought and sold by some of the most powerful men in Texas? The state legislature, you say? Wrong. The answer is land, tracts of land up near Lake Travis. For about three decades, Jesse James, Texas state treasurer, owned a 14.91 acre aggregate of lakefront resort cottages called Lake Travis Lodges. James and his wife also owned half-interest in a 170.88 acre tract of unimproved land \(see so from Lake Travis. That land is near, but not part of, the planned Hudson Bend Colony real estate development. The other half-interest in the tract was owned jointly by two of James’s long-time business associates, S. C. McIntosh and H. M. Webb. In 1968, James sold the Lodge, the 14.91 acres on which it is built, his interest in the 170.88 acre tract, and other smaller pieces of nearby land to Johnnie Attaway, a Houston real estate developer. James will not say why he decided to sell the land, though Attaway says that James just got tired of holding and maintaining it. All the land, says James, was sold as one package deal. THE TRANSFER of the deed for with the county record office in June, 1968. In July, Attaway, along with a couple of partners, filed charters for two separate corporations: Lake Travis Lodges, was to own the rest. During September and October, 1968, the deeds for the 170.88 acre tract were transferred. \(It took that long, says James, The way the land deed records tell it, the The writer, a former Nader’s Raider, is a graduate student of American Studies at the UT Austin campus. BUMPERSTRIPS: 4 for 50c, 15 for $1, 100 for $3, 500 for $14, 1,000 for $25. Send check and Zip Code; we pay postage and tax. transfer of title involved a long and complicated series of transactions. In six separate deed transfers, James sold deed transferred parcels A and B to LTE. Another, separate deal, transferred parcels C and D. That is, James’s interest in the 170.88 acres was sold in pieces. For some reason, continguous pieces of land were listed separately. At this point, then, LTE owned half-interest in the 170.88 acre tract, and McIntosh and Webb owned the other half. On Oct. 17, 1968, the day that the last of these deals between James and LTE was signed, McIntosh and Webb transferred their half-interest in parcels B and D over to LTE. Now LTE owned full interest in parcels B and D and half-interest in parcels A and C. McIntosh and Webb owned the other half of parcels A and C. Then, on the following day, Oct. 18, LTE transferred its half-interest in parcels A and C over to McIntosh and Webb. At this point LTE owned full interest in B and D, and McIntosh and Webb jointly owned full interest in A and C. Everyone was happy, at least for a while. Attaway paid James $350,000 for the whole package for the Lodge, the 14.91 acres, and half-interest in the 170.88 acres. To finance the purchase, Attaway borrowed $400,000 from Sharpstown State Bank. The 14.91 acres were put up as collateral. When the Observer asked Attaway how he was able to negotiate a $400,000 loan by guaranteeing it with property worth less than $350,000, he replied that he had been doing business with Sharpstown for a very long time. Sharpstown knew him to be in excellent financial shape, and was willing to loan him the money on the 14.91 acres and his signature. James has said that he did not know how the purchase was financed. He received his check, and that was all he knew of it. The records say nothing of whether