Vernon E. SHIPP, Appellant,
A. G. ERICSON, Eugene Hartzell and Donald F. Ericson, Appellees.
Rehearing Denied Jan. 10, 1956.
[80 Ariz. 110] Milburn N. Cooper, Phoenix, for appellant.
Locklear & Wolfinger, Prescott, for appellees.
This is an appeal by Vernon E. Shipp, defendant-appellant, from a judgment in the sum of $6,000, rendered against him on a contractual obligation, in favor of plaintiffs-appellees A. G. Ericson, et als. The parties will hereinafter be referred to as plaintiffs and defendant.
The facts giving rise to this suit, stated in a light most favorable to a sustaining of the judgment, are as follows:
Late in the year 1947 or the early part of 1948 the Baptist General Convention of Arizona, an Arizona corporation (hereinafter termed the Baptist Convention), through its agents negotiated with the plaintiff Ericson for the purchase of forty acres of land adjacent to a college site offered by the Prescott Chamber of Commerce and/or City of Prescott for the establishment there of a denominational institution of higher learning to be known as Grand Canyon College. Sometime prior to
March 24, 1948, the Baptist Convention took an option on land owned by the plaintiffs and paid them $100, which sum was to be applied on the total purchase price of $6,000. Among other matters this option contained the following condition:
'(c) That in the event you do not within five years from April 1, 1948, build a college upon the adjoining land, which you are acquiring from the Prescott Chamber of Commerce, title to the above described land shall revert to grantors above named, their heirs and assigns.'
The plaintiffs wanted $12,000 for this tract of land but were willing to take $6,000 if a college was established on adjoining land within the prescribed period. After accepting this option the Baptist Convention found condition (c), supra, objectionable, and the defendant, Vernon E. Shipp, who was chairman of the board of Grand Canyon College, went to Prescott to contract the plaintiffs for the purpose of having this clause waived. As a result of defendant's negotiation with plaintiffs the following agreement (obviously drawn by laymen) was entered into, viz.:
'March 24, 1947 (actually 1948)
'A Gentlemen's Agreement Between A. G. Erickson and Vernon E. Shipp
'In lieu of waiving stipulation number three (3) in the optional agreement between the Baptist General Convention of Arizona and A. G. Erickson, I do hereby pledge and agree to pay an additional six thousand ($6,000) dollars at the end of five years on the forty acres of land located immediately North of the College Property provided said College has not been established or one million ($1,000,000) in cash and bona fide pledges placed in escrow in the Valley National Bank of Prescott, by that time.
[80 Ariz. 111] 'Clear title in fee simple to be delivered to the Baptist General Convention immediately.
'Vernon E. ...