This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
A corporation may acquire and hold realty which is proper for the exercise of its corporate powers.1 It cannot acquire land for purposes not connected with the purposes of its creation.2 Thus a company formed to build cars cannot own land to build a town on and operate a sewage system and a sewage farm.3 A building and loan association cannot buy as an investment realty on which it has no prior lien.4 In New Jersey it was held that a cemetery company may exchange its stock of little value for land to prevent competition.5 A corporation may acquire land in exchange for its stock of merchandise when it is going out of business.6 A corporation authorized to hold land may contract for proper easements for such land: as a bank may contract for an easement of light and air,7 and a street railway company which has acquired a right to operate a road by horse-power over the roadbed of a turnpike company may contract for the right to use electricity by paying an extra amount for the additional servitude ;8 or a corporation formed to lay out lots and sell them may build a bridge for access to such lots.9 A corporation having legal capacity to hold property may hold it in trust as an individual could if not inconsistent with its corporate powers.10
2 Dock v. Cordage Co., 167 Pa. St. 370; 31 Atl. 656.
3 Kripner v. Lincoln, 66 111. App. 532.
4 Commercial, etc., Association v. Mackenzie, 85 Md. 132; 36 Atl. 754.
5 Fisher v. Parr, 92 Md. 245; 48 Atl. 621.
1 Lathrop v. Bank, 8 Dana (Ky.) 114; 33 Am. Dec. 481; Richardson v. Mechanic Association, 131 Mass. 174; Thompson v. Waters, 25 Mich. 214; 12 Am. Rep. 243; People v. O'Brien, 111 N. Y. 1; 7 Am. St. Rep. 684; 2 L. R. A. 255; 18 N. E. 692; Overmyer v. Williams. 15 Ohio 26; Covington, etc., Co. v. Magruder, 63 O. S. 455; 59 N. E. 216.
2 Case v. Kelly, 133 U. S. 21;
Coleman v. Turnpike Co., 49 Cal. 517; People v. Car Co., 175 111. 125; 51 N. E. 664; Taber v. Ry. Co., 15 Ind. 459; Cynthiana, etc., Co. v. Hutchinson (Ky.), 60 S. W. 378; Thompson v. West, 59 Neb. 677; 49 L. R. A. 337; 82 N. W. 13; State v. Newark, 26 N. J. L. 519; affirming, 25 N. J. L. 315.
3 People v. Car Co., 175 111. 125; 51 N. E. 664.
4 National, etc., Association v. Bank, 181 111. 35; 72 Am. St. Rep. 245; 54 N. E. 619.
5 Rural Homestead Co. v. Wildes, 54 N. J. Eq. 668; 35 Atl. 896.
6 Morisette v. Howard, 62 Kan. 463; 63 Pac. 756.