BILLINGS, Mont. — Officials with Billings Catholic Schools say they have to get permission from 434 potential stakeholders before selling a former middle school building.

The Billings Gazette reports a peculiar deed on the former site of St. Francis Upper, signed nearly 100 years ago, led attorneys to identify hundreds of people who might have a small claim on the property. They are descendants of those granted interest in the property a century ago.

The deed says that if the building isn’t used as a school, heirs and other stakeholders could gain interest. Billings Catholic Schools is seeking full ownership of the site in order to sell it and keep the money.

Janyce Haider, president of the Billings Catholic Schools Foundation, says a Billings doctor interested in genealogy found 434 potential heirs who span five generations.

Information from: The Billings Gazette,

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