Two legal documents written by Abraham Lincoln have turned up in the back room of the Mason County Clerk's office. The papers, dated 1845, have been verified as authentic.

"It's unbelievable, for being folded up for 146 years there were no major tears and the ends weren't dogeared," said William Beard, assistant editor of The Lincoln Legal Papers, a state-funded study of Lincoln's legal practice. "It looks like Lincoln wrote them yesterday."Both manuscripts deal with the same case - a lawsuit filed by a landowner against three men who built a dam near his property. Lincoln represented the builders. The landowner sued the trio for $300 in damages after his land was flooded. The jury awarded the plaintiff $168.