All affidavits required to be made under sections 21, 22 to 24, 26 to 28, 29, 30, 33 to 48, 50 to 52, 71 to 76 of this title, and section 661 of title 43 may be verified before any officer authorized to administer oaths within the land district where the claims may be situated, and all testimony and proofs may be taken before any such officer, and, when duly certified by the officer taking the same, shall have the same force and effect as if taken before the register of the land office. In cases of contest as to the mineral or agricultural character of land, the testimony and proofs may be taken as herein provided on personal notice of at least ten days to the opposing party; or if such party cannot be found, then by publication of at least once a week for thirty days in a newspaper, to be designated by the register of the land office as published nearest to the location of such land; and the register shall require proof that such notice has been given.
(R.S. § 2335;
[Mar. 3, 1925, ch. 462], [43 Stat. 1145]; 1946 Reorg. Plan No. 3, § 403, eff. July 16, 1946, 11 F.R. 7876, [60 Stat. 1100].)