294 F. 161 (8th Cir. 1923), 6223, United States v. Holt State Bank

Docket Nº:6223.
Citation:294 F. 161
Case Date:December 05, 1923
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Page 161

294 F. 161 (8th Cir. 1923)




No. 6223.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

December 5, 1923

Page 162

S. W. Williams, Sp. Asst. Atty. Gen., for the United States.

A. N. Eckstrom, of Warren, Minn., and Ole J. Value, of Crookston, Minn. (W. E. Rowe, of Crookston, Minn., on the brief), for appellees.

Before SANBORN and LEWIS, Circuit Judges, and McGEE, District Judge.

SANBORN, Circuit Judge.

This is a suit in equity by the United States against the homesteaders and their successors in interest, the riparian owners of the lands on the shores of Mud Lake in Minnesota, to quiet its title to the bed of that lake and to perpetually enjoin the defendants from making any farther claim thereto.

There was in the western part of Minnesota in 1889 in townships 156, north of range 42, and 156, north of range 41, west of the Fifth Principal Meridian, a body of water called Mud Lake, which covered an area of about 4,929 acres. The Chippewa Indians were occupying

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that part of Minnesota which included this lake and the land surrounding and in the vicinity of it. By the Act of January 14, 1889 (chapter 24, 25 Stat.p. 642), Congress authorized the acquisition of a relinquishment to the United States by those Indians of all their title and interest in and possession of this lake, the land bordering upon it and the lands in its vicinity, and provided that the lands so relinquished should be surveyed by the United States and sold to settlers in accordance with the provisions of its homestead laws for $1.25 per acre, and that the net proceeds of the sales should be placed in the treasury of the United States to the credit of the Chippewa Indians in Minnesota. Pursuant to this act, the Chippewa Indians ceded and relinquished to the United States all their rights and interests in and their possession of this lake, the lands bordering upon it and in the vicinity of it. Those lands were thereupon in 1892 surveyed under the direction of the Commissioner of the General Land Office, and the report, field notes, and plats of the survey were filed in the General Land Office and approved by its Commissioner and the Secretary of the Interior. By this survey this lake was meandered and was designated on the plats as Mud Lake.

On May 15, 1906, the lands so surveyed were by the United States opened for entry under the provisions of the homestead laws and of the act of January 14, 1889. The defendants below in this suit are the purchasers, or the successors in interest of the purchasers, from the United States under this legislation of the lands bordering upon this lake and upon its meander line, and they claim as riparian owners their respective proportionate shares of the land in the bed of this lake, which has in later years become dry. A few of the patents issued by the United States to the lands upon the shores of this lake, that were issued since the year 1915 contain a restriction to this effect:

'It being expressly understood that the conveyance hereby made is limited to the land lying outside of the established meander line of Mud Lake.'

After the survey and meander line had been approved and filed in 1892, after the lands bordering on the lake had been opened for entry thereunder by the plaintiff on May 15, 1906, and after many homesteaders had entered lands bordering upon the lake under this legislation, and in the year 1916, the United States caused a survey of the land in the bed of Mud...

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