33 N.W. 493 (Mich. 1887), Brown v. Watson

Citation:33 N.W. 493, 66 Mich. 223
Opinion Judge:MORSE, J.
Party Name:BROWN v. WATSON and others.
Attorney:More & Wilson, for complainant. G.A. Wolf, Sayles & Trumbull, and Gleason & Bundy, for defendants and appellants.
Judge Panel:CAMPBELL, C.J., and SHERWOOD, J., concurred. CHAMPLIN, J., did not sit in this case.
Case Date:June 09, 1887
Court:Supreme Court of Michigan

Page 493

33 N.W. 493 (Mich. 1887)

66 Mich. 223



WATSON and others.

Supreme Court of Michigan

June 9, 1887

Appeal from circuit court, Osceola county. In chancery.

More & Wilson, for complainant.

G.A. Wolf, Sayles & Trumbull, and Gleason & Bundy, for defendants and appellants.


Foreclosure of mortgage. Decree in the circuit court for the county of Osceola, in chancery, in favor of complainant. The defendants Jane Trembath, Henrietta Watson, Lillian Watson, Charles Watson, James Watson, David Wolf, and Benjamin Wolf appeal to this court. The bill of complaint was filed April 1, 1884, to foreclose a mortgage, covering 1,246 acres of land in Osceola county, [66 Mich. 224] executed by the defendants William Watson and Catherine Watson, (wife of William,) on the eighth day of April, 1880, to David F. Watson, to secure the payment of $4,350, as evidenced by three promissory notes of the same date,--one for $1,650, payable in six months after date; and two for $1,350 due in one and two years after date. These notes were executed by William in his individual capacity.

At the time of executing this mortgage William Watson was the surviving partner of the firm of J. & W. Watson, which had been composed of his brother James and himself. The mortgage in terms conveyed "all the interest

Page 494

of said William Watson, as survivor of himself and James Watson, deceased, composing the firm of J. & W. Watson, and as a partner of said firm, and as an individual, of, in, and to" the lands described therein. April 29, 1880, David F. Watson assigned the notes and mortgage to Marcus E. Brown of the city of Grand Rapids. Brown died intestate April 7, 1881. May 9, of the same year, administration of his estate was granted to John W. Champlin and Mary E. Brown of that city, who duly qualified. January 14, 1884, the probate court of Kent county decreed distribution of Brown's estate, and, by virtue of such decree, these notes and this mortgage were on that day duly assigned and delivered by Champlin, as administrator, to Mary E. Brown, the complainant and the widow of said Marcus E. Brown.

James Watson died intestate on or about the twenty-second day of September, 1875. He left surviving him Jane Watson, (now Trembath,) his widow, and four children, who were all minors at the time of the filing of this bill, to-wit, Henrietta, Lillian, Charles, and James Watson. The defendants, David and Benjamin Wolf claimed certain of the lands under a warranty deed from the defendant James Lunney, whose title was derived from the defendants William and Catherine Watson after the execution of the mortgage. It [66 Mich. 225] is conceded that they have no standing as against this mortgage, and their solicitor claims that their only object in appealing was to bring properly before this court the question as to the admission of a deposition in the case which will be referred to hereafter.

The main controversy relates to the interest of James Watson in the lands embraced in this mortgage. The complainant insists that the mortgage is a valid lien upon such interest, and his heirs deny it. The lands were mostly purchased in 1874 and 1875, and the deeds ran to "James and William Watson" or "William and James Watson." William Watson swears that the lands were bought and held as copartnership property, and at the time of James' death, belonged to the firm of J. & W. Watson. There is no other proof in relation to the tenure of these lands as to whether they were owned in partnership or in...

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