48 S.W.2d 911 (Mo. 1932), 29618, Mathews Real Estate Co. v. National Printing & Engraving Co.

Docket Nº29618
Citation48 S.W.2d 911, 330 Mo. 190
Opinion JudgeCOOLEY
Party NameMathews Real Estate Company, a Corporation, Appellant, v. National Printing & Engraving Company, a Corporation
AttorneyPolk, Williams & Campbell for appellant. Nagel & Kirby and E. G. Curtis for respondent.
Judge PanelCooley, C. Westhues and Fitzsimmons, CC., concur.
Case DateApril 08, 1932
CourtSupreme Court of Missouri

Page 911

48 S.W.2d 911 (Mo. 1932)

330 Mo. 190

Mathews Real Estate Company, a Corporation, Appellant,

v.

National Printing & Engraving Company, a Corporation

No. 29618

Supreme Court of Missouri

April 8, 1932

Appeal from Circuit Court of City of St. Louis; Hon. Erwin G. Ossing, Judge.

Affirmed.

Polk, Williams & Campbell for appellant.

(1) The uniform provisions of these deeds, executed on the same day, pursuant to an auction held under the advertisements introduced in evidence, plainly establish the restrictions as equitable eastments for the benefit and protection of the various lot holders. Nottingham Brick & Tile Co. v. Butler, L. R. 16 Q. B. D. 778; Ames' Cases in Equity Jurisprudence, Parts I-VI, at foot of page 172; Hale v. Wesster, 7 Mo.App. 62; Doerr v. Cobbs, 146 Mo.App. 354; Tiedeman on Real Property (3 Ed.) sec. 433, p. 623. (2) The fact that some deeds subsequent to the various original deeds made no reference to these restrictions is utterly immaterial. The defendant took with actual and constructive notice. Wiegman v. Kusel, 270 Ill. 520; King v. Trust Co., 226 Mo. 351; Duester v. Alvin, 74 Ore. 544; Chapin v. Dougherty, 165 Ill.App. 426; Peck v. Conway, 119 Mass. 546. (3) (a) The restrictions pointed out one method for removal, and that method had not been pursued. (b) The business erected and conducted by defendant is in plain violation of the restrictions, because that business constitutes a manufacturing plant. Evening Journal Assn. v. State Board, 47 N. J. L. 36; Press Printing Co. v. State Board, 51 N. J. L. 75; In re Kenyon, 1 Utah, 47; Commonwealth v. Mann Co., 150 Pa. 70. (c) A restriction is, for the purposes of interpretation, a species of contract, and the purpose of interpretation is to arrive at the true intention of the parties. Pierce v. Trust Co., 311 Mo. 262. (d) The restriction plainly forbids any manufacturing business whatsoever. (4) The meaning of the word "offensive:" Top-Heatly v. Benham,40 Ch. D. 97; Woods v. Cooper, 3 Ch. D. 677; Evans v. Foss, 194 Mass. 513; Wauton v. Coppard, 1 Ch. 97; Nussey v. Posting Co., 1 Ch. 734; Seymour v. McDonald, 4 Sandf. Ch. 502; Pierce v. Trust Co., 311 Mo. 262; Barrow v. Richard, 8 Paige, 351. (5) Improvements outside the particular subdivision are immaterial. Bolin v. Investment Co., 178 Mo.App. 8; Thompson v. Langan, 172 Mo.App. 84; Noel v. Hill, 158 Mo.App. 445; Spahr v. Cope, 143 Mo.App. 114; Pogenstecker v. Carlson, 131 N.Y.S. 413, 146 A.D. 738. (6) (a) "Offensive" not applicable to high-grade flats or apartments. Morrison v. Hess, 231 S.W. 997; Kitching v. Brown, 180 N.Y. 414. (b) Failure to take notice of such violations as do not affect plaintiff. Brigham v. Malock Co., 74 N.J.Eq. 287; Ward v. Prospect Manor Corp., 188 Wis. 534; Johnson v. Robertson, 135 N.W. 585; Newberry v. Borkalow, 75 N.J.Eq. 125; Compton Hill Imp. Co. v. Hrauch, 162 Mo.App. 76; Thompson v. Langan, 172 Mo.App. 64; Allen v. Mass. B. & I. Co., 248 Mass. 370; Alderson v. Cutting, 163 Cal. 503; O'Gallagher v. Lockhart, 263 Ill. 489; Sagles v. Hall, 210 Mass. 281; De Galan v. Barak, 223 Mich. 378; Schadt v. Brill, 173 Mich. 647; Green v. Gerner, 283 S.W. 615; Landell v. Hamilton, 175 Pa. St. 327; Brown v. Huber, 80 Ohio St. 183; Waters v. Collins, 70 A. 984; Seawright v. Blount, 139 Ga. 323; Bowen v. Smith, 74 N.J.Eq. 287; Evertsen v. Gerstenberg, 186 Ill. 344; Payson v. Burnham, 141 Mass. 547; Du Bois v. Darling, 12 Jones & S. 436; Bacon v. Sandberg, 179 Mass. 396; Zipp v. Barker, 40 A.D. 1, 166 N.Y. 621; 46 A. L. R. 372; German v. Chapman, L. R. 7 Ch. D. 271. (7) The court erred in refusing evidence to prove wherein the particular plant was offensive. (8) Laches not applicable. Miller v. Klein, 177 Mo.App. 572; Yeomans v. Herrick, 178 Mo.App. 280; Davies v. Keiser, 246 S.W. 897; St. Louis Safe Deposit Co. v. Kennett, 101 Mo.App. 397. (9) The facts shown constitute a complete refutation of laches.

Nagel & Kirby and E. G. Curtis for respondent.

(1) Restrictions on the free and untrammeled use of real property are regarded unfavorably by the courts and are, therefore, strictly construed. 18 C. J. 385, sec. 449-B; Scharer v. Pantler, 127 Mo.App. 433; Williams v. Carr, 213 Mo.App. 225; Charlots v. Regents Merc. Corp., 251 S.W. 423; Reformed P. D. Church v. M. A. Bldg. Co., 214 N.Y. 274. (2) Where, owing to the natural growth of a city, circumstances have changed so that the purpose of a restriction on the use of property can no longer be accomplished, a court of equity will not enforce such restriction. 18 C. J. 400, sec. 465 (3); Koehler v. Rowland, 275 Mo. 573; Forstmann v. Joray Holding Co., 244 N.Y. 29; Frigo v. Janek, 237 Mich. 644; Batchelor v. Henkle, 210 N.Y. 251; Kniep v. Schroeder, 255 Ill. 628; Columbia College v. Thacher, 87 N.Y. 311; Jackson v. Stevenson, 156 Mass. 496; McArthur v. Hood Rubber Co., 221 Mass. 376; Schwarz v. Duhne, 103 N.Y.S. 14; Douns v. Kroeger, 254 P. 1102.

Cooley, C. Westhues and Fitzsimmons, CC., concur.

OPINION

COOLEY

[330 Mo. 192] Suit for injunction brought and prosecuted in the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, to restrain the alleged violation of certain building restrictions and to compel the demolition and removal of defendant's building, erected in 1925 at a cost of $ 47,000. The amount in dispute is sufficient to give this court jurisdiction [330 Mo. 193] of the appeal. The suit was instituted May 11, 1925. It was tried and submitted in the circuit court January 11, 1928, and by the court taken under advisement until December 18, 1928, when the court rendered judgment dismissing plaintiff's bill, from which plaintiff appealed.

The restricted district in which plaintiff's and defendant's properties are located, consists of a single block about 1366 feet long, and about 446 feet wide, the longer dimension being east and west. It is bounded on its east and west ends by Sarah Street and Boyle Avenue respectively, on its north side by West Pine Street and on its south side by Laclede Avenue. It contains 54 lots. Lots numbered 1 to 27 inclusive front south on Laclede Avenue and lots numbered 28 to 54 inclusive front north on West Pine Street. Each lot is 50 feet in width except the four corner lots which are somewhat wider, and

Page 912

each lot has a depth of approximately 210 feet. Running lengthwise through the center of the block from Sarah Street to Boyle Avenue there is a paved alley 26 feet wide. Plaintiff owns lot 35 fronting on West Pine Street (which for convenience we shall call Pine Street). Defendant owns lots 19 and 20, fronting Laclede Avenue, lot 20 being directly south of and across the alley from plaintiff's lot and lot 19 east of and adjacent to lot 20. The block in question is now city block No. 3915, of the city of St. Louis.

In 1880 the land now comprising this block belonged to the Bank of California. It and the adjacent territory was then vacant, the city not having been built up that far west. The bank, desiring to sell, platted this ground and offered the lots for sale at an auction held June 9...

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28 practice notes
  • 89 S.W.2d 327 (Ky.App. 1935), Holliday v. Sphar
    • United States
    • Kentucky Court of Appeals of Kentucky
    • December 20, 1935
    ...262, 200 S.W. 1059, L.R.A. 1918C, 869; Breadon v. Paugh, supra." Mathews Real Estate Co. v. National Printing & Engraving Co., 330 Mo. 190, 48 S.W.2d 911, 913, 81 A.L.R. 1039. The vendor's oral representation, or his advertisement of the sale of lots, that the land is to be wholly ......
  • 197 S.W.2d 617 (Mo. 1946), 39827, Matthews v. First Christian Church of St. Louis
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court of Missouri
    • October 14, 1946
    ...is not favored by the law. Hall v. Koehler, 347 Mo. 658, 148 S.W.2d 489; Matthews Real Estate Co. v. Natl. Printing & Engraving Co., 330 Mo. 190, 48 S.W.2d 911; Williams v. Carr, 213 Mo.App. 223, 248 S.W. 625; St. Louis Safe Deposit & Savings Bank v. Kennett Estate, 101 Mo.App. 370,......
  • 238 S.W.2d 346 (Mo. 1951), 42059, Cowherd Development Co. v. Littick
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court of Missouri
    • March 12, 1951
    ...309 Mo. 683, 274 S.W. 802; Kaesser v. Becker, 295 Mo. 93, 243 S.W. 346; Mathews Real Estate Co. v. National Printing & E. Co., 330 Mo. 190, 48 S.W.2d 911; Blackwell v. City of Lee's Summit, 326 Mo. 491, 32 S.W.2d 63; Dagley v. McIndoe, 199 Mo.App. 166, 176 S.W. 243; Fleming v. Fones, 23......
  • 330 S.W.2d 595 (Mo.App. 1959), 7801, Hanna v. Nowell
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals of Missouri
    • December 19, 1959
    ...370, 74 S.W. 474; Forsee v. Jackson, 192 Mo.App. 408, 182 S.W. 783; Mathews Real Estate Co. v. National Printing & Engraving Co., 330 Mo. 190, 48 S.W.2d 911, 81 A.L.R. 1039; Putnam v. Coates, 220 Mo.App. 218, 283 S.W. 717. [15] Compton Hill Improvement Co. v. Strauch, 162 Mo.App. 76, 14......
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28 cases
  • 89 S.W.2d 327 (Ky.App. 1935), Holliday v. Sphar
    • United States
    • Kentucky Court of Appeals of Kentucky
    • December 20, 1935
    ...262, 200 S.W. 1059, L.R.A. 1918C, 869; Breadon v. Paugh, supra." Mathews Real Estate Co. v. National Printing & Engraving Co., 330 Mo. 190, 48 S.W.2d 911, 913, 81 A.L.R. 1039. The vendor's oral representation, or his advertisement of the sale of lots, that the land is to be wholly ......
  • 197 S.W.2d 617 (Mo. 1946), 39827, Matthews v. First Christian Church of St. Louis
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court of Missouri
    • October 14, 1946
    ...is not favored by the law. Hall v. Koehler, 347 Mo. 658, 148 S.W.2d 489; Matthews Real Estate Co. v. Natl. Printing & Engraving Co., 330 Mo. 190, 48 S.W.2d 911; Williams v. Carr, 213 Mo.App. 223, 248 S.W. 625; St. Louis Safe Deposit & Savings Bank v. Kennett Estate, 101 Mo.App. 370,......
  • 238 S.W.2d 346 (Mo. 1951), 42059, Cowherd Development Co. v. Littick
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court of Missouri
    • March 12, 1951
    ...309 Mo. 683, 274 S.W. 802; Kaesser v. Becker, 295 Mo. 93, 243 S.W. 346; Mathews Real Estate Co. v. National Printing & E. Co., 330 Mo. 190, 48 S.W.2d 911; Blackwell v. City of Lee's Summit, 326 Mo. 491, 32 S.W.2d 63; Dagley v. McIndoe, 199 Mo.App. 166, 176 S.W. 243; Fleming v. Fones, 23......
  • 330 S.W.2d 595 (Mo.App. 1959), 7801, Hanna v. Nowell
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals of Missouri
    • December 19, 1959
    ...370, 74 S.W. 474; Forsee v. Jackson, 192 Mo.App. 408, 182 S.W. 783; Mathews Real Estate Co. v. National Printing & Engraving Co., 330 Mo. 190, 48 S.W.2d 911, 81 A.L.R. 1039; Putnam v. Coates, 220 Mo.App. 218, 283 S.W. 717. [15] Compton Hill Improvement Co. v. Strauch, 162 Mo.App. 76, 14......
  • Request a trial to view additional results