77 F. 106 (3rd Cir. 1896), 13, Forest Oil Co. v. Crawford

Docket Nº:13.
Citation:77 F. 106
Case Date:November 27, 1896
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Page 106

77 F. 106 (3rd Cir. 1896)




No. 13.

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit.

November 27, 1896

Page 107

         The findings of fact were as follows:

         (1) The parties to this suit, their residence, and the subject-matter of the action are as stated above. The interest sought to be thereby recovered exceeds $2,000 in value. The defendant corporation was in possession of the land for oil and gas purposes when suit was brought. (2) William Crawford, the grandfather of the plaintiff, was the owner in fee of the land involved in this suit, and, being seised thereof, made his will, dated February 27, 1843, and died in 1846. His will was duly admitted to probate by the register of Washington county, Pa. and a copy thereof, marked 'Exhibit A,' is attached hereto, and made part of these findings. By said will he devised the premises in dispute as follows: 'I will and devise to my son Matthew and to his children my old farm, adjoining Mark Kelso's and others', provided, however, at the end of one year after my decease, or when called upon for it, he shall pay to his mother the sum of three hundred dollars in addition to the sum as above bequeathed to her; and he shall pay, also, to my son Oliver's child, when it shall become of age the sum of two hundred dollars; but, if the said child shall die before it shall become of age, I will that he be altogether exonerated from the payment of the said two hundred dollars.' (3) That said Matthew Crawford, the devisee named, had, at the time his father executed said will, seven living children, of whom the plaintiff was one. After the making of said will, and before the death of William Crawford, the testator, another child was born to said Matthew, and after the death of the testator five other children were born to Matthew. Matthew Crawford died September 30, 1894, leaving to survive him twelve of said children, and the children of his son James Crawford, who died about 1890. (4) Matthew Crawford, on December 4, 1890, in consideration of $500 in cash, a royalty of one-eighth the oil, and $600 for each gas well utilized, executed to T. J. Vandergrift a lease, for oil and gas purposes, of land which included the premises in dispute. A copy of said lease, marked 'Exhibit B,' is hereto attached, and made part of these findings. This lease was duly assigned by T. J. Vandergrift to the Woodland Oil Company, which company, on March 20, 1892, entered upon said premises, drilled several wells, and obtained oil in paying quantities. On November 27, 1894, the Woodland Oil Company sold and transferred the lease and wells to the Forest Oil Company, the defendant, which company has since claimed and held exclusive possession of the land occupied in operating the wells under the lease. During the lifetime of Matthew Crawford the royalty arising under the lease was paid to him.

Page 108

         The will of William Crawford, attached as an exhibit to the second finding of fact, was in full as follows:

         I, William Crawford, of Mount Pleasant township, in Washington county and state of Pennsylvania, do make this, my last will and testament, as follows, vix.: I will and bequeath to my wife, Nancy, the sum of three thousand dollars in cash, to be paid her at the expiration of one year after my decease, and I will to her the whole of my household goods and furniture, and her choice of the cows. I allow to her also the use of the dwelling house in which we now live, together with the use of the garden and of half the orchard during her life. It is my will, also, that she be found in a quiet horse at all times when she wants to ride, and that she be always kept in a good cow, and that the cow be always kept and taken care of for her, and also that she be always kept in plenty of wood ready cut, and in as much coal as she can make use of, and, if necessary, that her fires be put on for her. And I will, also, that she be furnished annually with 15 lbs. of hackled flax, 15 lbs. of wool, 3 cwt. of pork, 50 lbs. of sugar, 30 lbs. of coffee, 8 lbs. of...

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