City of Chicago v. Galt

Decision Date22 December 1906
Citation79 N.E. 701,224 Ill. 421
CourtIllinois Supreme Court


Appeal from Cook County Court; W. L. Pond, Judge.

Petition by the city of Chicago for the confirmation of an assessment for a local improvement, in which A. T. Galt filed objections. From a judgment sustaining the objections, the city appeals. Affirmed.

Charles H. Mitchell and John M. O'Connor (James Hamilton Lewis, Corp. Counsel, and Tolman, Redfield & Sexton, of counsel), for appellant.

Huff & Cook, for appellee.


On June 19, 1905, the city of Chicago passed an ordinance providing that Clarendon avenue, from Montrose avenue to Wilson avenue, be improved by adjusting sewers, catch-basins and manholes, curbing with limestone curbings, and filling and paving with slag and granite-top macadam; the whole cost of the improvement to be paid by special assessment, in accordance with the local improvement act. The width of the roadway of Clarendon avenue to be paved is fixed by the ordinance at 38 feet. Thereafter, on October 5, 1905, the city of Chicago filed a petition in the county court of Cook county, praying that steps be taken to levy a special assessment to defray the cost of said improvement in the manner prescribed by the statute. An assessment roll was made and returned into court, showing an assessment of $5,032.50 against property owned by A. T. Galt, the appellee. Galt appeared, and filed objections to the confirmation of the assessment, alleging, among other things, that the ordinance provides for the making of an improvement upon property owned by him which has never been opened or dedicated for street purposes; that said property is not in the possession of the municipality, and no proceedings have been taken by the city to acquire the same. The court, after hearing the evidence upon the issue presented by the objections above mentioned, sustained the objections as to appellee's property, and dismissed the petition as to that property. The city of Chicago thereupon appealed to this court, and here contends that the county court erred in finding, from the evidence in the case, that a portion of the land upon which the improvements were to be constructed was the private property of Galt. Appellant stipulated on the trial in the county court that the strip of land in controversy never became a part of Clarendon avenue by dedication, and here admits that the evidence neither shows a statutory nor common-law dedication of that strip for public use as a street or highway, but contends that the right to use the strip as a part of Clarendon avenue was obtained by prescription. Clarendon avenue is located in that portion of the city of Chicago which formerly comprised the town of Lake View. It is a continuation of Halsted street from Montrose avenue north, and terminates at Lake Michigan, about five blocks-approximately a quarter of a mile-north of the point where the name of the highway is changed from Halsted street to Clarendon avenue. Proceeding north from its southern extremity, Clarendon avenue is intersected, in the following order, by Galt avenue, Windsor avenue, and Wilson avenue, all running east and west. The proposed improvement extends from Montrose avenue to Wilson avenue, a distance of three blocks, but the blocks differ in measurement from north to south. On the west side of Clarendon avenue, between Galt avenue and Windsor avenue, the appellee owns a tract of land which extends north from Galt avenue to a point 93.75 feet south of Windsor avenue, a distance of about 495 feet. This tract of land has never been subdivided, and is not included within any subdivision. As originally conveyed to Galt, it consisted of 15 acres, part of which was dedicated by Galt to form Galt avenue on the south. The matter in dispute is whether Clarendon avenue, along the 495 feet of property owned by Galt, is 66 feet wide, as contended by appellant, or is only 33 feet wide, as claimed by appellee. If the avenue is 66 feet wide, then the center of this avenue is upon the section line between sections 16 and 17, and the west 33 feet of the avenue is west of the section line. If it is but 33 feet in width, then the section line is the west line of the avenue, and Galt is the owner of the 33 feet west of that line which is claimed by the city as a part of the avenue.

In 1886 one Young, the owner of 10 acres immediately south of Galt's land, made a subdivision of that 10 acres, and dedicated 33 feet on the east side of the last-mentioned tract to the town of Lake as a part of Clarendon avenue. In 1888 one Hall platted the land adjoining Galt's property on the north, and dedicated the east 33 feet thereof to the town of Lake as a part of Clarendon avenue. Prior to the time Galt obtained title to his land, school trustees made a subdivision of land in section 16 above mentioned, and dedicated the west 33 feet of that portion of the section between Montrose avenue and Wilson avenue to the public as a part of the street now known as Clarendon avenue. Thus Clarendon avenue, as early as 1888, by statutory dedication became a public street or highway 66 feet in width from Montrose avenue to Wilson avenue, except the strip 33 feet in width immediately west of the section line, from Galt avenue on the south to a point 93.75 feet south of Windsor avenue on the north.

It is contended by appellant, however, that the strip last mentioned has been used by the public as a highway for more than 15 years, and that, under section 1 of chapter 121, proof of such user establishes the existence of a public highway or street over that strip. Most of the evidence produced in the trial...

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10 cases
  • Schroer v. Brooks
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • July 30, 1920
    ... ... Wood, 7 Mo. 389; Bell v. Dawson, 32 Mo. 79; ... Alexander v. Hickman, 34 Mo. 496; City of ... Jefferson v. Whipple, 71 Mo. 519; Fox v ... Courtney, 111 Mo. 147; State ex rel. v ... plaintiff's claimed prescriptive right-of-way ... O'Connell v. Chicago Ter. Ry. Co., 56 N.E. 357; ... Brusby Mound v. McClintock, 150 Ill. 129, 36 N.E ... 976; n of Bethel v. Prewitt, 215 Ill. 162, 74 ... N.E. 114; City of Chicago v. Galt, 224 Ill. 421, 79 ... N.E. 703; Schmidt v. Brown, 226 Ill. 590, 80 N.E ... 1073; Watson v ... ...
  • Phillips v. Leininger
    • United States
    • Illinois Supreme Court
    • October 23, 1917
    ...of this contention: County of Piatt v. Goodell, 97 Ill. 84;Russell v. City of Lincoln, 200 Ill. 511, 65 N. E. 1088;City of Chicago v. Galt, 224 Ill. 421, 79 N. E. 701;Town of Brushy Mound v. McClintock, 150 Ill. 129,36 N. E. 979;City of Chicago v. Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway Co.,......
  • Batchelder Co. v. Gustafson
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • September 19, 1975
    ... ... in length which runs from Cleveland Street on the north to Young's Lane on the south in the city of Freeport. The westerly 12 feet of the property in question is described in a plat of the area ... Mraz, 334 Ill. 67, 165 N.E. 343; Bontz v. Stear, 285 Ill. 599, 121 N.E. 176; City of Chicago v. Galt, 224 Ill. 421, 79 N.E. 701; Falter v. Packard, 219 Ill. 356, 76 N.E. 495; City of Chicago ... ...
  • Thorworth v. Scheets
    • United States
    • Illinois Supreme Court
    • October 27, 1915
    ...& Eng. Ency. of Law (2d Ed.) 1193, and cases cited. The user must be confined to a definite and specific line of way (City of Chicago v. Galt, 224 Ill. 421, 79 N. E. 701;O'Connell v. Chicago Terminal Railroad Co., 184 Ill. 308, 56 N. E. 355), and the travel by the public must be of such a n......
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