O'Connell v. O'Conor

CourtSupreme Court of Illinois
Writing for the CourtBOGGS
Citation60 N.E. 1063,191 Ill. 215
Decision Date19 June 1901

191 Ill. 215
60 N.E. 1063


Supreme Court of Illinois.

June 19, 1901.

Appeal from circuit court, La Salle county; Charles Blanchard, Judge.

Suit by Martin A. O'Conor against Dennis O'Connell and others. From a decree for plaintiff, defendant O'Connell appeals. Reversed.

[191 Ill. 215]James J. Conway and Brewer & Strawn, for appellant.

Duncan & Doyle, for appellee.


This was a bill in chancery exhibited in the circuit court of La Salle county by the appellee, Martin O'Conor, against the appellant and against other persons who are not parties to this appeal. The bill alleged that the complainant, Martin A. O'Conor (appellee here), stood seised of the title in fee to lot No. 6, block 116, in the city of La Salle; that the appellant had caused to be recorded a deed from the master in chancery of said La Salle county purporting to convey to him (the appellant) the said lot in pursuance of a sale made under a decree of foreclosure [191 Ill. 216]entered in the La Salle circuit court, but that said master's deed conveyed no title whatever, and was a cloud on appellee's title. The bill prayed for a decree canceling said master's deed as a cloud on the title of the appellee. The parties to the bill, other than the appellant, were defaulted. He filed an answer, and on a hearing a decree was entered in accordance with the prayer of the bill, and appellant has perfected this appeal to bring the decree in review in this court.

[60 N.E. 1064]

The decree appealed from recites as the finding of fact relative to the title of the appellee (complainant below) that one Ellen O'Conor, mother of appellee, entered into actual possession of the lot in question in July, 1874, under the claim that she was the owner thereof, and continued in the open, adverse, notorious, exclusive, and continuous possession thereof for a period of more than 20 years, and thereby became the owner of the title to the lot in fee simple, and after the expiration of said period conveyed the lot to the appellee, and delivered to him the possession thereof. Ellen O'Conor, whose possession of the said lot is relied on to establish the title of appellee thereto, was the wife of Michael O'Conor, now deceased. In 1874 (the date of the beginning of the alleged period of 20 years' possession aforesaid) the family consisted of the husband, Michael O'Conor, the wife, said Ellen O'Conor, and three sons and a daughter, namely, Martin (the appellee), Thomas, Patrick J., and Mary Ann (now Keegan). The family had previously lived on a farm near La Salle, and in 1874 a house was built on the lot, which was occupied by the family as a residence. Michael O'Conor lived there with his wife and their children, including the appellee, until his death, which occurred in 1885. The position of the appellee is that the lot was vacant and unoccupied in 1874, and that the wife then took possession of it, and had the dwelling house built upon it out of her own means, and that, though the husband and wife and their sons and [191 Ill. 217]daughter resided in the property, the possession and control of the property were exclusively in the wife, and that she claimed to be the owner thereof. In 1868, some six years prior to the construction of the house on the lot, one Appleton R. Hillyer obtained a tax deed for the lot. Whether he had other claim of title does not appear. In 1880 Hillyer conveyed such title or interest as he had to Mary A. O'Conor (now Keegan), a daughter of said Ellen O'Conor, and who then resided with said Michael and Ellen, her father and mother, in the family home on the lot. Mary A. held the title so acquired until 1882, when she conveyed it to Patrick J. O'Conor, her brother, an unmarried man of mature years, who also resided in the home with his father, Michael, and his mother, said Ellen, and his brothers, the appellee and said Thomas. In May, 1884, Patrick J. mortgaged the lot to one John O'Connell, Sr., father of the appellant, to secure a note in the sum of $250; and in October, 1884, Patrick J., who still resided in the same house with his father and mother and the appellee, on said lot, executed a deed to said Ellen O'Conor, his mother, purporting to convey the title to her. This deed contained a condition hereinafter set forth. The mortgage to said John O'Connell, Sr., father of appellant, and the deed to said Ellen O'Conor, were duly recorded in order as they bore date, respectively. A decree of foreclosure, to which said Patrick J. and said Ellen O'Conor were parties, was entered on this mortgage in the circuit court of La Salle county; and the appellant, Dennis O'Connell, purchased the lot at the sale made by the master in chancery in pursuance of the decree, and, in default of redemption, received a deed for the lot from the master. The decree in the case at bar, now brought under consideration by this appeal, orders this master's deed be canceled of record, and that it be for naught esteemed.

When the mortgage was executed by Patrick J. O'Conor to John O'Connell, Sr., now deceased, the only paper [191 Ill. 218]title to the lot, so far as this record discloses, was in Patrick J. He lived in the house on the lot, a member of a family composed of his father, his mother (the said Ellen O'Conor), his brother Martin (the appellee), and Thomas, another brother; the sister, Mary A., having intermarried with one John C. Keegan, and removed to the home of her husband. Thomas O'Conor was involved in trouble of a criminal character, the exact nature whereof is not clearly made known. He had been confined in jail under the charge against him, and had recovered his liberty, but feared further prosecution under an indictment against him, and it was necessary to secure money to assist him. Dennis O'Connell, the appellant, and John O'Connell, sons of John O'Connell, Sr., testified that said Thomas O'Conor and the appellee, Martin A. O'Conor, came to the home of John O'Connell, Sr., their father, to induce said John...

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5 cases
  • Springfield & N.E. Traction Co. v. Warrick
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • April 19, 1911
    ...be dismissed. The maxim is here emphatically applied, he who seeks equity must do equity.’ 2 Story's Eq. Jur. § 639; O'Connell v. O'Conor, 191 Ill. 215, 60 N. E. 1063. Where the compensation can be made in money, courts of equity will relieve against forfeitures and compel the party to acce......
  • Henderson v. Kibbie
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • October 24, 1904
    ...appellees should pay all the costs which had accrued in the proceeding. Decker v. Patton, 120 Ill. 464, 11 N. E. 897;O'Connell v. O'Conor, 191 Ill. 215, 60 N. E. 1063;Carpenter v. Plagge, 192 Ill. 82, 61 N. E. 530. The decree will therefore be affirmed, as of the 25th day of June, 1904, exc......
  • Mosso v. Lee, 2926.
    • United States
    • Nevada Supreme Court of Nevada
    • February 4, 1931
    ...be dismissed. The maxim is here emphatically applied, he who seeks equity must do equity.' 2 Story's Eq. Jur. § 639; O'Connell v. O'Conor, 191 Ill. 215, 60 N.E. 1063. Where the compensation can be made in courts of equity will relieve against forfeitures and compel the party to accept reaso......
  • Piot v. Davis
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • October 26, 1909
    ...subject of consideration in a suit to foreclose a mortgage. Gage v. Perry, supra; Bozarth v. Landers, 113 Ill. 181;O'Connell v. O'Conor, 191 Ill. 215, 60 N. E. 1063. It is finally contended that the facts averred in the bill of complaint, and proven, were not sufficient to entitle the compl......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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