De Meritt v. Robison

CourtSupreme Court of Texas
Writing for the CourtBrown
Citation116 S.W. 796
PartiesDE MERITT v. ROBISON, Land Com'r.
Decision Date10 March 1909
116 S.W. 796
ROBISON, Land Com'r.
Supreme Court of Texas.
March 10, 1909.

Original petition for mandamus by F. J. De Meritt against J. T. Robison, Commissioner of the General Land Office, to compel respondent to accept relator's application to purchase public land. Denied.

Lock McDaniel, D. W. Doom, and D. H. Doom, for relator. R. V. Davidson, Atty. Gen., and Wm. E. Hawkins, Asst. Atty. Gen., for respondent.


De Meritt instituted this proceeding in this court to procure the issuance of a writ of mandamus to the Commissioner of the General Land Office requiring him to accept relator's applications to purchase two tracts of public land situated in Harris county; each tract containing 80 acres. The relator sought to purchase the land by virtue of the following articles of the Revised Statutes of 1895:

"Art. 3498a. All public school, university, asylum and public lands specially included under the operation of this title, all the lands now owned by the state situated within the reservation known as the `Pacific Reservation,' which were taken off the market and reserved from sale by an act approved January 22, 1883, containing valuable mineral deposits, are hereby reserved from sale or other disposition, except as herein provided, and are declared free and open to exploration and purchase under regulations prescribed by law, by citizens of the United States and those who have declared their intention of becoming such; provided, that all who have located and recorded valid claims under previous valid laws and have not abandoned same, but are engaged in developing same, shall have a prior preference right for ninety days after the passage of this title in which to relocate same under this title."

"Art. 3498j. Within twelve months after the filing of the affidavit hereinafter provided for, any person or association of persons qualified as required by article 3498a, shall have the right to purchase and obtain patent by compliance with this title, or any of the lands of the state which are specified or included in article 3498a, containing valuable deposits of kaolin, baryta, salt, marble, fire clay, iron ore, coal, oil, natural gas, gypsum, nitrates, mineral paints, asbestos, marl, natural cement, clay, onyx, mica, precious stones or any other nonmetallic mineral and stones valuable for ornamental or building purposes or other valuable building material, in legal subdivisions, in quantity not exceeding one section; provided, that where any such parties shall have heretofore expended, or shall hereafter expend, five thousand dollars in developing the aforesaid mineral resources of any of said lands, such party shall have the right to buy one additional section and no more, and to include in the purchase any section or part thereof on which the work may have been done," etc.

The relator alleged that in pursuance of the law he had the said lands surveyed and the field notes returned to the General Land Office, which were approved as correct by...

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16 cases
  • State v. Balli, 8187; Motion No. 16405.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • 20 Diciembre 1944
    ...76; City of Galveston v. Menard, 23 Tex. 349; State v. Jadwin, Tex.Civ.App., 85 S.W. 490, writ refused; De Merit v. Robison, 102 Tex. 358, 116 S.W. 796. The rule of strict construction would be applicable to the granting of land on an island even though Section 5 had not been included in th......
  • Severance v. Patterson, 09–0387.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • 30 Marzo 2012 held by the state or nation in trust for the whole people.” 10); [370 S.W.3d 716]De Meritt v. Robison Land Comm'r, 102 Tex. 358, 116 S.W. 796, 797 (1909) (holding “[i]n the contemplation of law,” soil lying below the line of ordinary high tide, “was not land, but water”); see alsoTex. Na......
  • Butler v. Sadler, 86
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Civil Appeals of Texas
    • 27 Enero 1966
    ...line of ordinary high tide '(i)n contemplation of law it was not land, but water.' De Merit v. Robison, Land Commissioner, 102 Tex. 358, 116 S.W. 796, Article 5323, V.A.T.S., (derived from Acts of 1919, 36th Legislature, R.S., p. 315, Ch. 163) provided for the sale of unsurveyed school land......
  • State v. Balli, 11220.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • 23 Junio 1943 grants of the nature here discussed both under the common law and civil law extend to sea, De Meritt v. Robison, 102 Tex. 358, 361, 116 S.W. 796, 797, the rights of the holders thereof extend to and are subject to the sovereign's definition of the seashore as a part of the sea, as well a......
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