Saddler v. Pickard

Decision Date01 June 1909
Citation121 N.W. 374,142 Iowa 691
PartiesCHARLES SADDLER, Appellant, v. CHARLES PICKARD, Administrator of the Estate of ALEXANDER MILLER, Deceased
CourtIowa Supreme Court

Appeal from Van Buren District Court.--HON. M. A. ROBERTS, Judge.

ALEXANDER Miller died October 4, 1905, and Charles Pickard was appointed administrator of his estate. For several years a stepson, Charles Saddler, had, prior to his death, rendered services for him, and furnished some supplies, and a claim therefor in the sum of $ 300 was presented to the administrator of the estate. This was duly approved and allowed. Thereafter a son, George Miller, filed an application to have the order of allowance set aside. This was done, and said Miller and a daughter of deceased, S. A Gillespie, were permitted to and did defend in the name of the administrator. Upon hearing the claim was rejected. The claimant appeals.


Walker & McBeth, for appellant.

E. L McCoid, for appellee.



The deceased was the owner of eighty acres of land, and, as he had attained the age of eighty-two years, required assistance in farming this land for five or six years prior to his death. At different times the claimant, a stepson, who resided several miles distant, with the assistance of his minor sons and employees, had put in the crop, harvested it and the hay, cut up his corn, cut and hauled his firewood, and carried to him feed for his chickens and corn meal for his table. On several occasions, upon completion of work, he was shown to have said to claimant that, though then without money, he should be paid sometime. No word or act of claimant prior to the decedent's death indicated an intention that the services should be gratious. There was evidence of the value of services, and, but for the court's finding that these were rendered without intention of being compensated, the claim in some amount must have been allowed. The only evidence, if any, tending to support the finding, was that of several witnesses, received over objection, to the effect that, at a meeting of the heirs to settle the estate, claimant had stated that deceased owed him nothing at the time of his death. This was contradicted by other witnesses, but may be conceded to be sufficient, for the purposes of this appeal, to preclude any interference with the court's conclusion on the facts, provided any such issue was presented for decision. No defense that the services were intended by claimant to be gratuitous was pleaded. Was this necessary, in order to raise that issue?


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