Susquehanna Boom Co v. West Branch Boom Co

Decision Date07 January 1884
CourtU.S. Supreme Court

110 U.S. 57
3 S.Ct. 438
28 L.Ed. 69
January 7, 1884.

W. A. Wallace, for plaintiffs in error.

S. D. Ball, for defendant in error.


The Susquehanna Boom Company was incorporated by the general assembly of Pennsylvania on the twenty-sixth of March, 1846, and as early as 1849 erected under its charter a boom in the west branch of the Susquehanna river, at Williamsport, for the purpose of securing logs and other lumber floating in the river. Its charter did not purport to confer upon it any exclusive rights to the use of the river above the boom for bringing logs down. On the twenty-sixth of March, 1849, the West Branch Boom Company was incorporated to construct and maintain a boom on the south side of the west branch at Lock Haven, about 25 miles above Williamsport. Under its charter this company was not allowed to extend its boom more than half way across the river, but it could 'erect such piers, side

Page 58

branches, or sheer-booms as might be necessary. With this authority a sheer-boom was constructed in the north half of the stream. This suit was begun in a state court of Pennsylvania to enjoin the West Branch Company from maintaining § ch a sheer-boom, on the ground that under its charter no such structure could be placed by it on the north side of the branch. The supreme court of the state, on appeal, decided that it could put in and maintain such a sheer-boom, and adjudged accordingly. To reverse that judgment this writ of error was brought. The West Branch Company now moves to dismiss the writ because no federal question is involved. It is clear to our minds that we have no jurisdiction. The constitution protects state corporations in such contracts with the state as their charters imply. The Susquehanna Company, whose rights are involved, was given full authority to erect and maintain its boom at Williamsport. That undoubtedly implied the right to use the river as others used it for bringing logs to the boom. The West Branch Company was also authorized to construct its boom in the south half of the river at Lock Haven. Whether it could under its chapter put a sheer-boom in the north half, seems to have been a question with the Susquehanna Company, and this suit was brought to have that question settled. That is clearly all there was in the case up to the time of the final decision in the supreme court, whose judgment we are now called on to review. There is...

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6 cases
  • Neil v. State of Vermont
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • 4 Abril 1892
    ...350; Day v. Gallup, 2 Wall. 97; Edwards v. Elliott, 21 Wall. 532; Warfield v. Chaffe, 91 U. S. 690; Susquehanna Boom Co. v. West Branch Boom Co., 110 U. S. 57, 3 Sup. Ct. Rep. 438; Clark v. Pennsylvania, 128 U. S. 395, 9 Sup. Ct. Rep. 2, The only question considered by the supreme court in ......
  • Prensa Insular De Puerto Rico v. People of Puerto Rico, 4512.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • 7 Junio 1951 addition to those cited in Romero v. People of Puerto Rico, supra, 182 F.2d at page 868, see Susquehanna Boom Co. v. West Branch Boom Co., 1884, 110 U.S. 57, 3 S.Ct. 438, 28 L.Ed. 69; Simmerman v. Nebraska, 1885, 116 U.S. 54, 6 S.Ct. 333, 29 L.Ed. 535; Loeber v. Schroeder, 1893, 149 U.S.......
  • Palmer v. Hussey
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • 15 Noviembre 1886
    ...1 Black, 350; Hoyt v. Shelden, 1 Black, 518; Worthy v. Commissions, 9 Wall. 611; Warfield v. Chaffe, 91 U. S. 690; Susquehanna Boom Co. v. West Branch Boom Co., 110 U. S. 57; S. C. 3 Sup. Ct. Rep. 438; Simmerman v. Nebraska, 116 U. S. 54; S. C. 6 Sup. Ct. Rep. In the complaint it was allege......
  • International Indem. Co. v. Coachman, 72267
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • 6 Noviembre 1986
    ...a state court decision by the Supreme Court of the United States. See generally 28 U.S.C.A. § 1257; Susquehanna Boom Co. v. West Branch Boom Co., 110 U.S. 57, 3 S.Ct. 438, 28 L.Ed. 69 (1884). By way of substantive opposition to the expert's testimony, appellant relied at trial, and relies o......
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