Troll v. City of St. Louis

Decision Date04 May 1914
Docket NumberNo. 14834.,14834.
Citation168 S.W. 167,257 Mo. 626
PartiesTROLL v. CITY OF ST. LOUIS et al.
CourtMissouri Supreme Court

Woodson and Bond, JJ., dissenting.

In Banc. Error to St. Louis Circuit Court ; Wm. M. Kinsey, Judge.

Action to quiet title by Harry Troll, administrator in charge of the estate of Murdoch & Dickson, against the City of St. Louis and others. Decree for defendants, and plaintiff brings error. Affirmed.

John M. Dickson, of St. Louis, for plaintiff in error. E. T. & C. B. Allen, Perry Post Taylor, Geo. W. Lubke, and Nagel & Kirby, all of St. Louis, for certain defendants in error. Robert & Robert, of St. Louis, for defendant in error Chicago, B. & Q. Ry. Co. Charles W. Bates and Benjamin H. Charles, both of St. Louis, for defendant in error City of St. Louis.

LAMM, C. J.

This suit is under former section 650 (now 2535) to try and to determine title to real estate in the city of St. Louis. The pleadings cover 79 pages of print. Absent any question raised on their sufficiency, we shall not reproduce even a summary of them. Presently something more will be said of them. For present purposes it will do to say that they are in scope and object sufficient to raise the propositions discussed by counsel.

Dates are of significance. In 1871 Charles K. Dickson and John J. Murdoch were, and for a score or more of years had been, partners in St. Louis dealing under the firm name and style of Murdoch & Dickson. Possibly they were general partners as real estate dealers, but the scope of the partnership is not clear. In 1871 Dickson died, and Murdoch, as surviving partner, took upon himself the burden of administering upon the partnership estate under the auspices of the probate court, giving a bond therein in the penal sum of $125,000. In 1873 Murdoch, having theretofore made two elaborate settlements in that court, as surviving partner made a statutory deed of assignment of the partnership assets to one John G. Priest for the benefit of creditors of Murdoch & Dickson. Subsequently in that same year, failing to obey an order of the court to give an additional bond as surviving partner, he was removed. From the record facts before us, we have no doubt the firm owed in excess of its assets and was insolvent. We take judicial notice of the historical fact that the times were ones of severe financial depression and falling prices. Among the firm's liabilities of over $200,000 was a liability of over $80,000 to Dickson, and one of $34,000 to Eads, and one of about $5,000 to Barton Bates, trustee. Dickson died testate, his will nominating Barton Bates and James B. Eads, two of his friends, as executors. It also created a trust in the residue and remainder of his estate, and they were nominated trustees of the trust estate. There were excluded from this "residue and remainder" only an annuity to his sister and his mansion house and grounds and personal property in and about the same and appurtenances to that establishment, devised to his wife absolutely. They qualified as executors, and in 1890 settled finally his individual estate and were...

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