Westbrook v. Ball

Decision Date17 January 1955
Docket NumberNo. 39441,39441
Citation77 So.2d 274,222 Miss. 788
PartiesCharlie E. WESTBROOK v. Mrs. Nannie G. BALL.
CourtMississippi Supreme Court

Gordon & Gordon, Liberty, for appellant.

Fred A. Anderson, Jr., Gloster, for appellee.


On January 2, 1946, J. F. Ball conveyed to Charlie E. Westbrook, appellant herein, certain lands in Amite County. One-sixteenth of the minerals had been reserved by a predecessor in title of J. F. Ball, and J. F. Ball, when he conveyed to Charlie Westbrook, reserved 15/16 of the minerals, the reservation reading as follows:

'The grantor retains all of the oil, gas, and other minerals excepting sand and gravel, in, on, and underlying, and as may be mined and produced from said land, together with rights to go upon, enter, to explore for, drill for, mine, store, transport, and remove all of said minerals at any and all times from and after the date hereof. The grantor retains for himself a 15/16 of said minerals, and the remaining 1/16 was retained by F. A. Anderson, in deed to the grantor herein. It is agreed and understood that the grantee and his assigns are to receive the cash bonuses and delay rentals payable under any oil, gas, and mineral lease executed upon said land. All royalties payable will go to the grantor.'

J. F. Ball died in 1949, leaving a last will and testament by which he devised all his property to his wife, Mrs. Nannie G. Ball, the appellee here.

Bill of complaint was filed by appellant for a construction of the mineral reservation, appellant contending that the deed is ambiguous; that it was the intent of the parties that appellant have the exclusive right to execute oil, gas and mineral leases, and asking for a construction of the deed holding the reservation to be a reservation of royalty only. Demurrers were filed to the bill of complaint, which were sustained, the chancellor being of the opinion that there was no ambiguity in the deed and that appellant owned no interest whatsoever in the minerals and only has the right to the bonus money and the delay rentals if and when a lease has been executed, but that there is no authority in the deed, express or implied, for the appellant to execute a lease. An interlocutory appeal was allowed, as the issues raised by the demurrer were determinative of the principles in the case.

The words 'royalty' and 'minerals' have a well defined meaning as separate and distinct estates when one is compared to the other. Palmer v. Crews, 203 Miss....

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19 cases
  • Pursue Energy Corp. v. Perkins
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • February 28, 1990
    ...of royalty deed); Rogers v. Morgan, 250 Miss. 9, 164 So.2d 480 (1964) (interpretation of royalty conveyance); Westbrook v. Ball, 222 Miss. 788, 77 So.2d 274 (1955) (case holding re-adopted by Thornhill Court); Oldham v. Fortner, 221 Miss. 732, 74 So.2d 824 (1954) (interpretation of deed exc......
  • Thornhill v. System Fuels, Inc.
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • April 6, 1988
    ...Mounger v. Pittman, 235 Miss. 85, 108 So.2d 565 (1959), infra. Ford v. Jones, 226 Miss. 716, 85 So.2d 215 (1956); Westbrook v. Ball, 222 Miss. 788, 77 So.2d 274 (1955). Another type of mineral interest ownership is a royalty interest. This interest only becomes meaningful if there is a comm......
  • Rogers v. Morgan, 43097
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • May 25, 1964
    ...gas; (3) the owner has the right to grant leases, and (4) the owner has the right to receive bonuses and delay rentals. Westbrook v. Ball, 222 Miss. 788, 77 So.2d 274; Palmer v. Crews, 203 Miss. 806, 36 So.2d 430, 4 A.L.R.2d In the light of this case, and an examination of the Bankston inst......
  • Harris v. Griffith, 44810
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • May 20, 1968
    ...the printed habendum clause, granting the right of ingress and egress for the purpose of drilling, might have. Westbrook v. Ball, 222 Miss. 788, 77 So.2d 274 (1955), is not contrary to our conclusion. Grantor, owning the surface and 15/16 of the minerals, conveyed the property (in effect th......
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