16 Copp's Land Owner 1 (1889)

handle is hein.journals/coplndow20 and id is 1 raw text is: COPP'S LAND-OWNER.


APRIL 1, 1889.                               No. 1.

Several numbers of Volume One of Copp's
LAND OWNER have been reprinted, and a few
complete sets of Volumes 1 to 14 can now be
SEE Table of Contents on second page of cover.
PARTIES who have volume 12 of the LAND-
OWNER and desire to sell it, are requested to
communicate immediately with the editor of
THE act of Congress found on page 288 of the
March 15 LAND-OWNER was taken from the Con-
gressional Record and marked approved to the
best of the editor's information. Subscribers
are requested to change the date of approval
from 4th to 2d of March, and strike out the
word already in the last line of section 5.
AARON- H. NEiSON, assistant chief of Contest
Division of the General Land Office, was ad-
mitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the
United States on March 18, 1889. He was in-
troduced to the courtby Solicitor-General Jenks.
THE New York World of March 18, 1889, page
5, contains a scathing article on a recent grad-
uate of the General Land Office named W. B.
During the last administration, a Con-
test Division (H) and a Board of Review
(0) were created in the General Land Of-
fice. To the former are assigned for de-
cision the contested pre-emption, home-
stead and timber culture cases. This di-
vision has proved its worth and should
stand as at present constituted.
But it is the general sentiment that the
Board of Review is not a success. Its
function is to duplicate previous exami-
nations and the comparatively few errors
discovered by such re-examination do not
repay the cost of the work.
The Division of Public Lands (C) is so
overloaded with returns to be posted on
the tract books and with correspondence
with officials and individuals thatit should
be relieved of the examination of proofs
Since the examination of contested cases
has been taken from the Pre-emption Di-
vision (G), that division may well be
To Division C should be added the cor-
respondence now attended to by the Pre-

emption Division, such as general in-
quiries, applications for amendments of
filings and all other questions preliminary
to examination of proof. It should con-
tinue the posting, as at present, together
with all correspondence touching home-
stead and timber culture- claims prior to
examination of proofs. The several mis-
cellaneous desks now there could remain.
A new division should be organized to
be composed of the most experienced
clerks who display legal aptitude and who
should be allowed liberal salaries. The
duty of this proposed division would be
the examination of homestead, pre-emp-
tion, timber culture and miscellaneous
proofa, and the necessary work connected
with perfecting and forwarding the same
to the patenting division. This proposed
division should be subdivided into sec-
tions with competent chiefs who should
be responsibe for the discipline of, and the
amount of work accomplished by, their
The only other division in which there
appears to be a marked need of improve-
ment is the Mineral Lands Division (N).
The law of May 10, 1872, under which
this division operates, is probably the
simplest and least ambiguous of the pub-
lic land laws. The only difficulty under
it, the matter of conflicts, is referred, in
clearly defined terms, to the courts for
determination. The principal cause of
delay in this division is the magnifying
into importance of insignificant, hair-
splitting questions that should not con-
sume a second thought. There is also
much time used in duplication of work
and in many cases, triplication of exami-
nation. Another trouble this division
labors under is the transfer of its exper-
ienced clerks to other divisions. Natu-
rally employees want variety and change
of labor. But the interests of claimants
must suffer to secure such change, and ap-
plications for transfer should be carefully
In general, there is too much time
wasted in all the divisions in making
weekly reports of work done and work
pending. These reports are consolidated
by the chief clerk and sent to the Secre-
tary. A quarterly report, at most, is all
that is needed. The time spent in com-
piling, figuring, arranging, copying, and
typewriting these reports could much better
be used in actually doing the work and
getting the cases disposed of.
A rearrangement of rooms could be

made to advantage to bring the divisions
using the tract books as near Division C
as possible. An elevator on the 9th St.
side of the building would soon repay its
cost in the saving of time.
Private Claim.-Land suspended from sale
or entry, by order of surveyor-general,
pending the final location of a private
claim, is not subject to appropriation un-
der the homestead law.-Secretary Vilas
to Commissioner Stockslager, February 7,
Commutation.-A homesteader who, by com-
mutation, makes final entry of a part of the
!and covered by his original entry, exhausts
thereby his right under the general homestead
law.-Secretary Vilas to Commissioner Stock-
slager, January 12, 1889.
Commutation - Repayment. - Repayment, with
the right to thereafter submit the ordinary
homestead proof, cannot be accorded to a
homesteader who has made commutation
proof which is found insufficient; but he may
submit new commutation proof within the
life of the original entry.
Commissioner Stocklager, January   18,
I have considered the appeal of August
Polzin from your office decision of October
12, 1887, rejecting his application for re-
payment of purchase money paid on com-
mutation proof under homestead entry for
the N. W. I of Sec. 30, T. 101 N., R. 67
W., Mitchell, Dakota, land district.
Polzin made homestead entry for said
land April 10, 1883, and advertised to
make final commutation proof thereunder
on February 28, 1885, before the clerk of
the district court.
Proof was made March 4, 1885, before
the officer named in the advertisement.
Accompanying the proof was the affidavit
of the claimant setting up that the delay
in making said proof was occasioned by
the sickness of his child, and that it was
made as soon as possible after the day ad-
vertised; and also the affidavit of J. E.
Cone, a physician, dated March 4, 1885,
stating that February 23, 1885, he was
called to the residence of August Polzin
on Sec. 30, T. 101, R. 67, to treat profes-
sionally the child of said Polzin; that he
found said child dangerously sick, in
which condition he has remained ever


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