18 Copp's Land Owner 1 (1891-1892)

handle is hein.journals/coplndow22 and id is 1 raw text is: COPP'S LAND-OWNER.

VOL. XVI1 [.

WASHINGTON, D. C., APRIL 1, 1891.

* SEE second page of cover for Index.
Three pieces Valentine Scrip, 40 acres each.
Price $100 peracre. For sale by BRAINARD &
LE BARNn-S, Washington, D. C.
SOLDIERS ADDITIONAL.
I have one fractional soldiers' addi-
tional homestead certificate for 10.58 acres.
It will take double its area or less. Price
$20 an acre in Washington, D. C. Send
for scrip circular.
HENRY N. COPP.
GENERAL AcT OF MARci 3, 1891.
The act of March 3, 1891, repealing the tim-
ber culture law and for other purposes as printed
in the issue of the LAND OWNER of March 15,
1891, and sent out by the editor by the thousand
early in March was taken from the Congres-
sional Record. In passing thereafter through
the hands of the-enrolling clerks the language
of that law was considerably improved, from a
grammatical and rhetorical stand point. The
word reservoirs was omitted very properly
from the amended section 2288 under the third
section. The corrected text of the law is given
in this issue of the LAND OWNER.
RESIGNATION OF JUDGE GROFF.
There is universal regret in land circles that
Judge Groff's ill health has compelled him to
resign the Comnissionership of the General
Land 0ffice. The confinement of oflice life has
rendered this action necessary.  The state-
ments published in the N. Y. IWorld and else-
where of serious disagreements with the Secre-
tary of the Interior are without foundation and
have created considerable amusement in Wash-
ington.
It is understood that the land service will not
lose Judge Groff's long experience and great
ability in adjudicating land titles, as the belief
is general that lie will be appointed on the land
board, recently formed by Congress, to pass
upon the private land claims located in New
Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado and
Wyoming.
ACTING COMMISSIONER STONE.
The precedent set in case of Col. Stock-
slager, as well as the civil service rules of pro-
motion, should be followed by President Iarri-
son in filling the vacancy made by the resigna-
tion of Judge Groff.
Governor Stone should be made Commis-
sioner of the General Land Office without delay.
He has had nearly two years' experience as

Assistant and Acting Commissioner and his
record otherwise demands this recognition.
He lifted the General Land Office out of the
ruts of How not to do it and accomplished
large results with the inadequate force at his
command. His rare executive ability and keen
insight will be of great value to the land service.
MINERAL DIVISION OF THE GENERAL LAND OFFICE.
Col. H. G. Potter, the present industrious
chief of the Mineral Division of the General
Land Office, deserves credit for trying to get
that division on a common sense basis and out
of the absurd, hair-splitting, technical methods
that characterized prior administrations.
WM. J. JOHNSTON, of Holcomb & Johnston,
629 F St., Washington, D. C., as agent for the
estate of the late AV. C. Hill, offers for sale the
following classes of Land Scrip, viz: Porter-
field, Valentine, Girard, Wear, Sioux Half
Breed, and Soldiers' Additional Homesteads,
both full sizes and fractions.
PRACTICE.
AXFORD VS. SHANKS ET AL.
March 3, 1891-Transferee.--In view of the pro-
visions of section 7, act of March 3, 1891, re-
pealing the timber culture law, the contest in
this case is dismissed.
FIRST ASSISTANT SECRETARY CHANDLER to
Comrmissioner Groff, March 18, 1891.
I have considered the appeal of A. J.
Preston and I. S. Keator, transferees, from
your decision dated August 19,1889, hold-
ing for cancellation the pre-emption cash
entry of David Shanks for the S. W. +- of
Sec. 34, T. 115 N., R. 52 W., Watertown,
S. Dakota.
The record shows that he made a pre-
emption filing on the land in question May
1, 1879, alleging settlement thereon same
day. On February 17, 1880, he made
cash entry for the same, receiving receipt
and final certificate therefor.
May 28, 1887, Richard H. Axford ini-
tiated contest against said entry.  In his
affidavit of contest lie alleges in substance
that Shanks never established a residence
on said land; that there was no house on
the land before or at the time he made
said entry ; that there never were any im-
provements made on said land, and no
breaking done thereon before the time said
entry was made.
The affidavits of contest were forwarded
to your office by tie local officers. A
hearing was ordered, which     was duly
had before the register and receiver on
October 26, 1887, at which the contestant

No. 1.

VOL. XV11f.

appeared in person and by attorney, and
the claimant appeared by his attorneys,
Seward & Eddy.
Considering the testimony submitted,
the local officers, on December 8, 1887,
recommended the entry for cancellation.
The matter coming before your office
for action upon appeal, you affirmed the
decision of the register and receiver, from
which an appeal has been taken to this
Department, and A. J. Preston and I. S.
Keator, claiming to be the transferees of
the tract in question, for a valuable con-
sideration, have, by complying with rule
102 of the Rules of Practice, intervened
and become parties to the case.
Said entry was made more than eight
years before the hearing was had on said
contest. The proof was regular and for-
mal, and was adjudged at the time by the
register and receiver to be sufficient.
It has been allowed to stand all these
years, and the presumption in favor of its
validity should only be overcome by clear
and positive testimony.
Contestant's evidence consists of the
statements made by two witnesses, Frank
Houghton and Leverett C. Smith. Both
of these witnesses, as appears from the
description of their residences as disclosed
in the testimony, lived about four miles
from the land in question. Houghton's
testimony shows that he did not see the
tract until October 27, 1879, when he says
he crossed it in the morning and again on
on his way back at night. Smith was
with him that day. It is shown by the
cross-examination of both of these wit-
nesses, that neither of them saw the land
at any other time from the date of Shanks
settlement until his entry was made.
They were together and passed over the
tract twice the same day.
The burden of proof is on contestant to
show the truth of the matters alleged in
his affidavit of contest by such a weight
of evidence as to carry conviction to the
mind that the entry was fraudulently made.
It is shown by an affidavit filed by I.
S. Keator, the orignal transferee in the
case, that On the fifth day of March,
1880, he purchased from David Shanks,
the S. W. J of See. 34, T. 115 N., R. 52 W.,
embraced in cash entry No. 2927, in the
Watertown land district, Dakota; that
said purchase was made in good faith and
for a valuable consideration that since
said purchase deponent has transferred
an undivided half interest in said land to
George C. Preston, and he to A. J. Preston,

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