Grinnell v. Railroad Company
103 U.S. 739 (1880)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Grinnell v. Railroad Company, 103 U.S. 739 (1880)

Grinnell v. Railroad Company

103 U.S. 739

Syllabus

1. The grant made to Iowa by the Act of May 15, 1856, c. l8, 11 Stat. 9, to aid in the construction of a railroad from Davenport to Council Bluffs, is in praesenti, and, with certain exceptions therein specified, it vested in the state the title to every section of public land designated by odd numbers for six miles in width on each side of the road when the line thereof should be definitely fixed.

2. The act authorized the state, subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, to select, within the limit of fifteen miles of the road, land in alternate sections equal in amount to that which, within the six-mile limit, had been sold or otherwise appropriated by the United States. Quaere, does the right to any particular section or part of section, beyond the six-mile limit, vest in the state before the selection of it has been reported to and approved by the proper officer?

3. After the lands had been duly certified to the state or to the railroad company to which she transferred them, the legal title thereto was subject to be defeated only by the United States should there be a breach of any condition annexed to the grant, and it was not divested by a change of the location of part of the line of road authorized by the Act of June 2, 1864, c. 103, 13 Stat. 95, although they are not situate within twenty miles of the relocated line. Subsequent settlers could therefore acquire no right thereto under the preemption or the homestead laws.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

Page 103 U. S. 740

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