Cedar Rapids & Missouri River R. Co. v. Herring
110 U.S. 27 (1884)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Cedar Rapids & Missouri River R. Co. v. Herring, 110 U.S. 27 (1884)

Cedar Rapids and Missouri River Railroad Company v. Herring

Argued December 6-7, 1883

Decided January 7, 1884

110 U.S. 27

Syllabus

1. It has been the invariable policy of Congress to measure the amount of public lands granted to a land grant railroad by the length of the road as actually constructed, and not by its length as originally located, and there is nothing in the statutes of Congress or of the Iowa applicable to the grant of public lands in favor of the plaintiffs in error which indicates a different purpose or which warrants the claim that the number of §§ which they are entitled to receive is to be estimated by the standard of the original location of the road.

2. When Congress grants to a state for a railroad company every alternate section of land designated by odd numbers within a given distance from the line of the road, and directs the Secretary of the Interior, when a map shall be filed in that department showing the location of the road, to reserve the sections, and further provides that in case it is found that the United States had disposed of any of these odd sections or rights attached to them, by preemption or otherwise, the grantee may select other alternate odd sections within another and greater distance from that line, the filing of the map cuts off the right of entry of the odd sections within the first named distance, but it confers no rights to specified tracts within the secondary or indemnity tract, until the

Page 110 U. S. 28

grantee's right of selection has been exercised, and that right cannot be exercised until the entire road has been completed.

3. The Act of June 2, 1864, § 4, 13 Stat. 98, 97, construed.

These are ten writs of error to the Supreme Court of the State of Iowa to review judgments in that court of affirmance in favor of the parties named. The railroad company was plaintiff in the inferior state court and on appeal in the supreme court of the state and in the writs of error in this Court.

The suit in the court of original jurisdiction was in the nature of a bill in chancery to quiet title and to compel a conveyance of the legal title held by defendants under patents from the United States to plaintiff, who asserted title to it in equity.

The cases all depend on the same pleadings and evidence, and were consolidated in the inferior court, and have been considered and argued together in the Supreme Court of Iowa and in this Court, except No. 1,139, the Jewell case, which is submitted in this Court on the same argument.

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