St. Paul & Sioux City R. Co. v. Winona &c. R. Co. - 112 U.S. 720 (1885)
U.S. Supreme Court
St. Paul & Sioux City R. Co. v. Winona &c. R. Co., 112 U.S. 720 (1885)
St. Paul and Sioux City Railroad Company v.
Winona and St. Peter Railroad Company
Argued December 18-19, 1884
Decided January 5, 1885
112 U.S. 720
In grants of lands to aid in building railroads, the title to the lands within the primary limits within which all the odd or even sections are granted, relates, after the road is located according to law, to the date of the grant, and in cases where these limits, as between different roads, conflict or encroach on each other, priority of date of the act of Congress, and not priority of location of the line of road, gives priority of title.
When the acts of Congress in such cases are of the same date, or grants are made for different roads by the same statute, priority of location gives no priority of right; but where the limits of the primary grants, which are settled by the location, conflict, as by crossing or lapping, the parties building the roads under those grants take the sections, within the conflicting limits of primary location, in equal undivided moieties, without regard to priority of location of the line of the road, or priority of construction.
A different rule prevails in case of lands to be selected in lieu of those within the limits of primary location, which have been sold or preempted before the location is made, where the limits of selection interfere or overlap.
In such cases, neither priority of grant nor priority of location nor priority of construction, gives priority of right; but this is determined by priority of selection, where the selection is made according to law.
The facts which make the case axe stated in the opinion of the Court.