Davis' Administrator v. Weibbold
139 U.S. 507 (1891)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Davis' Administrator v. Weibbold, 139 U.S. 507 (1891)

Davis' Administrator v. Weibbold

No. 219

Submitted March 3, 1891

Decided April 6, 1891

139 U.S. 507

APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT

OF THE TERRITORY OF MONTANA

Syllabus

The provisions of the public townsite laws prohibiting acquisition of title thereunder to mines of the precious metals, and protecting therefrom possessory claims under the mining laws, must be construed in accord with the uniform exception in federal legislation of mineral lands from grant or sale, and held merely to prohibit passage of title thereunder to mines of gold, silver, cinnabar, or copper which are known to exist on the issue of the townsite patent and to mining claims and possessions then lawfully existing. Such exceptions include only those lands which at the date of the grant are of known sufficient mineral value and extent to justify expenditures for the extraction of the mineral.

Townsite patent of earlier date covering same premises embraced in junior mining patent carries the title in absence of proof establishing the known existence of the mine at date of such townsite patent. The claimant under the townsite patent may offer evidence to prove that the premises were not known to he valuable for minerals at date thereof to rebut the presumption contra indulged, without proof, solely from the fact of issue of such mineral patent.

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