Hill v. Reynolds
242 U.S. 361 (1917)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Hill v. Reynolds, 242 U.S. 361 (1917)

Hill v. Reynolds

No. 61

Argued November 2, 1916

Decided January 8, 1917

242 U.S. 361

Syllabus

A decision of the Secretary of the Interior adjudicating a contest over certain Choctaw and Chickasaw lands, and awarding a patent, under the agreement in the Act of June 28, 1898, c. 517, 30 Stat. 505, and the supplemental agreement in the Act of July 1, 1902, c. 1362, 32 Stat. 641, held free from misconstruction or misapplication of law.

The provisions of §§ 17 and 18 of the Act of June 28, 1898, supra, inhibiting enclosures and holdings of lands in excess of allottable quantities, were left in force as to the Choctaws and Chickasaws by the agreement in the 29th section which became effective through tribal ratification on August 24, 1898.

Choctaw and Chickasaw lands held by a widow and her minor children in excess of allottable quantities, and bearing certain meager and nonseverable improvements, were surrendered by her in January, 1899, for an adequate consideration, to one who took possession, made valuable and lasting improvements and, in December, 1902, sold, maintaining possession meanwhile.

Held:

(1) That, in virtue of these transactions, and by force of §§ 17 and 18 of the Act of June 28, 1898, supra, the interests of the children were so devested that an applicant for allotment relying for priority on quitclaims of their rights in the land and improvements, executed in November and December, 1902, could not prevail over a prior applicant who had succeeded to the rights of the widow's surrendered under his sale.

(2) That the failure of the children's guardian to join in the surrender was immaterial.

Sections 19 to 21 of the Act of July 1, 1902, supra, allowing until September 25, 1902, within which to reduce excessive enclosures and holdings, were not intended to permit of the revival and reassertion of long dormant claims to the prejudice of persons entitled to allotments who had entered into possession and made valuable improvements.

43 Okl. 749 affirmed.

Page 242 U. S. 362

The case is stated in the opinion.

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