Wells v. Bodkin
267 U.S. 474 (1925)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Wells v. Bodkin, 267 U.S. 474 (1925)

Wells v. Bodkin

No. 144

Argued March 6, 1925

Decided April 13, 1925

267 U.S. 474

Syllabus

The Act of May 14, 1880, confers a preference right of entry upon the successful contestant of a homestead claim and provides that, should the person who initiated a contest die "before the final termination of the same," the contest shall not abate, but that his heirs, who are citizens of the United States, may continue the prosecution and shall be entitled to the same rights under the act that the contestant would have if his death had not occurred.

Held:

1. That, where the contestee relinquished and the contestant made her homestead application within the time allowed and later died, her heirs were entitled, in prosecuting the application, to preference over a stranger to the contest whose homestead application was made on the same day as the decedent's. P. 267 U. S. 476.

2. The fact that an heir applying had himself made a homestead entry in his own right was no obstacle when he relinquished it under permission of the Secretary of the Interior for the purpose of availing himself of the inherited right of entry. P. 267 U. S. 478.

289 F. 245 affirmed.

Appeal from a decree of the circuit court of appeals which affirmed a decree of the district court dismissing a bill whereby the appellant's decedent sought to have

Page 267 U. S. 475

the appellees declared trustees for himself of a tract of land patented to them under the public land laws. *

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