Allen v. Withrow,
110 U.S. 119 (1884)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Allen v. Withrow, 110 U.S. 119 (1884)

Allen v. Withrow

Argued December 11-12, 1883

Decided January 14, 1884

110 U.S. 119


1. The facts in this case disclose no trust attached to the estate and property in the defendants' hands which a court of equity should enforce; at the best, they show a promise -- without consideration good or valuable -- of a

simple donation, to be subsequently made, with no relationship of blood or marriage between the parties, and therefore, until executed, valueless.

2. A deed of real estate in blank in which the name of the grantee is not inserted by the party authorized to fill it before the deed is delivered passes no interest.

3. Under the Statute of Frauds of Iowa in force when the transactions in controversy took place, a trust could not be created in relation to real estate, except by an instrument executed in the same manner as a deed of conveyance, but a trust of personalty could be created by parol, provided

Page 110 U. S. 120

the evidence of the trust was clear and convincing. Mere declarations of a purpose to create a trust were of no value if not carried out.

4. Real estate owned by a partnership purchased with partnership funds is, for the purpose of settling the debts of the partnership and of distributing its effects, treated in equity as partnership property.

Bill in equity by heirs at law of Thusie M. Allen to enforce a trust in relation to real and personal estate claimed to have been made in her favor in her lifetime. Answer denying the trust, and cross-bill by one defendant asking that plaintiffs might be perpetually restrained from setting up their claim. Judgment below for defendants in the original suit and sustaining the cross-bill. Plaintiffs in original suit and defendants in cross-suit appealed.

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