Missouri v. Iowa,
160 U.S. 688 (1896)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Missouri v. Iowa, 160 U.S. 688 (1896)

Missouri v. Iowa

No. 10, Original

Submitted December 17, 1895

Decided February 3, 1896

160 U.S. 688


At the request of the parties, this Court, after deciding where is the true and proper southern boundary line of the Iowa, appoints a commission to find and remark the same with proper and durable monuments.

The State of Missouri, through its Attorney General, filed in this Court in vacation its bill, in which, after setting forth the former proceedings had herein for the determination of the boundary line between it and the State of Iowa, which are reported in 6 How. 659, and 51 U. S. 10 How. 1, it was further said:

"Complainant states that it is highly important to the States of Iowa and Missouri that the question of boundary should be speedily and finally settled; that heretofore the peace of the people of the States of Missouri and Iowa, especially in the County of Mercer in the former and the County of Decatur in the latter, have been seriously disturbed in consequence of frequent conflicts of jurisdiction arising from differences of opinion as to the location of the said state line between said counties."

"Complainant further states that the State of Missouri has no adequate relief at law, and as the controversy herein involves questions of jurisdiction and sovereignty, it is respectfully prayed that the State of Iowa may be made a defendant in this proceeding, and that she may be permitted to answer the matters and things herein set forth, and upon a final hearing that the northern boundary line of the State of Missouri, it being the boundary line between the complainant and defendant, be by the order and decree of this Court ascertained and established; that the rights of possession, jurisdiction, and sovereignty of the State of Missouri to all the territory south of the line heretofore marked and run out by said J. C. Sullivan

Page 160 U. S. 689

in 1816, remarked by the commissioners heretofore named in 1850, and approved by the decree of the Supreme Court of the United States rendered as aforesaid, be restored to said State of Missouri, and that said State of Missouri be quieted in her title thereto, and that the defendant, The State of Iowa, be forever enjoined and restrained from disturbing the said State of Missouri, her officers, and her citizens in the full enjoyment and possession of the territory lying south of said line, and that such other and further relief may be granted as the nature of the case may require."

The State of Iowa, by its Attorney General, filed its answer denying some of the allegations in the bill, admitting others, making further averments on its own part, and concluding:

"Said respondent, with the view to have an ultimate and final decision of the controversy, prays that this answer may also be treated as a cross-bill, and joins in the prayer of said complainant that the said boundary line between said complainant and respondent be, by the order and decree of this Court, ascertained and established, and to that end that a commission be appointed in such manner as to this Court shall be deemed proper to retrace the line traced and marked by the commission of this Court in 1850, and as set forth in the decree of this Court in the case of State of Missouri v. The State of Iowa, as aforesaid, and that such retracing of such line thus found be by such commissioners marked with fixed and enduring monuments, and that the title of the State of Iowa in and to all land or territory north of the line thus found and marked be forever quieted in the said respondent, and for such other and further relief as equity and good conscience may require."

To this answer the State of Missouri filed replication as follows:

"Complainant, for its reply to respondent's answer herein, states that it is true, as heretofore alleged in complainant's petition heretofore filed in this cause, that the officers of the State of Iowa are exercising jurisdiction over territory lying south of the boundary line between the States of Missouri and Iowa. "

Page 160 U. S. 690

"Complainant, for further reply to respondent's answer herein, states that it is necessary, in order that conflicts of jurisdiction should be avoided between said states, that the true boundary line, as heretofore established under a decree of this Court by Hendershott and Minor in 1805, should be reestablished and relocated, and to this end it is asked that the Court may enter a decree relocating and reestablishing said line, and that such other and further orders may be made herein as are necessary to effect the same."

The parties further stipulated, each by its attorney general, as follows:

"It is hereby agreed that the above entitled cause may be submitted to the Court on the petition, answer, and reply of the parties hereto, and if to the Court it seems proper that a commission of two civil engineers or surveyors may be appointed to retrace the line established and decreed by the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of The State of Missouri v. The State of Iowa, one of such commissioners to be appointed by the State of Missouri and one by the State of Iowa, and if the parties are unable to agree that they may appoint a third, that such commission shall proceed without unnecessary delay and retrace the line as run and located by Hendershott and Minor in 1850 between the 50th and 55th mileposts on said line, beginning and ending the survey at such points as may be necessary to ascertain the true original line between said mileposts, and, having found said true line, to mark the same by plain and enduring monuments, and make report of their said retracing and survey of said line to this Court."

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