Great Northern Railway Co. v. Hower,
236 U.S. 702 (1915)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Great Northern Railway Co. v. Hower, 236 U.S. 702 (1915)

Great Northern Railway Company v. Hower

No. 88

Submitted November 11, 1914

Decided March 22, 1915

236 U.S. 702


Bona fide purchase is an affirmative defense which the grantee must set up in order to defeat the claim of one seeking to have a trust declared in land patented, if the bill is otherwise sufficient.

Rev.Stat., § 2291, is specific in its requirements that, in order to obtain a patent for a homestead, the applicant must have actually resided upon or cultivated the same for a term of five years.

While the law deals tenderly with one going in good faith on the public lands with a view of making a home thereon, the right is a statutory one, and, in such a case as this, it is essential to show compliance with the statute as a prerequisite to obtaining a patent.

Although acting in good faith, settlement upon land other than that included in the entry is not sufficient, and in this case so held as to an entry for one quarter-section where the entryman, through mistake, built his home on another quarter-section and at a point about one-quarter of a mile from the land entered, notwithstanding he did make a trail and build a stable on the land entered.

69 Wash. 380 reversed.

The facts, which involve the construction of Rev.Stat., § 2291, and the necessity of the homesteader making improvements on the land entered, are stated in the opinion.

Page 236 U. S. 703

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