McDougal v. McKay,
237 U.S. 372 (1915)

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U.S. Supreme Court

McDougal v. McKay, 237 U.S. 372 (1915)

McDougal v. McKay

No. 676

Argued April 14, 1915

Decided April 26, 1915

237 U.S. 372


In construing an Act of Congress, its known purpose must be effectuated as nearly as may be.

This Court will not disregard the effect of decisions of the state and federal courts in regard to descent of Indian allotments which have become rule of property and on which many titles have been acquired.

Under the Supplemental Creek Agreement of June 20, 1902, the descent

Page 237 U. S. 373

and distribution of allotments is in accordance with Chapter 49, Mansfield's Digest of the Laws of Arkansas, provided, however, that only Creek citizens and their descendants shall inherit lands of the Creek nation unless there are no Creek citizen heirs.

The provision in Mansfield's Digest distinguishing between ancestral estates which came to a decedent by a parent and new acquisitions and prescribing different rules of inheritance apply to allotments of a Creek infant born in May, 1901, and dying in November, 1901, and whose name was placed on the tribal rolls in October, 1902, pursuant to the provision in the Supplemental Creek Agreement of 1902.

An allotment made under the Supplemental Creek Agreement of 1902 must be treated not as a new acquisition, but as an ancestral estate within the meaning of Chapter 49 of Mansfield's Digest.

Where a Creek infant whose allotment was made under the Supplemental Agreement of 1902 died leaving a father of Creek blood and a mother not of Creek blood, the father takes a fee simple to such allotment; had both parents been of Creek blood and duly enrolled, each would have taken one-half.

43 Okl. ___ affirmed.

The facts, which involve the construction and effect of the Supplemental Creek Agreement of June 30, 1902, and the ascertainment of heirs of an infant of the Creek Nation enrolled after death, are stated in the opinion.

Page 237 U. S. 380

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