Caldwell v. United States,
250 U.S. 14 (1919)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Caldwell v. United States, 250 U.S. 14 (1919)

Caldwell v. United States

No. 325

Submitted April 23, 1919

Decided May 19, 1919

250 U.S. 14


The provision of the General Railroad Right of Way Act of March 3, 1875, granting a beneficiary railroad company the right to take from the public lands adjacent to its line timber necessary for the construction of its railroad must be strictly construed, and does not permit that portions of trees remaining after extraction of ties be appropriated either as a means of business or profit or to compensate the agents employed by the railroad to do the tie-cutting. P. 250 U. S. 19.

A grant of "timber" for purposes of railroad construction is not a grant of "trees." P. 250 U. S. 21.

Page 250 U. S. 15

Section 8 of the Act of March 3, 1891, c. 561, 26 Stat. 1089, enacting that, in proceeding growing out of trespasses on public timber lands in Colorado and some other states, it shall be a defense that the cutting or removal was by a resident of the state for agricultural, mining, manufacturing, or domestic purposes, under rules of the Interior Department, etc., but providing that nothing in the act contained shall operate to enlarge the right of any railway company to cut timber on the public domain, gives no protection to persons who, having cut ties as agents of a railroad company under the Act of March 3, 1875, supra, seek to appropriate the remaining tops of the trees cut for the purpose of sale. P. 250 U. S. 21.

The right to take timber granted by the Act of March 3, 1875, supra, cannot be enlarged by a permission from an official of the General Land Office. P. 250 U. S. 22.

53 Ct.Clms. 33 affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

Page 250 U. S. 17

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