MCKEY V. HYDE PARK VILLAGE, 134 U. S. 84 (1890)

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U.S. Supreme Court

McKey v. Hyde Park Village, 134 U.S. 84 (1890)

McKey v. Hyde Park Village

No. 1421

Submitted January 7, 1890

Decided March 3, 1890

134 U.S. 84


The only contention between the parties in this action of ejectment was, whether the centre of a street in the Village of Hyde Park was the southern boundary line of the plaintiff's land or whether that line ran twenty-three feet farther south. The court in its charge to the jury said:

"In 1873, the Village of Hyde Park laid out and opened 41st Street sixty-six

Page 134 U. S. 85

feet wide from Grand Boulevard to Vincennes Avenue, the centre of which was a line equidistant from the north and south lines of the quarter section, on the theory that this line was the true east and west boundary between the four quarters of the quarter section and the true southern boundary of the McKey tract,"

and then directed the jury thus:

"If you believe from the evidence that the centre of the street is the centre east and west line of the quarter section, then you are also instructed that it was and still is the true boundary line, and that the plaintiff is not entitled to the land described in the declaration on the theory that the Greeley survey was correct."

Held that this was erroneous, as it in effect directed the jury to find that the plaintiff was not entitled to recover, and, as the evidence was conflicting, that was a question to be determined by the jury.

A rule in force for the subdivision of public lands for disposal under the public land law does not necessarily apply to the subdivision of private lands by their owners after they have been granted by the government without having first made official subdivisions.

In Illinois, the inference that an owner of land has dedicated it to the public for use as a street can only be drawn from acts which show an actual intention to so dedicate it, or from acts which equitably estop the owner from denying such intention.

Ejectment. Verdict for the defendant, and judgment on the verdict, to review which this writ of error was sued out. The case is stated in the opinion.

Page 134 U. S. 86

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