UNITED STATES V. CHICAGO, M. & ST.P. RY. CO., 218 U. S. 233 (1910)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Chicago, M. & St.P. Ry. Co., 218 U.S. 233 (1910)

United States v. Chicago, Milwaukee

and St. Paul Railway Company

No. 11

Argued April 26, 27, 1910

Decided October 17, 1910

218 U.S. 233


The grant made by the Act of May 1, 1864, c. 84, 13 Stat. 72, was one in praesenti.

Where a railway land grant is one in praesenti, the beneficiary is entitled to all the lands granted within place limits which had not been appropriated or reserved by the United States for any purpose, or to which a homestead or preemption right had not attached, prior to the definite location of the road proposed to be aided.

A claim by a state that it is entitled to lands as swamp or overflowed under the Swamp Land Act of September 28, 1850, c. 84, 9 Stat. 519, is not an appropriation or reservation if the land is not in fact swamp or overflowed and the claim sustained by a decision or ruling to that effect of competent authority.

Under the Swamp Land Act, power to identify lands as swamp or overflowed within the meaning of the act is conferred solely on the Secretary of the Interior. French v. Fyan, 93 U. S. 169.

A decision of the Commissioner of the Land Office, on notice to all parties and after hearing, that lands claimed as swamp or overflowed under the Swamp Land Act of 1850 are not swamp or overflowed, or of a character embraced by the act, and which has never been appealed from, modified or reversed, but has been relied on by purchasers for value and in good faith, should not, after a lapse of twenty-five years, be disturbed by the courts where it does not appear that the lands were actually swamp or overflowed, when the decision was made.

160 F.8d 8 affirmed.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

Page 218 U. S. 234

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