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About The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current | View Entire Issue (June 27, 1915)
LAUD GRANT CASE
DECISION TIES LAND
OP TIGHT AS EVER
Hospital. . Twq years age she went to
Berlin, where she took a complete)
course in the use of the x-ray. She
returned to the United States just two
months after the war broke out.
Miss Danner is a sister of Mrs. W.
E. Snyder. 22S East Sixteenth street,
in this city.
Here's Another Chance
to Slake Your "House"
Into a "Home"
MAP SHOWING DISTRIBUTION IN OREGON OF UNSOLD PATENTED LANDS, TOTALING 2,074,161
ACRES, JN OREGON ANP CALIFORNIA LAND GRANT.
THE SUXPAT OREGONIAN, PORTIvANP, JUJTB 37, 1913,
Eighteen Large Volumes of
. .Testimony Taken in Suit
Lasting Eight Years.
CONGRESS IS TO DECIDE
Supreme Court Recognizes Oregon
California Railway Company's
Equity to $2.50 an Acre, as
One of the most remarkable cases
ver fought through the Federal Courts
was that decided by the United States
Supreme Court last Monday denying
the forfeiture to the Government of
the Oregon & California land grant,
but leaving- the disposition of 2,800008
unsold acres in the tract to Congress,
with no restraint other than that it
' must guarantee the railroad company
$2.50 for every acre sold hereafter.
The Government's complaint which
started the action to forfeit these 2,
300,000 acres to the United States was
filed in the United States District Cour.t
in, Portland on September 4. 1008. by
B. D. Townsend, special assistant to
the Attorney-General. Nearly five
years later. July 1. 1913, Judge Wolver
tort handed down an opinion declaring
the land forfeited.
It lacked only two months of being
three years from the filing of the com
plaint to the disposal of the demurrer
of the railroad company to the com
plaint. The demurrer was overruled
by Judge Wolverton April 10, 1911.
Testimony Flits IS Volonm.
The trial which followed the over
ruling of the demurrer and the filing
of the railroad company's answer to
the complaint lasted more than a year.
Testimony was taken not only in Port
laud, but in virtually every state in
the Union. This testimony was so vol
uminous that when printed it filled 1
large, thick volumes, 17 of which con
tained 900 to 1000 pages each. It has
been declared, and never disputed, that
more testimony was taken than in any
other case ever tried in the Federal
In the office of the United States At
torney in Portland there is now a big
bookcase filled with printed volumes
of complaints, answers, motions, testi
mony, briefs and court opinions, all
relating to this one action.
After Judge Wolverton's opinion for
feiting the land grant, the railroad
company appealed to the United States
. Appellate Court at San Francisco. This
court, without passing on the case, cer
tified the records to the United States
Supreme Court. Its decision came near
ly seven years after the case began.
Some idea of the reasons" for the great
Interest taken in the case may be
gained from a few figures. First and
foremost is the fact that the lands of
the grant in Oregon are in 18 counties,
and form a large proportion of the tax
able property. The 1914 assessment
rolls showed the total amount of taxes
not paid because of Judge Wolverton's
opinion forfeiting the grant, now re
versed by the Supreme Court, though
nil tha nthr fnhlrpii rtf .1 1 1 1 1 ir t Wntvrp,
ton's opinion are upheld, to total 166,
872.87. Clarence Reames, now United States
Attorney for Oregon, is authority for
the statement that at least 20.000 other
. persons, as applicants for claims, have
been induced by fraudulent locators to
pay a fee of $150 each for being lo
cated on tracts in the grant. In some
cases, it is said, as many as eight per
sons were thus located on the same
tract. None of the locations is of any
The history of the Oregon & Cali
fornia land grant starts in 1866. In
that year Congress as an aid to the
construction of the Oregon & California
Railroad, passed an act giving the com
pany a grant of land consisting of al
ternate sections extending for 10 miles
on each side of its proposed route. As
a condition, the act provides that a cer
tain amount of track must be laid and
that the company must file its accept
ance in one year.
The company did not fulfill either of
these conditions, but in 1869 it applied
for a further extension of one year.
Congress, in an act granting this ex
tension, added the proviso on which all
subsequent litigation has been based:
"Provided that the lands hereby
granted shall be sold to actual settlers
only, in quantities not greater than 160
acres to each purchaser, and at a price
not to exceed 52.50 per acre."
Additional Grant Allowed.
In 1870 an additional grant, much
smaller, was allowed by act of Con
gress as a subsidy for construction of
the West Side line of the Oregon &
California, extending south from Port
land on the West side of the Willamette
River. This is the road that now runs
to McMinnville and Corvallis.
In subsequent years the Oregon &
California and its successor, the South
ern Pacific Company, obtained patents
to a great portion of the grant. It also
sold largo tracts in- violation of the
proviso that the land should be sold to
actual settlers and in 160-acre tracts
only. It also refused to sell to actual
settlers at $ 2.50 an acre.
At this time there are approximately
2.300.000 unsold acres in the land
grant. This includes lands to which
the company has actual patents and
those not yet patented, but which it
has the right to patent and in which
Its 52.50 equity as provided by the Su
preme Court must be recognized.
The number of acres to which it
actually has patents, however, is 2.074.-
J61. This is the acreage for which it
actually has acquired title from the
I' ederal Government and which, there
fore, is subject to taxation.
All of Grant Nut Patented. .
The fact that the company has not
yet obtained patents to all the land in
the grant and that it exercised its
right to exchange portions of the grant
lor Federal lands in other districts, to
which it has not yet obtained patents.
explains the discrepancies in various
accounts of its holdings, soma of the
accounts saying' that the acreage is
2. 300. 000 and others that it is 2,074,161
The failure of the railroad company
to live up to the terms of the grant.
especially its refusal to sell 160-acre
tracts to actual settlers, led to the
adoption of a joint memorial by the
Oregon Legislature in. 1907, petitioning
Congress to take action. This memorial.
Senate joint memorial No. 3, reads as
To Ills Excellency, the President, and the
Honorable Henste and House of Representa
tives oi tne Lnitea states of America:
Your memorallst, the Legislative Assembly
of the State of Oregon, most respectfully rep
That vast tracts of lands within Oreeon
are claimed ana neia Dy the Oregon 8c Cali
fornia Railroad l.ompany. as grantee in sua
cession, under the acts of Congress of the
l.nlted States or July Jbue. and April
That said tracts are withdrawn from sale.
whereby the development and material pros,
perlty of the state is retarded:
That said railroad company, so claiming
tNfU JtiUOS. I1B 1 1 T L uuiupiicu Willi U1B I . Til 1 .1
of said art of April 10. lS6y. as to the terms
of sale and the quantities of land to be
That said conditions arc claimed to inure
only to the United States as grantor to the
Black squares are the alternate sections on both sides of the railroad Hue, in which the railroad's
equity of $2.50 an acre is established by the United States Supreme Court, but the disposition of which
is left to Congress. The map was compiled from descriptions given in the Government's complaint. The
map gives some idea of the immense loss in taxable property the, state and various counties would have
suffered had the Government's plea for forfeiture of the grant been sustained.
predeoeasor in alleged interest of said Ore
gon & California Railroad Company, and
have not been complied with; therefore,
Penalty Is Abacu, Too.
Tour memorialist most respectfully asks
that the Congress of the United States be
and hereby is requested te enact such laws
and take such steps by resolution, or other
wise, as may be necessary to compel said
railroad company to comply with the con
ditions of said grant, and to enact and de
clare soma sufficient penalty for noncom
pliance therewith by way of- forfeiture of the
grant, or otherwise, as in. the wisdom oi
Congress may seem best.
That the Senators and Represeutatives in
Congress from the State of Oregon and all
other land-grant states be and they hereby
are requested to use their utmost endeavor to
procure the needed legislation in the aUovw
That-this memorial be forwarded to the
President ar.d to Oregon Senators and Repre
sentatives in Congress.
Filed in the office of the Secretary of
State. February 14, 1907.
This memorial was the direct cause
of a resolution by Congress In 1908 di
recting th Attorney-General of the
United States to take the case into the
After Judge Wolverton's" decision of
July 1, 1913, declaring the grant forfeit
ed to the United States, the railroad
company refused to pay taxes on the
property. As in some of the counties
the grant lands comprise a large or
even the principal source of taxation.
It was apparent that the forfeiture of
the grant to the United States would
not be the best interests of the state.
Legislature Aftaia Appeals.
Consequently at the last session of
the Oregon Legislature the following
resolution, designated as Senate joint
resolution No. 24. was introduced and
adopted by both houses:
Whereas. The Legislative Assembly of the
State of Oregon, at its regular session In
1907. adopted Senate Joint Memorial No. 3.
urging the United States Congress to enact
such laws and take such steps by resolution
or otherwise, as might be necessary to .com
pel the Oregon & California Railroad Com
pany to comply with the conditions of the
acts of Congress of July 25. JSW. and April
10, I860, granting to the predecessor In In
terest of said railroad company, vast tracts
of public lands within the State of Oregon,
and requiring such 'lands to be sold to actual
settlers at a price not to exceed f'J.oO per
acre, and to enact and declare some suf
ficient penalty for non-compliance therewith
by way of forfeiture, of the grant, or other
wise, as in the wisdom of Congrass might
seem best, and urging the 8enators and Rep
resentatives In Congress from the State of
Oregon, and all other land-grant states, to
use their utmost endeavor to procure the
needed legislation In such matter, which me
morial was forwarded to the President and
to the Oregon Representatives in Congress,
Whereas, Pursuant to the prayer of said
memorial, and the efforts of the Oregon Sen
ators and Representatives in Congress, ac
tion hi compliance therewith was taken by
the United States Congress, under which au
thority suits were commenced in the District
Court of the United States for the District
of Oregon, and are being prosecuted by the
United States, and are now pending in the
United States Supreme Court, in which it is
ought to forfeit such grant, end if the de
cision of the District Court is affirmed, such
will be the result of said suits and the land
will revert to the United States Govirnmenl,
and thereby be withdrawn from taxation by
the State of Oregon, and its several counties
and municipalities, and
Whereas, Such granted lands constitute
vast areas and a large percentage of the
total area of several counties in which thty
are located, as shown by the following table,
taken from the report of the engineer to the
committee created by chapter yjl. General
Laws of 1913;
Klamath . .
K'amath .. .
3, 444. US
Whereas, It is of vital Importance to the
development of the entire State of Oregon,
and several counties In which such granted
lands ere located, that such lands should
nat be withdrawn from taxation, but that
they should be disposed of for settlement
and development asder the terms of such a
decree as the court may deem just and
equitable,' now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate of the State of
Oregon, the House of Representatives Jointly
concurring. That the Attorney-General be,
and he hereby Is authorized and directed to
Intervene on behalf of the State of Oregon,
In such manner as may be permitted and
authorised by the xules of the court, or any
court In which suit or sqlts may hereafter
be pending, for the purpose of securing ana
proteutlng the best Interests of the state or
Oregon and its cltlsens, and to take any
and all steps and proceedings which may be
necessary or permissible to safeguard such
Filed In the office of the Secretary of
State. February 23, 1915.
W. C. T. U. Notes
MRS. MATTIB SLEETH, president of
Multnomah County Woman's
Christian Temperance Union, will speak
next Sunday at the Vernon Presbyte
The County Woman's Christian Tem
perance Union Institute held last
Thursday at the home of Mrs. Lottie
Murray, was one much enjoyed. Mrs.
Alice Hanson led the morning service
in a prayer and praise meeting. The
afternoon programme was in charge of
Mrs. Hattie Wilson.
Those taking part deserve much
credit for making the afternoon a suc
cess. Much credit is due Mrs. Hidden
for explanation of the departments as
they were presented by the readers.
The county Woman's Christian Tem
perance Union presented cash prizes to
pupils in the Portland public schools
for writing essays on "Temperance"
and "Hygiene." The prize of $10 was
awarded to Miss Marguerite Landers,
of Sellwood School- Miss Jeanette
Tresnon, of the Stephens School, re
ceived second prize of $5 for the best
essay written by grade pupils.
Gardiner Scliool to Be Standardized.
GARDINER. Or.. June 26 (Special.)
O. C. Brown, of Roseburg, County
School Superintendent, together with
F. B. Hanlin, city superintendent of
the public schools of Roseburg. and II.
M. Cross. Deputy County School Super
intendent, were in Gardiner this week
In the interests of standardizing the
Gardiner High School.
Disposition of Oregon & Cali
fornia Grants Must Wait
Act of Congress.
LIVELY FIGHT IS EXPECTED
Diversity of Schemes May Necessi
tate Administration Getting Be
hind BUI to Insure Action.
Court Appeal Possible.
OREGONIAN NEWS BUREAU, Wash
ington, June 26. Under the deoision of
the United States Supreme Court in
the Oregon & California land grant
case, the 2, 300, 000 acres of unsold lands
are tied up as effectively as though
the court had decreed a- forfeiture and
no disposition, can be made of them
until Congress provides the means and
The railroad company is adjudged
to have $2.50 Interest in every acre
that remains unsold and yet it is re
strained from selling the land at that
or any other price and is even re
strained from cutting or selling any
of the timber on the unsold portion of
The reference of this question back
to Congress means that a contest will
be scheduled at the next session, far
livelier than that over the Hawley
resolution under which the Govern
ment instituted Its suit.
Unquestionably the Government will
have a legislative programme to com
mend to Congress, prescribing how the
lands shall be disposed of. It is equally
certain that the settlers who went
upon the railroad lands, in the hope of
compelling the railroad company to
sell to them, will come forward with
legislation giving them preference
rights to purchase.
Susrerestionsi by State Expected.
With them will come the Interven
ers, who offered to buy from the rail
road company at $2.50 an acre, but
were unable to negotiate, because of
the railroad company's refusal to sell.
The Oregon Legislature, at its last
session, having directed. Attorney-General
Brown to Intervene, If possible.
In the suit before the Supreme Court,
for the avowed purpose of aiding in
getting the granted lands into private
ownership, so they can be settled and
taxed, it is the presumption of Gov
ernment officials that the state, also,
will have suggestions to make to Con
gress. There is certain to be serious con
flict over the opening of the Oregon
& California lands, because of the
diversity of schemes that will.be pro
posed. It may become necessary for
the Administration to get behind Its
bill to insure action.
District Court Appeal Passible.
Under the decision of the Supreme
Court, if Congress does not provide
for the disposition of the unsold por
tion of the grant, the railroad com
pany may apply to the District Court
at Portland for authority to resume
sales under the terms of the granting
acts, and that court, six months after
rendering its modified decree, may
grant such authority, in its discretion,
and the sales by the railroad com
pany may continue until Congress puts
an end to them.
The decision of the Supreme Court,
through regular channels, will be
transmitted to the United States Dis
trict Court at Portland, and that court
can exercise its Judgment as to the
time when it is to render a modified
decree in conformity with the opinion
of the Supreme Court.
The sooner the District Court ren
ders its decree, the more promptly
Congress must act, unless the district
judge , declines to exercise the dis
cretionary authority reposed in him
to permit the railroad company to sell
its lands, after six months from the
rendering of his amended decree.
PORTLAND GIRL NAMED
MISS SOPHIE DASNER GOES AS RED
CROSS NURSE ABROAD.
Pacific Coast Representative of Amer
ican Institution Is Title I Kasit
Prussia Is Destination.
Miss Sophie Danner, a Portland girl
who has resided for some time in San
Francisco, has been appointed by the
American Red Cross, of Washington.
D. C, as representative in Europo of
the Pacific Coast, according to Infor
mation just received in Portland. This
is said to be the only appointment
made in the West so far, on account
ct the expense of transportation.
Miss Danner sailed for Kurope from
New York Friday. June 25, and will
go on duty in Schlesien. East Prussia,
pot far from the Russian border.
Miss Dar ner received her early ed
ucation in the old Central School, in
this city. She took her first year of
training as nurse in the North Pacific
Sanitarium, later going to San Fran
cisco, where she took a three-year
course ot training in the German
Ml! Sophie Danner, Portland
4-lrl. CitUMen by JRed Croa as
Iaclfic Coast Representative
s X- 1
1 1 V '
r 6 - 7 '
K ' ' '
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RUSH TO NATURALIZE FELT
Pressure Being Brought to Bear on
Foreigners to Go -to War.
KLAMATH FALLS, Or., June 26.
(Special.) Never in the history of the
office of the clerk of the Circuit Court
of this district has there been such a
demand for naturalization papers as at
this time. Seven applicants were passed
Monday at the beginning of the June
SCHOOL EXCELLING IX EIRE
DRILLS TO RECEIVE! VAL.
Cnp Offered by Safety Committee.
Every public school In Portland
Is to compete jn a series, of fire
drills during the next few years,
with a handsome cup as the prize
for the school making the best
The cup has been offered by the
public safety committee and will
be given at the end of the school
year to that school showing the
highest efficiency for fire drills
and fire-prevention work. A se
ries of tests will bo conducted
by a board of. umpires at the
opening of the school term in
September and the award prob
ably will be made soon there
after. The cup-will not become the
permanent property of any school,
however, until it has been won
three times in succession.
term of court, and other applications
will come up soon.
According to Circuit Clerk Chastain,
considerable influence is being brought
to bear upon applicants through fra
ternal and social organizations in their
native countries to which they belonged
before coming to. America, to returt.
for service in the army or navy.
BRONCHO MODEL IS SHAPED
Sculptor ut Pendleton Is Putting- or
PENDLETON, Or.. June 26. (Special.)-
After ten months' labor, A.
Phimister Proctor, the celebrated New
York sculptor, who came to Pendleton
for the Roundup last year to study the
Indian, the oowboi and the bucking
horse at close quarters, is putting the
finishing touches to a model of a buck
ing broncho, which is to be reproduced
in bronze in the East.
Bill Ridings, well-known cowboy,
served as the model for the figure in
the saddle. Since coming to Pendleton
Mr. Proctor has finished a model of an
Indian in flight, a cowboy bust and
a bucking buffalo. Mr. Proctor also
is working on another bucking horse,
rearing on his hind legs.
SCHOOL OPINION OBSTACLE
Washington Attorney-General Says
Fiscal Year Ends December 31.
OLYMPIA, Wash., June 26. (Special.)
An opinion of the Attorney-General's
office, holding that the fiscal year of
Washington schools extends from Jan
uary I, has -puzzled school authorities
as to the method of financing school
districts for the remainder of the pres
ent calendar year, as the school year
always has been taken as the basis for
raising and expending revenues.
State authorities are endeavoring to
help solve the problem, and representa
tives of the Seattle, Spokane and Ta
coma school districts have been invited
to meet here next Wednesday with
Qovern( Lister, Superintendent of
Schools Preston and Attorney-General
Tanner for this purpose.
Tests for 3 Government Jobs Set-
The United States Civil Service Com
mission announces the following ex
aminations, for men only: July 21,
gardener, for a position at the Phoenix
July 2, 3,4, 5, 6
At Lakeview f
Use the NEW STEEL TRAINS of the
NORTHERN PACIFIC RY.
Leave Portland 7:35 A. M., 4:10 P. M., 11:30 P. M.
Third Regular-Monday Clear
ance Sale Opens Tomorrow
Morning at 8 oXlock
"Tomorrow morning marks the event
of our third regular Monday Clearance
Sale of Pianos and Player-Pianos,
taken in trade by us during our weekly
These Monday Sales have been prov
ing tremendously popular with Port
land people, and many shrewd buyers
have taken advantage of this oppor
tunity to purchase a high-grade Piano
at a very small figure. fCo house can
be called "home without a Piano. Why
pot make your home worthy of the
name, if you haven't a piano? Here's
Tomorrow we have several especially
attractive "buys'" to offer in Pianos
and pjayer-Pianos which we have
taken in part payment for new instru
ments in the last two or three weeks.'
We intend to mark these Pianos
down in our Monday Clearance Sales
to prices that cannot fail to move them.
These prices are marked for this one
day only, and every intending Piano
buyer should investigate the genuine
"snaps" that are offered. We must
move them quickly, and take this
method of "quick sales and small
profits" to do it.
. Following Is a partial list:
Marshall & Wendell, ebon-
ized mahogany $ 275 f r0
Opera, rosewood 325 Jlo
Emerson, rosewood 375 ISO
Nugent, rosewood 300 137
Wagner, oak 300 17
Kimball, ebony 350 its
Strohber. mahogany., 400 187
Nelson, walnut 375 ins
Schilling, oak 330 J7H
Kraemer 275 IS5
Steinway, ebonized 575 io."
Richter 300 lau
Lester, oak 450 lti
Mason & Co., mahogany.... 300 14.1
Hallet & Davis 450
Kimball, mahossny 650 275
Haines Bros., mahogany.,.. 600 2
Story & Clark, mahogany... 425' ait
Smith & Barnes, mahogany. 415 :mo
Kimball, rosewood, 350 25
Eilers. oak 425 i'a."!
Ludwig, oak 400 215
Story 4c Clark, mahogany 500 270
Weber 600 313
Chickering, mahogany 650 41U
Jacob Doll, mahogany 9 675 f25
Eilers Da Luxe, oak 1100 4K5
Autopiano. oak 950 450
Steinhauer, oak 600 225
Bungalow 700 3."V
Cecilian, mahogany 750 385
Pianola Piano, mahogany... 650 315
Don't wait. Come in tomorrow.
Don't let the matter of terms stand
in your way. We will be glad to send
a nice instrument to your. home for
a very reasonable cash payment down,
and terms will be made to suit your
convenience. Each Piano has been
thoroughly gone over by our experts
and bears our guarantee.
KII.12RS MUSIC HOI'S 12,
Ilroadwar, at Airier.
Indian School, Arizona, salary $720 per
annum; local agent, Bureau of Fish
eries. Seattle, Wash., salary $600 per
annum; July 27, metallurgical chem
ist, for a position lu the Ordnance De
partment at Large, Philadelphia, Pa.,
salary $1800 per annum. Complete In
formation and application blanks may
be obtained from T. V. Hutchins. local
secretary, Portland, Or., postoffice
400-POUND BEAR BAGGED
Robert Iieasure, of Hood Ilivcr,
nans to Trap Honey Thief.
HOOD RIVER, Or.. June 26. (Spe
cial.) Robert Leasure, a pioneer
hunter of the Upper Valley, who has
scores of bear to hia credit, killing sev
eral animals each season, came on a
huge black bear as he was walking
through a blackberry patch Thursday.
Ha- shot and killed the animal. "It is
by far the largest bear I have ever
killed at this season of the year," says
Mr. Leasure. "It dressed 400 pounds.
I believe that the animal would have
weighed more than 600 pounds by the
end of tho Summer."
A bruin has been raiding Mr. Lea
sure's bee hives. He will set a trap by
driving several spikes into a keg. This
will be baited with fresh honey, and in
the next few days the hunter expects
to see the animal playing antics with
the keg over Its head.
Knights Plan Memorial Service.
VANCOUVER, Wash., June 26. (Spe
cial.) Memorial services will be held
by tho local lodge of Knights of Pyth
ias, and Rev. R. H. Sawyer, pastor of
the First Christian Church of this city,
will deliver a memorial sermon Sunday
morning at the 11 o'clock service. Spe
cial music will be provided by a com
mittee including A. J. Collings. Frank
Stickney and L. M. Burnett. The mem
bers of the lodge will meet at their hall
and proceed from there in a body to the
church at Thirteenth and Grant streets.
New Zealand has an Island nearly three
miles In clrt-annfereiiri!. wliloh is almost en
tirely couponed of sulphur, mixed with gyp
sum and a few other mlnera'.K.
Arrange Now at
255 Morrison St, Cor. Third
for tickets, sleeping car accommo
dations to Lakeview and return.
A. D. Charlton, A. G. P. A.
Phones : Main 244, A 1244