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WIDDICOMBE V. CHILDERS, 124 U. S. 400 (1888)

U.S. Supreme Court

Widdicombe v. Childers, 124 U.S. 400 (1888)

Widdicombe v. Childers

Argued December 1, 1887

Decided January 23, 1888

124 U.S. 400


A applied at a public land office for a S.E. 1/4 section of land. By mistake, the register in the application described it as the S.W. 1/4, and A signed the application so written, but the entry in the plat and tract books showed that he had bought and paid for the S.E. 1/4. He immediately went into

Page 124 U. S. 401

possession of the S.E. 1/4, and he and those under him remained in undisputed possession of it for more than 35 years. About 22 years after his entry, some person without authority of law changed the entry on the plat and tract books, and made it to show that his purchase was of the S.W. 1/4 instead of the S.E. 1/4, thus showing two entries of the S.W. 1/4. W. then, with full knowledge of all these facts, located agricultural scrip on this S.E. 1/4. S., or those claiming under him, did not discover the mistake until after W. had got his patent. Held that W. was a purchaser in bad faith, and that his legal title, though good as against the United States, was subject to the superior equities of S. and of those claiming under him.

The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.

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