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PERRYMAN V. WOODWARD, 238 U. S. 148 (1915)

U.S. Supreme Court

Perryman v. Woodward, 238 U.S. 148 (1915)

Perryman v. Woodward

No. 277

Argued May 12, 13, 1915

Decided June 14, 1915

238 U.S. 148


The Townsite Commission of Muskogee Creek Nation Indian Territory awarded a lot to the party having the possessory right thereto and thereafter, in 1904, the party having died in 1900, made a deed purporting to convey the property to him. Immediately after his death, the probate court made a decree that the intestate's estate did not exceed three hundred dollars and that it absolutely vested in the widow who meanwhile sold the lot. In a suit brought by the children of the intestate against the grantee of the widow held that:

The effect of the Act of June 25, 1910, c. 431, § 32, 36 Stat. 855, in regard to deeds to tribal lands in the Five Civilized Tribes issued after the death of the party entitled was to make the patented lands part of the estate of the nominal party as though the deed had issued during his life; it did not exclude provisions of law otherwise applicable, and if the proper probate court had jurisdiction to make the decree when made, the Act of 1910 simply established the validity of the title.

In 1900, under the Act of May 2, 1890, c. 182, c. 31, 26 Stat. 81, § 3 of Ch. I of Mansfield's Digest of the Laws of Arkansas providing that, where decedent's estate was less than three hundred dollars, it vested absolutely in the widow was in force, and the grantee of the widow obtained good title whether the order of the probate court was made before or after the purchase.

When the question is whether a particular law of Arkansas was or was not put into effect by the Act of May 2, 1890 in the Indian Territory, this Court has jurisdiction to review the judgment of the state court of Oklahoma under § 237, Jud.Code, although if such question were not involved, the construction of the law itself would be a matter of local law, and not reviewable by this Court.

37 Okl. 792 affirmed.

The facts, which involve questions of title to land in Muskogee Creek Nation Indian Territory awarded by the townsite commission and the construction of the laws of descent applicable to the property, are stated in the opinion.

Page 238 U. S. 150

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