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VAN DYKE V. EASTERN R. CO., 248 U. S. 49 (1918)

U.S. Supreme Court

Van Dyke v. Eastern R. Co., 248 U.S. 49 (1918)

Van Dyke v. Eastern Railroad Company

No. 59

Argued November 19, 1918

Decided December 9, 1918

248 U.S. 49


A railroad company, having surveyed a line over public land and filed map and application for right of way under the Act of March 3, 1875 (which affects public land only), and the land having in the interim become part of a National Forest, made application, upon the same map, to the Commissioner of the General Land Office for permission to construct in the Forest, received such permission from the Forest Service, to which the matter was referred, amended its location somewhat so as to lay the right of way, staked 200 feet wide, across a mining claim in the Forest, obtained conveyance of 100 feet in width from the mining claimants, and constructed and operated its road. Thereafter, the original application was approved by the Secretary of the Interior, and thereafter the tract crossed was thrown open to entry.

Held (construing the Act of 185, supra, and the Act of March 3, 1899, relating to rights of way in forest reservations):

(1) That the right of the railroad to the full 200 feet was superior to the right of one who held under the mining claim until the land was thrown open and who then settled, and ultimately obtained patent, under the Homestead Law, although his homestead right was initiated before the company amended its map to show the change of location and before the Secretary approved the application as thus amended. P. 248 U. S. 53.

(2) That the question whether failure to describe the route in its charter left the company without power to construct upon it, and unqualified to receive the grant, was not subject to be raised by the homesteader. P. 248 U. S. 54.

18 Ariz. 220 affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

Page 248 U. S. 50

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