Press enter after choosing selection

Title In Dispute

Title In Dispute image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Washixgtou, Dec. 'M. - One of the most important cases of the year is in process of hearing in the United States supremo court. It lnvolves the validity of title of the Southern Pacific eompiiny to the water front of Oakland, Cal., on the bay of San Francisco. A grant was originftlly made in 1852 to tlie town of Oaklnnd -then a mere hamlet- of a large tract of land extendlng from high water mark to ship channel to enable the town (which was incorporated in tho same act) to ereate a harbor and construct wharvos. ïhis grant was conveyed to Horace V. Carpentr by the trustees of the town on nis ajjreement to perform certain conditions required of the town by the grantinff act of the legislatura. Controversies arose between Carpenter and the authorities of Oakland after its incorporation as a city in 1864, but the claims were all adjusted in 1868 under the authority of the legisiature, conferred on the city council and the mayor for that purpose. When the Kallway Got Title. Froni Carpenter the titlo now attacked by tbe state of California was derived by the railway company. The preeent suil was brought to quiet title. The state of California is represented by its attorney general, Hart, and with him are assoeiated counsel for the city of Oakland and also John S. Miller, of Chicago, who was counsel for that city in the famous lake front case, which took from the Illinois Central Kailroad company its supposed right to the submerged lauds oonstituting the water-front of Chicago on Lake Michigan. On the side of the railroad company are William Stewart, senator from Nevada; J. Hubley Ashton, of Washington ; J. K. Cowen and Hugh L, Bond, Jr., of Balti more, and Harvey S. Bunn, of San Francisco. The case was opened by the attorney general of California. He stated with great clearness the history of the case, giving the various legislativo enactments, the ordinauees of the city of Oakland, and the agreements between tho city and its grantee, H. W. Carpenter, and with the railroad company. Contention of the State Now. He claimed that tho grant of Carpenter, on which the railroad title res,ts, was a lease for thirty-seven years only. He inaintained that at no time had the state made any grant to the city of the property in the water front. He said tho statu had only granted the right to its use for the benefit of commerce, and that the city could not part with the title, because it had never owned it. He furthermore contended that the state itself could not, if it had chosen to do so, have granted this property to any person -or Corporation, because it must hold the property for the benefit of all the people interested in comineroe. Conditions Were Different Dien. Senator Stewart then opened nis argument in behalf of the railroad company. He made a statement of the conditions prevailing in IM8B when the legislatura granted to Oakland the water front. He said the population of Oakland was then fifty-five persons. The extent of the grant greatly reduced its value, there being somefching like five miles of mud üats between Oakland and the deep water. In March, 185a, the entire propcrty on which üakland is locatod was sold for $10,000. He saul that San Francisco becaine the metropolis of the Pacific because it was built at deep water where the ships could reach it. ïold How They Wrestled witli the Itoad. He narrated the struggle of the founders of Oakland to interest the railroad company in even cousidering the question of making it a railroad terminus. No rallways were constructed in the fifteen years after tho grant of the water front was made to Oakland. He made' it plain that up 18(9 the water front of Oakland was of little valué. He then entered upon a statement of the negotiations which led to the acquisition of the title by the railroad company and the approval of the same by the city council of Oakland. He had oiily reached that point when the court ad journed.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News