Press enter after choosing selection

The Gate Swindles

The Gate Swindles image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Of all the many devices resorted to for extorting money from farmers, about the most shameless was that of claiming a royalty on an alleged patent farm gate which was in use before the reported patentee was boni. Not to mention many other instances Mr. John Thomas, a veteran farmer of üakland county, had on his farm one of the common slide gates in 1840 exactly like that upon which the aharper, tlireatening to prosecute hini, claimed to have taken out a patent in 1800. Some timid farmers similarly situated, paid the blackinailers thuir price rather than go to law about it vet the imposition became so intolerable that combinations were formed to resist it. Fifty-eight granges pledged $CGS to aid in contesting the suits bcgun against farmers in Washtenaw, and many of these granges pledged additional aid if needed. Similar action was taken elsewhere, but luckily the farmers are not likely to be put to this expected expense. The claimants of a patent on what they cali the "Lee farm gate" began suits against a large number of farmers in this part of the State for alleged infringement upon their patent. These suits were brought in the United States Court in Detroit and would, 110 doubt have put innocent parties to great armoyance. Finally the court made an order that the plaintiffs must give security for costs in some test case, and also security in every new case thereafter commenced by them. ïhis order put a stop to f urther prosecutions. The parties pleaded their inability to give security, but finally managed to do so in one case. The time for taking testimony was appointed, but no further move was ever made by the complainants. Now all the cases have been dismissed for want of prosecution and the parties who instituted the suits have been ordered by the court to pay the costs. These will amount to quite a snug sum in the score or more cases begun. Those parties are believed to be worthless, but an execution will issue and the United States Marshal will take what he can íind. So ends the patent gate swindle,


Old News
Michigan Argus