May, 1907 - Titles Are Involved
This next article came from the Alva Pioneer, dated May 3, 1907, Alva, O.T., Woods County. It was entitled: "Titles Are Involved."
As the story goes back in 1907, there was a "United States Suit Brought Against Muskogeeites - Petition States That Creek Nation Has Been Defrauded by Speculators - Suit Is Result of Foulk Investigation Recently."
Muskogee -- The united States, acting for the Creek Nation, has commenced suits against alleged lot grabbers in several towns in the nation charging that many lots were illegally secured for half their value. The suit is brought by M. L. Mott, attorney for the Creek nation, and is the result of the investigation of William Dudley Foulk, the special representative of the president.
The president in the cases filed are prominent. P. Porter, chief of the Creek nation, is made a defendant in most of the cases. The Muskogee Title and Trust company is a defendant in two cases and D. H. Middleton, president of the City National bank, is defendant in another and Marion B. Sawyer, a stenographer, who has been in the employ of the Indian inspector for several years, is a defendant in two cases, while C. W. Turner and Frederick B. Severs, an adopted citizen of the nation, are mentioned as defendants in nearly all the suits. Other defendants are A. Z. English, Julius M. Miller, R. L. Baugh, H. C. Jacobs, the Creek Realty company, corporation.
There are five separate suits and the same defendants are mentioned in nearly every one, except that Pleasant Porter and C. W. Turner alone are named as defendants in one suit. In the suits filed it appears that the contention centers around the lots that were scheduled to F. B. Severs, C. W. Turner, Chief Porter and A. Z. English, they being charged with holding more lots than the others.
Special interest will attach to the holdings of Marion B. Sawyer. Several lots were scheduled to her originally. Others she had purchased since. She was in the employment of the government at the time as a stenographer.
By the Creek treaty under which the towns of over 200 population were segregated from allotable land, it was provided that persons who were in possession of lots by virtue of improvements were entitled to have the lots scheduled to them by the government and they were to pay to the Creek nation one-half of the appraised value. Lots not so scheduled were to be sold at auction. No person was allowed to hold more than four acres, and that much only under certain circumstances.
The Creek nation claimed that it has been defrauded out of vast amounts of money because the defendants had hundreds of lots scheduled in the names of persons who did not own them in fact, and that the defendants paid the one-half appraisement and after the deeds were issued to the persons on the schedule, these persons made quit claim deeds to the defendants.
The relief that the Creek nation prays is that the deeds to the lots in question be cancelled and that the lots revert to the Creek nation. This will affect hundreds of lots in every town in the Creek nation if the nation can win the case. In the suits filed several hundred lots were specifically described.
In cases where the lots were still in possession of the defendants the petition asks that the lots be turned back to the Creek nation, and in cases where the lots have been sold to innocent purchasers, it asks that the original holders of the lots be required to pay to the Creek nation a proper value of lots. No claim is made against present holders who are innocent purchasers nor is it intended that the lots shall be held to force a settlement.
The deeds to all these lots are government patents. They were signed by Chief Porter for the Creek nation, and were approved and signed by the secretary of interior.
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Comments: I 1969, I made a trip to the extreme western region of Oklahoma, Black Mesa region. There was a stone monument about 5 feet high at the corner of Oklahoma, New Mexico and Colorado. A man who lived near there took me about a few miles and showed some dinosaur tracks in stone of a creek bed.
Black Mesa was formed when lava ran down a creek bed from Colorado and this made a cap rock as the region was eroded. It is the highest spot in Oklahoma. ~Graham Kendall 2007-06-10 02:53:02
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