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United States v. Schwarz

decided: May 3, 1972.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
CHARLES J. SCHWARZ ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS, AND FREMONT C. WOLLER ET AL., DEFENDANTS



Swygert, Chief Judge, Hastings, Senior Circuit Judge, and Kiley, Circuit Judge.

Author: Hastings

HASTINGS, Senior Circuit Judge.

The United States of America filed this action seeking a decree to quiet title to certain real estate in Wisconsin on behalf of the heirs of a Chippewa Indian patentee of the land as the result of adverse claims and actions of an adjacent landowner. Following a trial to the court,*fn1 without the intervention of a jury, the trial court made detailed findings of fact, stated its conclusions of law in an unpublished memorandum opinion and entered a judgment and decree thereon favorable to the plaintiff. Defendants Schwarz and Yeschek alone have appealed from the entire judgment, except that part thereof which dismissed the cross-complaint of defendants Woller and Reinhardt against them. We affirm.

For purposes of clarity and identification we deem it advisable to set out in full the findings of fact made by the district court:

"Facts.

The subdivision lines in Township 40 North, Range 4 East, 4th Principal Meridian, Vilas County, in this Western District of Wisconsin, were surveyed from July 22, 1865, through July 31, 1865. The plat of survey for this township was approved October 15, 1865 and is the official plat of this township. There have been no subsequent official surveys or resurveys. Government Lots 4 and 5 were shown in said plat of survey as they appear in the following diagram:

[]

The acreage of Lot 4 is shown on the plat of survey as 57.7, and that of Lot 5 as 54.4. The line dividing Lots 4 and 5, as shown on the plat, coincides with the quarter-section line of Section 23. The irregularly shaped line along what appear to be the eastern edges of Lots 4 and 5 represents a rough approximation of the meander lines described in the surveyor's notes; the meander lines, in turn, were intended to assist in determining the approximate size of the said lots by indicating the approximate location of the shore line of a lake which has since come to be known as Tippecanoe Lake.

The actual boundary of Tippecanoe Lake as it existed in 1961, and at the time of trial, and the meander line as described in 1865, are as they appear in diagram B, on the following page.

On diagram B, a peninsula which extends into Tippecanoe Lake has been shaded, thus:

[]

The dispute in this suit concerns that portion of the peninsula which has also been cross-shaded, thus:

[]

The cross-shaded area represents that portion of the peninsula which lies south of the dividing line between Lots 4 and 5 if said dividing line were to be extended in an easterly direction. The entire peninsula contains about 16.3 acres; ...


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