Newspaper Page Text
Imperial Valley Press.
VOL. V LAND TROUBLES SETTLED Commissioner of the General Land Office Takes Proper Adion Orders the Lands in this Valley Surveyed by Metes and Bounds, Thus Giving Every Settler the Lands Actually Settled Upon by Him. • The subject of the Imperial resurvey. which has agitated and troubled many of our people for the past four years, is now to be settled right. The follow ing from the Los Angeles Times of last Friday gives the information that Commissioner of the General Land office has acted on the request of the settlers; Washington, March 29,— [Exclusive Dispatch.] The Commissioner of the General Land ollice advises Senator Flint that he has directed that land in Imperial Valley beresurveyed in accord ance with the request of settlers. The land is to be surveyed in part* by n.t-tes and bounds, in accordance with private survey that was ma-le and thus give to each "of the settlers the land located upon and now occupied by him, rather than carry out the original phms for Eurveying ; lan.d which would have the result in many instances of settlers los ing part of their improvements. It will be remembered that in the first place, after the discovery of the error in the surveys made by the Im perial Land' company, and the Sunset Commercial company, by which the filings in the Valley have been made. the people, in 1902. petitioned Con gress to pass a bill for their relief. Congress, therefore, on July Ist, 1902. passed a bill ordering a resurvey made of. the townships in this Valley, and providing that none of the ''present' 1 bona fide occupants of the lands should be molested in their holdings. In due course of time the departmental red tape was unwound and it came up t:> the Commissioner of the General Land office to issue the instructions to the deputy surveyors, who are to do the final work of surveying. And right here the trouble rose. He interpreted the word "present" in the bill where it referred to the bona fide occupants of the land to mean those who were such at the time the bill was passed. July Ist, 1902. and instructed the deputies to ignore all entries made subse quently. This action on his part was not known here until the contracts were let and the instructions actually arriv ed. It was at once seen that a serious mistake had been made and one that required to be promptly rectified. We at once prepared a petition to the Hon orable Commissioner of the General Land office setting forth tersely just what the situation required and asking that he Issue supplemental Instructions to his deputy surveyors, instructing them to survey every settler's claim so as to give him the exact lands upon which he has settled. We printed a number of these petitions and distrib uted them about the Valley for signa ture. Meantime, we wrote to Sena tors Flint and Perkins, and Congress man Smith, sending them copies of the 'petition and explaining In detail what was needed to straighten the matter out. Without waiting for the petitions to arrive these gentlemen took the matter up with the Honorable Land Commissioner, and especially Senator Flint has persistently followed it up. In a letter to us replying to one of ours, he says that our method of at tack is the correct one. for the com missioner can remedy the whole matter with the stroke of a pen. Meantime, while work was going ahead on this line in Washington, others were agitat ing to send someone to V/ashington to urge Congress to pass another bill to remedy the matter. A proposed bill was published in the Standard, and President Gleason and the manage ment of Water company No. 1 got be hind the move to send an agent to Washington to work for it. Both Roy McPherrln and A. H. Heber were proposed for this agent and McPherrin was appointed. However, his work as claim agent for the California Develop ment Co v . Interfered with his going, and •a change was made, Paul H. « cPherrin being substituted and the California Development company meeting one half the expenses of the journey. Meantime the counter agitation in fa vor of the proposed bill, and the cock sure assurances "hat the Press was wrong in appealing to the Commission er of the General Land office, had dissuaded many people from signing the petitions and the work of circulat ing them had lagged. However, we refused to abandon our movement, and insisted that whatever was done, the Land Commissioner be labored with first, and every effort made to get him to issue appropriate instructions to his deputy surveyors for the right kind of a survey. Mr. Paul McPherrin agreed to do this when he was here in the Valley before his departure for Washington. He left Los Angeles on his journey about the 15th of March. He went to San Francisco first, and spent some time there so that he could not have been in Washington but a very few days, if at all, until the Commissioner told Senator Flint it was all right, he would order the resurvey made to fit the farms and give every settler the land he occupied. The Commission er's mind was already filled with the peoples side of the matter when the pe titions arrived, so he did not have to pause and consider It very long. This Is another and a striking Illustration of the correctness of the Press' position that the officials of the United States are true friends to the actual settlers in this Valley, and that they are ever ready to do whatever they can to help us and further our Interests. In the case of the soil experts they simply were mistaken. The conditions were different to anything they had cv er studied before and Mr. J. Garnett Holmes did not understand thtm In the case of the movement for government ownership, we were asking amiss, under the circumstances, and it could not be granted. It is perfectly apparent now, why It could not be granted, and we are all well satisfied with the reasons and willing the recla mation fund should be expended for constructing Irrigation works, and not frittered away In buylW them at "hold up" prices, \ AM) TMIi IMI'HKIAL I'RHSS EL CENTRO," CALIFORNIA. APRIL 7, 1906 With the success of the movement for the Honorable Commissioner of the General Land office to rectify his orders concerning the resurvey, the last vestige of worry and uncertainty on that score is removed. Everyone can now proceed with security and as surance that his.land lines will not be molested nor his claim jeopardized, no matter where the township and section corners may be located. And the Press congratulates the people of the Valley on this fact, and on its connec tion with li. And we congratulate our selves that during the year that we have guided Its policy the Press has consistently upheld the rights of the people of this Valley and labored in all seasons for their advancement. Through our efforts the question of water rights and the subject of water stock with relation thereto, is more fully understood by the people of this Valley, than ever before. Our voice has always been for home rule and the best interests of the farmers in all the V/ater companies of the Valley. We advised the construction of a powerful levee along the north bank of New river, from Calexico to a point three miles northwest of Silsbee, as long ago as last September- V/e presume no one doubts the wisdom of this advice now. And our opposition to the sale of intoxicating liquor and fight for morality and civic righteousness is en dorsed by the best people, everywhere. The Press Is loyal to the best inter ests of the people of tb's Valley, at all times and under all circumstances. NO MORE FILINGS Lands in Imperial Valley Withdrawn From all Forms of Entry and all Entries Suspended Following the action of the Commis sioner of the General Land office or dering the Surveyor-General of Cali fornia to survey the lands in this Val ley by metes and bounds, and to give every settler the identi cal land he claims and occu pies, came a telegram to Register Prescott and Receiver Robinson of the Los Angeles Land office, withdraw ing the lands in this Valley from all forms of entry. This telegram orders that no more filings be accepted, on any lands in Townships 13, 14, 15 and 16 South. Ranges 11. 12. 13. 14, 15 and 16 East, and fractional Townships 17 South. Range 15 and 16 East. San Bernardino Meridian. Also that all entries row on the books in those town ships are suspended from final proof. The suspended area is Identical with that Included in the Imperial resurvey, and the withdrawal of these lands is done in order that the matter of locat ing the settlers by the newly ordered method can be done without trouble. The instructions from the Surveyor- General to the deputy surveyors will doubtless be to survey every entry they find by metes and bounds. That will Include everyone up to the time of the withdrawal of the lands. The suspen sion of all entries in this part of the country from final proof, has been In effect for some time, but the Land office has permitted the entrymen to file their final proofs, pending the com pletion of the resurvey. By this means parties have continued to advertise and make their final proofs after the suspension, the Land office officials merely taking their affidavits and dep. ositlons In the matter and storing them away In their office till the resurvey Is made and the lands restored to final entry. Then the owner will be notified \ i of the correct description by which the new system will describe his lands, and will be required to pay the sum of one dollar per acre upon the lands in cluded In their entry, and thus com plete the proofs. They will also re quire some kind of an affidavit from the owner to show that he is the own er, In order that the final receipt be not Issued to the wrong man. L This action of the Land Department in withdrawing the lands Ir? this resur veyed district from entry has been ex pected for some time, and It his been a mat er of surprise that It was delayed so long. The Intention of the Com missioners to compel all entrymen who had filed on their land since July Ist 1902, to amend their entries or com ply with the new survey, is the only explanation of it. Now that the lands are to be surveyed as occupied and claimed, It Is but a matter of protec tion to the government to stop all fur ther filings till the resurvey is complet ed. Just what effect this will have on the real estate market is problemati cal. All desert claims can still be assigned, and of course patented lands can be sold, but no relinquishing and refiling nor any original filing will be permitted. However, the settler who actually occupies and resides upon a tract of vacant land will have a sure and lawful prior right to it when the resurvey Is complete and filings are again permitted. As most of the desirable public lands are either quite remote from towns and transportation or else are not provided with an irrigating system, the withdrawal from entry will not In convenience many actual homeseekers and settlers. There is lots of room for newcomers in the improved and settled portions of the Valley and such lands can be transferred the same as ever. Uncorrupted Texas Even with the remarkable growth of the cities, the increase in manufactures, the expansion of railroad mileage from 500 miles in 18C7 to 12,000 miles last year, the development of the oil fields at Beaumont and elsewhere, Texas nev er got out of the grip of the people into the grasp of the corporations. If the cattle kings and the big farmers have power ami influence, as they do, they yet do not rule the State. 1 If the oil king!?, the lumber kings, the railroad kings are deferred to as they are in other States, yet they cannot dominate. I asked a well-known Texan what kept the State uneoiTupted. "The boys from the folks of the creeks and the heads of the cauvons," said he. They need no referendum in Texas. Public affairs are the personal business of every man in the State, however re mote from the cities, however humble. The people elect representatives, senat ors, governors, legislators of a kind that do not need watching — and then they watch them. — World's Work. Work on the sidewalks wae! resumed on Friday morning, the full crew going at the job. Also construction work was begun on the opera house and Valley State Bank buildings, and on a foundry and machine shop for 31 r. Heath. This last building will ba of brick and will be located near the railroad track and across, west from the ice plant. Build ing will take on renewed activity «\vith the completion of the ice plant and ho tel. The crew putting up the trans mission line from lloltvillo will reach Xl Centro about next Wednesday, and it is expected that electric lights will be burning in this town by April 10th. 320 acres. 3 1-2 miles from El Centro, 160 acres In alfalfa\Bo acres In barley, 15 acres in cantaloupes, all fenced in forty acre fields, 2 h?, miles hog fence, house. There IsjA fee*d here to keep 800 hogs $ji mer. Don't let this goJ&\\ looking Into it. Bert R. #\\\ ONLY A MOUTHPIECE Big Companies Say L. M. Holt is Only a Mouthpiece of the Chaf f()s J. S. Chapman. Eugene S. Ivcriand J, W. McKinley. attorneys for tha de fendants in the case of L. M. Holt against the California Development company and the Southern raclflc Railway, yesterday filed a demurer to the suit in the Circuit Court. The points on which they demur are that by the plaintiff's own showing he s not entitled to relief, that the court : .as no jurisdiction, and that the suit \z -.'holly without equity. Attached to the demurrer ar<= a number of affidavits, which go much farthe"r than the demurrer. The prin cipal one is by W. J. Doran, treasurer of the Development company, it re cites practically the statement: made by the auditing company, whlc 1 ; vere printed. exclusively in The T; ::: ::- of December 20th. In addditlon .• goes into some of the transaction- cf the Delta Investment company, and :;.:eges that the two Chaffeys entered Into a conspiracy along v/ith A. H. richer and N. W. Stowell to defraud the Cal ifornia Development company. The affidavit also alleges that _. M Holt has no interest in bring: g the suit that he was instigated the:*:?o by the Chah.«ys, who are paying tJ.'e ex penses of the suit, and that it was brought as ai ccunter-chedr-tol'^AuiL.. insMtuted some time ago by the Cali fornia Development company against them with others to compel th* m to pay back nearly $900,000, whlc • it is said they abstracted from the ::nds of the company. It further states that the cofnplatnt Is untrue in most of the allegations concerning the Southern Pacific, which Is said to be ready to relinquish its contract as soon as the debt is ;-a!d. and has not attempted to contrei the board of the development company ex cept as to the matter concern;: c the means of stopping the flow at tre in take, which are proper to It. In connection with Holt, it states that he was a party to the contract he is now attacking, and directed that his stock should be voted for the scheme, and signed a proxy to that end, which is now in the possession of the cf'xers of the company. Affidavits' by other persons ,-ailege that Holt has begun this' suit at the Instance of George Chaffey and A M. Chaffey, and that they are paying for it, and that he has no other interest In the affair than to act as the mouth piece of the Chaffeys, and also that he himself has said this In conversation with some of the persons makirg the affidavits. These persons are H. W. Blalsdell, W. T. Heffernon, F. C. Paulln and W. J. Doran, who presents two affidavits. In one of the papers the sta'einent Is made that Holt has offered to dis miss his suit if the sultaga'r.st the Chaffeys and others Is dropped — Los Angeles Times. Notice to Tax-payers A statement of all property cwned on the first Monday In March must be rendered to the County Assef-er or his deputy. Where there is no title to real ts-ate the personal and poll taxes, must bo paid on demand, If the poll tax, $2.00 is ndf pau :e- . fore July Ist, 1906. one dolN^'^ added to tame. V ;.o 52