U.S. Supreme Court
Van Wyck v. Knevals, 106 U.S. 360 (1882)
Van Wyck v. Knevals
Decided December 11, 1882
106 U.S. 360
APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED
STATES FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEBRASKA
1. Subject to the exceptions therein mentioned, the Act of July 23, 1866, c. 212, granted, for the use and benefit of the St. Joseph and Denver City Railroad Company, the odd-numbered sections of public land within a prescribed distance on each side of the proposed road. The company duly filed in the office of the Secretary of the Interior a map showing the definite location of the line of the road. Held that the grant was in praesenti, and attached to
those sections as soon as the map was so filed. No valid adverse right or title to any part of teem could be acquired by a subsequent settlement or entry.
2. On the failure of the company to complete the work, a forfeiture of the grant, if it resulted therefrom, can be enforced only by the United States through judicial proceedings, or the action of Congress. A third party cannot set it up to validate leis title, nor avail himself of the fact that the company, in constructing, deviated from the original line, if the lands which he claims are within the prescribed distance from it and the road as built.