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IRON SILVER MINING CO. V. MIKE & STARR CO., 143 U. S. 394 (1892)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Iron Silver Mining Co. v. Mike & Starr Co., 143 U.S. 394 (1892)

Iron Silver Mining Co. v. Mike and Starr

Gold and Silver Mining Company

No. 2

Argued November 20, 23, 1891

Decided February 29, 1892

143 U.S. 394




The term " known vein " Rev.Stat. § 2333 refers to a vein or lode whose existence is known, as contradistinguished from one which has been appropriated by location. The title to portions of a horizontal vein or deposit, generally called a "blanket vein," may be acquired under the sections of the Revised Statutes concerning veins, lodes, etc.

In ejectment for the possession of a mine, the plaintiff claimed under a placer patent, issued January 30, 1880, on an application made November 13, 1878, and entry and payment made February 21, 1879. The defendant claimed under a location certificate of a lode issued to one Goodell, dated March 10, and recorded March 11, 1879, reciting a location February 1, 1879. The defendant, to maintain its claim, offered the testimony of several witnesses, which this Court holds to establish that in 1877, and more than a year before any proceedings were initiated with reference to the placer patent, the grantors of defendant entered upon and ran a tunnel some 400 feet in length into and through that ground which afterwards was patented as the placer tract, and that in running such tunnel, they intersected and crossed three veins, one of which was thereafter, and in 1879, located as the Goodell vein or lode. The vein thus crossed and disclosed by the tunnel was from seventy-five to seventy-eight feet from its mouth, of about fifteen inches in width, with distinct walls of porphyry on either side, a vein whose existence was obvious to even a casual inspection by anyone passing through the tunnel. At the trial, the court ruled that if the vein was known to the placer patentee at or before entry and payment, although not known at the time of the application for patent, it was excepted from the property conveyed.

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