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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1905
Part I ([1905])

Reports concerning Indians in Indian territory,   pp. 202-221 PDF (9.1 MB)


Page 207

REPORTS CONCERNING INDIANS IN IND. TER. 
207 
prior to July 1, 1902, the owner of such improvements is entitled to purchase
one 
residence and one business lot at 50 per cent of the appraised value and
the 
remainder of the lots on which he owns improvements at 62j per cent. Where
improvements were erected subsequent to July 1, 1902, the full appraised
value 
must be paid. In these nations the law requires that the first payment of
25 
per cent be made within sixty days from service of notice and the balance
in 
three equal annual installments. 
In the Creek Nation occupancy rights as well as improvements are recognized
under certain conditions, and when satisfactorily established, thop claimant
can 
secure title to the lot by.paying 50 per cent of its appraised value. Practically
all of the lots in this nation are being paid for on this basis. A few claimants,
however, who had larger tracts in their possession were required to pay two-
thirds of the appraised value. 
In the Cherokee Nation many of the towns have been platted, occupancy rights
sold by the tribal authorities, and the money received paid into the National
Treasury. Where these sales were satisfactorily established and the lot was
improved, the claimant is now only required to pay 25 per cent of the appraised
value; where unimproved, 50 per cent. If a Cherokee citizen is in rightful
pos- 
session of an improved lot that was not disposed of by the tribal laws, he
may 
secure title by paying 50 per cent. Noncitizens or white persons having similar
claims are required to pay the full appraised value. In all of the smaller
town 
sites, having less than 200 population at the time they were set aside, the
lot 
claimants must pay the full appraisement in every instance. 
The manner of making these payments on lots scheduled by the town-site com-
mission in the last tWo nations mentioned, Creek and Cherokee, is similar
to 
the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations, except that 10 per cent only is required
within 60 days, 15 per cent within four months, and the balance in three
equal 
annual installments. In the Cherokee Nation purchasers of unimproved lots
pay 25 per cent at the time of sale, 25 per cent in four months, and the
remainder in two annual installments. 
The Creek and Cherokee agreements provide for interest in case any amount
is not paid when due, the rate in the Creek Nation being 10 per cent per
annum 
and in the Cherokee Nation 6 per cent. 
This office has not been required to handle any town-site funds belonging
to 
the Seminole Nation, as the agreement with that nation provided for the dispo-
sition of the lots in Wewoka, the one town site therein, by the tribal authorities.
Of the 300 Government town sites in the Indian Territory, 258 are now mak-
ing payments to the Indian agent, this number of separate schedules of appraise-
ment and record books having been turned over to this office by the Indian
inspector. These are proportioned among the nations as follows: Creek, 25;
Cherokee, 38; Choctaw, 90; Chickasaw, 105; total, 258. 
Remittantces are received only in the name of the person to whom the lot
was 
appraised as shown upon the schedule prepared by the town-site commission
and 
the record book. Many requests are made by persons who have purchased lots
after the appraisement to have deed issued in their name. The matter has
been 
brought to the attention of your office and the Department, and instructions
have 
been given that it is necessary to refuse such requests, as it would be not
only 
impracticable, but almost impossible for the officers of the Interior Department
to keep a record of all transfers of town property made subsequent to the
appraisement of the town site and change its books accordingly. . This would
require nearly as much time and labor as to determine the ownership of the
lots in the first instance. Therefore, upon payment of the full amount due
for 
any lot, the deed is invariably issued in the name of the person to whom
the lot 
was originally listed. 
The magnitude of this work and its constant increase is probably best evi-
denced by the following statement: 
Town-lot nioieys recei ced and credited by fiscal years. 
Choctaw 
Fiscal year ended            Creek.  Cherokee. and Chick-, Total. 
asaw. 
June 30, 1900----.---------------------------------------$74.0-2 1$11,139.48
 $11,213.50 
June 30,1901------------------------------------------.------------  10.02
 25,090.91  25,100.93 
June 30,1902 -.-...---------- ...---------- $8,536.56-- 157,188.83  237,725.39
June 30, 1903. .    ..--------------------------------2 211,410.22  21,286.40
337,427.21  570,123.83 
June 30, 1904.. . . .  . .  .  .  ..-------------------------------- 106,479.26
 73,568.24  374,574.22  554,621.72 
June 30, 1905-------------------------------105,579.47 139,389.74541,749.55
 786,718.76 


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