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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 220

220     REPORTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. 
As an instance of the complications that arise in connection with the placing
of Indian citizens in possession of their allotments, reference is made to
the fol- 
lowing important case, still pending at the close of the fiscal year: 
Application was made to the Indian agent in the customary manner for the
possession of the allotments of two minor children in the Chickasaw Nation.
A guardian for these children had been appointed by the tribal authorities
prior to the passage of the act of April 28, 1904, giving the United States
courts full and complete jurisdiction in these matters. Subsequently said
tribal guardian applied to the United States court at Ardmore for letters
of 
guardianship for these same minor children, which letters were granted in
open 
court. 
Shortly thereafter another person made application to the clerk of the 
United States court at Tishomingo, in vacation, and was appointed guardian
for 
the same children, at which time complaint was filed before the Indian agent
by 
the last-appointed guardian, asking for the possession of the allotments
of said 
children. 
When a hearing was had by this office the two guardians presented their 
letters issued by the United States courts in the same cases, and they were
advised that it would be necessary for the court to determine, before action
could be taken to place the minors in possession, which one was the legal
guardian. After consideration, the court determined the guardian appointed
in vacation to be the legal guardian. 
It appears, however, that during this time and prior to the matter having
been brought to the attention of the court, the guardian first appointed-by
the 
tribal court and subsequently by the United States court had petitioned the
Commission to the- Five Civilized Tribes for the removal of the restrictions
for 
town-site purposes on 100 acres of said land, which petition was granted
and 
approved by the Department, subject, however, to the approval of the court
so far as the actions of the guardian were concerned. 
In the meantime, the court having declared the other guardian to be the 
proper one, the alienation of the allotment for town-site purposes by the
first 
guardian was not approved and his letters revoked. The second guardian 
refused to sell the land for town-site purposes, and entered into a rental
con- 
tract for five years covering the lands, which contract was submitted to
the 
court and approved. There are upon this land about twenty-five dwellings,
a 
large hotel, and a store building. The persons occupying the same and claiming
the improvements took possession under authority of a previous claimant.
The records show that the guardian whose letters were revoked has taken 
an appeal from the decision of the court for the southern district to the
United 
States court of appeals for the Indian Territory. 
PUBLIC ROADS. 
There is no legislation in the various agreements in the Indian Territory
establishing public roads except in the Creek and Seminole nations, in which
nations allottees, purchasers, and others take title to the lands subject
to the 
provisions of law authorizing public highways or roads along all section
lines. 
Such roads may be established elsewhere than on section lines wherever neces-
sary for the public good, the actual value of the land so taken to be determined
under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior and to be paid from
tribal 
funds. 
The Indian appropriation act approved April 21, 1904, appropriated $10,000
to carry out the provisions of the Creek and Cherokee agreements with refer-
ence to the establishment of these roads, and under the directions of the
Depart- 
ment the duty of opening roads along section lines and elsewhere, appraising
damages, etc., has devolved upon the Indian agent. 
In response to a public notice given and because of their general knowledge
of the law, allottees and their tenants have generally throughout the two
nations 
opened the section lines as public roads. The records show that 326 separate
complaints were made during the year against persons who had failed to open
necessary roads along section lines, all of which complaints were acted on
by 
the agent's office. 
Petitions for roads to be established elsewhere than along section lines,
by 
reason of these lines being impracticable or impassable on account of natural
obstructions, have only been granted after -4 careful investigation by a
surveyor 
or employee of the office and full report made as to the situation. The number
of petitions of this character from both nations received during the fiscal
year 


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