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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])

Report of the Indian inspector for Indian territory,   pp. 705-792 PDF (36.9 MB)


Page 723

REPORT OF INDIAN INSPECTOR FOR INDIAN TERRITORY. 723 
The total amount collected as payments on town lots in all nations 
up to June 30, 1905, was $2,185,504.13, divided as follows: 
Creek Nation      ----------------------------        $504, 005. 51 
Cherokee Nation ----------------------------------------234, 328. 42 
Choctaw and Chickasaw nations -------------------------1447, 170. 20 
Total--------------------------------2, 185, 504. 13 
As stated in my last annual report, there were about 1,000 contest 
cases, covering lots in towns in the Creek Nation where there were 
conflicting claims remaining to be determined at the time the com- 
mission was abolished. The work of determining sucli contests has 
continued during the fiscal year, and at the present time 750 of these 
cases have been disposed of, leaving only about 250 to be looked 
into and determined hereafter, and in most of these testimony has 
been taken and it is only necessary to render decisions to finally 
dispose of the same. 
In the Cherokee Nation there are about 234 contests remaining 
to be disposed of in the Chickasaw Nation about 109, and in the 
Choctaw Nation about 98. 
The appraised value of lots in all towns having been fixed by the 
respective town-site commissions for the various nations, on which 
the tribes had a representative, Congress authorized the Secretary of 
the Interior by the act of March 3, 1905,to abolish such commissions at 
such time as he should deem proper and authorized him to complete 
all unfinished town-site work, including the settlement of contests, dis-
position of vacant lots at public auction, etc. Therefore, as above 
stated, the town-site commissions were finally abolished and the 
unfinished town-site work has been taken up and disposed of by 
this office, under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior. 
The town-site work remaining to be completed by this office con- 
sists of hearing and determining these contest cases, serving notices 
in a number of towns, selling the lots listed vacant by the town-site 
commission and which have not yet been disposed of, etc. This 
work will proceed as rapidly as possible, and it is hoped this branch 
of the work will be entirely closed during the present fiscal year. 
The matter of making payments on town lots to the United States 
Indian agent will necessarily continue for a number of years, as 
the law provides. 
Great care has been taken in surveying, platting, and appraising 
these town sites, as such work is the foundation of all titles to lots 
in such towns, and it is therefore important that the work be abso- 
lutely correct. 
Different laws govern the iratter of making appraisements and 
payments on town lots in different nations, which laws are in sub- 
stance as follows: 
In the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations only lots upon which are 
located permanent, valuable, and substantial improvements other 
than fencing, tillage, and temporary houses were scheduled to the 
owners of such improvements, all other lots being listed as vacant. 
The owner of improvements is entitled to have one residence and 
one business lot scheduled to him at 50 per cent of the appraised 
value, and all other lots at 62- per cent where such improvements 
were erected prior to July 1, 1902. Where improvements were 
erected subsequent to that date the owner is required to pay the full 


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