The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 272: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States and the Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, June-August, 1921. Page: 74
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272 FEDERAL REPORTER
CRAIG-GILES IRON CO. v. BROWNLEE et al.
(Circuit Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit. February 1, 1921.)
1. Public lands 4=>183-Evidence held to warrant finding that grant from the
state was not proved.
In ejectment, where plaintiff's title depended on a grant from the state,
the record of which did not bear the signature of the Governor, evidence
held to warrant a finding that plaintiff had not sustained the burden of
showing the execution of the grant.
2. Appeal and error 0=1046(3)-Ruling as to burden of proof immaterial,
when court found weight of evidence was against plaintiff.
That the District Court erroneously imposed on plaintiff the burden of
establishing the execution of a lost grant from the state by conclusive
proof was immaterial, where the court explicitly found that the weight
of evidence was against the inference that the grant was ever executed.
3. Lost instruments 4r-23(3)-Degree of proof required stated.
Evidence of the existence of an instrument conveying land alleged
to be lost must not only be preponderant, but so strong and clear that
the mind of the judge or jury rests with complete satisfaction on the
conviction that the security of land titles will not be disturbed by a
finding in favor of the existence of the alleged lost instrument.
In Error to the District Court of the United States for the Western
District of Virginia, at Roanoke; Henry Clay McDowell, Judge.
Action by the Craig-Giles Iron Company against Mrs. Lee Brownlee
and others. Judgment for defendants, and plaintiff brings error. Af-
W. J. Henson, of Roanoke, Va., and M. P. Farrier, of Pearisburg,
Va. (Vinson & Thompson. of Huntington, W. Va., Williams & Far-
rier, of Pearisburg, Va., and Jackson & Henson, of Roanoke, Va., on
the brief), for plaintiff in error.
W. B Snidow. of Pearisburg, Va., and I-I. T. Hall, of Roanoke, Va.
(Hall. Wingfield & Apperson, of Roanoke, Va., on the brief), for de-
fendants in error.
Before KNAPP and WOODS, Circuit Judges, and WADDILL, Dis-
WOODS. Circuit Judge. In this action of ejectment the plaintiff's
claim of title begins with an alleged grant from the state of Virginia
to George Chambers, dated January 21, 1796. Jury trial having been
waived, the court found on the evidence that the plaintiff had failed to
prove.the grant to Chambers. This finding was fatal to the plaintiff's
claim, and judgment was entered in favor of the defendants, without
consideration of the other defenses made by them.
 The plaintiff could produce no original grant, but introduced
the record of the land office of Virginia, in which was copied as a rec-
ord the form of a grant, complete in every respect, except that it lacked
the signature and seal of the Governor. It is not contended that the
record of the seal was usual or necessary. The plaintiff, conceding that
it was necessary to prove that the instrument appearing on the record
4=For other cases see same topic & KEY-NUMBER in all Key-Numbered Digests & Indexes
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The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 272: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States and the Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, June-August, 1921., legislative document, 1921; Saint Paul, Minnesota. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc38843/m1/96/: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.