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Patents as quit claims

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MightyMoe
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I have a project that includes a portion of a Railroad. I have finally gotten the railroad maps, I have not made it to the courthouse yet. 

The patent for the land was issued in 1919, it described the E2NW4 for the area in question. And it grants 80 acres. However, long before 1919, the railroad was constructed through that area. The railroad has about 12 acres of the 80 acres of the E2NW4. Although, the patent is for 80 acres there was only 68 acres available. I was able to download a 1899 quad sheet which clearly shows the railroad in question at the same location as it is today. 

If it's anything like local ones there will be a deed sometime after 1919 "granting" the railroad the land they already owned from the local landowner. Another quit claim deed. The issue with many of the local deeds is that they don't follow the actual right of way of the railroad and some are timed to expand and contract with the seasons. Hopefully, these grants will follow the maps I have from the Railroad, it will be interesting. 

 
Posted : December 8, 2022 9:13 am
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holy cow
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Please elaborate on this sentence.  I'm not grasping how the seasons affect deeds.

 

The issue with many of the local deeds is that they don't follow the actual right of way of the railroad and some are timed to expand and contract with the seasons.

 
Posted : December 8, 2022 11:45 am
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MightyMoe
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Posted by: @holy-cow

Please elaborate on this sentence.  I'm not grasping how the seasons affect deeds.

 

The issue with many of the local deeds is that they don't follow the actual right of way of the railroad and some are timed to expand and contract with the seasons.

They set conditions in the description that during the winter months the ROW was wider than in the summer months. The title people who requested the survey (they decided not to do it after I sent them my older maps) and I assumed it was for snow fencing. In the winter the ROW was 200' west of the tracks and 100' during the summer. 

 

 
Posted : December 8, 2022 1:48 pm

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holy cow
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@mightymoe 

That is quite interesting.  It does make sense for that purpose.  Apparently, no one ever thought about such a thing in this corner of the world.  Of course, most of our snow will melt away prior to the next major snow storm.

I never helped erect a snow fence until I was in college.  It definitely helped with the driveway from our rented house to the county road, though.

 
Posted : December 8, 2022 2:19 pm
MightyMoe
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Posted by: @holy-cow

@mightymoe 

That is quite interesting.  It does make sense for that purpose.  Apparently, no one ever thought about such a thing in this corner of the world.  Of course, most of our snow will melt away prior to the next major snow storm.

I never helped erect a snow fence until I was in college.  It definitely helped with the driveway from our rented house to the county road, though.

The issue was the deeds were meaningless. What happened was that the RR got the property many years before the land was patented. They even had VAL maps before the patents. Then the landowners got into a project to "deed" the land to the RR to "clean up" the ambiguity caused by the existing ROW and the patents. 

So, fast forward almost 100 years and the RR figured they needed some extra ROW in the area of the shrinking descriptions and hired me to do an ALTA. I sent them my maps that show a wider ROW and explained to them the sequence and they finally decided they didn't need more ROW after all. So, I talked myself out of a sweet job.:(

 

 
Posted : December 8, 2022 3:24 pm
 jbw
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What was your process for procuring the necessary RR r/w plans? 

We had a fellow at a recent state surveyors conference, Tucker was his name iirc, that offered some information concerning research. It was somewhat confusing as to what I needed to try to search for locally, in a state archive, or federally through the various locations (National Archives, and others he mentioned).

I recall the term Valuation Maps. Was that a list of properties, equipment, basically an assets report?

Any offers of direction would be appreciated.

 

 
Posted : December 10, 2022 7:13 am

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MightyMoe
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Posted by: @jbw

What was your process for procuring the necessary RR r/w plans? 

We had a fellow at a recent state surveyors conference, Tucker was his name iirc, that offered some information concerning research. It was somewhat confusing as to what I needed to try to search for locally, in a state archive, or federally through the various locations (National Archives, and others he mentioned).

I recall the term Valuation Maps. Was that a list of properties, equipment, basically an assets report?

Any offers of direction would be appreciated.

 

That's a tough one. Like everything it depends. I'm lucky enough to have been around early on and got a roll of maps from the local office. Years ago we scanned them into computer format with a printing company in Billings Montana. They had an industrial scanner.

So, for me locally it was the Depot engineers that had it. That's not available anymore, I had to track down an offsite location that is the clearinghouse for the track I'm doing now. Hopefully, unlike some of the old maps in my area, later deeds were done and they will match the maps sent to me (val maps). I haven't been to the courthouse yet. 

The national archives in Virginia have many of the railroad maps that you can search for on-line, it's a daunting task to say the least. If you kept your seminar information that Charlie Tucker did, he may have contact info for your railroad. I don't want to speak for him but he might even personally help. I'm sure he gets these requests often. 

If you happen to be lucky enough to be in Montana, railroad maps are on-line, a great resource. I had to send a check for $75 for each PDF I requested. 

 

 
Posted : December 10, 2022 7:41 am
 jbw
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Thank you.

No, I'm in MO. I do have the seminar outline and I downloaded parts of a huge link that he had provided, available for a short period of time. A lot of it, seemed to me, was in house RR specifics, but there was quite a bit I farmed out of it that may be useful once I start through it all.

 
Posted : December 10, 2022 7:57 am
MightyMoe
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Posted by: @jbw

Thank you.

No, I'm in MO. I do have the seminar outline and I downloaded parts of a huge link that he had provided, available for a short period of time. A lot of it, seemed to me, was in house RR specifics, but there was quite a bit I farmed out of it that may be useful once I start through it all.

RR plans have become a rabbit-hole for sure. When I was looking at the Archive files I did come across some really good MO plans, if I were you I'd give it a shot. One thing to remember about searching there is that RR names changed over time, it's important to know the original name for the RR. 

 

 
Posted : December 10, 2022 8:15 am
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MightyMoe
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Posted by: @jbw

Thank you.

No, I'm in MO. I do have the seminar outline and I downloaded parts of a huge link that he had provided, available for a short period of time. A lot of it, seemed to me, was in house RR specifics, but there was quite a bit I farmed out of it that may be useful once I start through it all.

If you're on a BNSF track, then Bartlett&West is the contact. I don't know if they have other railroads in the system, but you might give them a shout. They are based in Kansas. They were great to work with.

 

 

 
Posted : December 10, 2022 10:31 am
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holy cow
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Many of those early railroads had names that were specific such that potential investors could tell where that line was going to start and end.  Nothing as simple as Burlington Northern or Union Pacific.  The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe (Santa Fe, now part of BNSF) was a good example.  The goal was to connect two important cities in northeast Kansas to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Another example was known as the Kansas City and Memphis Railway Company.  The pool of investors came from both ends as well as prominent locations along the projected route.

The railroad I see and hear daily is now a Union Pacific line.  When it was built in 1888, it was the Kansas City and Pacific Railway Company.  It was purchased by the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad (M-K-T or Katy) about 1900.  It was constructed by Robert W.S. Stevens who was also the prime mover in constructing what was known as the Union Pacific--Southern Branch, which won the race to Oklahoma Territory in the 1870 timeframe and was allowed by the Government to connect Kansas to Texas.  That was the first branch of what became known as The Katy.

However, the railroad that was awarded many sections of land to build across this area was known as the Leavenworth, Lawrence and Galveston .  Some of their sections were about 15 miles from the actual main line, thus affecting my immediate area that is adjacent to the Kansas City and Pacific Railway Company main line which had no land granted to it. It was acquired and operated as part of the Santa Fe system for many years.  Today it is the South Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad.

The railroads were absolutely essential to development west of the Mississippi River.  I listened to a first cousin of my grandmother tell of his family's move from central Illinois to southeast Kansas about 1901 by loading everything they owned into a railroad box car and then riding in that box car via St. Louis and Sedalia, Missouri to a depot about five miles from their new home.  What an experience that must have been.

 

 
Posted : December 10, 2022 10:37 am
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 jbw
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Thank you. That's good stuff.

There are prior names to the RR's here as well. There is a Union Pacific track one one of our upcoming jobs with a vacated spur running through our parcel. Deed calls out the vacated spur and is shown on the county gis as a separate parcel. I'd like to have something a little more if I could find it. You've given me some good info on starting on it. I appreciate that.

 
Posted : December 11, 2022 5:17 pm

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 jbw
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Does anyone have a UP contact? The contact supplied in Tuckers material, supplied in the seminar, is apparently no good. It was for their map librarian.

 
Posted : December 14, 2022 4:24 am
MightyMoe
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Posted by: @jbw

Does anyone have a UP contact? The contact supplied in Tuckers material, supplied in the seminar, is apparently no good. It was for their map librarian.

You've probably already done this, but I would call the local office and try and get the train master. You might get direction from them. 

 

 
Posted : December 14, 2022 6:41 am
holy cow
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@mightymoe 

Here is the Bartlett & West site.

https://www.bartlettwest.com/

 
Posted : December 14, 2022 6:48 am

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