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James v. Krook

Supreme Court of Arizona

October 23, 1933

W. M. JAMES, Appellant,
v.
CARL G. KROOK, as Administrator of the Estate of ALBERT W. CRAWFORD, Deceased, Appellee

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of the County of Mohave. D. A. Bridges, Judge. Judgment reversed in part and remanded, with directions.

Mr. E. Elmo Bollinger, for Appellant.

Mr. Carl G. Krook, in pro. per.

OPINION

[42 Ariz. 323] ROSS, C. J.

This action was brought by appellant, James, to quiet his title to the Gilpin group of seven mining claims, located in Mohave county, and consisting of the Water Witch and Gilpin Nos. 1 to 6, both inclusive. The ground covered by his locations, at the time they were made and for a number of years theretofore, was known as the Times group of mining claims, consisting of the Black and White, Times, Times No. 2, La Paz No. 2, Bendigo Fraction, Red Top and Big Four; and, unless forfeited for failure to do the necessary annual representation work or improvement for the year ending at 12 M., July 1, 1931, belonged to the appellee, Carl G. Krook, as administrator of the estate of Albert W. Crawford.

At the trial there was only one question considered, and that was as to whether the Crawford estate had done, or caused to be done, during such year $100 worth of labor or improvements upon or for each of the locations in the Times group. The court heard the evidence and decided the necessary expenditure and outlay had been made on all of the claims in the Times group, except the Big Four. The title was [42 Ariz. 324] quieted to the other six in the appellee administrator; and the title to the Water Witch, which covers the Big Four ground, was quieted in appellant. The Big Four was not given credit for any of the annual labor, for the reason that it is noncontiguous and not benefited.

During the assessment year in question, and the years 1929 and 1930, the Times group was under a lease and option to one Patrick Brady and a company associated with him, and whatever was done in the way of work and improvements on said group was at the instance and under the supervision of Brady. In 1929 he retimbered a shaft on the Times claim down to the 164-foot level, but, the depression coming on, he was unable to sell the stock of his company, and consequently could not perform the option or proceed with the development. Mining was suspended, but the option was extended and he left in possession.

Patrick Brady lived in Glendale, California, and he employed a son, P. H. Brady, who resided at Oatman, Arizona, to look after the Times group. Testifying, P. H. Brady said that what he did in the way of work was that, if in traveling over the road he saw a rock in it, he would take it out and refill washed-out places; admitted he had not done as much as a half day's road work on mines or for their benefit at any one time. There was no evidence that anybody else had done any road work. The Tom Reed mine where the son worked was about two to three miles as the crow flies and six miles as an automobile travels from the Times group. The son testified that he worked a shift every day, including Sunday, in the mill of the Tom Reed mine. He said:

"Well, I really never kept track of the number of times I went out, or number of times a week, but I would go out simply occasionally,

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perhaps sometimes two times a week, sometimes three times a week, sometimes once a week. It would depend on how I [42 Ariz. 325] felt or how the job was going over at the mill. When I happened to be on graveyard shift, I wouldn't go out as often as when I wasn't working graveyard."

In answer to a question by the court as to why he visited the Times group, or as to the necessity of his doing so, he said:

"I just simply went when I happened to feel good and felt like getting out. There are really few places to go and as long as I had this job, I would go out there instead of taking a drive. The buildings were locked and I kept the key, and they were at all times locked."

In another place he testified there were no tools, loose pipe or personal stuff that could be stolen; that he had picked up most of the ...


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