EMERY VALENTINE TESTIMONY
APRIL 6, 1898
U.S. Land Office, Sitka, Alaska,
April 6, 1898.
Case of Emery Valentine et al., protestants, vs. Bernard Moore, claimant, was called for hearing, there "being present: Surveyor-General, Register and Receiver, and the parties in interest.
Malony & Winn as the attorneys for Emery Valentine, protestant, now offer in evidence the direct testimony of the witnesses W. A. Bigelow, Frank H. Reid, John G. Price, Emery Valentine and Mrs. Annie Leonard, taken in the case of the protestants John G. Price et al., as the direct testimony and evidence in the case of protest of Emery Valentine; and also all of the exhibits that were offered in the protest of the said John G. Price et al. are hereby offered in evidence as exhibits in the case of the said Emery Valentine protestant, and ask that all of the said testimony and evidence be received by this Board and considered by the U. S. Land Office as evidence and testimony in said protest of Emery Valentine.
As such it was received by the Board.
APPLICANT also offers in evidence in the case now under consideration all of the cross examination of the witness for the protestant in the case of Price et al. vs the claimant, and also all the evidence, documentary and otherwise, introduced by the claimant, upon the hearing of the protest of the said Price et al., in that case.
Counsel for the protestant Emery Valentine objects to the testimony of all those witnesses that was offered by counsel for the claimant on rebuttal in so far as the testimony was offered to prove the possession of the land in controversy, the improvements and value thereof upon the same, and the adaptation of the land for
certain purposes and the necessity of the land for the purpose for which it was entered, for the same reasons stated in the case of Price et al., that it is not proper rebuttal testimony, but evidence that should have been introduced at the time counsel for claimant made out his original case.
The Board of Land Officers overrules the objection for the reasons given heretofore under rules 36, 37 and 41, and the evidence is admitted and made a part of the record in the case now under consideration. Exception noted to ruling.
Counsel for this protestant Emery Valentine offers in evidence now all the cross examination of the witnesses for the claimant, and the re-direct cross examination of the witness for the protestant John G. Price et al, and asks that the same be allowed as testimony and evidence in the case of Emery Valentine as protestant.
The evidence is so admitted as a part of the record in this case.
The hearing was then adjourned until one o'clock p.m. April 6, 1898.
The hearing was resumed at 1 o'clock p.m. April 6, 1898. Present: same as at 9 o'clock a.m.
Emery Valentine was called as witness in behalf of the protestants and being duly sworn testified as follows:
Q. Give your name, residence, age and state whether or not you are a citizen of the United States?
A. Emory Valentine, residence Juneau, Alaska, age 30 years, a citizen of the United States.
Q. State if you are the same Emery Valentine who filed a protest in the matter of the application of Bernard Moore to make final proof and entry upon what is claimed to be the Moore Trading post at Skaguay, Alaska?
A. I am.
Q. In that protest you state that you appear for yourself, the Skaguay Wharf improvement company, and by a power of attorney for several other individuals. I desire to know of you at this time how many of those protestants you now appear for, and wish to offer proof?
A. Three outside of the wharf Co., A. Bloom, J.M. Tanner, and T. J. Stephens.
Q. The property that you claim on behalf of these different persons and on account of the Wharf Co., is described in the protest by giving the number of feet in length and width, the same being in rectangular form and claimed to be a part of this 160 acres claimed by Moore. Can you give any better description of it and particularly locate that property on the blue print which has been offered in this case and marked protestants Exhibit C, in testimony?
A. According to the town survey of Skaguay, the lots belonging to the Wharf Co., are lots number 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12, in block number 33, also lot number 12 in block 37. The lots that I represent under power of attorney are lot number 5 in block number 1, lot number 7 in block number 2 [both claimed by J. M. Tanner], lot number 12 in block number 2, lot number 3 in block 32, and for myself individually lot number 2 in block 32.
Q. What is the Skaguay Wharf and Improvement Co.?
A. It consists of a partnership between myself, J. P. Jorgensen and E. O. Sylvester.
Q. Has your company built and constructed and now has in operation a wharf in the town of Skaguay and approach thereto?
A. We have.
Q. Referring to this blue print, I wish you would describe the location of your wharf as laid out on that blue print?
A. It commences at the junction of First Ave. and State streets, which was formerly Runnals street, and extends in a southerly direction 1492 feet to deep water.
Q. When did your company first commence the building of this wharf,
when did they finish it, and how much did the wharf and the approach thereto cost you?
A. Commenced the construction about the 30th day of August, 1897, we received the first vessel about the 10th of December, 1897, we have expended on the wharf, incidental expenses and in the construction, nearly $39,000.00.
Q. Since what time and is your property now running and operating this for the benefit of incoming and outgoing boats and for the benefit of the public, and, if so, state approximately about how much business daily and weekly is being transacted over, upon and through the instrumentalities of this wharf and approach?
A. We received the first vessel about the tenth of December, 1897, and we are now doing a business amounting to about $8,000. per month.
Q. You are the same Emery Valentine who was on the stand and testified in the protest of John G. Price et al.?
A. I am.
Q. State then from your observations of the ebb and flow of the tide as to what portion of this wharf and approach, if any, is built upon tide lands?
A. I think it is all built on tide lands, but probably a few feet of the upper end, of the approach.
Q. What is the width of the land on either side of the center line of the wharf that you claim is necessary for the purpose of carrying on and conducting the business of this Wharf Company?
A. We took on one side 150 feet of the approach and 300 feet on the other, because we intended some time to extend the face out another 160 feet on the side where the 300 feet is.
Q. What would this land be valuable for in carrying on the business for which the wharf is built?
A. Be valuable for wharf and warehouses in connection therewith.
Q. Is that the purpose for which your company claims it?
A. It is.
Q. You have described lots number 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, in block number 33, also lot number 12 in block 37, as belonging to the Wharf Company. State how the wharf company came by those lots, what improvements is upon them, and for what purpose they were located or purchased for the company?
A. Lots number 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12, in block 33, were used as a lumber yard; on lot number 12 in block 37 to bought that to erect a bunk house and boarding house for the laborers working on the wharf; we built a cabin on each of the lots in block number 33, fenced the whole tract in and cleared them off, and piled lumber on them; lot number 12 in block 37, we fenced that in set up pilings and built a house on it 16 x 20, I think.
Q. Do you remember about what dates these lots belonging to the wharf company were located?
A. No, I don't. I think it was in the latter part of August.
Q. How were these lots when they were located, that is, as to whether or not any one was in possession of them?
A. I don't know, I didn’t locate them, we got them by purchase.
Q. Who was in possession of them at the time you purchased them?
A. That I don't know. Mr. Jorgensen came to me with the deeds, told me that he and Sylvester had bought these lots, we had to have some place to store our lumber that we just got in and asked me to take them to Juneau and have them recorded which I did.
Q. Did they have those shanties on then at the time this deal took place?
A. No. Jorgensen let the contract to some man there to build these cabins that are now on then. There was nothing but drift wood on them when I first saw them, that is, on the lots in block 33.
Q. The tide then at some time has ebbed and flown over these lots?
A. It has. I saw the water there in October and November, 1897, I believe.
Q. Has Bernard Moore, the applicant in this case, ever been in the
possession of this company's property, or ever made any improvements thereon, or any other person or persons, except the grantors of the company, and the company?
A. It was never in his possession, so far as I know; there was no indication of any one ever having improved them, there was nothing but a wilderness of driftwood on them when I first saw them, and no one has ever done or made any improvement excepting under the orders of one of our company.
Q. At the time you purchased these lots, or at the time you were building your wharf there, did you have any knowledge of Bernard Moore laying any claim to any of this wharf property or the company's lots?
A. I did not.
Q. Did anyone ever make any claim to you, and, if so, who was it, to any of this land or property last mentioned?
A. So far as know no one ever did, never to me at any rate.
Q. With the amount of business you are transacting with the company’s wharf are all of these lots last described and spoken of as the wharf company's lots necessary for the carrying on and transacting the business?
A. They are.
Q. This lot that you speak of that has the bunk house on it, state what lot it is, as to whether or not it is on upland or tide land?
A. It is lot 12 in block 37, I think it is on tide land for the reason that all of the drift was above it and we sat up pilings and the sills of the house are about 7 feet above the ground, and I have seen the tide up to the sills.
Q. Have you the written authority from these other parties to appear for then and conduct this protest? That is, I mean, those parties that you mentioned heretofore as being the only parties that you now seek to represent?
A. I have their acknowledged power of attorney.
All preliminary questions as to the powers of attorney for identification and otherwise are admitted by the counsel for the claimant and no objection is made to their being introduced. Counsel for the protestant now offers in evidence power of attorney from J. M. Tanner to Emery Valentine, which is received and marked Exhibit A, in testimony.
Also the power of attorney from J. T. Stephens to Emery Valentine which is received and marked Exhibit B, in testimony.
And also power of attorney from A. Bloom to Emery Valentine, which is received and marked Exhibit C, in testimony.
Q. I wish you would state the lot or lots claimed by Tanner, Bloom and those claimed by Stephens, and also tell what improvements if any the respective parties have upon them, and as to what time the improvements were placed there, if you know?
A. Tanner's lot is number 5, in block number 1, and number 7 in block number 2; on lot number 5 in block number 1 he built a stable, I don't know whether it was last fall or this spring, and later on he built a cabin in front; on lot number 7 in block number 2 he built a cabin there last fall in which he now lives and later he built or caused to be built two other cabins, last fall also, and this spring early he built a blacksmith shop on the back end of the lot. T. J. Stephens has lot number 3 in block 32 which he located last September and built a cabin on it in which he now lives. Lot number 12 in block number 2 is held by A. Bloom, or a portion of it is held, I should say, being a tract 26 x 60 feet, on which he has built a house now known as the Kentucky. Lot number 2 in block 32 I located myself and have a small cabin on it. I took that for the purpose of some time putting up a residence for myself there. I located my lot in September, 1897.
Q. I wish you would state if you know the approximate value of the improvements put upon each of these last described properties, when it was put there and by whom.
A. That I don't know excepting as to the Kentucky saloon, which cost about $1000, the property of A. Bloom.
Q. Can you state the approximate value of the improvements on each of the other properties just described?
A. I should think on lot number 5 in block number 1, the stable and cabin cost about $150, and on lot number 7 in block number 2, I would say the four buildings cost from $500 to $600. And on T. J. Stephens lot number 3 in block 32, his cabin cost about $100. And the improvements on my lot cost about $80.
Q. While you were putting up the improvements, that is the wharf and its approach, clearing away and erecting the cabins upon these several lots which belong to the wharf company, did Ben Moore ever make any claim to you for any of this property?
Q. State if you know about the time the building was erected upon the Bloom lot?
A. I think it was built in October, 1897.
Q. You don't know whether Ben served a written notice upon Sylvester about those wharf lots, do you?
A. No I do not, Sylvester never mentioned it to me if he did.
Q. All of the property that you have mentioned is included within the survey now in evidence in the Price case and is a part of the ground claimed by Price and others under that survey?
A. It is all included in the blue print map.
Q. Were there any of the people you represent or yourself in possession of any of the ground claimed by you, or had they made any improvements thereon prior to the 25th day of March, 1897?
A. I don't think any of them had ever been on the ground at that time.
Q. Is the wharf Company a stock company? Or is it owned in co-partnership?
A. Just a co-partnership.
Q. One of the Tanner lots, I think adjoins the lot upon which Capt. Moore now resides?
A. It adjoins that new building, the bank building, over towards the saw mill, from the Captain's corner.
Q. The other lot claimed by Mr. Tanner is between what is known in this Price case as the mess house and the store?
A. That s right.
[Signed] Emery Valentine
I hereby certify that the foregoing testimony was read by me and corrected in the presence of the witness, and that it was then subscribed to by him at my office in Sitka, Alaska, this 6th day of April, 1898.
[Signed] John W. Dudley