Saturday, July 26, 2014

Testimony of Charles Fulton from Leach vs Leach lawsuit.

The following testimony of Charles Fulton was taken 11 February 1948; this post is the first of eleven. The background (explanation) for this testimony can be found in my post dated 23 July 2014.


Chester F. Leach, Clyde F. Leach, Oscar Leach, Otis Leach, Ersa Leach, and Samuel Leach, Plaintiffs.


S. D. Leach, Defendant.


The deposition of Charles Fulton, taken at the law office of Otto C. Martin, in the Hartford Deposit Bank Building , in Hartford, Kentucky, on Wednesday, February 11, 1948, pursuant to agreement to be read as evidence on behalf of the defendant on a trial of the above styled notion now pending in the Ohio Circuit Court. Present for the plaintiffs, the plaintiffs, Oscar Leach and Ersa Leach, and Claude E. Smith, attorney for the plaintiffs. Present for the defendant, Otto C. Martin, his attorney. Witness being first duly sworn and examined by Otto C. Martin, attorney for defendant, testified as follows.

Q. l   State you name please sir.
A.  Charles Fulton.

Q. 2   Your age?
A.   51.

Q. 3   Your residence?
A.  Cromwell, Route 1 is my post office.

Q. 4   You live in the Bald Knob section of the county?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 5   How long have you lived in that section?
A.  Since 1919, I have been away awhile, but I moved there in June, 1919.

Q. 6   Did you know Samuel, S. W., Leach during his life time ?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 7   Do you know the farm he lived on when he died?
A. Yes sir.

Q. 8   How near is it to where you live?
A.  Just a road between them.

Q. 9  You have known that farm for more than thirty years?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 10   Have you been on this Leach farm a lot?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 11   Been over it?
A.   Yes sir.

Q. 12  Know what improvements there are on it?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 13  What improvements were on that farm when you moved there in that community in 19l9?
A.  A house and barn was about all, nothing fenced on the place that you could turn out stock in.

Q. 14  No fencing?
A.  No sir.

Q. 15  What sort of a house was on this Leach farm?
A.  Two room log house with hall between, weatherboarded with a chimney at each end, with a kitchen.

Q. 16  How many rooms in this house?
A.  Three.

Q. 17  A frame kitchen?
A.  Yes sir, there was an upstairs.

Q. 18  How many rooms upstairs?
A.  Two.

Q. 19  One over each of these log rooms?
A.  (Nod)

Q. 20  Could you give any idea about how old the house was when you first knew it?
A.  No sir, I don’t.

Q. 21  Was it old then?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 22  What kind of a barn did they have?
A.   A frame barn, very poorly braced.

Q. 23   Was it old when you moved up there?
A.   It had been covered the second time.

Q. 24  What other outbui1dings (were) on this farm?
A.  That is about all.

Q. 25  A meat house?
A.   If so, I don’t recall it.

Q. 26   This tract of land Is supposed to contain 112 acres I believe?
A.   I think that is right.

Q. 27  What kind of soil was it when you first knew it?
A.   Very thin, oak ridge land.

Q. 28   Level or hilly?
A.   Medium land, rolling.

Q. 29   About how much of that land was round and suitable for crops?
A.    I don’t imagine over 10 or 12 acres.

Q. 30   What condition was the remainder in?
A.   It was growed up.

Q. 31   Any ditches in it?
A.    Yes sir.

Q. 32   How much timber would you say is on that land?
A.   I couldn't say, a right smart little.

Q. 33   What kind of timber?
A.   Just ordinary, not big timber.

Q. 35  This land where the timber was growing, what sort of land was it?
A.  It was gravelly ridge land. There was a piece cleared up.

Q. 36  You have cultivated that farm?
A.  Some of it.

Q. 37  Since Mr. Leach died?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 38   How many times have you cultivated it?
A.  A part of it twice. Two acres in one piece and 1 ½ or 2 acres in another piece where Jake had built it up for tobacco.

Q. 39  Where he had his tobacco crop?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 4O   You knew Mrs. Leach, the widow of S. W. Leach?
A. Yes sir, when I saw her was about all.

Q. 41   When Mr. Leach died was any of his children living there in the home?
A.  None of them living there, no sir.

Q. 42  You knew his boys, didn't you?
A.  I knew Chester and Clyde. I have seen the other two.

Q. 43   Where did Chester live when his father died?
A.  I can’t say whether he lived on the Dave Taylor place, or Hartford.

Q. 44  Did he not live on his farm?
A.  If so it was close - yes I guess he was out there on his farm then.

Q. 45  That was adjoining his father's place?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 46   Now Mr. Fulton, did you buy the place you moved to out there?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 47   When did you buy it?
A.  In the fall of 1918.

Q. 48   How many acres in that farm?
A.  50 acres.

Q. 49  How much suitable for cultivation?
A.  I guess there was 30 acres.

Q. 50   What kind of improvements on it?
A.   There was a house built in 1917, and a barn built 1n 1916 or 19.

Q. 51  What size dwelling house?
A.  Three rooms, about 14 foot square.

Q. 52   Frame house?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 53  What kind of a barn?
A.  Frame barn 24 by 32.

Q. 54  Any timber on this place?
A.  No sir.

Q. 55  What did you pay for that farm?
A.  $1,200.00.

Q. 56  How did that land compare with the Leach land?
A.  It was not growed up so much.

Q. 57  More of it suitable for cultivation?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 58  Do you know of any other land selling in that community along in 19l8? or in 19l9?
A.  I never paid much attention to it.

Q. 59  You do know what you bought?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 60   I will ask you if there were many transfers or sales of hand in that community about that time?
A.  Norvel Leach bought the Jackson Place, and Laban Hines bought the Cicero Taylor place.

Q. 61  Were there any improved roads in that section of the county at that time?
A.  No sir.  

Q. 62  Any rock roads close?
A.  No, I guess 4 or 4 1/2 miles was the closest rock road. I don't know whether they had rocked the road to Clates Hill then or not.

Q.  63   On the Beaver Dam and Cromwell road?
A.  Yes sir.

Q.  64  That was the closest rock road?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 65   All the roads in that section were dirt roads?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 66   Impassable in the winter time?
A.   Except in a wagon or horse back.

Q. 67   Now, Mr. Fulton, I will ask you if you were acquainted with the fair market value of farm land in that community such as this Leach land and other lands judging from sales made of other lands in that community in 1919, when this farm was sold by Mrs. Leach to Jasper Leach? Basing your answer on what other farms in that community sold for?
A.  I did not pay much attention to such as that. I know what my father paid.

Q. 68   How did your land compare with the Leach land?
A.   It was in better shape. There was some bottom land on our place.

Q. 69   Any bottom land on the Leach place?
A.  2 ½ acres, maybe.

Q. 70   Basing your answer on what this farm your father bought, sold for, what in your opinion was the S. W. Leach farm, including the building’s, surface and everything, worth and what was the fair cash value of it in 1919, when Mrs. Leach sold it to Mr. Jasper Leach?
A. I would not give the farm at home, take the buildings off of it, I would not give the 50 acres for the whole farm.

Q. 71  Taking into consideration the timber on the Leach farm and everything was reasonably worth in 1919, considering its location.
A. I would not have much idea. I started to say $1,500.00 or $2,000.

Q. 72 I will ask you, if, in your opinion, that farm, with the improvements, the kind of buildings, the timber and surface, was worth more than $2,000.00, in 1919?
A. I did not say that did I?

Q. 73. In your opinion, was it worth more than $2,000?
A. I said round $1,500 or $2,000.

Cross-examination by Claude E. Smith, Attorney for plaintiffs.

Q. 1   If, after Mrs. Leach sold that farm to J. N. Leach, they sold the timber off of it for $2,000.00, would you still think the whole thing farm, timber and all's not worth more than $2,000.00?
A.  If they sold the timber for $2,000.00 it might be worth more. I would value the farm, without the timber, and everything, at around $700 or $800.

Q. 2  You know that timber was cut off since Mrs. Leach sold it?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 3   Do you know to whom it was sold?
A.  To Stimson, I think. So far as knowing who got it, I don't.

Otto C. Martin: You mean Stimson at Owensboro?
A. Yes sir.

Q. 4  Don't you know the tie timber was sold to Bond Bros.?
A.  No sir.

Q. 5  You know the tie timber was out off of it?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 6   The timber you think that may be was sold to Stinson, was the timber that would make lumber was it not?
A.  I don't know what Stimson wanted with it. I think it was lumber timber.

Q. 7   He was in the lumber business?
A.  I think so.

Q. 8   He was not in the tie business?
A.  I don't know what he was in to.

Q. 9   There is no timber there now of any value is there?
A.  Some small timber that has growed since then, what it would be worth I don't know.

Q. 10   There is none there now at all, except what has grown up since it was cut over soon after Mrs. Leach sold it?
A.  No, not anything else there now.

Q. 11  Had you been to and inspected the dwelling house on the place, before Mrs. Leach sold it?
A. I have been through there a few times.

Q. 12   Had you inspected the dwelling house to see and ascertain it qualities while she lived there?
A.  We did not live there adjoining it, when she sold the place.

Q. 13   How soon after she sold it and moved away where you there and inspected the house to ascertain its worth and the value of it?
A.  I think Jake Leach moved there in the fall, and we were neighbors, and I was over there. Jake moved there after Uncle Jasper bought it.

Q. 14  The dwelling house was suitable for people to live in ?
A.  They had to re-cover it directly after they moved.

Q. 15  Other than that was it suitable to 1ive in?
A. Yes sir.

Q. 16   What kind of a barn was on the place?
A.  A frame barn.

Q. 17  How large?
A.  I guess about 30 by 40. That is my guess.

Q. 18  It was in pretty good condition when Mrs. Leach sold to Jasper Leach?
A.   It was a reasonably fair barn.

Q. 19  That dwelling house that was on the place at that time is now practically rotted down?
A.   Yes sir.

Q. 20  The barn gone?
A. Yes sir.

Q. 21  All other outbuildings, if there were any others at that time, are gone too ?
A. Yes sir.

Q. 22   You say Jake moved on this place shortly after Mrs. Leach sold it, who else lived on the place, if you know, after she sold it?
A.  Kenneth Davis and Oka Daugherty.

Q. 23   How long did they live there?
A.   They just rented it for a year.

Q. 24   What year did they live there, if you know?
A.   They lived there the year the widow died.

Q. 25   She died April 21, 1937, do you think this is about the time?
A.  I know the hearse hung up.

Q. 26  Do you remember that being about the date of her death?
A.   I couldn’t say what date. I don't know the date.

Q. 27   Any way they lived there the year she died, that right?
A.  Yes, that is right.

Q. 28  When did you cultivate some of this land?
A.  Five years ago I cultivated about six acres, I guess, on the place, and three years ago I cultivated about three acres just in patchs.

Q. 29   What was the condition of the land then that you testified about while ago, as to its quality and productiveness?
A.  It was in better shape than it was in 1919. Jake had built this up for tobacco. There was two or three acres that was bottom branch land he had tilled out.

Q. 30  Who did you rent from?
A.  Clay Leach, he was managing it for S. D. Leach.

Re-direct examination by Otto C. Martin.

Q. 1  I understood you say that Jake Leach tilled about three acres of that land?
A. Yes, he dug a ditch and filled it in with logs, and the water drained out through these logs.


No comments:

Post a Comment