Saturday, August 30, 2014

Testimony of Clay Leach from Leach vs Leach lawsuit.

The following testimony of Clay Leach was taken 11 February 1948; this post is the ninth 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.


Also the deposition of Clay Leach taken at the same time and place and for the purpose stated in the caption. Witness being first duly sworn, deposed as follows:
Examined by Otto C. Martin, attorney for defendant.

Q. 1   State your name.
A. Clay Leach.

Q. 2  Your age?
A.   45.

Q. 3  Your residence?
A.   Beaver Dam, Route 3.

Q. 4   In what community do you live?
A.   Rob Roy.

Q. 5   What is your occupation?
A.   Farming.

Q. 6   I believe you are a brother of S. D. Leach?
A.   Yes sir.

Q. 7   A son of Jasper N. Leach?
A. Yes sir.

Q. 8  You are the youngest child?
A.   No, Scott is the youngest.

Q. 9   Do you now live on your father's old home place?
A.   Yes sir.

Q. 10  The one he owned when he died?
A.    Yes sir.

Q. 11   How near is that to the S. W. Leach farm?
A.  It adjoins it.

Q. 12   On which side?
A.  On the North.

Q. l3   How long have you lived where you are now living?
A.   All my life.

Q. 14   You knew S. W. Leach while he lived?
A.  Yes sir .

Q. 15   Was he related to you?
A. Yes, distantly related.

Q. 16   You knew his wife also?
A. Yes sir.

Q. 17   Have you been on the S. W. Leach farm very much?
A. Yes sir.

Q. 18  How long have you known it?
A.   Practically all my life, since I have been old enough to know anything about it.

Q. 19   You are 45 now, you were about 16 years old when Mr. S. W. Leach died?
A.   Yes sir.

Q. 20   Do you remember when your father bought this farm from S. W. Leach's widow?
A.   Yes sir.

Q. 21   Do you know what he paid for it?
A.  $2,000.00.

Q. 22   Were you with him when he bought it?
A. Well, no, I was not with him at the time. I don't think.

Q. 23   Do you know whether or not your father later sold an interest in that farm to Jake Leach?
A. Yes sir.

Q. 24   How much interest did he sell him?
A. Half interest.

Q. 25   For how much?
A.   $1,000.00.

Q. 26   Do you know when the timber on this S. W. Leach f arm was cut?
A.  The year the bought it or the following year along about that time.

Q. 27   Who cut that timber?
A.  I think Jake Leach cut it.

Q. 28   Who bought it, if you know?
A.  Stimson Lumber Company.

Q. 29   All of it?
A. A part of it was in ties.

Q. 30 Who were the ties sold to?
A.   I don 't know.

Q. 31   Do you know what they got for that timber?
A.  I think $1,000.00, for what they sold to Stimson.

Q. 32   Do you know what they sold the ties for?
A.   No sir.

Q. 33   Do you know who bought them?
A.   No sir, I don't. I don’t know whether they were taken t o the railroad or to the river.

Q. 34  Do you have any idea how many ties they got off that place?
A.  No sir.

Q. 35   Did they sell to Stimson in the tree, or how?
A.   They sold it in the tree.

Q. 36   When did your father die?
A.   In 1935.

Q. 37   When did Jake get rid of his interest in that farm?
A.   About 1936 or 1937.

Q. 38   After your father died?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 39   Who did he sell to?
A.   My brother S. D. Leach.

Q. 40  How did you other children get rid of your interest?
A.  My father gave it to my brother S. D.

Q. 41  How much did S. D. pay Jake for his half interest?
A.   $400 .00.

Q. 42  Then your father gave him a half interest and the other children made the deed to S. D. - that correct?
A. That is right.

Q. 43   How many children were there?
A.  Six of us.

Q. 44   Including S. D.?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 45   Who are these children?
A.  Harry Leach, Annie M. Porter, Jobe Leach, S. D. Leach, myself and then Scott.

Q. 46  Jobe Leach 1s now dead?
A.   Yes sir.

Q. 47   Five boys and one girl?
A.   That is right.

Q. 48  Now, I will ask you if your knew about S. D. Leach selling this farm to a man by the name of Adams, in 1943?
A.   Yes sir, but I don't remember his name.

Q. 49  Do you know what he was to get for this place from Adams?
A.  I thin it was $800.00.

Q. 50   Where is S. D. Leach now?
A.   He is at Indianapolis, Indiana.

Q. 51   Hew long has he been out of this state?
A. He has been out of the state most of the time since about 1924. He lived here in this state three different times since, about a year each time.

Q. 52   How long has he been at Indianapolis?
A.   Four years.

Q. 53   Now you say you knew this place of S. W. Leach's, tell the court what kind of buildings were on that farm when Mr. Leach died?
A.  There was a log house that had been weather-boarded and ceiled on the inside. There were two big rooms, and a small kitchen, a hallway between the two big rooms.

Q. 54  Was there an upstairs?
A.  Yes, one finished room up there.

Q. 55  Was that house ever painted?
A.   No sir, There was a small barn~ not very well built.

Q. 56   Do you know anything about the ages of those buildings?
A.   The house was old when I can first remember it.

Q. 57    What other buildings on that place?
A.   A small chicken house.

Q. 58   Any fence on that place when Mr. Leach died?
A.   None to amount to anything.

Q. 59   I believe there were 112 acres in that farm?
A.   Yes sir.

Q. 60   About how many acres in timber was there?
A.   I judge 30 or 35.

Q. 61  What kind of timber, the size, etc.?
A.   Most of it was small timber, some log timber on it. It was Oak principally.

Q. 62  Any soft wood?
A.   Not a whole lot, as I remember.

Q. 63 What about the other part of the farm, other than the timber land?
A.  It was just an old farm, most of it grown up.

Q. 64   How much of it was productive or that you could cultivate and produce crops?
A.  Might little at that time. I would say around 15 acres.

Q. 65  Any of this bottom land?
A. About 2 ½ acres.

Q. 66  Did Jake, or any of the other owner since S. W. Leach owned it do anything to improve the land in any way?
A.   Jake tilled a little of that bottom, put up some fencing, reroofed the house once.

Q. 67   Did Jake Leach live there?
A.  Yes sir, at that time.

Q. 68   How long did Jake 1ive on that farm?
A.   I couldn't say exactly, ten or twelve years.

Q. 69  What, in your opinion, was the fair market value of that farm, the buildings, improvements and timber, in 1919, when your father bought it from Mrs. Finis Leach?
A. I would think that $2,000.00 was a fair price for it.

Q. 70   What would the, surface and improvements have been worth without the timber?
A. I would say $600.00.

Q. 71   Considering the fact that Mrs. Leach was 62 years old when Mr. Leach died, and in poor health, what would her life estate have been worth that time, her life estate only entitling her to live on the farm and have possession, control and use of it, and get the rents and profits from it during her life time, with no interest in the coal or minerals; what
would that have been worth?
A. That would have been worth very little.

Q. 72   About what would you say it was worth, considering her age and the conditions of her health, and considering that she only had the use of the surface and improvements, and got the rents and profits, of course, the purchaser would have to pay the taxes and upkeep?
A.  It would not have been worth over three or four hundred dollars.

Q. 73   You know, of course, Mr. Leach's children, do you not?
A.  I don’t know as I would know all of them.

Q. 74   That is Oscar over there, do you know him?
A.  No, Oscar left out there when I was small.

Q. 75   Did you know Leslie Leach?
A.  Yes, I knew him.

Q. 76   He died about a month before his father's death?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 77   There was Clyde. Did you know him?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 78  Do you know where he was living when Mr. Leach died?
A.  No sir.

Q. 79   Where was Chester Leach living when his father died?
A.  On an adjoining farm, on the east side of this place.

Q. 80    Did he own a farm adjoining his father's farm?
A.   Yes sir.

Q. 81   Was he living there when your father bought that farm?
A.   Yes sir.

Q. 82   Do you know whether or not he advised his mother to sell the farm?
A.  That is what I have heard.

Q. 83 You don't know that of your own personal knowledge?
A.  No sir.

Cross-examined by Claude E. Smith, attorney for plaintiffs.

Q. 1 You say you lived on an adjoining farm to the S. W. Leach farm?
A.  Yes

Q. 2   How does the farm you live on compare with this S. W. Leach farm?
A.  We have more bottom land.

Q. 3  The upland about the same quality?
A. Yes sir.

Q. 4  I believe your father owned the farm you now live on when S. W. Leach died?
A.   That is right.

Q. 5   The Stimson Lumber Company did not get any timber from this farm, except log timber, did they?
A.   That is right.

Q. 6   Such timber as could be sawed into lumber?
A.   That is right.

Q. 7   I believe you say the greater part of this timber was not log timber?
A.   I said it was small timber.

Q. 8  Was the greater part of this tie timber?
A.    A lot of it was.

Q. 9   Half of it?
A.   No, I don't know as I would say half of it.

Q. 10  You say it consisted of White Oak and Black Oak?
A.   Yes sir.

Q. l1    Was this good sound timber?
A.   Well, I don’t know if it was all, some trees possibly were damaged.

Q. 12   What relation was Jake Leach to your father?
A.   He was a nephew.

Q. 13   You say he lived on this Leach place ten or twelve years?
A.   Something like that, I don't know just the exact time.

Q. 14   Was this farm occupied by anyone else after Jake left it?
A.   Yes sir.

Q. 15   Who lived there last, or after he moved away?
A.  There was several lived there.

Q.16   Would you recall any of them?
A.   Clay Baird lived there one year, Kenneth Davis one year, and Boyce Phelps lived there, I don't know just how long.

Q. 17  Is the property habitable now?
A.   No

Q. 18  How long has it been uninhabitable?
A.   About three years.

Q. 19   That dwelling house has practically rotted down?
A.   There is a lot of lumber in it yet. Over one room the roof has fallen in.

Q. 20   The barn is gone?
A.  Yes sir.

Q.21   The other outbuildings are all gone?
A.  They have fallen down.

Q 22   How long since this has been occupied by any one living there?
A.   About three years.

Q. 23   How long since any of the land was cultivated or kept up in any way?
A.  Around three years, I guess. Something 1ike that.

Q 24    What kind of crops have been grown on that place since Mr. Leach died?
A.  There has been corn, and one or two crops of dark tobacco.

Q. 25   Do you know anything about what was received for the timber that was sold to Stimson Lumber Co., except what you have been told.
A. That is all.

Re-direct examination by Otto C. Martin, Attorney for defendant.

Q. 1   Who told you what they got for the timber?
A.  My father, I guess.


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