Sunday, August 10, 2014

Testimony of F. M. Williams from Leach vs Leach lawsuit.

The following testimony of F. M. Williams was taken 11 February 1948; this post is the fifth 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 F. M. Williams, taken at the same time and place and for the purpose set out in the caption. Witness being first duly sworn and examined by Otto C. Martin, Attorney for defendant, testified as follows:

Q. 1  State your name, please.
A. F. M. Williams.

Q. 2  Your age?
A. 66.

Q. 3  Where do you live?
A. I live out about two miles east of Beaver Dam, near Liberty Church.

Q. 4   How far from the Rob Roy Section or neighborhood?
A.  2 1/2 or 3 miles.

Q. 5  How long have you lived in that neighborhood?
A.  All my life.

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

Q.7   Did you know his wife, Mrs. Finis Leach?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 8   Know his boys, Oscar, Leslie, Chester and Clyde?
A. I knew them all.

Q. 9   How long had you known them?
A.   Practically all my life.

Q. 10  Did you know the farm on which S.W. Leach lived at the time of his death?
A. Yes Sir.

Q. 11   Were you frequently in that home?
A.  Occasionally.

Q. 12   Were you related to Mr. Leach?
A.   I guess I was distantly .

Q. l3   How long had you known the farm on which he lived when he died?
A.  I had know it practically all my life. When a boy I would, go by there going to the Cicero Taylor place.

Q. 14   That was an adjoining farm on the same county road?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 15   That was called the Bald Knob and Pincheco road?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. l6   It crossed the Hartford and Morgantown road?
A.  Yes sir, just beyond the Sam Leach place.

Q. 17   The Bald Knob and Pincheco road crossed the Old Hartford and Morgantown road at Chinn's farm?
A.  That is right.

Q. 18   Sam Leach died in December, 1918, 29 years ago, state to the court what kind of building were on the farm when he died, if you know?
A.   As well as I remember there was a two room log house with a hall between the rooms, a barn of some kind and that is about as much as I know about it.

Q. l9   What kind of land did he have on this farm?
A.  It was pretty thin 1and.

Q. 20   Any timber on it?
A.  Yes, there was some timber.

Q. 21   Do you know how long Mr. Leach had lived on this place before he died?
A.  No sir, I don't.

Q. 22    Had he lived there since you had know that community?
A.   Yes sir.

Q. 23   How much of this farm would you say was suitable for cultivation, to raise crops on ?
A.  That would be a rough guess. I would not think more than 40 acres.

Q. 24   Would that 40 acres produce crops?
A.  A part of it would not make much. It was growed up the first time I ever saw it.

Q. 25   Washed?
A. Yes sir.

Q. 26  Grown up in what?
A. In bushes.

Q. 27  Did you ever go through this woods, or timber?
A.  It is a rough road through there. I have travelled it.

Q. 28   What kind of timber was that?
A.  Principally oak timber.

Q. 29   What character of soil was it where this timber was growing?
A.   It was mostly post oak, branch bottom land.

Q. 30   Was it large timber or small?
A.   It was average, I would think.

Q. 31   Very many logs in there that could be sawed up into lumber?
A.    There was some.

Q. 32   Any improved roads in that section of the county back in 1919?
A.   No sir.

Q. 33   County dirt roads was all you had?
A.   Yes sir.

Q. 34   No state highways or rural highways?
A.   No sir.

Q. 35  There has been built in the last few years a rural highway from Beaver Dam out to Rob Roy?
A.   Yes sir.

Q. 36  That is rocked?
A.   Yes sir.

Q. 37   How close is that rock road to this Leach farm?
A.    I would think it was a mile.

Q. 38   Now Mr. Williams, state what in your opinion was the fair, reasonable value of that farm including the buildings , surface and timber growing on it in February, 1919, when Mrs. Finis Leach sold it to Jasper Leach?
A.   I don’t have much idea about the value of land. I would consider the land at something like $1,000.00 without the timber.

Q. 39   Including the buildings?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 40   You mean $1,000.00 for the land and improvements - where you got a good title?
A. Yes sir. I would not consider buying it if I couldn't get a good title.

Q. 4l   Suppose you had only been buying Mrs. Leach’s life estate taking into consideration you only got the use of the place while she lived or during her life time?
A.   I wouldn't know about that.

Q. 42   Would that he worth 1 ,000.00?
A.   If I was going to buy a piece of 1and I would want a good deed.

Q. 43   Suppose you were only buying the land during her life and she was 62 years old and in poor health, what would you have valued that farm at under those conditions?
A.   Not very much - not over half of it.

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

Q. l   You say you live near Liberty Church?
A. Yes sir.

Q. 2   How far from this S. W. Leach farm?
A.   2 or 3 miles.

Q. 3    You never had any occasion to be on the S.W. Leach farm very often?
A.  I would go through there occasionally, traveling that ridge road.

Q. 4  Your knowledge of the farm was obtained from your passing along that ridge road out to the highway?
A.   Yes sir, some.

Q. 5   When did you last see that farm?
A.  It has been a year or two since I have been through that road.

Q. 6   The dwelling house has rotted down?
A.  It was in bad condition the last time I saw it.

Q. 7   The barn gone?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 8    The timber gone?

A.   I think it has been cut over.

Q. 9   The timber was out shortly after J.N. Leach bought it?
A.   I imagine that is when it was cut.

Q. 10   You observed when you went through when they were cutting it and after it was cut?
A.  Oh yes.

Q. 11   It is your recollection that the timber was cut off shortly after J. N. Leach bought this farm?
A.   I think so.

Q. 12   That was approximately 28 years ago?
A.   I guess something like that.

Q. 13   What timber is there now is what has grown since they cut it over?
A.   They probably cut from ten to twelve inches up when they worked it.

Q.14. Approximately how many acres of this 112 acres was in timber, if you know?
A.  I couldn't tell you exactly. I imagine about 30 acres, that would be just a rough guess.

Q. 15   That land is a different character of land to your land?
A. I have some real good land and some about like it, in gullies.

Q. 16  You live farther down in the low lands from the Leach farm?
A.   Yes sir.


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