The following testimony of Laban Hines was taken 11 February 1948; this post is the fourth of eleven. The background (explanation) for this testimony can be found in my post dated 23 July 2014.
OHIO CIRCUIT COURT (1948)
Chester F. Leach, Clyde F. Leach, Oscar Leach, Otis Leach, Ersa Leach, and Samuel Leach, Plaintiffs.
S. D. Leach, Defendant.
DEPOSITIONS FOR DEFENDANT
Also the deposition of Laban Hines, taken at the same time and place, and for the purpose stated in the caption. Witness being first duly sworn and examined by Otto C. Martin,
testified, as follows:
Q. 1 State your name please sir?
A. Laban Hines.
Q. 2 Your age?
Q. 3 Where do you live?
A. I live about 1 ½ miles this side of Cromwell, there at Lige Jackson's.
Q. 4 Are you a farmer?
A. Yes sir, farmed most all my life.
Q. 5 Did you ever reside in what is known as the Rob Roy section of Ohio County?
A. Yes Sir, I owned land there.
Q. 6 What farm did you own in that section?
A. The Cicero Taylor place.
Q. 7 When did you buy the Cicero Taylor place?
A. It has been about 41 or 42 years ago.
Q. 8 How do you fix the date?
A. I don' t remember.
Q. 9 Where did you move from to that section?
A. From Gran Christian's place in the Rosine section.
Q. 10 Do you have a boy who was born about the time you moved to that Cicero Taylor place?
A. He was about 8 months old when we moved down there.
Q. 11 How old is he now?
A. He is either 40 or 41.
Q. 12 Was S. W. Leach living when you moved down there?
A. Yes sir.
Q. 13 You knew him?
A. Yes sir. I knew him a number of years.
Q. 14 Were you living on the Cicero Taylor place when he died?
A. Yes sir.
Q. 15 How near was the Cicero Taylor place to the S. W. Leach place?
A. It joined his farm.
Q. 16 How many acres in the Cicero Taylor place?
A. 95 acres.
Q. 17 What sort of buildings on that farm when you bought it?
A. A house which cost $500.00 to put it up, a four room weather-boarded frame house, ceiled inside.
Q. 18 How old was this house?
A. It had not been built but just a short time.
Q. 19 What about the other buildings?
A. There was a barn.
Q. 20 How old was that barn?
A. It was an aged building.
Q. 21 What kind of soil on this Cicero Taylor place?
A. Clay like and rocky.
Q. 22 Hilly?
A. Yes sir.
Q. 23 How did it compare with the Leach farm?
A. It lays better, some places on that place pretty level and some hills. It 1ays better than the Leach place.
Q. 24 How much of the Taylor farm was suitable to grow crops on?
A. Some of it done very well, no big sight.
Q. 25 How did it compare for farm purposes with the Leach farm? That portion or part you cultivated, back in 1918?
A. It as in better shape to tend than the Leach place.
Q. 26 How much did you pay for it?
A. I paid $600.00 for it.
Q. 27 Now then, do you know bout how much of the Leach land was cleared and suitable for cultivation?
A. A lot of it was no account at all.
Q. 28 How much of it was no account?
A. Most of it was thin land.
Q. 29 Was the Leach land cleared up or not?
A. When I moved down there it was cleared up but it was worn out.
Q. 30 Any timber on it?
A. Some small timber.
Q. 31 How much timber on it, about how much?
A. I reckon about 25 or 30 acres of small timber.
Q. 32 Was there any fencing on the land when Mr. Leach died?
A. There had been some fence, but it was down rotted down and gone.
Q. 33 What buildings were on the land when you moved there?
A. There was an old barn over there, the house was old too.
Q. 34 Did you know Mrs. Leach the widow of S. W. Leach?
A. Yes air, my wife stayed with her several nights after uncle Sam died.
Q. 35 About how old was she when he died?
A. I guess 65 or maybe older.
Q. 36 What was the condition of her health at that time?
A. It was bad. That was the reason my wife stayed with her.
Q. 37 You knew these boys of Mr. Leach's?
A. Yes sir.
Q. 38. Chester lived there close to his father's farm?
A. Yes, but I never saw him over there.
Q. 39 How close to his father 's farm?
A. I expect a half mile, something like that.
Q. 40 Where were the other boys living when their father died?
A. One lived at Beaver Dam.
Q. 41 Leslie lived at Beaver Dam, but he died before his father did. Where did Clyde live?
A. I don't know so much about these boys. I know one of them lived at Beaver Dam and Chester lived over there on the road.
Q. 42 Mr. Hines, state what in your opinion the S. W. Leach farm was worth in 19l9? About 28 years ago? The surface, improvements, timber and all, what was its fair, reasonable market value in 1919?
A. Uncle Sam wanted to sell the p1ace to me, he wanted to go to Beaver Dam and buy a place and wanted to sell his place to me and I asked him what he wanted for it, and he said $2,000.00; I told him I cou1d not give that much for it and I offered him $1,500.00 .
Q. 43 Did you think $1,500.0 was a fair price for it at that time
A. Yes sir.
Q. 44 What in your opinion would Mrs. Leach's life estate have been worth in that farm, considering her age when she died, and the condition of her health?
A. Not very much - not worth very much.
Q. 45 How much, in your opinion, considering her age and health?
A. In her health she could not live long - I think $500.00 would been a big price.
Q. 46 What, in your opinion, would that farm have been worth with the timber off of it?
A. It is like that place of mine. I gave $600.00 for it, taking the land, timber and all.
Q. 47 My question was - what is it worth without the timber, what would the surface and the improvements be worth?
A. If I wanted the land I would not have given more than $ 600.
Cross-examination by Claude E. Smith, Attorney for Plaintiffs.
Q. 1 What is that place worth now with the timber off, and the house and barn gone?
A. The land, of course, might be worth.....
Q. 2 The question is, what is that place worth now?
A. I expect $600.00.
Q. 3 So, it is worth as much with the timber gone, the dwelling house and other improvements gone, as it was when Mr. Leach died, outside of the timber?
A. That would hardly be right, would it. As to the barn and house they were not much when he died - the barn and house were not much count when he died. Just the land had value, not much to the homestead.
Q. 4 Now, considering the timber was sold for $2,000.00 shortly after Jasper Leach bought this farm from Mrs. Finis Leach, would that effect its value any when S. W. Leach died?
Attorney for defendant objects, and states that the timber was sold for $1,000.00. Discussion.
Q. 4 (continued). Now considering that the timber that was on the land when Jasper Leach bought it from Mrs. Leach, sold for $2,000.00, would that affect your estimate as to the value of the farm when sold to Jasper Leach?
A. The barn and house was in bad condition when he died.
Q. 5 Do you think that answers my question?
A. I offered uncle Sam $1,500.00 for the house, land and all, and he was offering it to me for $2,000.
Q. 6 When was that?
A. Just a little while before he died. He wanted to buy a place at Beaver Dam and after he died she went to Beaver Dam and bought a house there.
Q. 7 Did Mr. Leach raise any crops on this land while he lived there?
A. He never raised much.
Q. 8 You moved into t hat neighborhood some forty years ago, that would have been about 1908?
A. My boy was 8 months old and I believe he is 41 now.
Q. 9 You gave $600.00 tor 95 acres adjoining this Leach farm?
A. Yes sir.
Q. 10 Did that l and have any merchantable timber on it?
A. Enough was cut off of it to build a barn and two houses.
Q. 11 What kind of timber was this?
A. White Oak, black oak and walnut.
Q. 12 How much timber did you cut, how many thousand feet did you cut?
A. It takes lot to build two houses and a barn.
Q. 13 Well, how many hundred or thousand feet of lumber?
A. I didn't count the number of feet, but there was enough for two houses and a barn.
Q. 14 You don’t know how many hundred or thousand feet went into that barn or those houses? You don't know that?
A. We will say it this way, if it all belonged to one man, and he wanted to use it, it didn't make any difference how many feet there was.
Q. 15 You don't know how many feet of lumber went into that barn or either of those houses?
A. I did not care. I wanted my house built.
Q. 16 What I am asking you is, do you know?
A. I built the barn and two houses and that was all there was to it.
Q. 17 Was the dwelling house on the S.W. Leach farm rotted down when he died?
A. It was an old house, the barn was about rotted down. It was all shattered up.
Q. 18 I want to know definitely whether that S. W. Leach house was practically rotted down before he died?
A. It was in bad shape, the barn and house both were.
Q. 19 What is your farm worth now, Mr. Hines?
A. I never said anything about it being for sale. I gave $600.00 for it and my house burned down.
Q. 20 Do you have any idea what is the fair cash value of your farm - the condition it is now in?
A. I never said I wanted to sell it.
Q. 2l You have no idea of its value - answer my question it you will?
A. It ought to be worth the money I gave for it.
Q. 22 Will you sell it for $600.00?
A. Yes. I will. Enough timber on it to build a house and barn.
Q. 23 Are you cultivating that farm now?
A. Have some Korean on it at this time.
Q. 24 You don't live on it?
A. No sir.
Q. 26 How long since you lived on it?
A. I lived adjoining it ten or twelve years. I went to Louisville and stayed eight years .
Q. 27 When did you come back?
A. Some time ago.
Q. 28 Have any idea of when you lived in Louisville?
A. I have been back about six years.