The following testimony of Arthur Haven was taken 11 February 1948; this post is the eleventh 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 Arthur Haven 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, Attorney for defendant, testified as follows:
Q. 1 State your name
A. Arthur Haven.
Q. 2 Your age?
Q. 3 Where do you live?
A. Near Cromwell.
Q. 4 Did you ever live out in the Rob Roy or Bald Knob section of Ohio County?
A. Yes sir, quite awhile.
Q. 5 About how long?
A. Fifteen years, I guess.
Q. 6 I believe you married a Leach?
A. Yes sir
Q. 7 Did you know S. W. Leach during his lifetime?
A. Yes sir.
Q. 8 Did you know the farm he lived on when he died?
A. Yes sir.
Q. 9 How long have you known that farm?
A. I have known that farm for thirty-five years, I guess.
Q. 10 How close did you live to it when you live in t ha Rob Roy section?
A. A part of the time on adjoining farms to it, and close to it all the time.
Q. 11 Been over it very much?
A. Yes, quite a bit.
Q. 12 See the timber on it?
A. Yes sir.
Q. 13 Do you remember when Mr. Leach died?
A. I remember the occasion but not the date.
Q. 14 Do you recall when his widow sold this farm to J. N. Leach?
A. Yes, I remember something about it.
Q. l5 Had you figured on buying that place yourself?
A. Yes, some.
Q. 16 You knew the condition of the improvements on that place?
A. Yes sir.
Q. 17 Any fencing on it?
A. None worthwhile.
Q. 18 You knew about the surface, the kind of surface and the timber, the location etc.?
A. Yes sir.
Q. 19 What, in your opinion, was the reasonable fair market value of that farm in 1919 when it was so1d to J. N. Leach?
A. If I remember right, he paid $2,000.00 for it. That is more than I would have paid for it at that time.
Q. 20 What in your opinion was the value of the timber, lands and improvements at that time?
A. Well, that was higher then I figured I could pay for it.
Q. 21 How much higher?
A. $300.00 or $400.00
Q. 22 What, in your opinion, was the value of the timber on the land when sold to Mr. J. N. Leach?
A. I figured the timber was worth as much as the land itself. I would have given as much for the timber as the land if buying them separate. If it had been sold separate I think the timber would have sold for as much as the land.
Q. 23 You didn’t think the timber and land together were worth $2,000.00?
A. It would not have been worth that to me.
Q. 24 I am talking about the fair market value of it?
A. That was higher than 1 could have paid for it.
Q. 25 Considering that Mr. Leach's widow was 62 years old, and in poor health when he died, and that she had a life estate in that farm, that is the right to the custody and control, and possession of it, the right to live on it, cultivate it and collect the rents and profit, but had no interest in the timber or minerals, and was subject to pay the taxes and upkeep of the farm, what would her life estate be worth?
A. Mighty 1ittle to me.
Q. 26 What would be the fair, reasonable cash value if some one wanted to buy it and she wanted to sell it, what would it have been worth?
A. I doubt if it would have sold for more than four or five hundred dollars.
Cross-examination by Claude E. Smith, Attorney for Plaintiffs
Q. 1 How much did you know about the timber on this place?
A. Not a great deal. I am not a timber man.
Q. 2 I meant to ask you what knowledge did you have of the quantity of the timber on the Leach farm?
A. Well, I don't know.
Q. 3 Did you ever count the trees?
A. No sir.
Q. 4 What kind of timber was on this place?
A. I guess principally White Oak and Black Oak, some beech on it.
Q. 5 Fairly good size, some of it?
A. Yes, some that was fairly good size for that kind of ground. Of course, nothing like the timber in bottom land.
Q. 6 None of that timber had been cut off that you know before Mr. J. N. Leach cut It?
A. Not that I recall.
Q. 7 Whose son are you?
.A. Cornelius Haven' s.
Redirect by Otto C. Martin, Attorney for defendant.
Q. l You had been through this timber and looked at it in a general way?
A. Yes, l had been through it and sorter looked it over.
State of Kentucky
County of Ohio
I, Edna Hudson, a Notary Public in and for the county and state aforesaid, do certify that the foregoing depositions of Charles Fulton, L. L. Leach, O. D. Miller, Laban Hines, F. M. Williams, Rob Williams, Roy Williams, C. Wayne Leach, Clay Leach, Martin Porter and Arthur Haven were taken by me at the time and place and for the purpose stated in the caption; that each of said witnesses were first duly sworn by me before giving the same; that said depositions were taken by me in shorthand and afterwards transcribed
from my notes, signature and reading of depositions waived; that the foregoing pages contain a transcript of my said notes.
I further certify that the plaintiffs, Oscar Leach and Ersa Leach, were present in person, and that all the plaintiffs were present at said taking by Claude E. Smith, their attorney; that the defendant was not present in person, but by attorney, Otto. C. Martin.
Witness my hand, this March 12, 1948.
My commission expires October 6, 1948.
Signed: Edna Hudson