The cases of Margaret Lindsay and William Lindsay involving the homestead entries in the Dead Indian country have been finally decided by Secretary of the Interior Lane in favor of the entrywoman and entryman. The history of these cases is as follows:
In 1902 Margaret Lindsay and her son, William Lindsay, made their respective homestead entries and at once moved onto the premises and in 1907 made their final proofs. Some errors in the proofs and adverse reports from certain sources caused the department to reject the final proofs and application was made to the departments for a hearing where testimony might be taken.
After a lapse of more than a year the application was granted and the testimony was taken before Commissioner Canon, the applicants appearing by their attorney, Gus Newbury and the forestry service, who were the contestants against the entries, appeared by the attorneys, McGowan & Boyer.
The evidence showed in the case of Margaret Lindsay that she had cleared and fenced some 35 acres, had constructed a large barn and a substantial house on the premises and had lived there continuously to the time of her final proof excepting an absence on account of illness and that her improvements were valued at several thousand dollars. The local land office after considering the evidence decided in favor of the claimant, but the general land office on an appeal by the government reversed the local land office when an appeal was taken by the claimant to the secretary of the interior and the secretary decided in favor of the entrywoman
In the case of William Lindsay, the evidence was fully as strong in the case of Margaret Lindsay, the local land office deciding in favor of the claimant, and the general land office on an appeal by the government reversing the local land office, when an appeal was perfected by the claimant's attorney to the secretary of the interior with the decision favorable to the claimant.
These decisions meet with universal approval among the citizens of the Dead Indian country where the hardships incident to the life of the homesteader are thoroughly understood and appreciated, and any other decision in these cases would have operated as a gross injustice to the claimants.