Peterson v. Skjelver – 1895 NE Supreme Court Case

The following pages come from The Northwestern Reporter and outline an 1895 Nebraska Supreme Court case between Otto Skjelver, Sr. and Charles G. Peterson.  The case is in regards to a boundary dispute on the eastern side of the SE1/4 of Section 28, which is the quarter that Otto homesteaded in 1883.  On March 9, 1891 Otto filed against Charles Peterson in the district court of Webster county for possession of the premises in dispute as well as $100 for lost profits and rent.

The outcome of the district court case is best summarized in this paragraph:
“A jury was waived, and the first trial had to the court. There was a finding and judgment in favor of Peterson, which was set aside at his request, and a new trial ordered. At a subsequent term of court the second trial occurred before the court and a jury, and Skjelver was successful, the jury returning a verdict in his favor. A motion for a new trial was filed by Peterson, argued and overruled, and judgment rendered on the verdict, and Peterson has prosecuted error proceedings to this court.”

The Nebraska Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court, which had ruled in favor of Skjelver.

One interesting piece of information in the document states “The testimony develops that the S.E. 1/4 of 28, the Skjelver land, was first occupied by Hans Tullifson in 1872 or 1873, who abandoned it very soon, probably a month after settling on it. It was then occupied by one Cunnard, who in 1876, surrendered his claim to Skjelver”.  I was unaware that this parcel of ground had ever been occupied by anyone other than the Skjelvers or their descendants.

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The Northwestern Reporter, Volume 62
Pages 43-46

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