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JOHN W. HOOVER v. JEREMIAH JACKSON (04/30/87)

filed: April 30, 1987.

JOHN W. HOOVER
v.
JEREMIAH JACKSON, HIS HEIRS AND ASSIGNS; THOMAS NEWTON, HIS HEIRS AND ASSIGNS; NATHANIEL LEWIS, HIS HEIRS AND ASSIGNS; WILLIAM LEWIS, HIS HEIRS AND ASSIGNS; JOHN DUNLOP, HIS HEIRS AND ASSIGNS; CHARLES HUSTON, HIS HEIRS AND ASSIGNS; JOSEPH HARRIS, HIS HEIRS AND ASSIGNS; SAMUEL CHRIST, HIS HEIRS AND ASSIGNS; AND BEECH CREEK BOROUGH AUTHORITY. APPEAL OF BEECH CREEK BOROUGH AUTHORITY. JOHN W. HOOVER, APPELLANT, V. JEREMIAH JACKSON, HIS HEIRS AND ASSIGNS; THOMAS NEWTON, HIS HEIRS AND ASSIGNS; NATHANIEL LEWIS, HIS HEIRS AND ASSIGNS; WILLIAM LEWIS, HIS HEIRS AND ASSIGNS; JOHN DUNLOP, HIS HEIRS AND ASSIGNS; CHARLES HUSTON, HIS HEIRS AND ASSIGNS; JOSEPH HARRIS, HIS HEIRS AND ASSIGNS; SAMUEL CHRIST, HIS HEIRS AND ASSIGNS; AND BEECH CREEK BOROUGH AUTHORITY, APPELLEES



Appeal from Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Centre County, No. 1982-2934.

COUNSEL

Michael K. Hanna, Lock Haven, for appellant in No. 410 and for appellee in No. 434.

Stephen W. Furst, Bellefonte, for appellant in No. 434 and for appellee in No. 410.

Wieand, Olszewski and Tamilia, JJ.

Author: Wieand

[ 362 Pa. Super. Page 534]

In these cross-appeals from final judgment in an action to quiet title, there are two principal issues. The first concerns the sufficiency of the evidence to establish title by adverse possession of a tract of dense woodland; the second concerns the weight to be given to the amount of acreage recited in a deed when it is at variance with the actual acreage enclosed within the specific boundaries defined in the deed description. The trial court held that barricading a

[ 362 Pa. Super. Page 535]

    road leading into the tract of woodland, together with sporadic use of the tract, was inadequate to establish title by adverse possession and that the specific boundaries recited in a deed description were controlling of the acreage conveyed. We affirm.

The disputed land is part of a 413 1/4 acre tract contained in a warrant issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to Jeremiah Jackson in 1794. Title to this tract became vested in Samuel Christ by deed dated September 7, 1882. Christ conveyed away portions of the tract during the succeeding three years, so that by 1886 he retained title to only 256.5 acres. It is this tract which became the subject of dispute in the instant action.

By deed dated December 3, 1888, Christ conveyed to John Findley a tract of land which, according to the deed, contained 125 acres. Following several intervening conveyances, the tract was ultimately conveyed, on June 21, 1957, to the Borough of Beech Creek; and the Borough, by deed dated October 15, 1973, conveyed the same to Beech Creek Municipal Authority. When the deed description was surveyed, it was learned that the tract described in the deed contained 152.3 acres.

The trial court found as a fact that the Authority mistakenly believed it had acquired title to all the land owned by Samuel Christ at the time of his deed to John Findley. In fact, however, title to a tract, which the trial court found to contain 104.2 acres, remained vested in Christ. This remaining land was not conveyed by Christ during his lifetime, but it was subsequently sold for nonpayment of taxes by the Treasurer of Centre County. John W. Hoover asserts title to this remaining tract through a deed from the Treasurer of Centre County.*fn1 He has paid current taxes on the tract. The usual means of access to this tract, however, was along a roadway which crossed the Authority's land.

[ 362 Pa. Super. Page 536]

When Hoover was denied access via the road, he commenced an action to quiet title naming the ...


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