March, 1871,, John D. WARE, sold, and titled land in Arkansas to William D. Hardin, in the amount of $20,000, part at sale, the remainder due the following January.
However, WARE died at his home in Tennessee, December 6, 1871.
Now it gets sticky.
In the same month WARE died, the probate court of Crittenden County, the clerk of which, happens to be William D. Hardin, the buyer, appointed L. B. Hardin, a brother to William D., to be administrator of WARE, and on the 15th of January, 1872, L. B. Hardin’s bond was approved.
On the 23rd of January, L. B. as administrator, transferred the property, rights, etc, of WARE, to William D., all nice and legal, it would seem.
July, 1877, William transferred deed and title to the land to his wife, who was already residing thereon, and renting to tenants.
October 1881, Ware’s administrator, B. P. Boyd, filed suit vs. Hardin, his wife, and tenants, living thereon, citing the fact that only the original binding money had been paid, and Ware‘s property had been obtained by Hardin via fraud and deception, and that Hardin had sold some of the land for 15 cents an acre, further the records of such transactions were destroyed by fire, while in his, W. D. Hardin’s, custody as clerk of probate court.
After a long and extensive study of Boyd’s claims, the court came down in favor of WARE.
Hardin and or his heirs were required to pay Ware’s estate $17,000, the balance due for the original purchase, plus additional penalties, regarding any profits he or his family may had accrued while in possession of the land.
The land was to be sold, proceeds to go to Ware’s estate.
Ware’s heirs are given the opportunity, prior to the sale, to file for warranty deeds to reclaim the land. Such action on their part, was not detailed in this item.
Hardin’s attorneys filed requests for retrial, on several occasions, but were refused each time, mostly on time limitations.
In one of the appeal applications, those burned papers suddenly appeared, much like those famous Rose Law Firm Papers, of a few years ago.
Appeals denied, the ruling stands.
Inquiring minds ask,
Why did it take ten years to file suit, another five to bring to the floor?
Why was William’s brother, L. B. Hardin, not implicated for his role in this scam?
Were criminal charges ever brought against the Hardens?
Published on OpenJurist
113 US 756 Hardin vs. Boyd