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Full text of "Camp Douglas Military Reservation, Utah"

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48th ConCxRess, ) HOUSE OF REPftESENTATIYES. ( Repo: r 
1st Session. \ 



CAMP DOUGLAS MILITARY RESERVATION, UTAH. 




February 5, 1884.— Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and ordered to 

be printed. 



u. 



Mr. DiBRELL, from the Committee on Military Affairs, submitted the 

following 

REPORT: 

[To accompany bill H. R. 1782.] 

The Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (H. 
R. 1782) to authorize the Secretary of War to relinquish and tarn over 
to the Interior Department certain parts of the Camp Douglas military 
reservation in the Territory of Utah, having had the same under con- 
sideration, respectfully submit its following report, which was adopted 
by the Military Committee, House of Representatives, in the Forty-sixth 
Congress of the United States, and recommend the passage of said bill. 

Said report, made to the Forty-sixth Congress, is as follows : p^S 

Mr. DiBRELL, from the Committee on Military Affairs, snbmitted the following re- • 
port to accompany bill H. R. 1287. 

The Committee on Military Affairs, to ichom was referred the hill (H. B. 1287) to authorize 
the Seo-etary of War to relinquish and turn over to the InteHor Department certain parts 
of the Camp Douglas military reservation, in the Territory of Utah, have had the same 
under consideration, and submit the following report : 

This bill, which, by its terras, authorizes the Secretary of War to relinquish and 
turn over to the Department of the Interior, for restoration to the public domain a 
certain portion of the Camp Douglas military reservation, in the Territory of Utah 
is for the relief of Mr. Charles Popper, a citizen of the United States, resident in said 
Territory of Utah. 

In the last Congress a bill of similar import to that now under consideration was 
introduced into the Senate and refeiTed to the Committee on Military Affairs. That 
committee considered it, and made a unanimous report in its favor. It was placed 
upon the calendar, but Congress adjourned before it was reached. 

From the record filed in the case, it appoirs by Executive Document No. 97, House 
of Representatives, first session Forty-fourth Congress, that Mr. Charles Popper set- 
tled in the Territory of Utah, in the year 1864, and that he purchased of certain 
herders of cattle, then settled upon lands now comprised within the military reserva- 
tion of Camp Douglas, their possessory rights thereupon, together with certain im- 
provements, consisting of a log cabin and corral, for the sum of |!800. Immediately 
thereafter he erecred a slaughter-house and corral on the said land, at an outlay of 
$2,000, dug a ditch of a quarter of a mile in length, laid pipes from a certain spring 
contiguous to the slaughter-house, at an additional cost of $500. In the year 1865 he 
erected a cut-stone rock building thereon, at the cost of $14,000, and expended in other 
improvements, such asout-houses, stables, &c., not less than $10,000 additional mak- 
ing the total outlay upon said land the sum of $26,500. He has occupied said prem- 
ises and held peaceable possession thereof ever since. 

At this time (1865) the land was unsurveyed, and no land-office had been established 
by the Government in Utah Territory. On September 3, 1867. however, and prior to 
any survey, the extension of the Camp Douglas military reservation was ordered to 
be established by the President, and was so announced in General Order No. 66 head- 
quarters Department of the Platte, December 17, 1869. It will be observed that this 



2 CAMP DOUGLAS MILITARY RESERVATION, UTAH. 

reservation was established in 1867, but it does not appear to have been definitely 
located nor surveyed until 1869. Therefore, prior to this survey, Mr. Popper was un- 
apprised that the laud upon which he had settled and made these large and expensive 
improvements was in any wise embraced within a military reservation, and the sur- 
vey of 1869 was his first iuformation in the premises, after he had occupied the same 
and paid city, county, and Territorial taxes thereon for nearly four years. 

It appears from the sworn statement of General George R. Maxwell, late register of 
tlie United States land-office at Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, that Mr. Popper took 
necessary steps, so soon as the land -office was established, to protect his claim, and 

t>r<)cure a title to the lands occupied by him, and made proof of his occupation thereof, 
lis purchase from a previous owner in 1864, and the erection by him of other improve- 
ments thereon, at an outlay of large sums of money, which papers were all forwarded 
to the General Land Office at Washington, with the recommendation that Mr. Popper 
bo allowed to purchase the same. But this purchase, as of necessity, could not be 
permitted, because of the subsequent extension of the said military reservation. 

Upon the occupation of said reservation by the military authorities, the fact of Mr. 
Poppei-'s occupation of a portion thereof, together with a statement of the improve- 
ments erected thereon by him, was brought to the attention of the Secretary of War, 
under the general practice adopted of forcing all squatters to remove from military 
reservations when the same are established or extended. 

The following is the correspondence, through the various military channels, in ref- 
erence to Mr. Popper's case, until Lieut. Gen. P. H. Sheridan, of date Chicago, De- 
cember 28, 1875, upon a review of the entire premises, recommends that the Government 
do relinquish so much of the northwestern corner of the reservation as embraces the apparently 
us t claim, of Mr. Charles Popper : 

Headquarters Camp Douglas, Utah Territory, 

December 11, 1874. 

Sir : In compliance with your instructions, dated Headquarters Department Platte, 
Omaha, Nebr., September 8, 1874, to remove all trespassers from the reservation at 
Camp Douglas, I have the honor to submit the following report: 

Upon investigation the following trespassers were found : 

First. Mrs. Ann Elmer has a small two-story house, basement built of red sand- 
stone, upper story of adobe, of little value, situated near the southern line of the 
reservation, and built before the extension. Mrs. Elmer was notified to remove said 
buildiuij ; she has not complied, and it will be taken down as soon as men can be 
spared tor that purpose. 

Second. Frame building near northwest corner of reservation, occupied by Mrs. 

; built by mistake on the reservation ; notice given, and the house has been 

removed. 

Third. Old brick mills and kiln near west line of reservation, of little value : notice 
given and complied with. 

Fourth. A small adobe house near west line of reservation, owned and occupied 
by Stephen Pope and wife— very old people— who evidently have been deceived in the 
purchase of their supposed little property. Upon investigation of their papers, I find 
that the lot was certified by the Salt Lake authorities to Christian E. Norholm, March 
24, 1867. No transfer has been made by Norholm to John Baswell, who made a con- 
veyance to Pope, which was recorded March 24, 1869. No action taken in this case, 
as I would deem it cruel to dispossess these old people at once. 

"Fifth. Two temporary buildings (board) for ice-houses, half-way between post and 
west line of reservation, owned by John Heil, who claims to have had verbal permis- 
sion from Lieut. Col. H. A. Morrow; notice to vacate given; action suspended until 
petition herewith, marked A, can be considered by the department commander. I 
would recommend that he be permitted to use his ice-houses until next fall, and then 
required to vacate, as he has been to considerable labor and expense. 

Sixth. Extensive and valuable improvements near north line of reservation (see 
plat inclosed, together with papers in the case, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4), belonging to Charles 
Popper, beef-contractor. » ^ 

These improvements consist of a large sandstone building, suitable for the manu- 
facture of soap and candles ; three frame buildings, cattle and pig pens, and consid- 
erable tenciuff, as set forth in Mr. Popper's declaration, and which has been verified 
by a personal examination in connection with the papers submitted. I have made 
diligent inquiry and find these improvements were made as stated previous to the ex- 
i*°T?sSV JT7'?;^u''°,' as declared by the President of the United States, Septem- 
ber 3, 1867, and that Charles Popper has an equitable claim for the favorable consid- 
eration of the proper authorities. 

I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant, 

JNO. E. SMITH, 

To the ASSISTANT Adjutant-Gexeral, ^"'""'' ^'""''^"'^ ^"•^^^''^' Commanding, 
Headquarters Department of the Platte, Omaha, Nebr. 



CAMP DOUGLAS MILITARY RESERVATION, UTAH. 3 

Headquarters Department of the Platte, 

Omaha, Nebr., December 24, 1874. 
Respectfully forwarded to headquarters Military Division of the Missouri. Atten- 
tion is invited to indorsements on the within iuclosures. 

E. O. C. ORD, 
Brigadier-General Commanding. 

[Second indorsement.] 

Headquarters Military Division Missouri, 

Chicago, December 31, 1874. 
Respectfully forwarded to the headquarters of the Army. 
In the absence of the Lieutenant-General. 

R. C. DRUM, 
Assistant Adjutant- General. 

[Third indorsement.] 

Headquarters of the Army, 

Saint Louis, January 5, 1875. 
Respectfully forwarded to the Secretary of War. 

W. T. SHERMAN, 

General. 
[Fourth indorsement.] 

War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, 

Washington, January 19, 1875. 
Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War, inviting attention to accompany- 
ing brief and report. 

E. D. TOWNSEND, 

Adjutant-General. 
[Fifth indorsement.] 

War Department, April 12, 1875. 
Re8pectfu^ly returned to the Adjutant-General. 

The views and action of General Ord in all of the within cases, as well as his recom- 
mendation regarding the appointment of a board of officers, not stationed at Camp 
Douglas, to examine into the merits of any claim of Charles Popper to further com- 
pensation for improvements, are approved. 

The board will be ordered by the department commander. 

WM. W. BELKNAP, 

Secretary of War. 
[Received back Adjutant-General's Office April 13, 1875.] 

[Sixth indorsement.] 

War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, 

Washington, April 15, 1875. 
Respectfully returned, through headquarters of the Army, to the commanding gen- 
eral Department of the Platte, for appropriate action, inviting attention to the de- 
cision and orders of the Secretary of War, indorsed hereon. 

These papers to be returned to this office with report of action and proceedings of 
board of officers. 
By order of tbe Secretarv of War: 

E. D. TOWNSEND, 

Adjutant-General. 
[Received back Adjutant-General's Office .Tune 10, 1875.] 

[Seventh indorsement.] 

War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, 

Washington, June 11, 1875. 
Respectfully returned to the Secretary of War, with proceedings of a board of offi- 
cers, convened by orders from headquarters Department of the Platte, dated May 7, 
1875, in the case of Mr. Charles Popper. 

E. D. TOWNSEND, 

Adjutant- General. 
2993 Adjutant-General's Office accompaning. 



4 CAMP DOUGLAS MILITARY RESERVATION, UTAH. 

[Eighth indorsement.] 

War Department, June 19, 1875. 

Respectfully returned to the Adjntaut-Geueral of the Army, calling attention to the 
fact tiiat General Crook's order convening the board of officers doe.s uot appear to 
liave been exactly conforuiable to the directions of the Secretary of War. The Sec- 
retary of War approved of the views and reconmieudations of General Ord. These 
were as follows: * * * "J therefore disapprove of any commission to purchase 
land being given this man, because of ihe various privileges and favors granted him 
of occupying gratis a valuable and choice location, well supplied with a never-failing 
spring. '* ♦• * I recommend that a board of officers, not stationed at Camp Doug- 
las, be ordered to examine into the merits of any claim of Mr. Popper to further com- 
pensation for improvements, and after assessing the rent which the land could have 
brought the United States on Mr. Popper, at current rates, the dift'erence, if any, be- 
tween the actual present worth of Mr. Popper's origiual improvements, not the farm 
or appurtenances thereto, and what Mr. Popper would have had to pay as rent to pri- 
vate parties, be allowed him." 

Let the papers be returned to the general commanding the Department of the Platte 
with directions to reconvene the board of officers for the purpose of carrying out the 
foregoing recommendations of General Ord. Congress alone can permit Mr. Popper 
to acquire a title to any part of the reservation. While this may prove, after all, the 
best settlement of the claim, it is not the mode heretofore approved by the Secretary 
of War, and for which the services of the board of officers were particularlv required. 

WM. W. BELKNAP, 

Secretary of War. 

[Received back Adjutant-General's Office June 24, 1875.] 

[Ninth indorsement.] 

War Department, Adjutant General's Office, 

WasMvgton, June 25, 1875. 
Respectfully returned, through headquarters of the Army, to the commanding gen- 
eral Department of the Platte, who will cause the board of officers to be reconvened 
in accordance with the instructions of the Secretary of War, contained in preceding 
indorsement (8th). 
These papers to be returned as heretofore directed. 
By order of the Secretary of War : 

THOMAS M. VINCENT, 
Assistant Adjutant- General. 

fTenth indorsement.] 

Headquarters of the Army, 

Saint Louis, June 28, 1875. 
Respectfully transmitted, through headquarters Division of the Missouri. 
By command of General Sherman : 

WM. D. WHIPPLE, 

Assistant Adjutant- General. 

[Eleventh indorsement] 

Headquarters Military Division of the Missouri, 

Chicago, June 29, 1875. 
Respectfully returned to the commanding general Department of the Platte. 
By command of Lieu tenant-General Sheridan : 

R. C. DRUM, 
Assistant Adjutant-General. 
[Twelfth indorsement. I 

Headquarters Department of the Platte, 

Omaha, Nebr., November 13, 1875. 
Respectfully returned to Col. I. N. Palmer, Second Cavalry, president of the board 
of officers convened by paragraph G, Special Order No. 55, and reconvened per para- 
graph 2, Special Order No. 123, current series, from these headquarters (copy inclosed). 
By command of Brigadier-General Crook : 

GEO. D. RUGGLES, 
Assistant Adjutant-General. 
[Received back December 15, 1875, with proceedings indorsed , and certified to Colonel 
Palmer, Second Cavalry, president of the board, for completion, December 16, 1875 : 
back, with correction made, December 23, 1875.1 



CAMP DOUGLAS MILITARY RESERVATION, UTAH. 5 

[ Thirteenth indorsement, j 

Headquarters Department of the Platte, 

Omaha, Nehr., December 23, 1875. 
Respectfully returned, through headquarters Military Division of the Missouri, to 
the Adjutant-General of the Arnjy, with new proceedings in the case, which ai'e 
approved. 

GEORGE CROOK, _ 
Brigadier- Genera I, Commanding. 

[Fourteenth indorsement.] 

Headquarters Military Division of the Missouri, 

Chicago, December 28, 1875. 
Respectfully returned to the Adjutant-General of the Army, recommending that 
the Government relinquish so much of the northwestern comer of the reservation as 
embraces the apparently just claim of Mr. Charles Popper. 

This is, in my judgment, the best way to settle this question, especially^ as that por- 
tion of the reservation is not necessary to the wants of the public service at Camp 
Douglas. 

P. H. SHERIDAN, 
Lieutenant- General, Commanding. 

[Received back Adjutant-General's Office December 31, 1875, with three inclosures, 
twelve indorsements. ] 

[Fifteenth indorsement.] 

War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, 

Washington, January 4, 1876. 
Respectfully returned to the Secretary of War, inviting attention to thirteenth and 
fourteenth indorsements hereon. 

E. D. TOWNSEND, 

Adjutant-General. 

The merits of Mr. Popper's claim to the lands in question were investigated by a 
board of officers, convened under authority of the War Department, consisting of 
Col. I. N. Palmer, Second Cavalry ; Col. F. F. Flint, Fourth Infantry, and First Lieut. 
George O. Webster, adjutant Fourth Infantry, which board assembled in pursuance 
of the following order : 

[Special Order No. 55.— Extract.] 

Headquarters Department of the Platte, 

Omaha, Nebr., May 7, 1875. 

V. A board of officers, to consist of Col. I. N. Palmer, Second Cavalry; Col. F. F. 
Flint, Fourth Infantry, and First Lieut. George O. Webster, adjutant Fourth Infantry, 
will assemble at Camp Douglas, Utah Territory, at 10 o'clock a. ni., on Thursday, May 
13, 1875, or as soon thereafter as practicable, to examine into the merits of any claim 
of Mr. Charles Popper to further compensation for improvements on the military reser- 
vation of Camp Douglas, and to investigate generally and thoroughly, and report fully, 
upon the subject of the occupation of part or parts of the said reservation by the said 
Mr. Charles Popper or his agents. 

*^# # * * # * 

By command of Brigadier-General Crook : 

GEO. D. RUGGLES, 
Aasisiant Adjutant- General. 

After taking testimony and going through various deliberations, with the usual 
formalities and routine incident to such proceedings, the board found for the merits 
of Mr. Popper's claim, but suggested that the only way he could obtain proper relief 
would be by act of Congress, which body would either direct a redrawing of the lines 
of the Camp Douglas Reservation, so as to exclude the land in question, or appro- 
priate money to pay a just and reasonable price for the improvements which were on 
the land in question at the time it was enveloped in the military reservation, as re- 
established in 1867. But the board also found that the land in question, tvereit not for 
the improvements made upon it by Mr. Popper, would be of no value to the United States or 
to any private party as a place to rent. Hence, the improvements being of no use to the 



6 CAMP DOUGLAS MILITARY RESERVATION, UTAH. 

Government, by reason of the land being of no value to the Government for any pur- 
pose, it would follow that Congress could not justifiably appropriate money to pay 
for improvements valueless to the Government. The remedy, therefore, suggested by 
Lieutenant-General Sheridan was accepted by the Department of War, and the Sec- 
retary submitted to the House of Representatives, of date January 20, 1876, the fol- 
lowing communication, transmitting the papers which have in part been quoted here- 
in by your committee : 

[House Ex. Doc. No. 97. Forty -fourth Congress, first session.] 

Letter fr<nn the Secretary oj War transmitting correspondence relating to the military reserva^ 
tion at Camp Douglas, Utah 

War Department, January 20, 1876. 

The Secretary of War has the honor to submit to the House of Representatives the 
following communication : 

The military reservation of Camp Douglas, Utah, as ordered by the President, Sep- 
tember 3, 1867, included certain valuable improvements made in good faith by Charles 
Popper, among which were a slaughter-house and a stone-built soap-factory. The 
improvements are in a hollow near the northwest corner of the reservation. The 
matter has been investigated by aboard of officers, and the following recommendation 
of Lieutenant-General Sheridan meets the approval of the Secretary of War: ''That 
the Government relinquish so much of the northwest corner of the reservation as em- 
braces the apparently just claim of Mr. Charles Popper. This is, in my judgment, the 
best way to settle this question, especially as that portion of the reservation is not 
necessary to the wants of the public service at Camp Douglas." The act of June 22, 
1874, concerning certain reservations in Arizona, may be suggested as a precedent in 
point of form. 

Attention is also invited to a claim by Stephen Pope for improvements included 
within the same reservation. In this case a board of otficers has recommended the 
payment by the Government of $iriO for any losses sustained by Pope in consequence 
of removal from the reservation, but the Secretary of War concurs in the opinion 
reported by the Acting Qaartermaster-General — 

"Tbat the payment * ^ * recommended by the board * * * cannot be 
made without the sanction of Congress. The case appears to be similar to that of 
Matthew Palen and others, for property taken by the Government in the extension of 
the Camp Mohave Reservation, favorably settled by act approved February 19, 1873.'^ 

Claims of similar character in the experience of this Dei)artment have been not 
iDfrequent. With a view to some examination of them when presented, General Order 
No. 74, Adjutant-General's OflSce, November 2, 1869, provided : 

" Hereafter no squatter or citizen will be permitted to enter or reside upon a military 
reservation, unless he be in the employment of the Government, or permitted by the 
department commander. * * * Where parties are already in possession, with 
valuable improvements, the department commander will cause an investigation to be 
made, and submit each case separately for the decision and orders of the Secretary 
of War." 

It is believed, however, that compensation for the loss of such improvements cannot, 
in general, be properly made without the special sanction of Congress, except in case* 
arising within the old Territory of Oregon, where, by section 9 of the act of February 
14, 1853, being "An act to amend an act entitled *An act to create the office of sur- 
veyor-general of the public lands of Oregon,'" &c., it is provided as follows: 

" That if it shall be deemed necessary, in the judgment of the President, to include 
in any such reservation the improvement of any settler made previous to such reser- 
vation, it shall in such case be the duty of the Secretary of War to cause the value of 
such improvements to be ascertained, and the amount so ascertained shall be paid to 
the party entitled thereto out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appro- 
priated." 

In accordance with the general policy of encouraging the settlement of the public 
domain, this act recognizes the justice of making compensation to settlers who have 
not yet acquired title to their lands, but who have been unexpectedly deprived of the 
fruits of their labor by the ai;tion of the Government. It is respectfully submitted to 
the consideration of Congress whether some legislative provision, similar to that con- 
tained in the above-recited act of Congress relating to the former Territory of Oregon, 
ought not to be made applicable to military reservations everywhere. 

The papers relating to the above-mentioned claims of Charles Popper and Stephen 
Pope are herewith transmitted. 

WM. W. BELKNAP, 

Secretary of War, 



CAMP DOUGLAS MILITARY RESERVATION, UTAH. 7 

The board of officers convened for investigation and report on Mr. Popper's claim 
found, among other facts, as stated in the following extract from their proceedings : 

"Col. John E. Smith, Fourteenth Infantry, commanding at Camp Douglas, gives it as 
his opinion that Mr. Popper's property is in no way necessary for military purposes. 
It is some distance from the main road leading from Camp Douglas to Salt Lake City. 
The slaughter-house is iu no way a nuisance to the post ; a considerable portion of the 
ground is uutit for any purpose, being the side of a mountain, or broken up in ravines 
or ditches, and is so located that it will probably never be required for any public 
purposes. , 

"Although the order convening the board in this case does not direct that an opinion 
be expressed, it is believed that it was intended that it should do so, and it is the 
opinion of the board that Mr. Popper should be permitted to acquire a title to any por- 
tion of the land designated in the accompanying map as Popper's property which was 
not included in the first reservation of one mile square, and was brought into the res- 
ervation, as declared by the order of the President, September H, 1867. 

"But, as it is considered that it would be for the best interests of the service for the 
Ooverumeut to have possession of the lower half of the southernmost portion of Mr. 
Popper's laud, it is recommended that if any permission is accorded to Mr. Popper to 
purchase, that such southern half be retained, giving him, Popper, an equal amount 
of land immediately to the westward of the northern half of such southern portion. 
The board inclose a map showing the proposed division of the 'quarter-section' re- 
ferred to. (Map is dated Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, May 15, 1875.) 

" Mr. Popper has declared himself satisfied with such an arrangement as the one just 
referred to." 

From this it would appear that it would be for the best interests 6f the Government 
to have possession of the lower half of the southernmost portion of Mr. Popper's land, 
allowing Mr. Popper an equal amount of land immediately to the westward of the 
northern half of such southern portion, a proposition to which Mr. Popper appears to 
have acceded. The map referred to and forwarded by the board, showing the pro- 
posed division of the quarter-section, is on file in the office of the Clerk of the House 
of Representatives, and the description of the land as stated in the bill, containing 
151^Vff acres, conforms to and agrees with the maji so transmitted by the said board of 
officers to the Secretary of War. Hence, so far as this matter is concerned, the laud 
proposed by the bill to be turned over by the Secretary of War to the Secretary of the 
Interior, for the purpose of allowing Mr. Popper to enter the same at Government 
rates, in view of the equities of his claim, is the laud recommended by the said board 
of officers, in part by substitution as aforesaid, and embraces the improvements erected 
by Mr. Popper, and which is, as found by the said board, not needed for military pur- 
poses. 

It appears affirmatively by the record that Mr. Popper has never exercised the right 
of pre-emption conferred by existing laws, and, therefore, still retains the privilege. 
Your committee find, the premises considered, that Mr. Popper's settlement on said 
land was bona fide, and that at the time of his said settlement he could have been iu 
no wise advised of the probability of its beiug included within any prospective ex- 
tension of the military reservation. He had made large outlay in the way of erect- 
ing improvements prior to any action taken by the authorities to set the land aside 
for military purposes, and had been assessed for and paid taxes upon the same also 
prior to the establishment of the military reservation. He has always occupied the 
premises and retained peaceable possession of the same. The land being not needed 
for military purposes and the improvements of no value to the Government, it would 
seem proper to aflbrd him the relief he seeks, especially since the whole matter has 
been formally inquired into and reported upon by the military authorities, through a 
board consisting of officers of the highest character, whose action, together with the 
conclusions of the Lieutenant-General of the Army, and the recommendations of the 
Secretary of War, ought to be conclusive upon Congress. 

The committee therefore recommend the passage of the bill.