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United States Supreme Court

201 U.S. 319

Keen  v.  Keen

 Argued: and submitted March 7, 8, 1906. --- Decided: April 2, 1906

This was an action of ejectment begun by Sophronia K. Keen in the circuit court of St. Charles county against Ellis Keen, to recover a tract of land in that county to which plaintiff averred she was lawfully entitled. The petition was in the usual form of a declaration in ejectment, and the answer a general denial.

Eli Keen was the common source of title, plaintiff claiming one half of the land, subject to the payment of debts, under § 2939 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, upon the ground that she was the widow of Eli Keen, who died in 1901, leaving, as plaintiff alleged, no children capable of inheriting.

Defendant claimed to be the legitimate child of an alleged common-law marriage between Eli Keen, a white man, and Phoebe, a negro woman.

There was judgment below for the plaintiff, which was affirmed by the supreme court. 184 Mo. 358, 83 S. W. 526.

Mr. David P. Dyer for plaintiff in error.

Messrs. Charles W. Bates, John F. McGinnis, and C. W. Wilson for defendant in error.

Statement by Mr. Justice Brown:

Mr. Justice Brown delivered the opinion of the court:


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).