Gage v. Pumpelly (115 U.S. 454)
Appellee's testator, plaintiff below, was in the possession, and claiming to be the owner of a certain lot of ground in Chicago, for which the appellant, who was defendant below, held deeds executed by the county clerk of Cook county, Illinois, on the sixth of September, 1877, and fourth of February, 1880; which deeds were based on sales made October 27, 1874, and October 3, 1877, for the non-payment of taxes. These sales were in pursuance of judgments of the county court, rendered at the instance of the treasurer of Cook county, who was, ex officio, the collector of its revenue. To the proceedings in the county court the plaintiff did not appear, nor was he a party thereto, otherwise than by publication in a newspaper, giving notice of the application for judgments, and, subsequently, of the order for the sale of the property for non-payment of the taxes assessed against it. The present suit was brought for the purpose of removing the cloud on the plaintiff's title, arising from the before-mentioned sales and tax deeds, and to obtain a decree requiring the defendant to convey to the plaintiff such rights and interests as he had thus acquired. The plaintiff in the bill avows his readiness and willingness to pay, not only the defendant's disbursements for the legal taxes included in the judgments of the county court, but such additional sum as to the court seemed proper. It was adjudged by the circuit court that the plaintiff should pay the redemption moneys allowed by statute, had the judgments and sales been only for legal taxes, with 6 per cent. interest in each case, from the expiration of two years after the tax sale; also, such other taxes as defendant subsequently paid upon the lot in question, with interest at the like rate on the amount of each payment. The aggregate of such payments was ascertained to be $1,118, as of May 1, 1882. The defendant having declined to accept that sum with interest, and the same having been paid into court for his use, it was finally adjudged that the title acquired by defendant, in virtue of the sales and deeds, be set aside and held for naught as against plaintiff, and that the deeds be delivered up and canceled.
A. N. Gage and N. G. Riddle, for appellant.
[Argument of Counsel from pages 455-458 intentionally omitted]
E. G. Mason, for appellees.
Mr. Justice HARLAN, after stating the facts in the foregoing language, delivered the opinion of the court: