King Survey At The Center Of Another Court Battle - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/18/05-Gilmer

King Survey At The Center Of Another Court Battle

Dozens of concerned landowners packed the tiny courtroom at the Upshur County Courthouse Tuesday.

Most of the property lines in the rural corner of Upshur County were drawn according a 167-year old document called the King Survey of 1838.

Plaintiff W.L. Dixon claims the survey has errors and the people living on 784 acres of land, don't really own it.

"We're after a judgment to rule this is a vacancy that exists and we're right," said Dixon.

"During a 30 or 40 year period during the 1800's that's when all the land was titled," said defendants attorney Tom Zabel. "There hasn't been a whole lot of surveying since then and they all call for the King in the East."

It was 2 and a half years ago that hundreds of home owners learned they might not own their homestead.

Even a ruling last year from the state land commissioner has not removed the uncertainty of what the future holds.

"We've not been able to sell our mineral interest we've had our title clouded and we've lost some income would have received other wise," said royalty holders attorney Don Westbrook.

By midday the growing number of landowners forced this trial in to a bigger courtroom.
Most of the days testimony came from Garey Gilley a land surveyor from Fort Worth. He claims the land was never surveyed by any company.

More surveyors are expected to testify in the trial, and the job of tracing the steps of a document more than a century old, could take months.

Out of concern for courtroom size Wednesday's trial will be held at the Gilmer Civic Center. The trial will return to the Upshur County Courthouse on Thursday.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com

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