Information on T2N R40E Section 12 and Railroad Claiming Rights

My Sisters and I have mineral rights from our family in the area of T2N R40E Section 12. Does anyone have any experience in that area.? My parents had companies lease it in past years. The Railroad claimed it about 32 plus years ago and we had a hard keeping some of it. Never made any sense that that was right. Have any of you had that happen?


Carol, I don't know about your specific situation but here is some background. In the 1880's to entice companies into building a trans-continental railroad across the northern US, the USA gave the Northern Pacific Railroad (NPRR) every other section of land (and minerals) for 40 miles on either side of where they built their tracks.

To recover the cost of building the railroad, the NPRR then sold much of this land to families for homesteads. When the railroad sold the land they often reserved all the minerals, though on occasion they also sold the minerals (except for the coal) along with the surface to the families. What you describes sounds like a dispute on this issue.

However, looking at the US Patents for T2N, R40E, Section 12 it shows the land never went to the railroad. It was homesteaded by a man named Clarence V. Chilberg. The E 1/2 of that section was patented 1-25-1922 and the USA reserved (kept) all coal. The W 1/2 half was patented on 4-7-1926 and the USA reserved (kept) ALL MINERALS. So the heirs, or successors, of Mr. Chilberg would own minerals (except coal) only on the east half of Section 12.

If you had an issue with the railroad claiming minerals it must have been on another piece of ground. To determine who (you or them) owns minerals there, research the deeds recorded for that property. There will be a patent from the USA to the railroad. Then the next deed, from the railroad to an individual, is where you will probably learn what, if any, minerals were conveyed with the land. Hope this helps. Good Luck.

Thanks. Clarence is my Grandfather. In 1973 the railroad claimed the mineral rights of ours. My father not living in the area did not know and was not able to defend his rights. He learned of it in 1980 shortly before his death. It was very upsetting to him. My mother hired an attorney and we recovered 1/2 of the rights. After paying the attorney in rights we now have 1/6 of the original rights. It seems very wrong. I wondered also if there was any mineral recovery activity in the area?

Can I search the next deed online?

Listed on our records are T2N. R40E section 12. NE1/4

T2N. R41E. Section 6 lots 3,4,5,6,7 SE1/4NW1/2, E1/2SW1/4

T2N. R40E. Section 2: N1/2, lots 1,2,3,4, S1/2N1/2

Carol, I don't believe any deeds are found online beyond the initial USA patents. You should be able to pull up the patent info on the other two tracts (2-41 sec 6, and 2-40 sec 2). Though to look beyond those initial deeds you'd need to look at the books in the county courthouse in Forsyth.

After finding more paperwork I see that we owned half the rights and in court the railroad had to give back what they had claimed. Is there anything new taking place in the county?