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Walker et aL v. Hill el al
been available on appeal for the reversal of such judgment,, yet, they have wholly failed, we think, to show by any averment that such adjudication was for any cause absolutely void. In the absence of such a showing, it must be held, in conformity with all our decisions, that such joint reply was clearly bad on appellees' demurrer thereto. Of course, the Jennings Circuit Court had jurisdiction of the subject-matter of the suit of John Walker against William Rowley, and the court's jurisdiction of the persons of the parties to such suit is clear and unquestioned. In such case, the adjudication of the court, however erroneous it may be, is absolutely impervious to collateral attack. Reid v. Mitchell, 93 Ind. 469; Dowell v. Lahr, 97 Ind. 146; Exchange Bank v. Aulty 102 Ind. 322; Indiana, etc., Co. v. Louisville, etc., R. W Co., 107 Ind. 301.
What we have said, in considering the eleventh alleged error, applies with equal force to the twelfth error assigned by the appellants, namely: The sustaining of appellees' joint demurrer to appellants' joint reply to the fourth paragraph of appellees' joint answer. Like the eleventh alleged error, this twelfth error calls in question the sufficiency of the facts stated by appellants in their joint reply to avoid the fourth paragraph of appellees' joint answer. Upon full consideration of this question, as presented by the eleventh alleged error, we held that the facts stated by appellants in their joint reply were not sufficient to avoid the fourth paragraph of appellees' joint answer, and to this decision we adhere.
The last error of which appellants complain is that the court below erred in its conclusion of law upon its special finding of facts.
The facts found specially by the court were, substantially,, as follows:
William R. Walker died in June, 1847, intestate. He left as his heirs at law his sons, John and Thomas Walker, and his daughter, Eleanor Baxter, nee Walker, the last two being the plaintiffs in this action. He left a widow, Penelope Walker et at. v. Hill a al
Walker, who was the mother of the three children named. John Walker was born August 6th, 1835; Thomas T. Walker was born September 17th, 1837, and Eleanor Baxter February 23d, 1842. Penelope Walker intermarried with Edward M. Sharp in May, 1849, and continued his wife until her death, on December 6th, 1879. Eleanor Baxter, in November, 1858, became and has been since the wife of Joseph K. Baxter. John Walker died intestate in Mississippi, August 27th, 1858, never having married, and leaving as his heirs his mother, brother and sister above named. When Penelope Sharp died she left as her heirs the plaintiffs herein, her husband, Edward M. Sharp, and five children by Sharp. William R. Walker, at his death, was the owner in fee simple of the real estate in controversy.
On November 12th, 1850, John S. Torbit was appointed and qualified as guardian of John and Thomas T. Walker, and, on the same day, Edward M. Sharp was appointed and qualified as guardian of Eleanor Baxter, then Walker. On May 16th, 1851, the two guardians aforesaid filed in the probate court of Jennings county (where such real estate was situate and said guardians were appointed) their joint petition for the sale of the real estate in controversy, and, also, their additional bond for such sale, as required by the statute, in the penalty of $2,040, which bond was accepted and approved by such court. On the same day the appraisers, then appointed, made and reported their appraisement of such real estate at the value of $705, which appraisement was accepted and approved by such court. Thereafter, on the same day, such two guardians were ordered by the court to sell such real estate, at public or private sale, for the best price to be obtained therefor, one-fourth of the purchase-money to be paid in cash, and the residue in two equal annual payments, with six per cent, interest from the date of sale; and such order of the court was duly entered of record therein.
On May 21st, 1852, such real estate was sold to the Peru and Indianapolis Railroad Company, at private sale, for
$2,525, payable in the capital stock of said company. The sale of said real estate was a joint sale, made by said two guardians. On August 14th, 1852, the sale of such real estate to said railroad company, for the amount, and payable as aforesaid, was duly reported to such probate court. At the time of such sale, and for at least two years afterwards, the stock of such railroad company, received in payment for such real estate, was worth and could have been sold for from 50 to 75 cents on the dollar. The report of such sale was accepted and approved, and the sale, as made, was confirmed by such court, and a commissioner was then and there appointed to execute a conveyance of such real estate to the purchaser thereof. On the same day, the commissioner so appointed executed and acknowledged a conveyance of such real estate to the Peru and Indianapolis Railroad Company, and reported such deed to such court, and the deed was approved by the court and delivered to such purchaser. The stock of such railroad company, for which such real estate was sold, was delivered to said guardians at the time of such sale, issued in the names of their said wards. Immediately after the execution of such deed to said railroad company, it went into possession of such real estate, claiming title and the right of possession under such sale and conveyance, and continued in possession until March 1st, 1855, when it sold and conveyed such real estate, by its warranty deed, to William Rowley and put him in possession thereof.
The court then finds that, through a series of mesne conveyances, particularly described, the same title acquired by William Rowley from said railroad company in and to such real estate, became vested in one James M. Hill on November 27th, 1872, who took and continued in the possession thereof until he died, testate, in June, 1875. On June 18th, 1875, the last will of James M. Hill, deceased, was duly probated, and under such will appellee Joanna Hill became the owner of such real estate upon the death of such testator, and had been in possession thereof ever since. On February Walker ei al. v. Hill et al.
25th, 1858, John Walker commenced au action in the court below to recover his interest in said real estate. Such action was brought against William Rowley, the immediate grantee of the Peru and Indianapolis Railroad Company, he being in possession of such real estate under his conveyance as grantee of such railroad company. At that time, John Rowley was in possession of the undivided one-third part of such real estate, under a conveyance from William Rowley and his wife. William Rowley was the only defendant. He appeared to such action and recovered judgment against John Walker, the plaintiff therein, quieting his, Rowley's, title to such real estate. Such judgment is still in force.
As a conclusion of law upon the foregoing facts, the court found the law to be with the defendants.
In discussing the alleged error of the trial court, in its conclusion of law upon its special finding of facts, appellants' counsel very earnestly insist that the entire proceedings and orders of the probate court of Jennings county, as set forth in such special finding, in relation to the sale and conveyance of appellants' real estate upon the joint petition of their respective guardians, were and are wholly void. We do not think that this position of counsel can be sustaiued. It may be conceded that there were imperfections, irregularities and even errors, perhaps, in such proceedings and orders of such probate court, which might have afforded sufficient cause for the reversal thereof on an appeal therefrom to this court, at the proper time and in the proper manner; but, under the law of this State in force at the time, the probate court of Jennings county was a court of general jurisdiction, and specially vested with jurisdiction of the petitions of the guardians of minors for the sale of the real estate of their wards. However irregular and erroneous the proceedings and orders of that court may have been, in relation to the sale and conveyance of the real estate of the appellants, upon the petition of their respective guardians, such proceedings and orders were not void, but must be held valid and conclusive Walker el ai. v. Hill et al.
against appellants when questioned collaterally as in this case. This is settled by many of our decisions. Dequindre v. Williams, 31 Ind. 444; Gavin v. Graydon, 41 lnd. 559; Porter v. Stout, 73 Ind. 3; Davidson v. Koehler,76 Ind. 398; Million v. Board, etc., 89 Ind. 5, and cases cited, p. 14; Dowell v. Lahr, 97 Ind. 146; Anderson v. Wilson, 100 Ind. 402; Indiana, etc., Co. v. Louisville, etc., R. W. Co., 107 Ind. 301.
In another view of the facts found by the trial court, and for another reason, we are of opinion that the court did not err in finding that the law of the case was with the defendants as its conclusion of law. Upon the confirmation of the guardian's sale of the real estate in controversy, on August 14th, 1852, a deed therefor was duly executed, under the order of the probate court of Jennings county, to the purchaser thereof, and was approved by such court and delivered to such purchaser on the same day. Immediately after the execution of said deed to such purchaser, the Peru and Indianapolis Railroad Company, it went into possession of such real estate, claiming title and the right of possession under such sale and conveyance. This title and possession were, of course, adverse to any claim of appellants, and such adverse possession was continuous in the successive grantees of such real estate, down to and including the appellees herein. From the facts found by the trial court, it is manifest that appellants' causes of action for the recovery of the real estate in controversy, and for quieting their title thereto, accrued in August, 1852, and were severally barred by our statute of limitations long before the commencement of this suit. This is so, even if it be conceded that the guardians' sale of such real estate and the commissioner's conveyance thereof were absolutely void. Sections 293, 294, R. S. 1881; Hatfield v. Jackson, 50 Ind. 507; Brown v. Maker, 68 Ind. 14; Ray v. Detchon, 79 Ind. 56; Second Nat'l Bank, etc., v. Corey, 94 Ind. 457; Wright v. Wright, 97 Ind. 444.
It is true, the trial court found that the appellants, at the time their causes of action herein accrued, were both under