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CONGRESS

ESTATE OF MATHEW C. COWLEY, DECEASED, AND THE

ESTATE OF LOUISA COWLEY, DECEASED

FEBRUARY 13, 1945.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and

ordered to be printed

Mr. PITTENGER, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the

following

REPORT

(To accompany H. R. 1300)

The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 1300) for the relief of the estate of Mathew C. Cowley, deceased, and the estate of Louisa Cowley, deceased, having considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

A similar bill was favorably reported by this committee in the Seventy-eighth Congress.

The facts will be found fully set forth in House Report No. 394, of the Seventy-eighth Congress, which is appended hereto and made a part of this report.

(H. Rept. No 394, 78tb Cong., ist sess.) The purpose of the proposed legislation is to confer jurisdiction upon the District Court of the United States for the Western District of Kentucky to hear, consider, determine, and render judgment upon the claim of the estate of Mathew c. Cowley, deceased, and the claim of the estate of Louisa Cowley, deceased, for damages, if any, for loss or losses, v. hich may have been sustained or suffered, by Mathew C. Cowley and Louisa Cowley as former owners of certain lands, by reason of establishment, construction, or maintenance of Camp Knox, in the State of Kentucky

STATEMENT OF FACTS

The claimants allege that Mathew C. Cowley and Louisa Cowley, husband and wife, now deceased, at the time of the establishment of Camp Knox, Ky., in January 1918 owned adjoining farms consisting of 305 acres of land, in the vicinity of lands acquired by the Government for the camp; that as a result of the establishment, construction, or maintenance of the camp the value of said lands was seriously depreciated because of the stoppage of navigation on Salt River, the stoppage of the mail route and telephone service, the complete destruction of the

H. Repts., 79-1, vol. 1 -41

roadway to and from markets, churches, schools, and doctors, the loss of community life, the impossibility of obtaining labor and of producing crops on the soil, and the resulting unattractiveness of their premises; that shortly before the establishment of the camp the owners were offered $8,000 by one party and $10,000 by another party for the farms; that Mathew C. Crowley died in 1927 and Louisa Cowley died in 1937 and that, for the reasons enumerated, it became necessary for the heirs to sell said farms, on February 19, 1938, for the sum of $1,800, which was the best and the highest price therefor that could be obtained; that the former owners of said lands sustained serious and substantial damage at the hands of the Government because of the establishment, maintenance, or construction of the camp and that the Government has never in anywise compensated or remunerated the owners for such damage.

The proposed legislation calls for no appropriation but merely waives the statute of limitations so as to enable the estates of the former owners of said property to litigate their claims in the United States district courts.

Commencing with the Seventy-first Congress, several private relief bills have been passed, waiving the statute of limitations so as to permit certain owners of land in the vicinity of Camp Knox to bring suit in the l'nited States district court for such damage as could be shown. These are referred to in the House report accompanying H. R. 215, a similar bill for the relief of Lorenzo H. Froman, this day reported. The present bill is another one of these, and would merely give the claimants their day in court.

Your committee feel that the claimants are entitled to their day in court, and, therefore, recommend favorable consideration of the pronosed legislation

Appended hereto is the report of the War Departinent, together with other pertinent evidence, all of which is made a part of this report. Reference is also made to the House report accompanying H. R. 215, a similar bill for the relief of Lorenzo H. Froman, this day reported, which includes a fuller report from the War Department.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, January 6, 1948. Hon. Dan R. McGEHEE, Chairman, Committee on Claims,

House of Representatives. DEAR MR. McGEHEE: The War Department is opposed to the enactment of H. R. 7410, Seventy-seventh Congress, second session, a bill for the relief of the estate of Mathew Cowley, deceased, and the estate of Louisa Cowley, deceased, which would authorize the persons named therein as former owners of a farm consisting of 150 acres of land, more or less, near Fort Knox, formerly Camp Knox, in Hardin County, Ky., to bring suit against the United States to recover for such loss as these estates may have sustained by reason of the establishment, construction, or maintenance of Fort Knox and confers juri-diction upon the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky to hear the case and render judgment thereon. The bill waives the statute of limitation and grants 1 year from the date the act may become effective within which suit may be filed with the right of appeal as in other cases.

Under date hereof, the War Department has submitted to your committee a report on H. R. 7409, Seventy-seventh Congress, second session, identical with H. R. 7410 now under consideration except as to parties. For the reasons stated in the report on H. R. 7409, Seventy-seventh Congress, second session, the War Department is constrained to recommend against the enactment of the bill H. R. 7410. However, if, in view of the previous enactments of similar import, the Committee on Claims feels that relief should be granted to those similarly situated, it is urged that such relief be limited to those individuals who were owners of the land at the time of the establishynent of the Fort Knox Military Reservation.

The Bureau of the Budget advises that there would be no objection to the submission of this report. Sincerely yours,

HENRY L. STIMSON, Secretary of War.

AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT OF BILL
STATE OF MICHIGAN,

County of Wayne, ss:
Clara Cowley Froman, being duly sworn, deposes and says:

1. That she makes this affidavit in support of a bill entitled "for the relief of the estate of Mathew C. Cowley, deceased, and the estate of Louisa Cowley, deceased.

2. That Mathew C. Cowley, and Louisa Cowley had five children including this deponent

3. That for many years prior to 1918 deponent's parents owned adjoining farms in Hardin County, Ky., consisting of 305 acres of land, more or less.

4. That on or about January 1, 1918, Camp Knox was established by the United States Government in the neighborhood of said farms.

5. That since that time the United States Government has constructed and maintained said camp for military purposes.

6. That as a result of the establishment, construction, and maintenance of said camp in the neighborhood of said farms the value of said farms and the business of farming have been damaged or destroyed because of the stoppage of navigation on Salt River; and the stopping of the mail route and the telephone service; the complete destruction of the roadway to and from the markets, churches schools, and doctors; and because of the loss of community life of every kind it was impossible to get labor or tenants to produce crops which made the said farms so unattractive that they became unmarketable and unprofitable to operate.

7. That by the operation of large trucks and artillery over the Porter River Road and the Dowdell Road in wet weather the United States Government practically destroyed them.

8. That the firing of shells and the stoppage of traffic for hours by officers of the post during target practice interfered with the ingress and egress to the said farms.

9. That shortly before the camp was established deponent's parents were offered $8,000 for their farms by Frank Triplet and $10,000 for said farms by Mack Triplet.

10. That deponent's father, Mathew C. Cowley, died in the spring of 1927 and deponent's mother, Louisa Cowley, died in January 1937.

11. That on or about February 19, 1938, this deponent and the other children of Mathew C. Cowley and Louisa Cowley sold the said farms to W. M. Brown for $1,800, that being the best possible price obtainable.

12. That this deponent or any of the other children of Mathew C. Cowley and Louisa Cowley never have been reimbursed by the United States Government for the damages sustained and suffered by them because of the establishment, construction, and maintenance of the said camp.

CLARA COWLEY FROMAN. Subscribed and sworn to before me this 30th day of June 1942. (SEAL)

NORMAN J. RICE, Notary Public. My commission expires November 26, 1943.

This affidavit consists of 12 paragraphs covering one and one-half typewritten pages.

79TH CONGRESS

1st Session

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

{

REPORT No. 121

SAM SWAN AND AILY SWAN

FEBRUARY 13, 1945.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and

ordered to be printed

Mr. KEOGH, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 1308)

The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 1308) for the relief of Sam Swan and Aily Swan, having considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

A similar bill was favorably reported by this committee in the Seventy-eighth Congress.

The facts will be found fully set forth in House Report No. 839, of the Seventy-eighth Congress, which is appended hereto and made a part of this report.

(H. Rept. No. 839, 78th Cong., ist sess.) The purpose of the proposed legislation is to appropriate the sum of $3,000 to Sam Swan and Aily Swan, of Williamson, W. Va., in full settlement of all claims, against the United States for damage to their home caused by an explosion in a stone quarry where blasting operations were being conducted by the Work Projects Administration on October 13, 1941.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

An affidavit signed by Sam and Aily Swan states that a large explosion occurred at the stone quarry which was about 300 feet from their house. The shock was so severe that it caused a light fixture on the porch to fall to the floor and break; that it also broke a windowpane in the front of the house; that the whole house

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