Cases argued and decided in the Supreme Court of Texas, during the latter part of the Tyler term, 1874, and the first part of the Galveston term, 1875. Volume 42. Page: 425
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1875.] ROGERS V. RAGLAND. 425
Argument for the plaintiffs in error.
If, in the case at bar, the farm-lots which compose a plantation
can be held as a part of the urban homestead, because they
are town-lots," a step is taken far beyond anything decided
in Pryor v. Stone, or Hancock v. Morgan. In those cases, the
"lots;" allowed to be held as part of the homestead were certainly
town-lots, according to the ordinary use of language.
But let this case at bar be decided in favor of the appellee,
upon the assumption that the lands sued for are " town-lots,"
and we shall then have a precedent, according to which the
urban homestead may not merely consist of separated lots, but
some of these lots may lie in the town proper and actual, while
the others may, in fact, compose farms of hundreds of acres
lying in the adjacent country.
If this plantation was not homestead during Dr. Ragland's lifetime,
could his widow make it homestead by selection after his
death? We know that doctrine to this effect is intimated in
the opinion delivered by Chief-Justice Evans, when this case
was before the court in 1871. (34 Texas, 617.) But we reispectfully
submit that the decision of this question was not
necessary to the decision of the case as then presented; that it
was not argued by counsel, and that what was said uponl this
point, in the opinion delivered, may properly be regarded as
obiter dicta, and yet open to discussion.
It is easy to see that the homestead provisions, as they now
stand in our Constitution and laws, are liable to be greatly
abused; and he is not very observant who does not know that
many abuses under them exist throughout the country.
If a man owes fifty thousand dollars, and has fifty thousand
'dollars in money, with which he ought to pay his debts, but is
fraudulently disposed to defeat his creditors, it is very easy for
him to invest the whole fifty thousand dollars in homestead
property, and live luxuriously upon the income from it, while
his creditors cannot collect a dime from him. To accomplish
this, he has only to go into some one of our growing, thriving
cities, and invest five thousand dollars of his money in as
much vacant ground as he can buy with that sum, call it home
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Texas. Supreme Court. Cases argued and decided in the Supreme Court of Texas, during the latter part of the Tyler term, 1874, and the first part of the Galveston term, 1875. Volume 42., book, 1881; St. Louis, Mo.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth28531/m1/433/: accessed June 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .