Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Prospect Hill Landowners Face Loss of Their Properties in1900 Due to Allegedly Defective Deeds

I recently ran across an odd, yet interesting, little item published in 1900.  It indicates that heirs of a landowner who once owned the Prospect Hill area of today's Pelham Manor planned in 1900 to file suit to recover the entire area under a theory that the property owner's deeds were defective.  The article is transcribed below in its entirety, followed by a citation to its source.

Townsend's Heirs Will Sue to Prove They Own the Entire Manor.

Residents of Pelham Manor are interested in a suit to be brought in the Supreme Court of Westchester County to recover practically the whole of the manor for the heirs of John E. Townsend, who owned the property in 1819, and died intestate.  The property consists of ninety acres, used for residential purposes.  The value of this is said to be about $350,000.

Those heirs who are about to begin suit to recover are poor.  They live in Brooklyn.  They are Andrew E. Townsend and Herman Fischer.

Townsend is employed in the Navy Yard, and lives at No. 653 Metropolitan avenue.  Fischer is an electrical worker, and lives with his wife and two children at 287 Bleecker street.

Fischer is a grandson of the original owner of the Pelham Manor property, John E. Townsend.  The other contestant is an uncle of Fischer.

John E. Townsend sold the property to Andrew J. Conselyea, who made a contract with the Prospect Hill Village Land Association to sell it.  No deed was given to the association, it is held, therefore the titles to all the property, which it afterward disposed of in villa sites, are said to be defective.

The association went out of existence in the early seventies.

Some heirs of Andrew Conselyea have joined their claims with those of Fischer and Townsend.  The latter have retained Henry Bonowitz, a lawyer of Brooklyn.

The whole of the disputed Pelham property is occupied by handsome residences."

Source:  Pelham Manor News -- Townsend's Heirs Will Sue to Prove They Own the Entire Manor, New Rochelle Pioneer, Feb. 24, 1900, p. ?, col. 2 (newspaper page contains no printed page number).

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