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Mineral Rights Battle in Wyoming County Pennsylvania

by Kenneth E. DuBose on July 26, 2010

Pennsylvania is involved in a dispute over mineral rights in Wyoming, Co.:

Sherwood B. Davidge and Calvert Crary, lumber barons and landowners at the turn of the 20th century, must have had excellent foresight. At least, they must have when they decided to sell more than 13,000 acres of land in Noxen and Forkston townships in Wyoming County in 1894, but retained the sought-after mineral rights making millionaires out of everyday farmers as gas companies snatch up land for natural gas exploration. The two men, though, were straw men for Union Tanning’s parent company and one of the original companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the United States Leather Co. The two supposedly conveyed the rights to the company but documentation was lost during the leather companies’ bankruptcy. Now, more than a century later, the International Development Corp., the Thomas Family Trust, and the state are in a legal battle over who is the rightful owner and who has the ability to extract the natural gas from the 13,627-acre property. A wild history of bankruptcies, tax sales, and various transactions with middlemen and the state have made who owns the mineral rights somewhat of a mystery.

Full article: Mineral Rights Battle in Wyoming Co., Pennsylvania –

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