BEFORE WALKER, P.J., HAWKINS AND ROBERTSON, JJ.
ROBERTSON, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:
In this action the owners of an 80 acre tract of land in Walthall County, Mississippi, claimed that they had adversely possessed some 70 additional and adjacent acres and sought to confirm in them title thereto. At the conclusion of the would be adverse possessers' proof, the chancery court sustained the record title holders' motion to dismiss, holding the adverse possessors' purported acts of possession sporatic and ineffectual and, as a matter of law, insufficient to fly the flag of ownership over the disputed acres for the requisite ten year period. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.
Boyd L. Davis and Ray Ellis Davis, Plaintiffs below and Appellants here, commenced this civil action on February 12, 1982, by filing in the Chancery Court of Walthall County, Mississippi, their complaint to quiet and confirm title. After various pretrial proceedings, the matter was called for trial on July 25, 1983, Honorable R. B. Reeves, Chancery Judge, presiding.
The evidence reflects that Boyd L. Davis and Ray Ellis Davis are the owners of record title to an eighty acre tract of land consisting of the east one-half of the northwest
quarter of Section 27, Township 1 North, Range 13 East, Walthall County, Mississippi. This is some two to two and a half miles southeast of Improve, Mississippi.
The disputed lands with respect to which the Davises have asserted a claim of adverse possession comprise approximately seventy (70) additional acres and lie adjacent to the Davises land to the south, east and north. Record title to various portions of the disputed lands and various interests therein lie in Diana H. Clement, Ronald R. Lott, Emelda B. Lott, Artis Mark, Jr., Sharon N. Mark, Jane W. Melton, William E. Melton, Mary Gaston Melton Buchler, Julius W. Melton, Jr., Crown Zellerbach Corporation, C. O. Trest, Marion T. Hardwick, Elizabeth W. Trest and Sue Ellen T. Verger. These parties were the Defendants below and are the Appellees here.
The Davises sought to prove adverse possession of the disputed 70 acres for a period in excess of thirty-five (35) years. Through only two witnesses, Boyd L. Davis and a surveyor, W. I. Connerly, the Davises sought to establish that they had kept the lands under fence, had grazed cattle and grown timber thereon, and had sold gravel therefrom. The testimony on each of these points was vague, imprecise and incomplete.
The thrust of the Davises case centers upon the testimony of Boyd L. Davis regarding the fence. Davis testified that in 1946 he helped his grandfather patch and repair a fence around the disputed land. He stated further, that, several years later he was on the property to help plant trees and the fence was still there. In time, however, Davis concedes that the fence fell into a state of disrepair or disappeared altogether. A timber cutting operation destroyed much of the fence. Other parts were destroyed as gravel was removed.
Importantly, the Davises never established that the disputed area had been effectively fenced for ten consecutive years. Further, the Davises offered no testimony to the effect that either they or their predecessors in title ever intended that the fence establish a claim of ownership to the property. W. I. Connerly, the surveyor, testified that he surveyed the fence line around the disputed property in 1971. He found remnants of an old fence that had fallen into alternate states of disrepair or disuse. He could not remember if he was working for Davis or for Clements/Trest.
The Davises also rely upon the gravel sales made to Walthall County. Apparently this occurred on several occasions over a period of years, although the record is devoid of evidence of dates, identity of the parties engaging
in the gravel removal operations, and the precise location of the lands from which the gravel was removed. One exhibit reflects sales from a gravel pit located partly on lands the record title of which is vested in the Davises and partly on the lands of Appellee Clement. No evidence reflected from which part of the pit the gravel was taken when sold. For ought that appears, it could have come solely from the lands record title of which is vested in the Davises.
Davis testified that he planted some trees on the disputed property within a year or two after 1948. There is no evidence reflecting the number of trees planted or the exact area where they were planted. Further there is no evidence showing Davis' intent to possess the lands in dispute by this planting. There is no evidence that the ...