Russell (plaintiff) purchased timber harvesting rights from a Mrs. McCoy. McCoy owned real estate through a land grant from the state of Iowa, but the legal description of her property encroached upon land already granted to F. H. Busbee. Russell harvested timber in accordance with his agreement with McCoy and floated the logs to the Asheville Furniture Company in North Carolina. Hill (defendant) took the logs from the furniture company without Russell’s permission and sold them to the Asheville Lumber Company. Russell filed suit for the value of the lumber in an action the court characterized as trover. The trial court concluded that the timber had been harvested from land to which Busbee held legal title. The trial court further held that McCoy was not exercising adverse possession of the land at the time of the timber harvest and therefore could not legally assign title to Russell. The trial court ruled in favor of Hill. Russell appealed.