The primary object of construction in contract law is to discover the intention of the parties,1 as it existed at the time that the contract was made.2 The courts should give to a contract such construction as fairminded men of ordinary intelligence would give to it.3 It is not the actual secret intention of the parties to the contract, which the court is to ascertain,4 but it is the intention which the law attaches to the words which they have used,5 when read in connection with the surrounding facts and circumstances. At the same time the education and mental habits of the parties to the contract may be considered for the purpose of ascertaining the meaning of the language which they have used.6

1 United States. Great Northern Ry. Co. v. United States, 236 Fed. 433, 149 C. C. A. 485; President Suspender Co. v. Macwilliam, 238 Fed. 159, 151 C. C. A. 235 [affirming decree, President Suspender Co. v. Macwilliam, 233 Fed. 433]; Merrill-Ruckgaber Co. v. United States, 49 Ct. Cl. 553; Hongkong & Whampoa Dock Co., Ltd., v. United States, 50 Ct. Cl. 213.

Arkansas. Arlington Hotel Co. v. Rector, 124 Ark. 90, 186 S. W. 622.

Colorado. Fearnley v. Fearnley, 44 Colo. 417, 98 Pac. 819.

District of Columbia. Dudley v. Owen, 31 D. C. App. 177.

Idaho. Porter v. Allen, 8 Ida. 358, 69 Pac. 105, 236.

Illinois. Gillett v. Teel, 272 111. 106, 111 N. E. 722.

Kentucky. Chicago Veneer Co. v. Anderson (Ky.), 32 Ky. Law Rep. 7, 105 S. W. 108; Owens v. Georgia Life Insurance Co., 165 Ky. 507, 177 S. W. 294.

Louisiana. Linehan, etc., Co. v. Ry., 107 La. 645, 31 So. 1026. "The construction of a contract is nothing more than the gathering of the intention of the parties to it from the words they have used. Di Sora v. Phillips, 10 H. L. Cas. 624, 638 [quoted in Gibbons v. Grinsel, 79 Wis. 365, 369, 48 N. W. 255].

Maryland. Phoenix Pad Mfg. Co. v. Roth, 127 Md. 540, 96 Atl. 762.

Massachusetts. Morrill & Whiton Construction Co. v. City of Boston, 186 Mass. 217, 71 N. E. 550.

Nebraska. Grothe v. Lane, 77 Neb. 605, 110 N. W. 305.

New Hampshire. Perry v. New England Casualty Co., 78 N. H. 346, 100 Atl. 605.

Hew Jersey. Jersey City v. Flynn, 74 N. J. Eq. 104, 70 Atl. 497.

North Carolina. Atlantic & N. C. R. Co. v. Atlantic & N. C. Co., 147 N. Car. 368, 125 Am. St. Rep. 550, 61 S. E. 185; Cuthbertson v. Morgan, 149 N. Car. 72, 62 S. E. 744; Makuen v. Elder, 170 N. Car. 510, 87 S. E. 334; Lewis v. May, 173 N. Car. 100, 91 S. E. 691; Ollis v. Drexel Furniture Co., 173 N. Car. 542, 92 S. E. 371.

North Dakota. Wisner v. Field, 15 N. D. 43, 106 N. W. 38; Harney v. Wirtz, 30 N. D. 292, 152 N. W. 803.

Oklahoma. Kee v. Satterfield, 46 Okla. 660, 149 Pac. 243; Barricklow v. Boice, 50 Okla. 260, 150 Pac. 1094; Brown v. Coppadge, 54 Okla. 88, 153 Pac. 817; Union Trust Co. v. Shelby Downard Asphalt Co., 55 Okla. 251, 156 Pac. 903; Nelson v. Reynolds, - Okla. - , 158 Pac. 301; Northwestern Oil & Gas Co. v. Branine, - Okla. , 3 A. L. R. 344, 175 Pac. 533.

Oregon. Northwestern Transfer Co. v. Investment Co., 81 Or. 75, 158 Pac. 281; Corvallis & A. R. R. Co. v. Port-land, E. & E. Ry. Co., 84 Or. 524, 163 Pac. 1173.

Pennsylvania. Bubb v. Parker & Edwards Oil Co., 252 Pa. St. 26, 97 Atl. 114.

South Dakota. Trumbauer v. Rust, 36 S. D. 301, 154 N. W. 801.

Tennessee. McKay v. Louisville & N. R. Co., 133 Tenn. 590, 182 S. W. 874.

Washington. Hunter v. Wenatchee Land Co., 50 Wash. 438, 97 Pac. 494; Tacoma Mill Co. v. Northern Pacific Ry. Co., 89 Wash. 187, 154 Pac. 173; Loutzenhiser v. Peck, 89 Wash. 435, 154 Pac. 814.

West Virginia. Carnegie Natural Gas Co. v. South Penn. Oil Co., 56 W. Va. 402, 49 S. E. 548; Griffith v. Fairmount Coal Co., 59 W. Va. 480, 2 L. R. A. (N.S.) 1115, 53 S. E. 24;