Skip to Content
Indiana University

Search Options

View Options

Table of Contents

Brevier Legislative Reports, Volume XXI, 1883, 311 pp.


THURSDAY, Feb. 22, 1883-9 a. m.

Mr. HELMS introduced a bill [H. R. 462] to amend Section 2,537 of Revised Statutes of 1881, to provide for the running at large of all kind of stock.

Mr. CAMPBELL moved that the Constitutional rules be suspended that that bill be pressed to the final vote.

Mr. PATTEN opposed the motion. It is not such a bill as ought to pass this House. It is simply making bad worse.

Mr. CAMPBELL: If this bill is not such as should pass the House he would like for the gentleman from Sullivan [Mr. Patten] to tell the House what kind of a bill the House should pass for the relief of those persons who are petitioning for relief.

Mr. SHIVELY hoped that the rules would be suspended and the bill put upon its passage.

The rule was suspended by yeas, 70; nays, 17, and the bill was read the second time by title, and the third time by sections.

Mr. PATTEN did not think the bill would remedy the evil it was intended to. The bill preposes to prevent the County Commissioners from restraining animals running at large. Its purpose is to relieve those persons, who have lost their fencing by the floods, and when it is carefully examined it will be found to compel those men who have suffered from this flood to stop and make fencing to keep up their own stock. Whenever a true attempt was made to relieve the suffering he was always willing and ready to lend his assistance, but this bill will undoubtedly work a hardship on a great many persons. A great many tenant farmers have their hogs and sheep running at large, and it would be unjust to cause them to keep them up. It is the poor class of men and the tenant farmers that need legislation.

Mr. MUTZ was astonished that any member would get up here and oppose this measure in the favor of the poor man's cow. No good farmer or good tenant ever fails to have rails enough to fence up his own stock. The people along the Flat Rock and Blue Rivers, being his constituents, have appealed to him to secure the passage of such a law in order that they might have an opportunity to save their crops. He moved the previous question on the passage of the bill.

The demand was seconded, and, under the operations of the previous question, the bill was rejected by yeas, 41; nays, 52.

Mr. SHIVELY entered a motion to reconsider the vote.


The bill [S. 121] to legalize the acts of a certain voluntary association in Vanderburg County was read the third time and passed the House by yeas, 88; nays, 4.

The bill [S. 17] to make a contract with Michigan City for the construction of a sewer from the State Prison North to Lake Michigan was read.

Mr. FRAZEE desired the bill should become a law, believing it to be an absolute necessity for sanitary reasons.

It passed the House by yeas, 81; nays, 8.

Mr. McMullen's bill [H. R. 4] to amend Sections 695, 696 and 697of an act concerning proceedings in civil cases was read the third time and passed the House by yeas, 89; nays, 0.


Mr. Antrim's bill [H. R. 14] to require all companies and corporations to make settlement and payment to their employes at least once every thirty days, being read the third time.

Mr. ANTRIM stated that the bill was not introduced through any animosity to the companies or corporations, but it subject is simply to compel such companies and associations to settle with their employes at least once every thirty days. The employes in this part of the State had suffered great injustice by the companies, getting behind with said employes, and when they received their money not getting but a small per cent. of the amount actually due them for their labor. If this bill works any hardships it is simply a question of whether the Company is to sustain that hardship or whether it will continue to be imposed upon the laboring men, who are the least able to sustain it, and who can not command credit. The penalty is not to crush the Company, but simply to compel them to pay every honest debt to its employes. He knew men in his own County last winter to whom a certain company were owing $200 and yet that man did not have enough money to buy his family a turkey dinner on Christmas Day. He desired to ask if this is right? The bill is in the interest of a class of men who are not filling the lobbies and working in the interest of this measure, but they are our constituents, and we are here to work for them just as much as for the interests of the wealth of our State, and they deserve just as much at our hands.

Mr. WILSON, of Marion, was a sympathetic man page: 241[View Page 241] with the working class. This bill provides that companies or corporations must pay every thirty days, anyhow. It provides for no contingencies, and in case such a contingency should arise, the Company would be compelled to pay this penalty, not to the employe but to the State Treasury, and if a receiver is appointed the result would be the same. He thought it would be wrong for the bill in its present shape to become a law.

Mr. WILLIAMS, of Knox, thought this unwise legislation. It smacks too much of that old English law of imprisonment for debt. He did not think the author intended any unwise or unjust legislation, but he was satisfied that the bill would work unjustly against the companies and corporations. A Railroad Company might have trouble in negotiating a loan or the pay can be unavoidably delayed, or the Company suffer temporary embarrassment, and in such cases the money that otherwise would go to the employes would go into the State Treasury or to pay an attorney fee.

Mr. MOODY could not see where the bill would work a hardship. It simply provides that these companies, corporations or associations should pay their employes once every thirty days. And why not, when the law presents a penalty for a man not paying his note when it is due? There is nothing wrong about this bill, and it should pass.

Mr. MONTGOMERY was one of the Committee that made a unanimous report in favor of the passage of this bill. He thought it should become a law. He thought it was in the interest of the laboring constituents of every member of the House, and he did not think it would be a hardship for the companies to pay once every thirty days.

Mr. PATTEN could not see anything very wrong in compelling companies and corporations to pay their debts once every thirty days- to pay for the labor that created their capital. He thought that the principle of this legislation is right. These employes furnished the muscle, the skill and the labor to create this capital, and they should have the first earnings.

Mr. JEWETT favored the principles embodied in this bill, and would very much like to see corporations and companies compelled to bay their debts in a reasonable time, but it appeared to him that this bill was not sufficiently guarded, and that the corporations, under the provisions of this bill, may be made liable for their own misfortunes.

With the consent of the House Mr. JEWETT offered the following amendment, by adding to the last section a proviso: "That any corporation, association or joint-stock company may be exempted from the penalties of the act upon application showing good cause by order of the Judge of the Circuit Court of any County in which said corporation, association or company may at the time be engaged in business." He was willing to take the statement of the gentleman from Miami [Mr. Antrim] who has by his course on this floor shown himself to be a good lawyer, that this is a good bill. This bill is just to the workingmen, and Heaven knows there is little enough legislation for these men.

Mr. MELLETT favored the passage of the bill with the amendment. He thought that some legislation on this subject was necessary. He believed that the sentiment of the House was in favor of the passage of the bill, and he hoped no copious objection would be made to any amendment that might be made.

Mr. Jewett's amendment was adopted, and on his motion the amendment was considered engrossed and the bill passed the House by yeas, 84; nays, 7.

Mr. McMULLEN moved to take up the bill [H. R. 91] concerning the relocation of County seats-Jennings County Court House bill-and which bill failed to pass on February 6 for want of a Constitutional majority.

The motion was agreed to and the bill passed the House by yeas, 54; nays, 35.


Mr. STEWART'S bill [H. R. 23] to amend Section 27 of an act concerning roads and highways, so as to permit of the working out of road tax in the same manner as the law provided previous to 1881, was read the third time.

Mr. STEWART explained that the bill simply amended Section 27, by providing that both poll and property tax may be paid in work, and that the Supervisor should issue certificates to such persons, which certificates the County Treasurer shall receive in payment of such taxes. He thought this bill should pass and not run the risk of another bill passing which would include the same provision.

Mr. JEWETT thought the passage of this bill might embarrass the passage of regular road laws and he would, therefore, vote against it.

Mr. MOODY said: I am opposed to the present road law, and my people, without any exception, are opposed to the law. During my entire campaign I heard no voice raised in favor of the law, and for this reason I am in favor of any measure that will relieve my people from the effects of the present odious law. I voted two years ago for the present law upon the understanding that the bill was amended just as this bill proposes to amend it. In fact, I refused to vote for the bill two years ago for the reason that the law would not permit persons to work out their road tax upon the highway if they desired to do so. An amendment was then proposed and agreed to, or rather a proviso, which gentlemen will find in Section 27 of the present law, that was intended to apply to Section 10 of the law instead of Section 16, enabling parties to work out their tax instead of paying the money by applying to the Superintendent. The present law is not what we want, and gentlemen say to vote for this amendment will defeat the Senate and House bills prepared on this question with great care, and for that reason we should vote against this bill. If I knew that the Senate or House bill would be passed, then I would not care for this amendment; but how can we defend ourselves before our constituents if we defeat this bill, which, if passed, will cure the most obnoxious feature of the present law, and neither of the other bills is passed? I promised my people all over my County to do all in my power to repeal the dog law, the decedent act, the road law, the oats bill and the proposed prohibitory amendment tot he Constitution, and I have done all in my power to carry out this pledge. I do trust that this bill will pass; and then, if we can pass the House bill, which is claimed to be an improvement on the present law, well and good, and if they fail, we can have the consolation at least, of knowing that when the opportunity presented itself to better the present law we did not fail to embrace it.

Mr. HEFFREN did not think it best to take favorable action on this bill. He favored having the Committee report at once on the road bill passed by the Senate, and take action on that bill without further delay.

Mr. SMITH, of Tippecanoe, was in favor of this amendment, and then he would favor a general road law.

Mr. BEESON thought that, in the interest of the people, this bill should not be voted down. He was in favor of passing the amendment to the present road law.

The bill passed the House by yeas, 69; nays, 26.

Mr. Muck entered a motion to reconsider the vote by which the bill passed.


Mr. JEWETT'S bill [H. R. 26] to repeal Section 6 of an act concerning promissory notes, bills of exchange, bonds or other instruments in writing page: 242[View Page 242] signed by any person who promises to pay money, was read a third time.

Mr. SHIVELY hoped that the bill would not pass. He did not believe that the business or the farmers' interests demanded a repeal of that part of our statute; and he was satisfied it would result in more harm than good. Thirty-five- States have similiar laws upon their statute books and thus far there had been no effort to repeal said provisions of these statutes; and not only that, but every country of Europe have similar laws. In England and the German Empire, in every Nation, the commercial interests are protected by similar provisions.

Mr. GORDON stated that the bill had been discussed several days back, and he therefore moved the previous question, which was seconded by the House.

Mr. JEWETT desired to say that this bill to repeal this statute will not prevent the collection of any honest note in the State of Indiana. It will simply prevent the collection of notes obtained by fraud and crime. The State Grange, as an organization representing the farming element of the State, has asked me repeal of this law, and up to this, the 22d of February, every demand has been refused, and this is the last opportunity to make any response so this request. The only objection that has been raised against this bid has come from bankers and note shavers.

The bill passed the House by yeas, 64; nays, 34.

Mr. Henderson's bill [H. R. 29] to enable the several Counties in the State to sell and dispose of land for the benefit of the school fund, was read the third time.

Mr. HENDERSON stated the provisions of the bill granted a reappraisement of certain lands, once sold, but abandoned by the parties purchasing after they have deposited the land of timber. It was necessary that the land be reappraised, and he hoped that the bill would pass.

Mr. SMITH favored the provisions of the bill.

The bill passed the House by yeas, 87; nays 3.

Mr. HOLLER'S bill [H. R. 31] to authorize Boards of County Commissioners to grant bounties for the destruction of woodchucks, owls and hawks, was read the third time and passed the House by yeas 66; nays, 19.

Mr. FRAZER'S bill [H. R. 38] for taxing the ownership of property for school purposes, was read the third time and passed the House by yeas, 80; nays, 11.

Mr. MOCK'S bill [H. R. 48] to provide for the election of Supervisors of highways, was read the third time.

Mr. MOCK thought it was the sentiment of the House that some road law should pass. He did not desire to stand in the way of any member voting for the bill which had passed the Senate on the same subject, but he hoped the members would vote for this bill for fear the Senate bill might not pass.

Mr. MONTGOMERY was in favor of any good road law, and therefore he would vote for this bill. The Senate bill only allows the Supervisor $1.50 per day, and he thought it was better in this respect than the bill under consideration.

Mr. BEESON did not favor the passage of the bill, and he was of the opinion that his constituents were willing give the present law a further trial.

Mr. SMITH, of Tippecanoe, was pledged to vote for a change in the road law, but as this bill had passed the point where it could be amended except by unanimous consent, he thought it ought not to be passed by the House at the present time.

Mr. MUTZ desired to state to the House that there had been a great cry going no all over the State for the repeal of this road law. Everybody is against it. The people can never be educated up to favoring the present road law. He moved the previous question on the passage of the bill.

The demand was seconded, and under its operation the bill passed the House by yeas, 70; nays, 7.

On motion by Mr. McHenry the bill [S. 283] to abolish the Criminal Court in Alien County was amended by striking out "January 1" and inserting in lieu thereof "October 31," and passed the House by yeas, 90; nays, 0, under a suspension of the rules.

The bill [S. 173] to fix the fees of certain officers was read the first time.

Mr. JEWETT called up the bill [H. R. 419] to appropriate the sum of $100,000 for the relief of the sufferers from the floods of the Ohio, Wabash and White Rivers, and the Senate amendments were adopted by yeas, 73; nays, 16.

Mr. WILSON'S, of Marion, bill [H. R. 52] to construct a sewer from the Female Reformatory to connect with a sewer in Indianapolis, was called up and the Senate amendments were adopted.

Mr. WESTFALL'S bill [H. R. 198] for the relief of Allen Lepten and his sureties, John J. Peters, Henry Edwards and Levy Holiday, was read the third time and passed the House by yeas, 86; nays, 3.

Mr GIBSON'S bill [H. R. 117] to amend Sections 255, 256 and 257 of an act concerning taxation was read the third time and passed the House by yeas, 81; nays, 8.

Mr. McCORMICK'S bill [H. R. 308] to amend Section 2 of an act to incorporate the Trustees of the Hartsville Academy was read the third time, and passed the House by yeas, 82; nays, 2.


On motion by Mr. Williams, of Knox, the Special Committee to which was referred Senate Joint Resolution No. 1, to authorize the Auditor of State to audit and pay certain expenses of Superintendent of Public Instruction for the prosecution of a suit against John F. Williams, which were allowed, submitted a report recommending the allowance of $600, which on motion by Mr. Heffren was a mended by striking out $600 and inserting in lieu thereof $707.20.

The report as amended was concurred in by the House by yeas, 60; nays, 29.

Mr. HAM'S bill [H. R. 200] to provide for certain claims for labor performed in ditching and reclaiming land in Tipton County, was read the third time and passed the House by yeas, 78; nays, 10.

Mr. HOLLER'S bill [H. R. 286] to empower manufacturing companies to take and hold stock in corporations furnishing water power was read the third time and passed the House by yeas, 71; nays, 8.

Mr. WHITSIT'S bill [H. R. 180] to abolish City Assessors was read the third time and passed the House by yeas, 52; nays, 32.

The House adjourned until 9 a. m. to-morrow,