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JOURNAL

Cl

OF THE

'

Common Council
OF THE

CITY OF INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA


\

FROM
January

1,

1926 to December 31, 1926

Printed and Published Under the Authority of the


Common Council of the City of Indianapolis

BOYNTON J. MOORE, President.


WALTER R. DORSETT, President
WILLIAM

Pro Tern.

BOYCE, Jr., Clerk.


MARGARET J. RAY, Secy,
A.

EDWARD

of Committees.

WISE, Sergeant-at-Arms.

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March

1,

<of this

city dp Indianapolis, ind.

1926]

53

ordinance, within any one square, within the congested dis-

trict of the City of Indianapolis.

(c)

Every person, firm or corporation

violating-

any of the

above provisions of this ordinance, shall upon conviction be fined in


any sum not exceeding- Three Hundred ($300.00) Dollars, to which
may be added imprisonment not exceeding one hundred and eighty
days.

Section 2. All ordinances and parts of ordinances in conflict


herewith are hereby repealed.
This ordinance shall be in full force and effect from and after
its passage and publication as required by law.

Which was read a first time and referred to the Committee on Public Safety.

By

Dr. Todd:

GENERAL ORDINANCE

NO.

15,

1926

AN ORDINANCE,

relating to the establishment by white persons of


a home-residence in a negro community, and the establishment
by negroes of a home-residence ,in a white community, providing
a penalty for the violation thereof, and declaring a time when
the same shall take effect.

WHEREAS,

PREAMBLE
in the interest of public

peace, good order and the gen-

eral welfare, it is advisable to foster the separation of white


negro residential communities.; therefore,

and

Ordained by the Common Council of the City of Indianapolis,


Indiana
Section 1. That it shall be unlawful for any white person to
hereafter establish a home-residence on any property located in a
negro community, or portion of the municipality inhabited principally by negroes, or for any negro to establish a home-residence
on any property located in a white community or portion of the
municipality inhabited principally by white people, except on the
written consent of a majority of the persons of the opposite race
inhabiting such community or portion of the city to be affected; the
aforesaid written consent to be filed of record with the City Clerk.

Be

it

Provided, however, that a white person owning property in a


colored community, or a colored person owning property in a white
community, before the passage of this ordinance may exercise his or
her vested right to thereafter move into and reside there without obtaining the consent of a majority of the persons of the opposite
race occupying such community. Provided, further, that a white
person may exercise his vested right to sell his property in a white
community to a negro, and a negro may exercise his vested right to
sell his property in a negro community to a white person, but the
purchaser in either case after the passage of this ordinance can not
take up his residence therein without first obtaining the written consent of a majority of the citizens of the other race inhabiting such
community, as hereinbefore provided.
Section 2. That it shall be unlawful to maintain any homeresidence established in violation of Section 1 of this ordinance.
Section 3. That each seven (7) days maintenance of any homeresidence established in violation of Section 1 of this. ordinance shall

journal of common council

54

[Regular Meeting

be deemed to be and shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.


Section 4. That the terms "white community" and "negro
community" as used in this ordinance shall be taken and held to
mean and embrace every residence fronting on either side of any
street within three hundred feet of the location of the property involved, measuring along the middle of the streets -in any and all
directions.

Section 5. That any person violating any of the provisions of


ordinance shall on conviction be punished for each offense by a
not exceeding fifty dollars, or by imprisonment not exceeding
thirty days, or by such fine and such imprisonment in default of the
payment of the fine, or by both such fine and such imprisonment, in
the discretion of the court having jurisdiction.
Section 6. That should any provision or section of this ordinance be held to be invalid, its invalidity shall not affect or annul the
other provisions of this ordinance, which shall nevertheless have the
fullest effect possible in such case.
Section 7. This ordinance shall be in full force and effect from
and after its passage and legal publication according to law.
this
fine

Which was read a first time and referred to the


mittee on City Welfare.
By

Com-

the City Engineer

SPECIAL ORDINANCE NO.

2,

1926

AN ORDINANCE,

annexing certain territory to the City of Indianapolis, Indiana, and defining a part of the boundary line of
said City, and fixing a time when the same shall take effect.

Be

it

Ordained by the

Common

Council of the City of Indianapolis,

Indiana:

Section 1. That the City of Indianapolis be and the same is


hereby extended so as to include the following described continous
territory, all of which is hereby annexed to and made a part of the
territory constituting and forming the City of Indianapolis, in Marion County, Indiana.
Section 2. Beginning at the intersection of the center line of
Arlington Avenue with the north line of Section 2, Township 15
North, Range 4 East; thence east along the north line of said Section 2, commonly known as the center line of Tenth Street, a distance of 2,635.05 feet, more or less, to the east line of the west half
of said Section 2 thence south along the af oredescribed east line, to
the north line of the southwest quarter of said Section 2; thence
west along the aforedescribed north line, to the center line of Arlington Avenue; thence north along the center line of Arlington Aveue, to the center line of Tenth Street, the place of beginning.
Section 3. This ordinance shall be in full force and effect from
and after its passage.
;

Which was read a first time and referred to the


mittee on Public Works.

Com-

journal of common council

76

[Regular Meeting

proceedings and take such steps as he may deem necessary and


proper to enforce the provisions of the laws of this State applicable
to Barrett Law monies coming into the hand of the City Treasurer,
and that the Corporation Counsel be requested to require the City
Treasurer to deposit all Barrett Law funds, including prepayments,
in the authorized depositories of the City and the investment of said
prepayment monies in other bonds, all as provided by law, to the end
that the taxpayers of Indianapolis may be saved approximately Fifty
Thousand ($50,000.00) Dollars annually in taxes, and to protect the
integrity of outstanding Improvement Bonds in case the special tax
which has been levied to make up said deficit and supplement said
fund is declared illegal.

EDWARD

B.

RAUB

Which was read


mittee on

Law and

a first time and referred to the


Judiciary.

Com-

ORDINANCES ON SECOND READING


Dr. Todd called for General Ordinance No. 15, 1926,
for second reading. It was read a second time.

Mr. Bartholomew arose to a point of order pointing


out that inasmuch as the entire committee on City Welfare was not present and due to the fact that only a
minority report was brought in to the Council that it was
the desire of the majority members to postpone action on
General Ordinance No. 15 until the next regular meeting
in order to give other persons and organizations the opportunity to meet with the committee and discuss the
ordinance.

Dr.

At this time Mr. Dorsett moved that there be a


Todd seconded the motion. Passed.
The Council recessed from 8:00

o'clock

recess;

to

8:14

o'clock.

Upon reconvening the roll was


members were present as before.
Mr. Bartholomew moved that

called

and the same

the President of the


Council appoint a member of the Council to serve temporarily in the place of Mr. Springsteen on the Committee
on City Welfare, which was seconded by Dr. Todd and
carried.

President Moore then appointed Mr. Dorsett to

fill

March

15,

city of Indianapolis, ind.

1926]

77

temporarily the place of Mr. Springsteen on this committee.

Mr. Dorsett then moved that the Council recess for


five minutes, which was seconded by Dr. Todd. Carried.

The Council recessed from 8:16 o'clock

to

8:20

o'clock.

Upon reconvening the roll was


members were present as before.

called

and the same

Mr. Raub called for committee reports on General


Ordinance No. 15, 1926, which were submitted as follows:
Indianapolis, Indiana,

To

the

Honorable President and Members of the

March

15, 1926.

Common

Council of the

City of Indianapolis, Indiana:

Gentlemen We, your Committee on City Welfare to whom was


referred General Ordinance No. 15, 1926, beg leave to report that
we have had said ordinance under consideration, and recommend
that the same be passed.
OTIS E.
R. DORSETT
CLAUDE E. NEGLEY
AUSTIN H. TODD.

BARTHOLOMEW

WALTER

Indianapolis, Ind.,

To

the

Honorable President and Members of the

March

15, 1926.

Common

Council of the

City of Indianapolis, Indiana:

Gentlemen

undersigned,
member
Thewhom
was referred General
a

of your

Committee

on City Welfare to

Ordinance No. 15,


1926, beg: leave to report that I have had said ordinance under consideration, and recommend that the same be not passed for the reason that said ordinance is in my opinion invalid, and because also
said ordinance violates the spirit of our American institutions.

EDWARD

B.

RAUB.

At this time Mr. Bartholomew, in explanation of the


committee's action during the recess, said that while he
was in favor of delaying action on the ordinance he had
never publicly or privately expressed his approval or disapproval of the ordinance; that ine majority of the members of the committee had intended to postpone action
but after appointing Mr. Dorsett to fill the place made

journal of common council

78

[Regular Meeting

vacant by the absence of Mr. Springsteen it was decided


by the committee to bring in a favorable report
Dr. Todd then took the floor and explained that he had
been the recipient of petitions totalling five thousand or
more names petitioning the Council to pass the ordinance
at this session and he felt this was a representative ex-

pression of the citizens of Indianapolis and the same


should not be delayed further and he was in hearty accord with the decision of the committee to pass this ordi-

nance at

this session.

Mr. Raub arose to express his convictions on the ordinance, stating that he realized the situation involving the
people in northwestern Indianapolis but that he felt the
matter was one that should better be handled by the
Inter-racial committee and in addition he felt the ordinance was unconstitutional and could be declared invalid.

On motion of Dr. Todd, seconded by Mr. Negley, General Ordinance No. 15 was ordered engrossed, read a
third time and placed upon its passage.
General Ordinance No. 15 was read a third time and
passed by the following roll call vote
Ayes,

5, viz.

Messrs. Bartholomew, Dorsett, Negley.,

Todd and President Boynton


Noes,

1, viz.

p.

Dr. Todd, seconded by Mr. Negley, the


of the City of Indianapolis adjourned at

m.

vm
Attest*

Moore.

Mr. Raub.

On motion of
Common Council
8:28

J.

'
'

#
:

U
:

President.
:

::

:J:\

April

5,

81

city of Indianapolis, ind.

1926]

REGULAR MEETING
5, 1926, 7:30 p. m.
of Indianapolis met
City
the
The Common Council of
at 7:30 p. m., in
April
1926,
5,
in the Council Chamber,
in the chair.
Moore
Boyton
J.
regular session, President

Monday, April

The Clerk

called the roll.

Present: Hon. Boynton

J.

Moore, President, and seven

Negley, O. Ray Albertson,


Claude
Bartholomew,
Walter R. DorE.
Edward B. Raub, Otis
Austin
H.
Todd.
Ferguson
and
sett, Millard W.

members,

viz.:

E.

Absent: Robert E. Springsteen.

The reading of the journal was dispensed with on


motion of Mr. Bartholomew, seconded by Mr. Negley.

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE MAYOR


March
To

the

Honorable President and Members of the

Common

23, 1926.

Council of the

City of Indianapolis, Indiana:

Gentlemen I am returning to you herewith, General Ordinance


No. 15, being an Ordinance "relating to the establishment by White
persons of a home-residence in a Negro community, and the establishment by Negroes of a home-residence in a White community,
providing a penalty for the violation thereof, and declaring a time
when the same shall take effect," to which Act I have this day affixed
my signature as Mayor of the City of Indianapolis.
I have signed this ordinance after careful study and deliberation and despite the fact that the entire staff of the City legal department, and other able lawyers as well, in written opinions seriously question the constitutionality of the same. Our city government, however, is divided into two distinct branches, the executive
and the legislative. It is not the executive duty to pass, or even
attempt so to do, upon the validity of any act of the legislative
branch.
This Ordinance came before your body at your meeting of
March 15, when Councilman Austin H. Todd, the author of the bill,
called the measure up for action. It was passed by the votes of your
President, Mr. Boynton J. Moore, Mr. Claude E. Negley, Mr. Walter
R. Dorsett, Mr. Otis E. Bartholomew and Mr. Todd, all being regular
members of the Common Council. There was only one dissenting
vote among your body among those present at that meeting. The
Ordinance was transmitted to me in the regular form and, as your
body is the regularly constituted legislative branch of our city
government, I am hereby and within ten days after receiving the
some, returning the Ordinance to you with my signature.
This ordinance is in the nature of a zoning measure. The tenor

journal of common" codncil

82

Regular fleeting;

of the Act seems to be to preclude the possibility of either our


White citizens or our Negro citizens obtaining any advantage, each
over the other, in the matter of residence. I have discussed the
measure with hundreds of our citizens, both White and Negro, and I
have found many for the measure among both classes. It is likewise
true that I have found much opposition toward it.
I do not believe there is any intention on the part of your
honorable body to attempt to discriminate against any class, either
W hite or Negro as such, in the matter of the establishment of a
home-residence. It would naturally follow that if the City of Indianapolis is to continue to grow and prosper, that we should have in
effect certain zoning ordinances.
Our City Plan Commission was
established for that very reason, that the City of Indianapolis might
be carefully planned so as to assure its future growth and continued
prosperity. In this connection I do not believe that it is amiss for me
to quote Booker T. Washington, that great leader whose memory is
so dear to the hearts and minds of the Negro race, who once said
"In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the
fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progT

ress."

To those good folks and loyal American citizens who oppose this
measure, I feel that if they study the Ordinance with an open mind
and as the patriotic Americans they are, with an interest in their
race, their home, their family and their future, they will hail with
delight this step toward the solution of a problem that has long
caused deep thought and serious study by members of both our
races.

In conclusion, I wish to say that the Mayor is signing this


Ordinance, firm in the belief that it meets with the approval of the
great mass of our people, in the interest of peace and happiness on
earth and good will toward mankind, ever bearing in mind his sacred
duty to the people he represents, regardless of race, color or creed,
and the supreme obligation that we are under to Almighty God.
Respectfully yours,

JOHN

L.

DUVALL,
Mayor.

REPORTS FROM CITY OFFICERS


April

To Mr. William A. Boyce,

Jr.,

Clerk

of

the

Common

5,

1326?.

Council,

City of

Indianapolis.

Dear Sir At the request of the City Plan Commission I am


forwarding to you thirteen copies of an Ordinance to amend General Ordinance No. 114, 1922, known as the Zoning Ordinance, with
the recommendation of the Plan Commission that the same be passed
by the Council.
Since the Zoning Ordinance was first passed we have had considerable trouble with the provision with reference to from yard
lines and several amendments have been passed changing the same.
From practical experience the Commission feels that the Ordinance
as originally passed took care of this provision better than is now
done under the amendments. Therefore, this amendment merely
reinstates the provisions of the originial Zoning Ordinance with
reference to front yard lines.

journal of common council

96

[Regular Meeting

that the resolution was introduced by a Democratic member of the Council, I believe that it is a meritorious measure deserving the careful and favorable consideration of
the City Council. The fact that the resolution merely refers the matter to the attention of the Corporation Counsel does not indicate that the Common Council is playing
partisan politics nor is attempting to usurp the power of
the State Legislature.

am informed that the yearly amount involved


exceeds $50,000 if the Corporation Counsel
enter suit in the name of the city of Indianapolis to recover
such an amount this year then we could, by our action in
"Since

in interest

the Council, save this sum of money for the taxpayers before the next session of the Legislature, which will not
meet until 1927. And to this I believe all taxpayers will
approve of my action regardless of political faith or influence.

"

On motion of Mr. Bartholomew, seconded by Dr.


Todd, the Common Council of the City of Indianapolis
adjourned at 9:00 o'clock p. m.

rtJ2>jt*^^zJ^
President.

Attest

City Clerk.