Tag Archives: Marion county

Jail Plot Exposed (Part 5)

Schwartz, W. B. - 1906-09-20, p. 8 (2)Accused a Negro Jailer.

“There are men confined here who have enjoyed every social and home environment which tends to elevate, and who know and can fully appreciate the rank injustice and demoralizing abuse heaped upon them in a most deplorable way. The writer has reference to the conduct of a deputy sheriff, a negro, whose delight seems to be the application of language which can not be even hinted at here, so vile and foul it is. This is not an exaggeration, but a true recital of facts made in a very conservative way. Men are called names which, anywhere else, would be resented in a very forcible way. When men such as are here have to listen to the blasphemous abuse of a negro which reflects upon the honor and virtue of their mothers, it seems it is high time to call the attention of those who strive for the honest administration of law to correct and prohibit such abuses.

Called It Public Disgrace.

“These are but a few of the true facts, and an investigation would show a state of affairs, a disgrace to any civilized community, and more especially so in a city like Indianapolis, noted for its educational and religious influences.

“It is a notorious fact that the night turnkey, on several occasions, has been so disgracefully under the influence of liquor that he fell prostrate on the floor in the effect to discharge his duties. This occurred once to our knowledge. This man’s language in addressing the prisoners is one continual string of profanity and abuse, and his delight seems to be just how much suffering he can cause the men in every possible way.

Appeals Were Not Heeded.

“We have previous to this appealed to the sheriff with no noticeable change for the better. Refusal has been made of a common garbage can, in which to deposit the natural accumulations of dirt, which, in a place like this, borders on filth. A visit to this ward a 9 o’clock at night will show a condition of affairs worse than has been described.

“The bill of fare of the jail will, no doubt, be interesting to the taxpayers of Marion county, who pay 40 centers per day for the keeping of each inmate. Six mornings a week, sirup, diluted with water; three slices of small loaves of bakers’ bread, with a small cup of coffee, which is invariably cold, compose the breakfast meal. For dinner, either hominy or beans, with meat in a small quantity, and three slices of bread, and water compose the meal. Supper consists of either soup, which, in most cases, is not touched, or diluted sirup and bread with coffee. On Sunday the men eat their breakfast at 8 o’clock.

“Jail Plot Exposed,” Indianapolis Sun (Indianapolis, Indiana), 20 September 1906, p. 8, col. 3; digital image, Newspaper Archive (http://www.newspaperarchive.com : accessed 7 April 2014).

W. B. Schwartz’s Circular

Schwartz, W. B. - 1902-02-13W. B. Schwartz’s Circular.

The following circular letter that was written by W. B. Schwartz, an attorney, and circulated among taxpayers has come to the attention of County Auditor Smith. “As you perhaps already know, the mortgage exception law has recently been declared unconstitutional by the Circuit Court in the case of Martha Lewis and Benjamin Lewis on the relation of the State of Indiana vs. the auditor of Marion county.

“Following this decision the probability is that you will receive no further exemption or deduction from your taxes on account of your mortgage indebtedness, and that within twelve months you will be required to pay back to the county the taxes from which the auditor has already exempted you under the mortgage exemption law.

“There is, however, one opportunity for you to keep from paying back the taxes from which you have already been exempted, and which may also entitled you to exemption on the taxes payable this year and next. If advantage is taken of this opportunity, however, it must be done not later than Jan. 31, 1902.

“If you will call at my office I can explain to you more fully the situation and instruct you what steps will be necessary for you to take in order to avail yourself of the deductions mentioned and avoid paying back any and all exemptions for which you have already received credit.”

County Auditor Smith said yesterday that no such attempt would be made, that the books in the office showed taxes paid in full, and that he could not go back and collect exemptions allowed. Schwartz says he will stand by his circular.

“W. B. Schwartz’s Circular,” The Indianapolis Journal (Indianapolis, Indiana), 13 February 1902, p. 12, col. 2-3; digital image, Chronicling America (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ : accessed 25 March 2014).