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not to be permitted to plead poverty as against the claims of creditors equally necessitous. It is accordingly provided that the foregoing exemption cannot be claimed when the debt is for wages due to a house servant or common laborer to the extent of $90, and when the action to recover the same is brought within six months after the last services were rendered. Nor can the purchaser of goods make this law an instrument of fraud by claiming goods which he has purchased on credit against an execution for the purchase money. •
RIGHTS OF MARRIED WOMEN.
State legislation is extremely careful of the rights of married women. If a wife is unjustly abandoned by her husband, the circuit court will sequester his property for the purpose of maintaining her and the children of the marriage. If he abandons her, or from worthlessness or drunkenness fails to support her, the court will not only allow her to sell her own real estate without his joining in the deed, but will require any person holding money or property to which he may be entitled in her right, to pay the money over to her. 1. Under such circumstances she is entitled to the proceeds of her own earnings and those of her minor children. 2. If her real estate is damaged for railroads, or other public works, the damages accrue exclusively to her. 3. If her husband gets into the penitentiary, she becomes to all intents and purposes a femmesole. 4. And if he, by ill usage, compels her to live separate and apart from him, she may claim the sole and exclusive enjoyment of her property as if she were unmarried. Rents, issues and profits of her real estate cannot be taken in execution for his debts, except when contracted for family necessaries. Moreover, by a very broad statute lately enacted, a wife may hold all her personal property free from her husband's control and exempt from liability for his debts. If he becomes incompetent to lead in the marital partnership, she may take the reins in her hands, engage in trade, accumulate property, and no act of his will create a charge upon it. Finally, at his death, the family homestead descends to her and the children, if any there be, to be held by her for life; if there be any children, in common with them; if not, by herself alone. She also takes dower in one-third of all the real estate of which her husband may have been seized at any time during marriage, in which she has not conveyed her right of dower, diminished, however, by the homestead which is set apart to her. She takes also a child's share of his personal estate; and, in addition to all this, she is allowed to retain as her absolute property a large amount of personalty.
The constitution places it beyond the power of reckless or dishonest public agents to burden the people with excessive taxation. Taxes for state purposes, exclusive of the taxes necessary to pay the bonded debt of the state, cannot exceed twenty cents on the hundred dollars valuation; and whenever the taxable property of the state shall amount to $900,000,000 the rate shall not exceed fifteen cents. The rate of taxation for county, city, town and school purposes, is likewise strictly limited. Counties, cities, towns, townships and school districts cannot become indebted beyond the revenue provided for each year without a two-thirds vote of all voters therein, nor, in any event, to an amount exceeding five per cent on the value of the taxable property.
The statutes of limitation in Missouri provide that an open account cannot be collected after it has run five years; a note is uncollectible if held for ten years after due; and a judgment expires by limitation in ten years.
The standard legal rate of interest in this state is six per cent; but a higher rate not exceeding ten per cent may be contracted for.
PUBLIC DEBT LIMITATION.
The state debt, according to the State Auditor's last report, , is $16,758,000. This mostly grew out of the various issues of bonds given in aid of railroads, and bears interest at the rate of six per cent per annum. To liquidate this debt the constitution provides for the annual levy of taxes, now fixed by law at twenty cents on the $100 of the valuation. With the sum thus raised the interest of the debt is first to be paid, and of the remainder not less than $250,000 is to be set apart as a sinking fund for the purchase and retirement of the bonds themselves. Hence, in a few years, with the vast increase in the taxable wealth, which is sure to come, the whole of the debt will be extinguished. There is an additional state tax of twenty cents on the $100 for current expenditures, a large share of which is devoted to the support of the common schools. This tax is ample for the purposes for which it is intended, and there is a constitutional provision that it shall be reduced to fifteen cents on the $100 as soon as the taxable property of the state shall aggregate a total valuation of $900,000,000.
The state, and all its municipal subdivisions, whether counties, cities or towns, are forbidden by the constitution to loan their credit to any corporation, so that there is no method by which the public indebtedness can be increased in the usual way. Owing to the great zeal of the people to forward public improvements of all kinds, a municipal indebtedness, aggregating, according to the auditor's last report, $35,727,566.49, has been contracted. Of this amount the debt of the city of St. Louis is shown to constitute $22,712,000, leaving for the agricultural portion of the state and the other cities, towns, townships and school districts only a little over $13,000,000.
The present organic law prevents any municipality from contracting liabilities, in any one fiscal year, beyond the amount of the levy made for that year, and in no county can the rate of taxation for local purposes, aside from the school tax, exceed fifty cents on the $100 valuation, unless two-thirds of the voters shall assent to the levy of a larger sum. Neither can the school tax in country districts exceed forty cents on the $100 without the consent of the tax-payers, to be obtained by a vote of the majority of the residents.
COMPARATIVE TAX RATE.
It will be interesting to note how the tax rate of our own state compares with that of adjoining states.
The average tax levy for all purposes in Missouri is about $1.30 on the $100; adding to this 70 cents on the $100 for the payment of bonded indebtedness where it exists, there is an average of $2 on the $100 as the rate, and a certainty of its steady decrease. This is given as an average, and while in a few counties the tax rate is higher, in the majority it is much lower.
By the report of the state auditor of Kansas, for the year ending June 30, 1878, the tax levy for state purposes is shown to be 55 cents on the $100, and the average levy for local debts and expenses $3.82 on the $100, making a total average tax of $4.37 on the $100. The taxable property of Kansas in 1878 aggregated the sum of $138,698,810.98, and the local indebtedness was reported by the state auditor at $13,473,197.51. In Nebraska the tax levy for state purposes alone is 62£ cents on the $100, exclusive of taxes to pay local debts and expenses.
In Iowa, the average rate of taxation for the year 1878 was $2.67 on the $100. In Illinois the tax levy for 1877, the last given in the auditor's report, was $3.24 on the $100, and the local indebtedness of that state was then the sum of $51,811,691.
Thus, it is clear that Missouri has a lower rate of taxation than any of the neighboring states above mentioned; and, in addition to this, under her wise constitutional provision, the rate of taxation must continually decrease every year, until only a sufficient amount of taxes to liquidate current expenses will be collected.
There are twenty counties that have no indebtedness whatever, and forty more the debt of which is merely nominal; so that their burden of taxation will be lighter than in any other portion of the United States.
FEDERAL AFFAIRS IN THE STATE.
The United States is divided into nine supreme court circuits, to each of which one of the supreme court judges is assigned. Missouri is now in the eighth circuit, which includes Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Colorado; and George W. McCrary, of Iowa, who was secretary of war, in President Hayes' cabinet, is now the judge of this circuit. Missouri is divided into an east and west United States judicial district; and Samuel Treat, of St. Louis, is United States judge of the east district, while Arnold Krekel, of Jefferson City, presides over the west district.
Missouri paid the following amounts of internal revenue to the United States during the year ending June 30, 1880: On distilled spirits, $2,151,643.98; on tobacco, $2,391,989.93; on fermented liquors, $711,654.53; on banking, $182,929.25; on other items, $1,360.27. Total, $5,448,344.83. Illinois, Kentucky, New York and Ohio were the only states which paid a larger sum of revenue on spirits; Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia paid larger on tobacco; Illinois, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin paid larger on fermented liquors (chiefly lager beer); California, New York and Pennsylvania are the only states which paid larger on banking transactions.
In 1878, Missouri paid $115,729.64 as penalties for violation of U. S. internal revenue laws, which was the highest amount on this item paid by any state—the next highest being Pennsylvania, which was "caught at it" to the amount of $27,867.20.
U. 8. LANDS AND LAND OFFICES.
There are now three U. S. land offices in Missouri, to-wit: at Boonville, Ironton and Springfield. The report of the general land office for 1879 showed 41,836,931 acres of government land still open to homestead entry in Missouri.
LEGAL TENDER IN MISSOURI.
Gold coins of the United States (unmutilated), and the " greenback" paper currency are legal tender for the payment of any possible amount of indebtedness. Silver coins are legal tender for any amount not exceeding $10 at one payment—but the standard silver dollar is legal tender for any amount, unless the contract specially provides otherwise. The baser coins of nickel, copper and alloy (3 cent pieces), are legal tender for any sum not exceeding 25 cents. The "trade dollar," and national bank notes are not legal tender; neither is any foreign coin, either of gold or silver, nor the " stamped bullion " gold pieces of California.
TJ. S.tJUSTOM HOUSE.
St. Louis is a port of entry for foreign goods; and the imports received here during the year 1880, amounted to (foreign value), $1,401,180} on which the import duties paid was $537,257.83. A fine custom house building is in process of erection, and will be completed in 1881.
In the south part of St. Louis, on the river, there is a United States arsenal, and six miles below the city,^[erl-erson Barracks are situated, a station for a small part of the regular army. A few squares from the arsenal there is a United States marine hospital.
MISSOURI'S DISTINGUISHED MEN.
Within our allotted space we can only give a brief sketch of those citizens of Missouri who have so pre-eminently distinguished themselves as to have achieved a solid national, and in some cases a world-wide fame. • First among these is—
Daniel Boone, The adventures of this famous hunter and Indian fighter have become a staple part of the world's perennial stock of daring exploits and hair-breadth escapes. He was born in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, February 11, 1735; emigrated to North Carolina and there married. In 1773 he emigrated with his own and five other families to Kentucky, and founded the present town of Boonesborough. In 1795 he removed to the Missouri river country, and settled in St. Charles county, about forty-five miles west of St. Louis, where he died in 1820, aged 85. His remains, together with those of his wife, were many years afterward removed to Boonesborough, Kentucky, and a monument reared over them.
Thomas H. Benton. Col. Benton was, in his lifetime, recognized as one of the foremost statesmen of the nation, and the hearts of all good Missourians kindle with pride at the mention of his name. He was a , specimen type of the best sort of Democrat; he always stood with Gen.