Digital Bob Archive

President McKinley Signs Alaska Civil Code Into Law

News of the Gold Camp - 12/22/1980

JUNE 16, 1900-Word was received here this week that the Alaska Civil Code passed the House of Representatives in Washington on June 4 and that President William McKinley signed it into law two days later. A copy of the final bill was also received here. The new law gives Alaska two additional U. S. District Judges, with one to be stationed at Eagle on the Yukon River and the other at St. Michael. Of special interest to the residents of Juneau are two provisions of the law. One provides the incorporation of municipalities, so that Juneau, as well as other Alaska communities, can now have local self government and can tax real property for the support of that government. The other provision makes Juneau the ?seat of government? for the District of Alaska, with the headquarters to move here from Sitka as soon as suitable public buildings are provided.

Immediately upon receipt of word that the Civil Code is now law, a petition was drafted calling for the incorporation of Juneau as a first class municipality and was circulated among the citizens. Sixty signatures were quickly gathered. Unfortunately, the petition must be approved by the District Court, and Judge Melville C. Brown is presently holding a term of court at Skagway. If there is to be early action on the petition, it must be filed at Skagway and Judge A. K. Delaney, representing the citizens of Juneau, left on the steamer early this morning to carry the petition to Skagway.

The steamer Alert brought in the sad news of two deaths from mussel poisoning near Seward City on Lynn Canal. Four prospectors, J. Daly, J. Mathews, A. Reed and C. Herman, were camped on the beach there and gathered a batch of blue mussels for supper. All four became ill soon after they has eaten. Some whiskey was secured, but Reed and Mathews refused to touch a drop. Both are now dead. Daly and Herman drank freely and are now recovering.

JUNE 23, 1900-Judge Melville Brown, sitting at Skagway, has approved the petition of Juneau citizens for the incorporation of Juneau as a first class city and has set Friday, June 29, as the date for an election to approve the proposition and to elect a City Council of seven members and a School Board of three members. A public meeting was held to inform the citizens of the procedures for making nominations for the ten positions. It is understood that there will be two tickets in the field for the City Council.