Commissioners levied extra tax to pay debts, in 1889

Published 10:41 am Tuesday, July 28, 2020

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A badly weathered copy of the 1889 session laws of the North Carolina General Assembly uncovered recently contains several laws pertaining to Tyrrell County.

All counties are political subdivisions under state control and not independent to do as the county commissioners choose. However, over time much authority has been ceded to counties and towns, but ultimate power remains with the General Assembly.

Chapter 257 of the 1889 laws authorized the commissioners of Tyrrell County to issue county coupon bonds in an amount not to exceed $10,000 to pay the county indebtedness that apparently exceeded the revenue streams then existing. The bonds were for ten years at six percent interest per year. The law authorized the county commissioners to impose a special tax to pay off the bonds as they came due. The law contains much detail about how the clerk to the board was to account for the redeemed coupons. Ratified Mar. 5, 1889.

Chapter 339 amended an 1887 law regarding property owners keeping up the public road adjacent to their land. It releived the residents of Kilkenny from the provisions of the law that required persons to perform as many as ten days’ work per year. Ratified Mar. 9, 1889.

Chapter 340 prohibited taking of fish from fish nets or Scuppernong River within fifty yards of Bass Landing or Columbia bridges. Ratified Mar. 9, 1889.

Chapter 362 prohibited the sale of spirituous liquors, wines or medicated bitters within two miles of Sharon Church in Tyrrell County. It is believed Sharon Church was located a mile or so west of Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church on Cross Landing Road. Ratified Mar. 11, 1889.

Chapter 548 provided that persons subject to work on the public roads in New Lake neighborhood be limited to 12 days work per year and not more than four days at one time. Ratified Mar. 11, 1889.