Journal Of The Life And Culture Of San Antonio

Rules For Living In Early San Antonio

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Anyone caught giving or selling liquor to a 13-year-old in San Antonio in 1899 would face a fine no less than $2.00 nor more than $10.00. If the child was 14 or older, it was O.K. with the lawmakers.

You could be punished if you were to ride or drive any animal or vehicle over a bridge across the San Antonio River within the city limits at a gait faster than a walk. Your violation could cost you no less than $1.00 nor more than $25.00.

If you attempted this on a foot-bridge within the city, the violation could have cost you less. If found guilty, you could have been fined not less than $1.00 nor more than $10.00.

Clearly, the times were different then—and yet only to a degree. For example, the public was warned that "all places known as ‘opium dens’, where persons are permitted to smoke, inhale or otherwise use opium, are hereby declared public nuisances."

San Pedro Creek was a significant social dividing line in 1899. It was unlawful for any person to establish or maintain "any theatre known as a ‘variety theatre’ in any building in the city east of San Pedro Creek."

Beyond that, there were other rules for the West Side. For example, it was unlawful to cure, store or receive green hides, or to poison dry hides, within the city limits, "except at places west of Alazan Creek, north of Zavalla street and south of the Catholic Cemetery."

All these rules were spelled out in the charter of the city of San Antonio, as approved on August 13, 1870, and all the amendments made to it in force as of August 7, 1899 -- plus all ordinances "of a general character in force."

They had been revised by Theodore Harris and published by authority of the City Council in 1899.

The published charter and ordinances formed a book of 434 pages, not including a digest of special ordinances and an index.

Reading the book today shows a San Antonio that, in many respects, is familiar to its natives, yet strangely dreamlike.

In your mind's eye, as you read, you go down streets and past plazas with names it seems you've always known: Commerce, Houston, Alamo, Market, and Soledad Streets; and Main, Military and Alamo Plazas.

You see mule-drawn and electric streetcars, and you're warned of 8 or 10 miles-per-hour speed limits imposed on horsemen and horse-drawn carriages, and on bicycles.

You read of rules against driving cattle or wild horses through the main thoroughfares or leaving wagons parked in the wrong places.

Anyone having a bull older than one year would be fined if he or she permitted it to run at large anywhere in the city.

You are cautioned that it’s "unlawful for any person to hitch or to tie any horse, mule, jack, jennet or other animal on Main Avenue, between Main Plaza and Veramendi Street."

You're told of the punishment for bathing in the San Antonio River or San Pedro Creek before 8 p.m. and for failing to have the privies at your home inspected regularly or to comply with the rules enforced by the city sanitary police officers who were also officially known as "city scavengers", appointed by the mayor. They charged fees, based on weight, to remove the contents of privies.

You read of the rules governing bootblacks and chimney sweeps and the merchants who sold goods on the streets and plazas.

You find that in those days all children had to be vaccinated for smallpox, and where there was smallpox in a home the health officer had to make sure a sign was posted on the house -- a placard of yellow print cloth, 12x18 inches in size with the word "small-pox" written in English and Spanish in letters at least one-inch high.

You learn there was an office of "city oil inspector" and that "no illuminating fluid in which petroleum forms a part shall be sold or offered for sale" in the city unless officially inspected.

The office of city sexton was created, and the sexton, appointed by the mayor, was put in charge of all the city cemeteries. Burial of human bodies within a mile of the courthouse was forbidden unless specially permitted by the city council.

The book goes on -- with rules for fishing in the local streams, using the water from San Antonio River and San Pedro Creek and the ditches that ran from them for irrigation or electric power.

There were rules for the merchants along Commerce Street to have their sidewalks and street gutters swept every morning, Sundays excepted, before the hour of 8 a.m. from April 1 to October 1, and before 9 a.m. from October 1 to April l.

There were ordinances for the kind of sidewalks that property owners must have constructed when requested -- sidewalks of concrete or Flatonia or Balcones stone, or cement or mesquite block, or, with special permission, of "tile, hard-burned brick, wood, etc."

In those days you were not allowed to carry concealed weapons within the city limits. That meant concealed on your person or on your saddle or in saddle bags. And it applied to "any pistol, dirk, dagger, sling shot, sword cane, spear, or knuckles made of any metal or any hard substance, Bowie knife, or any other knife manufactured or sold for purposes of offense or defense."

But there were many exceptions permitted. The ordinance didn't apply to you if you were carrying arms on your own premises or place of business or if you were traveling or, in most cases, if you had "reasonable ground for fearing an unlawful attack" upon your person.

Certainly these examples don't exhaust the long list of rules for governing the city and the lives of its people in 1899. There were hundreds of guidances and laws that could be complied with or broken. Some seem strange to us today.

Yet, as Thomas Hardy said: "Though a good deal is too strange to be believed, nothing is too strange to have happened."



The Cleanest Part of Town

It shall be the duty of all persons occupying premises on Commerce and Market Streets, and on all cross streets between them, and from the Main Plaza to the San Antonio River; on Alamo Street from McAllister's Corner to Alamo Plaza; on Soledad Street, Main Avenue and Flores Street from Houston Street to the plazas; on Houston Street from Alamo Plaza to the San Pedro Creek; on Presidio and Dolorosa Streets to the San Pedro Creek, Main, Military and Alamo Plazas every morning, Sunday excepted, before the hour of 8 a.m., from April 1 to October 1, and before 9 o'clock a.m. from October 1 to April 1, to have cleanly swept all sidewalks and banquettes and street gutters adjoining the premises so occupied by them;

And it shall be their duty to have all yards, enclosures, sinks, stables and pens belonging to the premises kept thoroughly cleansed and free from weeds and filth, and the sweepings from the yards and kitchens shall, before said hour, be deposited in tubs, barrels or boxes on the outer edge of the sidewalks, in front of the premises, to be carried off in the scavenger carts, and the owners and keepers of stables and pens for animals, whether for public or private use, shall, before the hour of 10 o'clock a.m., thoroughly cleanse the same and at their own expense carry away all the dirt and filth three times a week, on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, from April 1 to October 1, and twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturday, from October 1 to April 1.

--Revised Criminal Ordinances, 1899, Sec. 22. pg 328.

Watch Your Jack and Jennet

Hereafter it shall be unlawful for any person to hitch or to tie any horse, mule, jack, jennet or other animal on Main Avenue, between Main Plaza and Veramendi Street.

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Sec. 5, pg 332.

Recognition of Haymarket Square

It shall be unlawful for any person to stand upon Paschal Square with any wagon, cart or other conveyance, for the purpose of selling or disposing of any hay, corn, sugar cane or other roughness, except within the limits hereinafter provided and set apart for that purpose.

One hundred feet off of the west end of Paschal Square, next to and adjoining South Pecos Street, is hereby set aside as a stand for all wagons, carts and other vehicles offering produce for sale.

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch. 47, Sec. 10, Sec. 11. pg 333.

(This area, where the Farmers Market now stands, became known as Haymarket plaza--FWJ.)

Public Balls Prohibited

All public balls in this city shall be unlawful, unless by permit from the mayor; every public ball shall be attended during the whole time thereof by at least one policeman...

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch. 3. Sec. 1 pg. 174.

Annual Poll Tax for Males Only

There shall be and is hereby levied for the municipal year commencing March 1st, 1887, and ending February 29th, 1888, a poll tax of one dollar ($1.00) on every male inhabitant of this city between the ages of twenty-one and sixty years, not otherwise exempted by the laws of this state, who has resided in this city six months prior to March 1st, 1887.

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, Ch 30, Sec 1, pg. 149.

No "Variety Theatres" East of San Pedro Creek

It shall be unlawful hereafter for any person to establish or maintain or conduct any theatre known as "variety theatre" in any building or other place in the city of San Antonio east of San Pedro Creek …(Violators found guilty would be fined $100 "each and every day the theatre is maintained.")

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch.53, Sec 1-2, pp. 390-391.

NEVER Allow Railway Tracks on Commerce

No railroad track shall be laid or constructed upon any street, plaza, alley or public place within the city, unless permission so to do shall first have been granted by the City Council....No permit shall ever be granted to construct such railway or track on Commerce Street, from Alamo Street to East Street.

Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch 49, Sec 1 and Sec 10, pp. 342, 346.

(East Street now Santa Rosa Street--FWJ).

San Antonio: North, South, East and West

Commerce Street, with its continuations to the city limits, shall divide the city north and south, and the San Antonio River shall divide the city east and west....

-- Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899 Ch 8, Sec 8, pg 180.

A Badge for Boot Blacks

Any person desiring to pursue and follow the occupation of boot black shall pay to the city marshal the sum of twenty-five (25) cents in advance, and the city marshal shall then deliver to said person a tin plate or badge, which shall bear such stamp or design as said marshal shall indicate, and shall be worn by the person receiving the same in some conspicuous place about his person, and said badge shall authorize the person holding the same to pursue such occupation only during good behavior, and at the pleasure of the mayor.

The city marshal, or said person complying with Section 1 of this ordinance, shall designate a place or beat, on the public sidewalk or street, where the said person may pursue and follow his said occupation.... The badge provided for in Section 1 of this ordinance shall not be transferable.

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch 9, Sec 1, 2, 3; pp. 182-3.

Concealed Weapons

If any person within the corporate limits of the city of San Antonio, shall carry on or about his or her person, saddle, or in his saddle bags, any pistol, dirk, dagger, sling shot, sword cane, spear, or knuckles made of any metal or any hard substance, Bowie knife, or any other kind of knife manufactured or sold for purposes of offense or defense, he or she shall be punished by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) nor more than two hundred dollars ($200.00).

The preceding shall not apply ... to the carrying of arms on one’s own premises or place of business, nor to per- sons traveling, nor to one who has a reasonable ground for fearing an unlawful attack upon his person...

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Chapter 10; Sec. 1,2, pp. 183-4.

Disorderly Houses

A disorderly house is one kept for prostitution, or where prostitutes are permitted to resort or reside, for the purpose of plying their vocation, or any theatre, play house or house where spirituous, vinous, or malt liquors are kept for sale, and prostitutes, lewd women, or women of bad reputation for chastity, are employed, kept in service, permitted to display or conduct themselves in a lewd, lascivious or indecent manner, or to which persons resort for the purposes of smoking or in any manner using opium.

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Chapter 11, Sec. 1, pg. 184.

Ditches and Irrigation

The office of superintendent of street cleaning and sanitation is hereby created (and the office of ditch commissioner, abolished), and the salary of such office is fixed at one hundred dollars ($100) per month.

It shall be the duty of the superintendent of street cleaning and sanitation ... to have full charge and control of the collection and disposition of garbage, the sweeping and cleaning of the ditches and the river, together with the distribution of water for the purpose of irrigation, and the collections of rents therefore...

Any person or persons entitled to or owning water in any ditch or ditches, within the limits of this city, shall keep or cause to be kept, the banks, locks or abutments of said ditch or ditches on their own premises in good condition and repair.

The superintendent shall make out a correct water list, to be completed by the last day of March each year, of all owners of, or persons who may be entitled to water from the several ditches, which list shall state the number of hours, and the exact hours and day of each month to which each person is entitled to water, and from which ditch....

The said superintendent is hereby authorized to distribute such amount of water as the city shall be entitled to from the main San Pedro ditch, to such persons within the proper limits as may apply for the same for irrigating purposes...

There shall be opened two irrigating ditches, one on the west side of the San Pedro Creek, to commence at the crossing of the San Pedro Avenue and Upper Labor Ditch, and the other on the east side of the San Antonio River, commencing on the east bank of the Alamo Ditch, at the junction of North Eighth Street, both to be according to the plans and specifications prepared by G. Freisleben, city engineer; the ditch west of the San Pedro to be called Alazan Ditch, and the ditch east of the San Antonio River to be called San Antonio Valley Ditch.

Whenever a fire shall occur and the alarm of fire is given, by the ringing of bells or otherwise, it shall be the duty of all persons using or controlling the water in any of the irrigating ditches of this city, in the vicinity of, or situated at such point from whence the natural flow of the water in said ditches is or may be in the direction of the fire, to immediately remove any and all obstructions to the flow of the water in the direction of and to the vicinity of said fire, until all danger has ceased.

Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch. 12; Secs. 1,2,3,13,17,21,25, pp. 185-194.

San Antonio's Two Waterways

It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to erect, make, place or cause to be erected, made or placed any dam or any manner of obstruction in the San Antonio river or San Pedro creek, within the limits of this city...

It shall be unlawful for any person to plant trees or shrubbery, or build walls, dykes or levees, or in any manner to encroach upon the margins of the San Antonio River or San Pedro creek or any of the public irrigating ditches within the corporate limits of the city...

All dams now existing in the river, within the city limits, and constructed of brush, sticks, dirt, gravel, loose stones or rubbish generally, or in any manner other than of solid masonry ... shall be removed ...

For every water power privilege used or granted ...

the party or parties using such privilege shall pay to the city ... a quarterly rental of one dollar ($1.00) for each and every horsepower...

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch. 44; Sec. 1,2,6,8. Pages 314-316

How to Build Your Bath House

All bath houses now or hereafter to be constructed in the river shall, from and after the passage of this ordinance, be so arranged only as to rise with and on the water in case of flood.

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch. 44; Sec 14. Page 318

Clear the Callejones

All streets, alleys or other public passages known as calles nacionales, callejones, etc., within the limits of this corporation, the public passage of which may have been stopped or obstructed by an person or persons, are hereby declared opened.

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch. 46; Sec 1. Pg. 321

Horseman: Don’t Cross the Walk

Any person or persons who shall lead or ride, or cause to be ridden, any horse, mule or any other animal, or any person or persons who shall drive, or cause to be driven, any carriage, wagon, cart, dray or any other vehicle drawn by animals, or shall ride any bicycle, across or upon any side- walk, shall be fined in any sum not less than one dollar ($1.00) nor more than ten dollars ($10.00) for each and every offence; provided, that the crossing of a sidewalk by a person so riding or driving for the purpose of entering upon private premises, shall not be construed as a violation of this ordinance.

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch 46. Sec. 11; pg 324

No More Crooked Streets

Hereafter when any building shall be erected or rebuilt on any street in this city the front wall of said building shall be erected and built according to a line established by the city council, so as to have a uniformity in the width of the sidewalks on all streets within the limits of this city.

1899; Ch 46, Sec. 18; pg 327

THE CLEAN PART OF TOWN

It shall be the duty of all persons occupying premises on Commerce and Market streets, and on all cross streets between them, and from the Main plaza to the San Antonio river; on Alamo street from McAllister’s corner to Alamo Plaza; on Soledad street, Main avenue and Flores street from Houston street to the plazas; on Houston street from Alamo plaza to the San Pedro creek; on Presidio and Dolorosa streets to the San Pedro creek; on the Main, Military and Alamo plazas every morning, Sunday excepted, before the hour of 8 a.m., from April 1 to October 1, and before 9 o’clock a.m. from October 1 to April 1, to have cleanly swept all sidewalks and banquettes and street gutters adjoining the premises so occupied by them; and it shall be their duty to have all yards, enclosures, sinks, stables and pens belonging to the premises kept thoroughly cleansed and free from weeds and filth, and the sweepings from the yards and kitchens shall, before said hour, be deposited in tubs, barrels or boxes on the outer edge of the sidewalks, in front of the premises, to be carried off in the scavenger carts, and the owners and keepers of stables and pens for animals, whether for public or private use, shall, before the hour of 10 o’clock a.m., thoroughly cleanse the same and at their own expense carry away all the dirt and filth three times a week, on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, from April 1 to October 1, and twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturday, from October 1 to April 1.

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch.46; Sec. 22. pg. 328

Where to Park Your Jennet

Hereafter it shall be unlawful for any person to hitch or to tie any horse, mule, jack, jennet or other animal on Main avenue, between Main plaza and Veramendi street.

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch 47, Sec 5, page 332

(The female jackass or donkey was called a jennet; and the male, a jack.—FWJ.)

Horse-drawn Streetcars

All horse cars shall have a driver, whose duty it shall be to drive and attend to the car brake, and at no time shall an animal be permitted to draw a car and be in motion without the driver holding the reins and in position to immediately put on the brakes, and such driver shall not be permitted to leave such animal while on his route for the purpose of collecting fares or otherwise.

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch 49, Sec 12; pg 346

Electric Streetcars

Hereafter no electric car shall be propelled or operated within the limits of San Antonio without having one conductor and one motorman thereon, nor shall any car be propelled or run at a greater speed than ten miles per hour within a radius of one mile from the centre of the city, and ten miles per hour within a radius of two miles and beyond the radius of one mile from the centre of the city, and twenty miles per hour any distance more than two miles from the centre of the city, and not over three miles per hour over bridges and around curves; provided, that no car shell be propelled or run at a greater rate of speed than three miles per hour over and along any street in this city where a flat rail is used.

-- Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch. 49; Sec. 15; pg 347

Ring the Streetcar Gong

All electric cars run within the limits of the city of San Antonio shall be provided with a suitable gong and a good and sufficient headlight from and after the hours of 6 o’clock p.m. in winter and 8 o’clock p.m. in summer, and such gong shall be sounded by the operator or driver of each and every car at least seventy-five feet before reaching crossings or intersections or streets, and said driver or operator shall continue to sound the same until such crossings or intersections have been passed, and on arriving at such street crossings or intersections the car must be under complete control of the operator, so that it can be immediately stopped, and such driver or operator shall light and keep burning such headlight from and after the above named hours.

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch.49; Sec. 18 pp. 347-348.

City Council Takes the Alamo

WHEREAS, The city of San Antonio did, by virtue of a resolution of the city council, passed February 20th, 1883, propose to state authorities that in the event of the purchase by the state of the Alamo, the city would take charge of the said building, to the end, that the object of the purchase, to-wit: its preservation as a monument, sacred to the memory of the martyrs who so gallantly perished in the defense of the liberties of their country, should be prevent- ed from desecration by vandal hands, and as far as possible from destruction by the ravages of time; and,

WHEREAS, By virtue of a joint resolution in the Nineteenth legislature, the governor of the state has formally transferred the said Alamo building to the custody of the city, now, therefore,

Be it Ordained by the City Council of the City of San Antonio

That in conformity with the resolution of the city council, above recited, the city of San Antonio hereby accepts the trust imposed by the aforesaid joint resolution of the Nineteenth legislature, and will carry into effect all the conditions imposed thereby, in good faith.

That the mayor be, and is hereby, authorized by and with the consent of the city council, to appoint some suitable person as custodian of the Alamo.

It shall be the duty of the custodian of the Alamo to keep the building in a cleanly and proper condition, open at all times between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., and on Sundays from 8 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 5 p.m., to the inspection of strangers and other visitors. He shall escort visitors inspecting the building, and prevent any defacement of the walls or other acts in any manner injurious to the property in his charge by such visitors and others. He shall have and execute in the discharge of the duties imposed by this ordinance, the power and authority of a regular policeman, and shall receive for his services a salary of fifty dollars ($50.00) per month.

The city council shall from time to time, as occasion may require, enact all other needful and proper regulations necessary to carry into effect the obligations assumed, as hereinbefore recited.

The very first of the revised criminal ordinances of the City of San Antonio published in 1899 was about the Alamo.

It said: Any person or persons offering for sale any article whatever in the Alamo building, or on the sidewalk in front of same, or on the ground belonging to the state in connection with the Alamo, shall be deemed guilty of an offense, and fined not less than five dollars ($5.00) nor more than fifty dollars ($50.00).

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch 2; Sec 1-4; pp. 69-70; also pg.169

NO BULLS ALLOWED

It shall be unlawful for the owner, agent or person having in charge any bull over one year of age, to permit such bull to run at large in any portion of the city limits.

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch. 2, Sec. 5; pg171

No Wild Animals

It shall be unlawful for any person to ride or drive any wild horse, or other wild animal, in or through the streets, alleys, or plazas of this city.

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch. 2, Sec. 9; pg 172

$5.00 For Bathing Naked

All persons are expressly forbidden to bathe or swim in San Antonio river, or in the San Pedro creek, after 5 o’clock a.m., and before 8 p.m. Also at any time to bathe in an un- becoming manner, or to remain naked on the river bank in sight of those passing by or residing near the same, under a penalty, in either case, of not less than two dollars ($2.00) nor more than five dollars ($5.00). Should the person convicted fail to pay such fine, he shall be committed to jail for not less than two days nor more than five days.

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch 5; Sec. 1; page 176

Bicycle Speeding

It shall be unlawful for any person to ride on a bicycle on or along any of the public streets, alleys, avenues, plazas or squares of this city at a rate of speed faster than eight miles an hour.

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch 22, Sec. 13; pg 222

CARRIAGES MUST HAVE LANTERNS

Any and all licensed hack drivers shall furnish and keep to each licensed hack or carriage used in the city limits, two side lights or lanterns, to be used at night as long as the hack or carriage shall remain employed after night...

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch. 24; Sec 8 pg. 229

Mexican Carts

All Mexican carts in the business portion of the city, unless loading or unloading shall take their stand on the Military or Alamo plaza, and there remain until the owner or owners, or person in charge thereof, shall drive the same out of the city or into some private enclosure; but no wagon, cart or other vehicle shall remain upon the said plazas or either of them, all night.

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch. 24; Sec 10 pg 229

You Must Fly The Yellow Flag

When a case of small-pox, Asiatic cholera or yellow fever is reported to the board of health, the city physician shall immediately visit the premises where the person is, and, upon personal inspection, shall cause a yellow flag to be erected in a conspicuous place upon the premises, the same to remain during continuance of the disease.

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch. 26. Sec.11 pp. 239-240

Vaccination or a Fine

Any person sending or attempting to send a child to any school or place of education within this city, without having it vaccinated in accordance with the provisions of this ordinance, and any physician giving a false certificate, and all persons admitting any child or other person to attendance in any school or place of education without such certificate of vaccination, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor...

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch. 26, Sec. 27 pg244

Hoop-rolling Prohibited

To prohibit and restrain the rolling of hoops, flying of kites, firing of firecrackers or firing of firearms or fire-works, use of velocipedes, or use of pyrotechnics or other amusement or practice tending to annoy persons passing in the streets or sidewalks, or to frighten horses or teams; to restrain and prohibit the ringing of bells, blowing of horns or bugles, playing of street organs or other street music, crying of goods and all other noises, practices or performances tending to the collection of persons on the streets and sidewalks, by auctioneers and others, for the purpose of business, amusement or otherwise.

--Charter, Article II, Sec. 88. pg 20

MARKETS AND MARKET MASTERS

It shall be the duty of the city marshal, or any police- man designated by him, to assign persons desiring to sell vegetables outside the market house, a space on Military plaza and Paschal square, for the spreading and displaying of their vegetables, and no person shall take any other place on said plazas than the one assigned by the said city marshal or such policeman...

All butchers’ meat of every kind, that is to say, fresh beef, veal, mutton, pork and the like, that shall be sold in the markets now, or that may hereafter be established by the city council, shall be inspected by the market master...

The markets, plazas and other places used as markets for the sale of meats, vegetables, eggs, butter, poultry, fruits, venison or other farm and garden products, excepting hides, wool, cotton, hay, pecans and wood, shall be kept open for such purposes from 3 o’clock a.m. to 9 o’clock a.m., and from 5 o’clock p.m. to 8 o’clock p.m. from the 1st of May to the 30th of September, and from 4 o’clock a.m. to 10 o’clock a.m., and from 4 o’clock p.m. to 7 o’clock p.m. from the 1st day of October to 30th day of April of each year. The city marshal or any policeman designated by the city marshal shall collect the same fee from parties selling vegetables, etc., in the evening, as collected in the morning, but no one shall be required to pay twice the same day...

The mayor shall, by and with the advice and consent of the council, appoint a market master, who shall also be market inspector....

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch.29; Sec. 1, 2, 3, 6 pp. 251-3

Paschal Square

It shall be unlawful for any person to stand upon Paschal square with any wagon, cart or other conveyance, for the purpose of selling or disposing of any hay, corn, sugar cane or other roughness, except within the limits hereinafter provided and set apart for that purpose.

One hundred feet off of the west end of Paschal Square, next to and adjoining South Pecos street, is hereby set aside as a stand for all wagons, carts and other vehicles offering any produce for sale.

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch. 47, Sec. 10, 11. pg 333

No Hogs For Two and A Half Miles

The following is declared to be a nuisance: The keeping of a hog or hogs in a pen or enclosure within the city limits on the north, two and a half miles, on the east, two and a half miles on the south, and to corporation line on the west as far south as line of Grenada street, and thence one mile on the west of the cupola of the cathedral of San Fernando.

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch. 31; Sec. 15 page 267

Official City Scavengers

The mayor is hereby authorized to appoint two sanitary police officers, one for the east side and one for the west side of this city, who shall also be city scavengers. They shall enter into a bond in the sum of five hundred dollars ($500), payable to the city of San Antonio for the faithful performance of their duty. They shall receive no salary from the city, but in lieu thereof shall be permitted to charge and collect the following rates: For cleaning and emptying privies, vaults and sinks, twelve and one-half cents (12 1/2 cents) per cubic foot of matter, and one dollar ($1.00) per barrel for removing barrels, emptying and replacing the same.

It shall be the duty of such sanitary police officers, in addition to their duties as sanitary police officers, to visit all premises in the city and report to the health officer all privies, vaults, etc., requiring cleaning, and any person failing to have such privy, vaults, etc., cleaned within forty-eight hours after having been notified by the health officer to do so, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor...

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch. 40, Sec. 11, 12. Page 310

CITY CHARGES FOR DISORDERLY HOUSES

Any person who shall rent our or permit to be used or occupied as a common resort for prostitutes or vagrants, or for the purpose of public prostitution, any house or place belonging to him, her or them, or under his, her or their management, charge or control, whether by ownership, agency or otherwise, shall be deemed guilty of an offense, and shall be punished, upon conviction before the recorder, by a fine of not less than twenty-dollars ($20.00) no more than one hundred dollars ($100.00) for each and every day such house or place is used or occupied for the purposes above enumerated...

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch 42; Sec.1 Page 313

San Antonio’s Two Waterways

It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to erect, make, place or cause to be erected, made or placed any dam or any manner of obstruction in the San Antonio river or San Pedro creek, within the limits of this city, unless specially authorized thereto by the city council...

It shall be unlawful for any person to plant trees or shrubbery, or build walls, dykes or levees, or in any manner to encroach upon the margins of the San Antonio river or San Pedro creek or any of the public irrigating ditches within the corporate limits of the city...

The city council may at any time condemn, as with streets, and remove such obstructing banks and deposits along the San Antonio river and San Pedro creek, as may be deemed expedient for public safety.

--Revised Criminal Ordinance, 1899, Ch. 44; Sec. 1, 2, 17. page 314, 315, 319

Frank W. Jennings

—1993