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CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS-MAKING EFFECTIVE CONSTI
TUTIONAL AMENDMENT GRANTING AID.
H. B. No. 217.]
CHAPTER 118. An Act to carry into effect the amendment to the Constitution of the State of Texas, providing that aid may be granted to disabled and dependent Confederate soldiers, sailors and their widows, under certain conditions, and to make an appropriation therefor, creating the office of Commissioner of Pensions, providing its duration, fixing his compensation, prescribing his duties, defining the duties of other offices with reference to carrying into effect this Act, repealing all laws and parts of laws in conflict herewith, and declaring an emergency. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas:
Section 1. That hereafter there shall be paid an annual pension of eight dollars per month, the same to be paid quarterly, on the first days of September, December, March and June of each year, to every surviving disabled and indigent Confederate soldier or sailor who is a native of this State, or who came to Texas prior to January 1, 1880, and who is either over sixty years of age or whose disability is the proximate result of the actual service in the Confederate army or navy for a period of at least three months; their widows in indigent circumstances who have never remarried and who have been bona fide residents of Texas since March 1, 1880, and who were married to such soldiers or sailors anterior to March 1, 1880; provided, that said aid shall not exceed $8.00 per month; and provided further, that in the event the appropriation made by the State Legislature for any one year shall prove insufficient to pay in full said pensions, that there shall not thereby be created a deficiency outstanding as a valid claim against the State of Texas, and each pensioner shall only receive, except as herein otherwise provided for, his prv rata according to the amount appropriated for that year.
SEC. 2. Each applicant for a pension under the law shall make application in writing and under oath for the same to the county judge of the county of his residence. Such application shall state the name, age and residence of the applicant, and his occupation, if able to engage in one, his physical condition, as well us the company and regiment in which he enlisted in the Confederate ammiy, or if an officer commissioned by the President of the Confederate States the date of his commission and his rank in the army, or if detailed directly, under the provisions of the conscript law for duty in any of the armories or shops of the Confederate government, or for any other labor necessary for the maintenance of the army in the field, or where he served in the Confederate navy, and time of service in each case, what property, effects or income he
possesses and shall furnish the testimony of at least two credible witnesses who personally know that he enlisted in the service and performed the duties of a soldier or a sailor claimed by him; provided. however, that if an applicant for a pension can not secure the testimony of two witnesses, then he may furnish such documents or evidence in connection with his service in the army as may establish his claim for a pension. These proofs shall be maile before the county judge of the county of the residence of the applican'. The county judge shall certify to the trustworthy character of the witnesses and to the citizenship of the applicant, who must have been a bona fide resident of the county in
which he makes his or her application for a period of six (6) months next before the date of said application. He shall in every case administer an oath to each applicant and witness, before they sign the affidavits.
SEC. 3. No widow shall be entitled io a pension should her husband, if living, be debarred by reason of his inability to comply with the requisites described in this Act, as to his service in the Confederate army or navy.
Sec. 3a. Provided, further, that any widow of a Confederate soldier or sailor, entitled to a pension under this Act, may make oath to the county judge in writing that she is in fact the widow of a Confederate soldier or sailor, that her said husband rendered valuable service to the Confederacy as such, that he did not desert and was either killed or died or was honorably discharged from the army. That she has made diligent search for all information as to the number of regiment and company in which her deceased husband served, and has been unable to learn same, which affidavit shall be filed with the county clerk, whereupon the county judge may proceed to take such other evidence as he may deem necessary, and if in his judgment he finds that she is the widow of a Confederate soldier or sailor, that all witnesses to the said fact are dead, or their whereabouts unknown to said widow and are unascertainable, he may upon his own motion, recommend to the pension commissioner the grant of a pension to the said widow, and if the pension commissioner is satisfied, that said widow is entitled to a pension under the provisions of this Act, he may grant same.
Sec. 4. Every Confederate soldier applying for a pension under this Act shall have served honorably from the date of his enlistment until the close of the late Civil War between the States or until he was discharged or paroled in some military organization regularly mustered into the army or navy of the Confederate States until the surrender. It shall be the duty of the county judge to take down the evidence in writing of all witnesses examined by him, which shall be paid for by the applicant at the rate of five cents per hundred words; provided, that the applicant is authorized to have such evidence taken down by his attorney or by such other person as he or she may employ under the contract of employment to secure his or her pension; and provided, that no greater fee than hereafter provided shall be charged by such attorney or representative of such applicant and the county judge shall certify to the written statement of the evidence when taken before him. The application, affidavit and certified statement of the evidence shall be forwarded to the Commissioner of Pensions of the State of Texas.
SEC. 5. That there shall be a Commissioner of Pensions, whose term of office shall be two years with a salary of two thousand ($2000.00) per annum, who shall be appointed by the liovernor. It shall be the duty of said Commissioner of Pensions to examine and pass on all pension claims under the existing law, to keep a correct record of all approved claims. with the name, disability, service, county and amount paid, to furnish the county judges with suitable blanks for use of claimants.
That the said Commissioner of Pensions shall on the first day of September of each year, make to the Governor a written report, showing the whole number of pensioners, the number of claims allowed for the
past year and the amounts paid, together with such information pertaining to his office as the Governor may ask.
All records, books, claims or other inatters connected with the office of said Commissioner of Pensions shall be kept open to inspection, and under the charge and direction of the Governor, and all rulings made by said commissioner shall be subject to revision and change by the Governor.
This office shall continue for ten years only, unless continued by further legislation. The said Commissioner of Pensions shall not exercise the power of attorney to draw any pension.
SEC. 6. To constitute indigency within the meaning of this Act, neither the applicant himself, nor his wife, nor both shall be the owners of property, real or personal, in excess of the value of one thousand dollars ($1000.00), household good and wearing apparel excluded, nor in the enjoyment of an income annuity, the emoluments of an office or wages for their services in excess o! one hundred and fifty dollars ($150.00) a year, or who is in receipt of aid or of a pension from any state or the United States, or from any other source, or who is an inmate of the ('onfederate Home, or other public institution at the expense of the State, shall not be entitled to a pension under this Act.
Sec. 7. The payments of such pensjons shall begin on the first day of March and September of each vear, payable at the end of each quarter and on and after the first of each quarter the pensioner shall make his or her affidavit, stating the county of his or her residence and post office address, and that he oi she is the identical person to whom a pension has been granted under this law, and that the conditions which existed at the time of making his or her application and on which the pension was originally granted, still exist, which affidavit shall be supported by the affidavit of some other credible person to the same fact, and which aflidavit may be made before any one auiliorized to administer oaths, which affidavit shall be filed with the Commissioner of Pensions for examination, and, if approved by him, the Comptroller of Public Accounts shall draw his warrant to the amount of such pension on the Treasurer, ani upon presentation the Treasurer shall pay the same out of any money in the Treasury which may be appropriated to this purpose. SEC. 8. Na application shall be allowed, nor shall any aid be given
No or pension paid in any case. to any soldier or sailor, or the widow of any soldier or sailor under the provisions of this Act, where it shall appear that any such soldier or sailor deseited his command or voluntarily
abandoned his post of duty, or the said service during the said war, nor · shall any application be allowed, nor any aid given, nor any pension
paid to any widow of any soldier or sailor who has been divorced from any such soldier or sailor, being her hushand, nor to any widow who voluntarily abandoned, and without cause any such soldier or sailor, being her husband, and continued to live separately from him up to the time of his death, nor to any such soldier or sailor who served as a substitute for another, nor to the widow of said substitute.
SEC. 9. It shall be the duty of the ('ommissioner of Pensions, when it shall come to his knowledge that any person has been granted a pension through fraud or perjury, or that any one on the prension roll, has, by reason of acquiring property or annuity, emolument, or other income, that would have prevented the granting :f a pension, had such conditions existed at the date of said application, to strike the name of such persons from the pension roll.
SEC. 10. It shall be the duty of the district judges of this State to specially charge the grand jury at every session to investigate violations of this law.
SEC. 11. No person shall receive a greater fee than five dollars to secure a pension for another, and any contract for a larger sum shall be unlawful and shall not be enforced by the courts.
Sec. 12. A county judge shall be allowed a fee of two dollars for hearing an application and taking proof therein, said fee to be paid by the applicant, and before hearing of application is had thereon, provided that all fees received by such county judge shall be reported as other fees of office and be otherwise controlled by ilie law as it now exists, regulating the fee of the county judges, and providing further that said fee of two dollars shall be the only fee allowed to the county judge for all the work performed by him in securing a pension.
SEC. 13. It shall be the duty of the Commissioner of Pensions, on the application of the grand jury, to forward to the district clerk of the county in which the grand jury is convened, copies of any and all criginal papers on file in his office connected with: an application for a pension, which said grand jury may desire to investigate, and such copies, with their correctness attested by the Commissioner of Pensions shall have the same force and value in law that the original papers could have had.
Sec. 14. No person shall, while an inmate of the Texas Confederate Home, nor shall any person while confined in any of the asylums of this State, at the expense of the State, or confined in the State Penitentiary to satisfy a judgment of conviction receive a pension under this Act, and any person having been granted a pension under the provisions of this Act, and afterwards becoine an inmate of said home. asylum or penitentiary, shall, while such inmate, forfeit his pension, it being intended that no person shall at the same time receive benefits from both sources, and no pensioner who leaves this State for a period of over six monthshall draw a pension while so absent.
SEC. 15. That for the year beginning September the first 1909, and ending August the thirty-first 1910, there is appropriated the sum of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000,00) for the purposes designated in this bill, and that for the year beginning September the first, 1910. and ending August the thirty-first, 1911, that there he appropriated the further sum of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.00), the said sums to be paid out of any funds belonging to the general revenue in the State Treasury, not otherwise appropriated, provided, that on the first day of September, 1909, and on the first day of March and each succeeding rear the Commissioner of Pensions shall first allot te each blind, maimed and totally disabled seldier or sailor, or the blind and totally disabled widows of such soldiers or sailors, the sum of eight dollars per month for each year, and the remainder oi said appropriations shall be equally prorated among the pensioners, who are in indigent circumstances only, and whose claims to pensions have been established and filed with the Pension Commissioner under the provisions of this Act, and the ('omptroller shall issue his warrant for the amount due said pensioner in the manner hereinbefore provided for, all pensioners to be paid at the end of each quarter and shall begin on the first day of September and March after the filing and establishment of the applications herein provided for; provided, however, that the pension commissioner is authorized to fill, after the appointment is made, any vacancies created by a death or other causes at any time between the first day of March and the first day of September in each vear.
Sec. 16. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with the provisions of this Act be and the same are hereby repealed.
Sec, 17. The large number of bills on the calandar and the fact that there are a large number of disabled and dependent Confederate soldiers and widows of soldiers in this State, create an emergency and imperative public necessity that the Constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several days be suspended and this Act take effect from and after its passage, and it is so enacted.
Approved March 26, 1909.
NORMAL SCHOOLS—ESTABLISHING WEST TEXAS STATE
H. B. No. 5.7
CHAPTER 19. An Act to establish the West Texas State Normal College, and providing that
the State Board of Education shall control the same, and making an appropria
tion therefor, and declaring an emergency. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas :
SECTION 1. That a State normal school for the education of white teachers is hereby established at a place in Texas and located west of the 98th meridian. The name of said normal school shall be the West Texas State Normal College.
SEC. 2. Immediately after the passage of this set the Governor, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Lieutenant Governor of Texas, respectively, shall be and are hereby appointed a committee to locate said normal college, provided that it shall be lawful for the Gorernor to appoint some one to represent him on said committee in case he is unable to act as a member of same; provided, that no member of this board shall be eligible to vote for any town or-city in this State for location of this normal wherein said member may have resided or owned property for as long as ten years prior to taking effect of this Act.
SEC. 3. In case of vacancy in the said committee on location, the Governor shall appoint some one to fill it.
In considering the claims of each place that may ask for said school, the committee shall consider its healthfulness, accessibility, and the general intelligence and social conditions of its people. The committee shall also consider the bonus or donations offered whether in houses, money, land or other valuable consideration which the respective places hidding for the location of said normal college may offer, and shall take into account all the facts and circumstances of each place that may bid