Duval Commissioners Court meeting runs three days, in 1879

Duval County Commissioners declined a petition from Precinct 2 citizens to reinstate their county commissioner. Commissioner P. W. Toklas hastily tendered his resignation on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 1879.

Toklas was upset by the court’s approval of warrants submitted by Sheriff E. A. Glover and quit on the spot. After some argument, the court accepted his resignation. Later that day, as the court resumed its meeting that started on Feb. 10, a group of Toklas constituents came before the court to ask that they reconsider the matter. Another argument ensued and the court voted 2-1 not to reinstate Toklas. Precinct 1 Commissioner C. K Gravis and Precinct 3 Commissioner E. N. Gray voted to keep Toklas out and Precinct 4 Commissioner E. H. Caldwell sided with Toklas. 

The court had fined Toklas and County Judge James Luby $1 earlier in the meeting for being late. It was Luby’s second fine for tardiness.

Reporters covering commissioners court meetings in yesteryear had to be have the endurance of a long distance runner. The meeting opened on the morning of Feb. 10 and after a number of recesses concluded on the evening of Feb. 12, running three solid days.

In other business, the commissioners court addressed a number of public health issues. After approving a $101 payment to Dr. T. S. Kupfer for performing surgery on a pauper, the court asked Dr. Kupfer if he would be willing to serve as the county’s physician. The doctor and court reached an agreement that he would perform as county doctor for an annual fee of $250, payable quarterly. The court would also pay him 25 cents per mile for cases outside of San Diego. The court authorized the Judge and commissioners to request the doctor’s services.

Acting on a citizens’ petition, the Commissioners Court declared the jacals on the waterfront across from the P. Gueydan Store a nuisance. The court also approved warrants for W. J. Smith for a coffin and to F. de los Santos for digging graves.

Commissioners Court authorized the jail committee to contract for a fence around the jail. The cost was limited to $1 per running foot. The court added Sheriff Glover to the jail committee.

The court also named election precincts and presiding officers. Commissioner Precinct 1 had two voting precincts with Precinct 1 located at the courthouse with T. W. Gillette serving as judge. The commissioners selected the store of Jose Vaello in La Rosita as the voting site for Precinct 2, with George Copp as judge. In Commissioner Precinct 2, the schoolhouse at Piedras Pintas was designated the location for Voting Precinct 3, with William Hubberd as presiding judge. The court named Rafael Salinas as judge for Voting Precinct 4 in Commissioner Precincts 3. Voting would take place at the Concepcion schoolhouse. Finally, the court located Voting Precinct 5 in Commissioner Precinct 4 at Barrroneña at the office of Justice of the Peace A. P. Ayers.