American History and Genealogy Project


Mayor - Ordinances - City Hall

1883 - 1891

Oliver Elected Mayor - Ordinance for Better Observance of the Sabbath - Newman Elected Mayor- Street Names Changed- Liquor License Increased- Electric Lights - New School - Free Mail Delivery- Hospital Founded- Establishment of Public Library- Growth of Population- New City Hall- Martin Act.

In 1883, D. W. Oliver was elected Mayor on the Democratic ticket.

An ordinance for the better observance of the Christian Sabbath was passed in October, 1884. This prohibited public parades, accompanied by music, within the limits of the city, except, of course, military organizations parading with appropriate sacred music on funeral occasions.

In 1885 the annual assessment included $25,597 for support and maintenance of public schools; for salaries, $11,200; for support of Fire Department, $3,000; for street improvements, $15,000.

The first bank in Bayonne, the Mechanics Trust Company, was organized the following year (1886), and located at Bergen Point.

John Newman was elected Mayor in 1887 on the Republican Citizens' ticket, to succeed Oliver.

The names of sixty-seven streets were changed by ordinance passed January 3, 1888:

Latourette Street to Sixth Street; South Street to Seventh Street; Fifteenth Street to Linden Street; Sixteenth Street to Eighth Street; Humphrey's Street to Ninth Street; Meigs and Elm Streets to Tenth Street; Eighteenth and Robin Streets to Eleventh Street; Van Buskirk Avenue to Twelfth Street; Nineteenth Street to Thirteenth Street; Twentieth Street to Fourteenth Street; Twenty-first Street to Fifteenth Street; Twenty-second Street to Sixteenth Street; Twenty-third Street to Seventeenth Street; Twenty-fourth Street to Eighteenth Street; Twenty-fifth Street to Nineteenth Street; Summit Street to Twentieth Street; Twenty-sixth Street to Twenty-first Street; Twenty-seventh Street to Twenty-second Street; Twenty-eighth Street to Twenty-third Street; Twenty-ninth Street to Twenty-fourth Street; Thirtieth Street to Twenty-fifth Street; Thirty-first Street to Twenty-sixth Street; Thirty-second Street to Twenty-seventh Street; Thirty-third Street to Twenty-eighth Street; Thirty- fourth Street to Twenty-ninth Street; Chestnut Avenue to Thirtieth Street; Maple Avenue to Thirty-first Street; Oakland Avenue to Thirty-second Street; Bayonne Avenue to Thirty-third Street; Huron Avenue to Thirty-fourth Street; Division Street to Thirty-fifth Street; Southview Avenue to Forty-first Street; Seaview Avenue to Forty-second Street; Fair-view Avenue to Forty-third Street; Cadmus Avenue to Forty-fourth Street; Bayview Avenue to Forty-fifth Street; Westview Avenue to Forty-sixth Street; Northview Avenue to Forty-seventh Street; Forty-first Street to Forty-eighth Street; Forty-second Street to Forty-ninth Street; Forty-third Street to Fiftieth Street; Forty-fourth Street to Fifty-first Street; Forty-fifth Street to Fifty-second Street; Forty-sixth Street to Fifty-third Street; Forty-seventh Street to Fifty-fourth Street; Forty-eighth Street to Fifty-fifth Street; Forty-ninth Street to Fifty-sixth Street; Fiftieth Street to Fifty-seventh Street; Fifty-first Street to Fifty-eighth Street; Fifty-second Street to Fifty-ninth Street; Fifty-third Street to Sixtieth Street; Fifty-fourth Street to Sixty-first Street; Fifty-fifth Street to Sixty-second Street; Fifty-sixth Street to Sixty-third Street; Avenue B south of South Street to Meigs Avenue; Avenue O to Rathbun Avenue; Avenue P to Humphreys Avenue; Avenue Q to Newman Avenue; Avenue R to Avenue C; Avenue S to Avenue D; Avenue T to Lord Avenue; Avenue U to Lexington Avenue; Avenue V to Hobart Avenue; Avenue W to Clinton Avenue; Brighton Street to Brighton Avenue; East Street to East Avenue; Crescent Avenue to Avenue E.

An ordinance was passed by the Council February 21, 1888, to provide for the numbering of houses by consecutive numbers for convenience and identification.

On April 17, 1888, the price of a license to keep an inn and tavern was increased from $75 to $250 by an ordinance passed on that date and approved by Mayor Newman on April 19. A license to keep a restaurant and beer saloon was increased from $50 to $250 by the same ordinance.

In the same year an ordinance was passed September 7, authorizing the Bayonne Electric Company to erect and maintain a system of poles and wires for electric lighting in the streets and public places in the city. This was the first contract for electric lighting of the streets. As compensation for the privilege granted, the company was to furnish and light in the streets, free of charge to the city, an arc lamp for every fifty subscribers for private lighting. The city was also to be allowed to stretch the police and fire alarm wires on the same poles.

In December of this year (1888), School No. 6, which was being erected on Thirty-Eighth Street between Avenues C and D, at a cost of $21,000, was opened for occupancy.

On February i, 1889, the free mail delivery system was put into operation. At this time Thomas Brady was postmaster.
The Bayonne Hospital and Dispensary had been incorporated on March 2, 1888. This hospital was opened March 3, 1890, in the building on East Thirtieth Street, which was donated to the association by Mrs. Alice Story Rowland and Mrs. Abbey Story Marshall. It was furnished by Mrs. Rufus Story with accommodations for forty patients. No restrictions as to age, sex, color or religious belief were imposed. It was to be supported by contributions, endowments, etc.

A meeting was held at Schuyler Hall on Monday evening, April 2, 1888, under the joint auspices of the Land and Labor Club and the Bergen Point Debating Club, for the establishment of a Public Library. Speeches were made by prominent citizens, and resolutions were adopted favoring the establishment of a library under provision of an act of the Legislature passed in 1884. On April 8, 1890, the question was submitted to a vote of the people and was carried by a large majority (1,897 in favor, 193 against). On August 5, 1890, it was organized by the election of officers, and incorporation papers were signed August 25.

The population of the city at this time was estimated at 19,033. The growth of the city warranted more improvements. More improvements require more labor on the part of the city officials, and more labor required a larger space to transact the numerous affairs. Consequently it was thought at this time advisable to erect a new City Hall.

On December 2, 1890, the contract was awarded for a large two-story and basement brick building to be erected on the south-west corner of Avenue E and Thirtieth Street; contract price being $46,999.

The actual number of dwellings in 1890 was 2,820, and the estimated persons to each dwelling were 5.9.

During the last term of Newman's administration, the removal of garbage by the city was first put in operation.
It was also during this administration that Bayonne first took advantage of the Martin Act. This was an act that had been passed whereby a city like Bayonne could appoint commissioners to go from ward to ward, looking up delinquent tax payers, seizing property in lieu of unpaid taxes, justifying claims and assessing property at what they judged was its real value.

Source: First History of Bayonne, New Jersey, by Royden Page Whitcomb, Published by R. P. Whitcomb, 24 East 37TH Street, Bayonne, N. J., 1904.


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