Vancouver must stop boarding chain gang prisoners in private homes, say Police Commissioners – November 28, 1887

The Police Committee recommended the City immediately end the present system of boarding chain gang prisoners in private homes. Eleven pairs of blankets were purchased for the cells, and a stove for the jail corridor. Tenders were received for painting street signs; M. J. Milross was awarded the contract, at a price of 53 cents per sign on wood, but only 45 cents on tin.

This transcript was made in 2015 by Transcribimus volunteer
Chris Stephenson, MLIS

original handwritten minutes here

City of Vancouver Archives
Series 23-A Volume 2 pages 121-129

Vancouver November 28th, 1887

The Council met on Monday November 28th at 7.30.p.m.

Present His Worship Mayor MacLean, Aldermen Alexander, Hamilton, Humphries, Lefevre, Lockerby, Mannion, David Oppenheimer, I. Oppenheimer and Sanders.

The Minutes of last meeting were read and adopted.


From F. W. Boucher and others asking for the improvement of lane running north from Dunsmuir Street between Homer and Richards Streets.
Referred to Board of Works.

From J. Low acknowledging receipt of Resolution of Council re Coquitlam Experimental Farm.

From John Devine, Submitting Auditor’s Report,

Referred to Finance Committee.

From Napoleon Authier and others asking that Mrs. Lefevre be not granted a lease of part of Howe Street,

From F.W. Hart, asking that By-Law No 8 be amended to prevent parties holding a licence for a building in which theatrical performances are given from paying a licence for such performances.

Referred to License Committee


Police No. 18

The police committee met on Saturday November 26th 1887.

The present system of boarding prisoners was taken up and discussed and it was resolved that after the first of December Officer Haywood be placed in charge of the Jail to oversee the feeding of the men to work the chain gang and look after the City Hall.

With this object in view the City Clerk was previously instructed to call for tenders for supplying the Jail with groceries, vegetables and bread.

The Board recommend that the arrangements made with the Chief of Police for boarding prisoners is discontinued at the end of the present month and that the Chief be notified accordingly.

The following tenders were accepted for Jail supplies:

F.X. Martin for Groceries + Vegetables

John Scuitto “ Bread

Van Volkenburgh “ Meat

The question of purifying the social condition of the City received the earnest consideration of the Board.

The Police Force were instructed to carry out most stringently the By-Laws of the City relating to houses of ill-fame and bring before the Police Magistrate the frequenters as well as the inmates in every case.

We have considered it necessary to call for tenders for the supplying of pea-jackets and pants for the police force, eleven pairs of blankets for the cells and the purchase of a stove for the corridor of the Jail.

sgd Jos Mannion
Adopted, Humphries – Sanders.

Fire, Water + Light No 29.

The Fire, Water and Light Committee met on Saturday November 26th 1887 and recommend the payment of the following accounts

Wm. Harkins, putting out fires $70.00

Jos. B. McKim “ “ “ 19.00

B.B. Skinner hauling buckets 4.50

We recommend that the following articles be furnished to the fire department:

One single street grapple, one three pronged grapple with steel wire and rope attachment, one Brake on Truck, Repairs to Ladder Rollers and general repairs to Truck.

We have instructed the City Clerk to communicate with Mr. Alisky of Portland as to prices of patent harness and Mr. Armstrong of New Westminster as to the sort of fire alarm he can furnish the City.

We would strongly recommend to Council the purchase of a team of horses and set of patent harness for the fire engine and the employment of a sober steady man as teamster.

Also that Messrs W. And J.J. Cargill be notified to vacate the Fire Hall Lot in sixty days and that the Committee be authorized to construct two stalls in the Fire Hall for the team.

We recommend that the City Clerk be instructed to notify the Secretary of the Electric Light Co. to remove pole in front of Fire Hall within three days or else same will be removed at the expense of said Co.

sgd Rich H. Alexander

Adopted. Humphries, D. Oppenheimer.

Works. No 64.

The Board of Works met on Friday November 25th 1887.

The following petitions have been referred to the City Engineer to examine and report upon:

W.H. Bullock-Webster and others re Quebec Street

Robert – Reisterer and others re Tenth Avenue

Sam Brighouse and others re Pender Street

F.C. Innes + Co.’s petition on behalf of Mrs Lefevre was referred to the City Solicitor whose opinion is herewith attached,

We recommend that Messrs Springer and Van Bramer be permitted to construct a ten foot sidewalk in front of their premises on Hastings Street and that the City replace present sidewalk on Hastings Street between Homer and Granville Streets by a ten foot one and do filling in as for the balance remaining from the local improvement debenture will allow.

We have instructed the City Clerk to call for tenders for the construction of the City hospital and have referred an account of W.W. Ayer for street cleaning back to Council for action thereon.


The following tenders were received and read,

Cemetery Building.

Angus McLellan, $365.00 for rustic
400.00 “ plaster

Phillip Breen, 315.00 “ Rustic
430.00 “ plaster

J.A. Menzies 397.00 “ rustic
410.00 “ plaster

Duncan McRae [?] 557.00 “ rustic
541.00 “ plaster

Park Road.
Section 3,

McDonald + Cameron,

Grading per L. ft. 40 cts

Bridging “ M. “ $16.00

Culverts per M. ft. $18.00

Posts etc “ L. “ 12 cts

Rustic No 1, 55, No 2, 40, No 3, 25, No 4, 70 + No 5, 90 cts

Beaton and Fyfe,

Grading per L. ft. 36 cts
Bridging per M. ft. $16.00

Culverts “ “ “ 15.00

Rustic “ L. “ 47 cts

E.R. Major,

Grading per L. ft. 38 cts

Rustic “ “ “ 35 “

Bridging “ M. “ $15.00

Culverts “ “ “ $16.00

Hugh Macdonald,

Grading per L. ft. 53 cts

Posts etc “ “ “ 10 “

Bridging “ M. “ $18.00

Rustic “ L. “ 75 cts.

Boyd and Clandenning [sic]

Grading per L. ft. 44 “

Rustic “ “ “ 25 “

Posts etc “ “ “ .08 “

Bridging “ M. “ 16.00

James Hartney

Grading per L. ft. 34 cts

Sawed lumber “ M. “ $14.00

Hewed “ “ L. “ .09 cts

Round “ “ “ “ .07 cts

Rustic “ “ “ “ 20 “

W.A. Goodmurphy,

Grading per L. ft. 55 cts

Posts etc “ “ “ 10 “

Railing “ “ “ 50 “

Bridging “ M. “ $15.00

Section 5.

McDonald + Cameron,

Grading per L. ft. 45 cts

Posts etc “ “ “ 12 “

Bridging “ M. “ $16.00

Culverts “ “ “ $18.00

Rustic No 1, 55 cts, No 2, 40, No 3, 25, No 4, 70 and No 5, 90 cts,

E.R. Major,

Grading per L. ft. 44 cts

Rustic “ “ “ 35 “

Bridging “ M. “ 16.00

Hugh Macdonald

Grading per L. ft. 57 cts

Bridging “ M. “ $15.00

Culverts “ “ “ 18.00

Posts etc “ “ “ 10 cts

Rustic “ “ “ 75 “

Boyd + Clandenning [sic],

Grading per L. ft. 42 cts

Bridging “ M. “ $16.00

Posts etc “ L. “ .08

Rustic “ “ “ .25

James B. McKim,

Grading per L. ft. 60 cts

Bridging “ M. “ $18.00

James Hartney,

Grading per L. ft. 44 cts

Sawn lumber “ M. “ $14.00

Hewed “ “ L. “ .09

Round “ “ “ “ .07

Rustic “ “ “ .20

We recommend that Cemetery building be awarded to Phillip Breen
Section 3 to James Hartney and Section 5 to Boyd + Clandenning [sic]

The following tenders were received for street naming:

L.J. Cross 75 cts each,

W.T. Milross [?] , 53 “ on Wood

45 “ “ Tin

We recommend that the contract be awarded to W.T. Milross

Sgd L. A. Hamilton

Moved by Alderman Hamilton seconded by Alderman Issac Oppenheimer,

That the account of W.W. Ayer be paid and charged equally to the Boards of Health, Works, and Fire, Water + Light,

Moved by Alderman D. Oppenheimer seconded by Alderman Alexander,

That the Report of the Board of Works be adopted with the exception of the Clause relating to Cemetery Building,


Edward Mohun furnished a report to Council showing that the cost of Sewerage from the C.P.R. Hotel amounted to $1891.03

Moved by Alderman Alexander and seconded by Alderman Humphries

That the account be passed and that a copy of the same from the Corporation to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company be sent to H. Abbott Esq. For payment,



Alderman Hamilton moved that Council go into Committee of the Whole to resume reading of By-Law on Rules and Regulations of Council

Alderman Hamilton in the Chair,

Several clauses were read over then Committee rose and asked leave to sit again.

Notices of Motion.

Alderman Alexander gave notice that he would at next meeting of Council introduce a By-Law to regulate the licencing of theatres, concert rooms and other places used for public meetings with the object of compelling such places to be provided with proper means of exit in cases of fire.

Alderman Hamilton gave notice that he would at next meeting of Council introduce a By-Law for numbering the houses along the Streets of the City.

Alderman Humphries asked for an extension of time on his By-Law

The Council then adjourned.

M.A. MacLean
Thos. F. McGuigan
City Clerk.