Monday, May 1, 2017

On This Date in Minnesota History: May 1

May 1, 1913 – The question of who is the head of the family was solved today when Assistant Attorney General Stevenson ruled that the head of the family is the person who, living in the same house and in a domestic capacity with others not his servants, manages the affairs of the family.

The question was asked by the state tax commission as the result of many inquiries from assessment districts. Under the old law every individual was entitled to $100 exemption in the taxation of personal property, and the recent legislature, in amending the law, changed this exemption so as to entitle only the head of a family to its benefits.

Who should be called the head of the family was the puzzling question, and the tax commission was fairly flooded with letters asking for an interpretation. Commenting on his ruling, Stevenson said that the question of who was head of the family was a broad one, but in his opinion there could be only one answer, and that the head must be one on whom some person or persons were dependent for support.

In a measure the new law is a blow at bachelors and spinsters, for, as explained by Stevenson, the fact that they conducted a household would not make them heads of families. If their domestic affairs were conducted by servants or employees, they had no right to take advantage of the provision.

Under the old law, it was customary for every member of a family to take advantage of the $100 exemption when the assessor made his appearance. If it was a household, one member would claim ownership of the piano, another the family cow and a third the family horse; the larger the family the greater the exemption. It was this abuse that caused the legislation to change the law.

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune; “Who Is Family head Once More Settled. Assistant Attorney General Bravely Issues Opinion for County Assessors. Boss Said to Be One Who Keeps Domestic Machinery Going. Bachelors and spinsters Must Forgo Privilege of $100 Property Exemption.”; May 2, 1913; p. 2.


If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including:
census records,  birth records,  death certificates, obits, grave site photos, ship passenger lists, marriage records and declarations of intent/naturalization records.  I will visit locations to research local history and county records, as well as take photos. Quick turnaround on MNHS records. Both short searches and family history reports available.


Discover your roots, and watch the branches of your family tree begin to grow.

Website: > click on Family History

Contact me at:

No comments:

Post a Comment