CHAPTER 21

RELATING TO DISINTERMENT OF BODIES IN CEMETERY

AT TWELFTH AND MADISON STREETS IN WILMINGTON

AN ACT TO AMEND AND SUPPLEMENT CHAPTER 33 OF VOLUME 49 LAWS OF DELAWARE, RELATING TO THE DISINTERMENT, REMOVAL AND REINTERMENT OF BODIES IN THE CEMETERY LOCATED AT TWELFTH AND MADISON STREETS IN WILMINGTON.

WHEREAS, Rebecca Gibbons and others, as described and set forth in a certain Indenture bearing date the 1st day of May, A. D. 1852, and recorded in the Office for the Recording of Deeds &c., in and for New Castle County, and State of Delaware, at Wilmington, in Deed Record K, Volume 6, page 508 &c., did by their said Indenture convey to the Right Reverend John N. Newmann, Roman Catholic Bishop of Philadelphia, certain real estate in the City of Wilmington, New Castle County, and State of Delaware, bounded in part by Twelfth, Jefferson and Madison Streets, and more particularly described in said Indenture, under and subject to such uses and trusts as are set forth in said Indenture; and

WHEREAS, George Jack and Georgina Jack, his wife, by Indenture bearing date the 15th day of October, A. D. 1870, and recorded in the Office for the Recording of Deeds &c., in and for New Castle County, and State of Delaware, at Wilmington, in Deed Record E, Volume 9, Page 376 &c., did convey to the Right Reverend Thomas A. Becker, D. D., Bishop of Wilmington, other real estate now in the City of Wilmington, New Castle County, and State of Delaware, and adjacent to the lands described in the aforementioned Indenture of Rebecca Gibbons and others, and more particularly described in the said Indenture of said George Jack and Georgina Jack, his wife, under and subject to the uses and trusts as set forth in said Indenture; and

WHEREAS, all right, title and interest to the real estate described in the aforementioned Indentures have, by mesne

conveyances, been vested in "Cathedral Cemetery Company of Wilmington, Delaware", a corporation organized and existing pursuant to an Act of the General Assembly, passed at Dover, March 10, 1881, the said Act being of record in the Office of the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware ; and

WHEREAS, by the latter part of the nineteenth century all of the lots in said cemetery had been utilized for burial purposes and there was no further space then remaining for burial of the dead of the Roman Catholic Faith therein except for members of families holding lots, necessitating acquisition by the Cathedral Cemetery Company of Wilmington, Delaware, of other lands for cemetery purposes and the burial of the dead of the Roman Catholic Faith therein ; and

WHEREAS, by Orders of Ordinaries of the Diocese of Wilmington, no burials thereafter took place in said cemetery at Twelfth and Madison Streets in Wilmington, nor have burials been permitted therein except in certain isolated instances, and for many years last past; and

WHEREAS, the effect of the afore-related conditions and circumstances resulted in a practical abandonment of said grounds at Twelfth and Madison Streets in Wilmington for cemetery purposes, and said cemetery became neglected inasmuch as there were no funds available to adequately and properly keep and maintain the said cemetery ; and

WHEREAS, there were daily intrusions and acts of desecration and nuisances on the said grounds and the continued use of said grounds as a cemetery became and was dangerous to the Public Health, Comfort, Safety and Welfare of the Citizens and Inhabitants of this State living in the vicinity thereof; and

WHEREAS, application was made to the 117th General Assembly of the State of Delaware for the enactment of appropriate legislation and the said General Assembly finding and determining that it was necessary in the interest of the preservation of the Public Health, Comfort, Safety and Welfare of said Citizens and Inhabitants, and in the suppression of nuisances enacted legislation now appearing and being as Chapter 33, Volume 49 Laws of Delaware, to which reference is hereby made; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to said Act of the General Assembly, the Cathedral Cemetery Company of Wilmington, Delaware, thereafter proceeded to and did disinter, remove, and reinter those bodies that were then in said cemetery grounds ; and

WHEREAS, doubt has recently been raised as to the validity of Chapter 33, Volume 49 Laws of Delaware, and the legal propriety of the removal of said bodies in that said Chapter 33 of Volume 49 Laws of Delaware was adopted by the 117th General Assembly without that General Assembly making an express finding and determination that the termination of the use of the aforesaid premises at Twelfth and Madison Streets in Wilmington for cemetery purposes, and the disinterment, removal, and reinterment of the bodies that were then in said cemetery grounds were necessary in the interest of the preservation of the Public Health, Comfort, Safety and Welfare of said Citizens and Inhabitants, and in the suppression of nuisances, and because the bodies were disinterred, removed and reinterred before the publication of the notice provided in said Chapter 33, Volume 49 Laws of Delaware, now THEREFORE, in order to correct and clarify said Law and the action by the Cathedral Cemetery Company of Wilmington, Delaware, in consequence of its enactment, and to remove any doubt as to the validity thereof and the propriety of said action,

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. That the General Assembly hereby finds and determines that the abandonment of the aforesaid grounds at Twelfth and Madison Streets in Wilmington as a cemetery, and the disinterment, removal and reinterment of bodies therefrom in other property of the Cathedral Cemetery Company of Wilmington, Delaware, is and was necessary because any further and continued use of the said grounds as a cemetery had become, was and is dangerous to the Public Health, Comfort, Safety and Welfare of the Citizens and Inhabitants of this State living in

the vicinity thereof, and that it was and is necessary to abandon said cemetery ground and to disinter, remove and reinter said bodies in other cemetery property of the Cathedral Cemetery Company of Wilmington, Delaware, in the interest of the preservation of the Public Health, Comfort, Safety and Welfare of such Citizens and in the suppression of said nuisances.

Section 2. The disinterment and removal of the bodies from said cemetery and reinterment thereof in other property of the Cathedral Cemetery Company of Wilmington, Delaware, prior to the publication of the notice directed in Section 2 of Chapter 33, Volume 49 Laws of Delaware, be and they are hereby, in all respects, approved, ratified and confirmed.

Approved April 13, 1955.