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12 Negro Women Sit in Jury Box in Damage Suit

From The Indianapolis Star, Thursday, February 17, 1921: For the first time in the legal history of Indianapolis, and possibly the United States, a jury of twelve black women sat in a jury box yesterday hearing evidence in a damage suit brought by a black citizen. In the case before Justice of the Peace T. Ernest Maholm, Daniel Holt sought damages from Mr. and Mrs. Eugene M. Fife, alleging his coal wagon was rammed in the rear by the Fife automobile in “the gloom of the winter evening” while he was unloading coal. In the resulting chaos, coal was scattered, the wagon wrecked, and the horse “jammed up against a tree.” After hearing the testimony from both sides, the jurors deliberated for twelve minutes before deciding “the whole affair was an accident” and Holt was not entitled to any damages.


“12 Negro Women Sit in Jury Box in Damage Suit,” The Indianapolis Star, 17 February 1921, p. 11:2


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