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Exemptions from Execution

The following is a chapter from "The History of Jefferson County, Iowa", Pages 298-299, published by the Western Historical Company of Chicago in 1879.



A resident of the State and head of a family may hold the following property exempt from execution: All wearing apparel of himself and family kept for actual use and suitable to the condition, and the trunks or other receptacles necessary to contain the same; one musket or rifle and shot-gun; all private libraries, family Bibles, portraits, pictures, musical instruments, and paintings not kept for the purpose of sale; a seat or pew occupied by the debtor or his family in any house of public worship; an interest in a public or private burying ground not exceeding one acre; two cows and a calf; one horse, unless a horse is exempt as hereinafter provided; fifty sheep and the wool therefrom, and all the materials manufactured from said wool; six stands of bees; five hogs and all pigs under six months; the necessary food for exempted animals for six months; all flax raised from one acre of ground, and manufactures therefrom; one bedstead and necessary bedding for every two in the family; all cloth manufactured by the defendant not exceeding one hundred yards; household and kitchen furniture not exceeding two hundred dollars in value; all spinning wheels and looms; one sewing machine and other instruments of domestic labor kept for actual use; the necessary provisions and fuel for the use of the family for six months; the proper tools, instruments, or books of the debtor, if a farmer, mechanic, surveyor, clergyman, lawyer, physician, teacher or professor; the horse or the team, consisting of not more than two horses or mules, or two yokes of cattle, and the wagon or other vehicle, with the proper harness or tackle, by the use of which the debtor, if a physician, public officer, farmer, teamster or other laborer, habitually earns his living; and to the debtor, if a printer, there shall also be exempt a printing press and the types, furniture and material necessary for the use of such printing press, and a newspaper office to the value of twelve hundred dollars; the earnings of such debtor, or those of his family, at any time within ninety days next preceding the levy.

Persons unmarried and not the head of a family, and non-residents, have exempt their own ordinary wearing apparel and trunks to contain the same.

There is also exempt, to a head of a family, a homestead, not exceeding forty acres; or, if inside city limits, one-half acre with improvements, value not limited. The homestead is liable for all debts contracted prior to its acquisition as such, and is subject to mechanics' liens for work or material furnished for the same.

An article, otherwise exempt, is liable, on execution, for the purchase money thereof.

Where a debtor, if a head of a family, has started to leave the State, he shall have exempt only the ordinary wearing apparel of himself and family, and other property in addition, as he may select, in all not exceeding seventy-five dollars in value.

A policy of life insurance shall inure to the separate use of the husband or wife and children, entirely independent of his or her creditors.

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