An act concerning Estrays.
Sec[Section]. 1. Be it enacted by the people of the State of Illinois represented in the General Assembly, That every person who shall take up any stray horse mare or colt mule or ass shall within five ^ten^ days take the same before some Justice of the peace of the County where such estray shall be taken up and make oath before such Justice, that the same was taken up at his or her plantation or place of residence in said County, and that the marks or brands have not been altered since the taking up. The said Justice shall then issue his warrant to three disinterested house keepers in the neighborhood unless they can be otherwise had causing them to come before him to appraise said Estray, after they or any two of them being sworn to appraise such Estray without partiality favor or affection, which appraisment together with the marks brands stature colour & age of such horse mare or colt, mule or ass, shall be
<Page 2>entered in a Book to be kept by such Justice and certified under his hand and transmitted to the Clerk of the County Commissioners Court of such County within fifteen days after the same is taken up: And any person who shall take up any head of neat cattle, sheep hog or goat shall cause the same to be viewed by some house keeper of the County where the same shall happen and shall immediately go with such hous keeper before a Justice of the County and make oath before him as is required in taking up an estray horse mare or colt, mule or ass and then such Justice shall take from such house keeper upon oath a particular description of the marks brands colour and age of every such neat cattle sheep hog or goat and said Justice shall cause the said estrays to be appraised in like manner as is required to be done in case of a horse mare or colt, mule or ass, which
<Page 3>description and valuation shall be entered by such Justice in a book to be kept by him as aforesaid and by such Justice transmitted to the Clerk of the County Commissioners’ Court of the County to be by him kept as before directed. Provided that in all cases when the value of such neat cattle sheep goat or hogs does not exceed five dollars said Justice shall not be required to make return to the Clerk as aforesaid but shall enter in his Estray Book the description and appraisment value of such sheep hog or goat and advertise the same in three of the most public places in his neighborhood and every such Clerk shall cause a copy of such description and valuation of every neat cattle sheep hog and goat to be publicly affixed
<Page 4>at the Court House door of his County within five days after the same shall be transmitted to him as aforesaid for which he shall receive the same fee as for entering the same in a Book Provided that if two or more estrays of the same species are taken up by the same person at the same time they shall be included in One entry and one advertisement and in such case such Justice and Clerk shall receive no more pay than for one of such species. Provided also that no person shall be allowed hereafter to take up and post any head of neat cattle sheep hog or goat between the month of April and the first day of November unless the same may be found in the lawful fence or enclosure of
<Page 5>the taker up having broken in the same and for a reward of taking up there shall be paid by the owner one dollar for every horse mare or colt, mule or ass, and for every head of neat Cattle fifty cents and for every hog sheep or goat twenty five cents together with all reasonable charges.
Sec 2. It shall be the duty of the Clerk of the County Commissioner’s Court when the description and valuation of any estray horse mare colt mule or ass, shall be transmitted to him by the Justice as aforesaid, and in ten days thereafter make out a copy thereof and transmit the same to the public printer of the State ^and endorse thereon “Estray papers”^ together with the sum of One dollar to pay the said printer, which sum the taker up is required to deposit with the Clerk prior to the expiration of said ten days. It shall be the duty of the public printer to publish said advertisement and transmit One copy of each number
<Page 6>of his paper to each of the Clerks of the County Commissioner’s Court of the several Counties of this State, free of charge, which shall be regularly filed by said Clerks in their offices for the examination of those who may desire it.
Sec 3. And if no owner appears and proves his property within one year after such publication the property shall be vested in the taker up, nevertheless the former owner may at any time thereafter by proving his property recover the valuation money upon payment of costs and all reasonable charges.
Sec 4. And if any person shall trade sell or take away any such estray or estrays out of the State, for any purpose whatever, before the expiration of said One year, he or she so offending shall be liable to indictment in the Circuit Court of the proper County and on conviction thereof shall be fined in
<Page 7>a sum double the value of the property one half to the owner thereof and the other half to the County Treasury: and when the owner of any estray head of neat cattle, sheep, hog or goat, does not prove his property within twelve months after the same has been published at the door of the Court House as aforesaid, and when the valuation does not exceed five dollars, the property shall be vested in the taker up; but when the valuation shall exceed five dollars, and no owner appears within the time aforesaid, the property shall also be vested in the taker up; nevertheless the former Owner may at any time, by proving his property recover the valuation thereof, upon payment of all reasonable costs and charges and if the taker up and the Owner
<Page 8>cannot agree upon the charges they shall call upon three disinterested householders whose decision shall be binding on both parties: and it shall not be lawful for any person to take up any estray (except such as shall be hereinafter excepted) unless he shall be a freeholder or a housekeeper. Any person finding an estray horse mare or colt running at large without any of the settlements of this State, may take up the same, and shall immediately take such estray or estrays before the nearest Justice of the peace and make Oath that he has not altered the marks or brands of such estray since taking up and if such taker up shall be a freeholder or housekeeper within that County it may and shall be lawful for him to post such estray or estrays as herein before directed in
<Page 9>this act, as if the same had been taken up on his plantation or place of residence and when the taker up shall not be qualified as aforesaid, he shall take the oaths before required, and deliver such estray or estrays to the said Justice, who shall cause the same to be dealt with as is directed by this act; but if no Owner appears to prove his property within One year, such estray or estrays, shall be sold to the highest bidder, giving public notice of such sale twenty days previous thereto, ^the purchaser giving a bond and approved security payable to the County Court of the County where such estray shall be taken up^ and after paying the taker up all reasonable charges the balance shall be put into the County Treasury by the said Justice, who shall take a receipt for the same from the county Treasurer, nevertheless the former Owner at any time within two years after taking up, by proving his property
<Page 10>before the Clerk of the County Commissioners Court of said County, or before the Justice of the peace before whom the property was taken up, and obtaining a certificate thereof from the Clerk of said Court or Justice of the peace to the Treasurer, shall receive the balance aforesaid.
Sec 5. And when any Justice shall fail to pay any money for any estray or estrays to be sold agreeably to this act, into the County Treasury within [three?] months after selling such estray or Estrays, such Justice shall forfeit and pay the sum of twenty dollars, with costs to be recovered by action of debt before any Justice of the peace of the County, or other Court having jurisdiction thereof, the One half for the use of the County and the other half for the use of any person suing for the same and moreover be liable to pay the price of such estray or estrays with interest thereon.
Sec 6. If any estray or estrays, taken up as aforesaid, shall die or get away before the owner shall claim his or her right, the taker up shall not be liable for the same; and if any person shall take up any estray or estrays at any other place within the inhabited parts of this State than his or her plantation or place of residence, or without being qualified as required by this act, he shall forfeit and pay the sum of ten dollars, with costs, recoverable before any Justice of the peace of the county, where the offence shall have been committed, and not having property sufficient to pay such fine he shall be liable to be confined One month in the Jail of the County where he may be found
<Page 12>being found guilty of said offence according to law. And any person taking up any estray or estrays out of the limits of the settlements of this State, and failing to comply with the requisitions of this act, shall be liable to the same penalties. And if any person taking up any estray or estrays of any species, fails to comply with the requisitions of this act, he shall for every such offence, forfeit and pay to the informer the sum of ten dollars with costs, recoverable before any Justice of the County where such offence shall be committed: One half to the use of the County and the other half to the use of the person suing for the same.
Strike out sections 7, 8 & 9
Sec[Section] 7. The county commissioners’ court in each county in this state shall cause a pound or Stray pen to be erected at or near the courthouse, within three months after the place of erecting the public buildings Shall be fixed upon, and as often thereafter as may be necessary, with a good and sufficient post and rail fence, gate, Lock and key, wherein all estray horses, mares, colts, mules or asses, taken up within the county, shall be exhibited as aforesaid, and the county commissioners, failing to have such pound or stray pen erected and kept in suitable repair shall severally forfeit and pay the sum of ^ten^ dollars for each term of the circuit court which may be held after the time of building the same shall have elapsed, untill the same shall be erected; and untill such pound or stray pen is erected, no person taking up any estray Horse mare or colt, mule or ass as aforesaid, shall be Liable to any penalty, for not exhibiting the same
Sec. 8. The county commissioners’ court in each county in this state, shall employ some fit person to take charge of all such pounds of stray pens as may from time to time be erected in their several counties, whose duty it shall be to take charge thereof, and to keep the same in repair, and also to attend on the several court days during the time said estrays are directed to be kept therein with the key of the same and the said commissioners’ court shall make such reasonable allowance, for erecting and keeping said pound or stray pen, as to them shall seem proper, to be paid out of the county treasury, in Like manner as other county charges are Liquidated and paid, and any person being employed, and undertaking to take care of such pound or stray pen, and failing in his duty, agreeable to the directions in this act contained, shall forfeit and pay the sum of ten Dollars
<Page 15>with costs, to be recovered before any Justice of the peace the one half whereof shall go to the person suing for the same, and the other half to the county,
Sec. 9. It shall be the duty of the taker up of any estray Horse, mare, colt, ass or mule, to cause the same to be exhibited on the first day of the next term of the circuit court of the county succeding the time at which such estray shall be taken up, from ten O’Clock, A.M., until four Oclock P.M. of said day, that the owner may have an oppertunity of reclaiming his property,
Sec 10.^7^ That if any person or persons shall hereafter stop or take up any Reel or flat boat, ferry flat, bottom, pirogue, canoe, or other vessel or water craft or raft of timber or plank found adrift on any water course within the limits, or upon the borders of this state, and the same shall be of the value of five dollars or upwards, it shall be the duty of such person or persons, within five days thereafter, (provided the same shall not be before that time proven and restored
<Page 16>to the owner,) to go before some Justice of the peace of the proper county and make affidavit in writing, setting forth the exact description of such Vessel or craft, when and where the same was found whether any, and if so, what cargo was found on board, and that the same has not been altered or defaced, either in the whole or in part since the taking up, either by him, her, or them, as by any other person or persons, to his, her, or their knowledge; and the said Justice shall thereupon issue his warrant, directed to some constable of his county, commanding him forthwith to summon three respectable householders of the neighborhood if they cannot otherwise be had; whose duty it shall be, after being sworn by said Justice, to procede without delay, to examine and appraise such boat or vessel, and cargo, if any, and make report thereof, under their hands and seals, to the Justice issuing such warrant, who shall enter such appriasment, together with the affidavit of the taker up, at large, in his estray books and it shall be the further duty of said Justice,
<Page 17>within ten days after the said proceedings shall have been entered on his estray book, as aforesaid; to transmit a certified copy thereof to the clerk of the county-commissioners’ court of his county, to be by him recorded in his estray book, and filed in his office,
Sec. 11 ^(8)^ In all cases where the appraisment of such boat or water craft, including her cargo, shall not excede the sum of twenty dollars, the taker up shall advertise the same on the door of the courthouse, and in three of the most public places in the county within ten days after the Justice’s said certificate shall have been entered on the records of the county commissioners’ court and if no person shall appear to prove and claim such boat or water craft within six months from the time of taking up, as aforesaid the property in the same shall vest in the taker up; but if the value thereof shall exceed the sum of twenty dollars, it shall be the duty of the clerk of the county commissioners’ court,
<Page 18>within twenty days from the time of the reception of the Justice’s said certificate at his office, to cause an advertisement to be set up on the door of the courthouse, and also a notice thereof to be sent to the Public Printer, as aforesaid, who shall publish the same as aforesaid; and if the said vessel be not claimed and proven within six months from said advertisement, the same shall be vested in the taker up: Nevertheless, the former owner may, at any time thereafter recover the Valuation money, by proving his property, allowing to the taker up a reasonable compensation for his trouble, and costs and charges,
Sec. 12. ^(9)^ In all cases when servises shall as performed by any officers or other person or persons, under this act; the following fees or compensation shall be allowed to wit: To the Justice of the peace for administering oath to the taker up or finder, making an entry thereof, with the report of the appraisers and making and transmitting a certificate thereof
<Page 19>To the clerk of the county commissioners’ court, fifty cents[;] to the clerk or justice for taking proof of the ownership of and granting a certificate of the same, twenty five cents[;] for registering each certificate transmited to him by any Justice as aforesaid, twelve and a half cents; for advertisements, including the newspaper bublications, fifty cents. in addition to the costs of such publication, to the constable for each warrant so served on appraisors, twenty five cents: and to each appraisor the sum of twenty-five cents which said fees shall be paid by the taker up to the person entitled thereto, whenever said services shall be rendered. All which costs and charges shall be reimbursed to the taker up or finder in all cases where restitution of the property shall be made to the owner, in addition to the reward, to which such person may be entitled for taking up as aforesaid.
Sec 13. ^(10)^ If any person shall act contrary to the duties enjoined by this act, for which no
<Page 20>penalty is herein before pointed out, the person so offending shall, on conviction thereof forfeit and pay for every such offence, not less than five nor more than one hundred dollars, to be sued for in the name of the proper county, before any Justice of the peace or other court having cognizance thereof
Sec. 14^ (11) ^The following act, [Viz?] An act concerning crafts found adrift, lost goods, and estray animals approved January 31, 1827, and an act to amend an act concerning water crafts found adrift, lost goods, and estray animals, approved January 22, 1829; and also an act to amend an act entitled an act concerning water crafts found adrift, lost goods, and estray animals, approved February 12, 1831, be, and the same are hereby repealed, But rights acquired and liabilities incurred under the acts hereby repealed, are not affected or impaired by this act,
A Bill for an act concerning estrays
A Bill for an act concerning estrays
1These legislators formed the select committee in the Senate that considered the bill.
Illinois Senate Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 1st sess., 402.
Handwritten Document, 22 page(s), Folder 2, HB 5, Folder 133, SB 6, GA Session: 9-1, Illinois State Archives (Springfield, IL)