In force Feb.[February] 12, 1835.
AN ACT to remove the Seat of Justice of Adams County.1
Commissioners appointed to select a place to be voted for, as a county seat.
Sec.[Section] 1. Be it enacted by the people of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly, That George Wolf, Jacob Smith, and Daniel Harrison of Adams county, be, and they are hereby appointed commissioners2 to select a place to be voted for as the County Seat of said county of Adams.3
When to be selected.
Sec. 2. Said commissioners, or a majority of them, shall, on the first Monday of March next, or within one month thereafter, proceed to select a quarter, half quarter, or quarter quarter section of land, particularly describing the same according to its legal survey and designation on the town plat, and shall immediately make report thereof to the Clerk
<Page 2>of the county commissioners’ court of said county, which shall be by him filed and preserved in his office.
Should the land selected belong to individuals, they shall obtain a donation.
Should the land belong to the U. States.
Sec. 3. Should the land selected as aforesaid, belong to an individual or individuals, the said commissioners shall ask and receive from the owner or owners thereof, a donation of not less than thirty acres of said tract so selected: Provided, That if the Seat of Justice of said county shall not be located thereon as hereinafter provided, the said donation shall be void, and the land so donated shall revert to the donor or donors. Should the land so selected belong to the United States, the county commissioners’ court of the said county, are hereby authorized to purchase any quantity thereof, not exceeding one quarter section for the use of the county.
Clerk shall give notice of the time and place of election.
Sec. 4. The said Clerk shall, so soon as he receives the report aforesaid, give notice by putting up written notices at some public place in each of the election precincts for justices in said county, that an election will be held at the same time and places of the next general election for Justices of the Peace in said county, for the Seat of Justice thereof, at which election the Clerks thereof shall open two columns in their poll books, one for Quincy and the other for the place to be selected as aforesaid, and take and record the vote of each qualified voter at the same time he votes for Justices of the Peace, for one of the aforesaid places as the Seat of Justice of the said county. The said election shall be conducted, and returns thereof made in the same manner as is provided in ordinary cases of elections for Justices of the Peace, and the place having the greatest number of votes shall be and remain the Seat of Justice of said county.4
Should the place selected receive the greatest number of votes, said commissioners to give it a name.
May sell the same.
Proceeds how applied.
Sec. 5. Should the place selected as aforesaid, receive the greatest number of votes, the said commissioners shall then give it a name, and the county commissioners’ court of said county, shall divide the same into town lots, and sell the same, and apply the proceeds of such sale exclusively to the erection of public buildings therein, and the town lots and public ground in the town of Quincy and in the several additions thereto, belonging to the said county of Adams, shall be vested in fee simple in the President and Trustees of the town of Quincy, for the use of the said town of Quincy, and the county commissioners of said county, shall convey the same to the said President and Trustees for the use aforesaid; and the said President and Trustees are hereby authorized and empowered to sell and convey the same, in such manner as they may think proper, and to lay out the proceeds thereof in the improvement of the streets in the said town of Quincy, or such other necessary improvement therein as they may deem
<Page 3>expedient: Provided, however, That the Court House and Jail in the town of Quincy, shall be and remain the property of the said county, and shall be used for county purposes until others shall be provided at the new county seat. As soon as the necessary buildings are provided at the new county seat aforesaid, the courts of the county shall be held there, and all officers required to reside at the county seat shall remove to the same: Provided, That as soon as the courts of said county shall be held at the new county seat, it shall and may be lawful for the aforesaid county commissioners’ court to sell or remove, in their discretion, the Court House and Jail in the town of Quincy, and apply the same to county purposes.
Approved, Feb. 12, 1835.
1On December 20, 1834, William Ross presented to the House of Representatives the petition of 665 voters of Adams County, asking for the removal of the county seat from Quincy. The House referred the petition to a select committee, and from that committee, William Ross introduced HB 61 in the House on December 30, 1834. On December 31, the House referred the bill, together with petitions from citizens of Adams County opposing the removal, to a select committee. The select committee reported back the bill on January 3, 1835, without amendment. On January 5, the House referred the bill to a second select committee, which reported back the bill on January 6 with an amendment, in which the House concurred. On January 7, the House passed the bill as amended, and the Senate referred the bill to the Committee on Petitions. The Committee on Petitions reported back the bill on January 29 with an amendment, in which the Senate concurred. The Senate passed the bill as amended on January 31. On February 5, the House referred the Senate amendment to a select committee, and the committee reported back the Senate amendment with an amendment, in which the House concurred. On February 6, the Senate tabled the House amendment. The Senate later took up the bill and amended the House amendment by adding a proviso to the fifth section. On February 10, the House rejected the Senate amendment. The House appointed a committee of conference on the disagreeing vote of the two houses. On February 11, the Senate refused the House’s request to form a committee of conference. On February 11, the House receded from their vote of non-concurrence on the Senate amendment. On February 12, the Council of Revision approved the bill, and the act became law.
Illinois House Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 1st sess., 141, 181, 192, 205, 218, 234, 244, 465, 519, 531, 532, 548, 555; Illinois Senate Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 1st sess., 202-3, 364, 392, 447, 449, 451, 479, 491, 500, 509, 515; Illinois House Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 2nd sess., 141, 391, 394, 412-413.
2The original bill listed three different people from Pike and Hancock counties as commissioners.
3The Illinois General Assembly established Adams County on January 13, 1825, and commissioners designated the site of Quincy as the county seat.
“An Act Forming New Counties out of the Counties of Pike and Fulton, and the Attached Parts Thereof,” 13 January 1825, Laws Passed by the Fourth General Assembly of the State of Illinois (1825), 93, 95; Federal Writers’ Project of the Work Projects Administration for the State of Illinois, Illinois: A Descriptive and Historical Guide (Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co., 1939), 580.
4At the election in August 1835, 618 voters favored Quincy, and 492 favored the location selected by the commissioners near the geographic center of the county, which became Columbus. Quincy remained the county seat, but six years later, supporters of Columbus obtained an act of the General Assembly for another referendum to relocate the county seat.
William H. Collins and Cicero F. Perry, eds., Past and Present of the City of Quincy and Adams County (Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1905), 53.
Printed Document, 3 page(s),
Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Ninth General Assembly, at their First Session (Vandalia, IL:
J. Y. Sawyer, 1835), 38-40, GA Session: 9-1