In force Feb.[February] 11, 1835.
AN ACT to change the Corporate Powers of the Town of Chicago.1
Sec.[Section] 1. Be it enacted by the people of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly, That John H. Kinzie, Gurdon S. Hubbard, Ebenezer Goodrich, John K. Boyer, and John S. C. Hogan, be, and they are hereby constituted a body politic and corporate, to be known by the name of the “Trustees of the town of Chicago,” and by that name, they, and their successors shall be known in law, have perpetual succession, sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded, defend and be defended in courts of law and equity, and in all actions and matters whatsoever; may grant, purchase, and receive and hold property, real and personal within the said town, and no other, (burial grounds excepted,) and may lease, sell, and dispose of the same for the benefit of the town, and shall have power to lease any of the reserved lands which have been, or may hereafter be appropriated to the use of said town, and may do all other acts, as natural persons; may have a common seal, and break and alter the same at pleasure.
Sec. 2. That all that district of country contained in sections nine and sixteen, north and south fractional sections ten, and fractional section fifteen, in township thirty-nine north, of range fourteen east, of the third principal meridian, is hereby declared to be within the boundaries of the town of Chicago: Provided, That the authority of the board of trustees of the said town of Chicago, shall not extend over the south fractional section ten, until the same shall cease to be occupied by the United States.
Corporate powers vested in nine trustees.
Sec. 3. That the corporate powers and duties of said town, shall be vested in nine trustees, (after the term of the present incumbent shall have expired, to wit: on the first Monday of June next, and to be chosen and appointed as hereinafter directed,) who shall form a board for the transaction of business.2
Trustees elected annually.
Sec. 4. The members composing the board of trustees, shall be elected annually, on the first Monday in June, by the persons residing within said town, (qualified to vote for representative to the legislature,) to serve for one year; they shall be at least twenty-one years of age, citizens of the United States, and inhabitants of said town, and shall possess a freehold estate within the limits thereof.
Shall appoint their president.
Sec. 5. That the board of trustees shall appoint their president from their own body; shall appoint all other officers of their board, and shall be the judges of the qualifications, elections, and returns of their own members; a majority shall constitute a board to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day; may compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as the board may provide; they may determine the rule of proceeding, and make such other rules and regulations for their own government, as to them may seem proper and expedient.
Powers and duties of trustees.
Sec. 6. That the board of trustees shall have power to levy and collect taxes upon all real estate within the town, not exceeding the one half of one per centum upon the assessed value thereof, except as hereinafter excepted; to make regulations to secure the general health of the inhabitants; to prevent and remove nuisances; to establish night watches; erect lamps in the streets, and lighting the same; to regulate and license ferries within the corporation; to lease the wharfing privilege of said town, giving to the owner or owners, occupant or occupants of the lots fronting the river, the preference of such privilege; to erect and keep in repair bridges; to provide for licensing, taxing and regulating theatrical and other shows, billiard tables and other amusements; to restrain and prohibit gaming houses, bawdy houses, and other disorderly houses; to build market houses; establish and regulate markets; to open and keep in repair streets, avenues, lanes, alleys, drains and sewers; to keep the same clean and free from incumbrances; to establish and regulate a fire department, and to provide for the prevention and extinguishment of fires; to regulate the storage of gun powder and other combustible materials; to erect pumps and wells in the streets, for the convenience of the inhabitants; to regulate the police of the town; to regulate the election of the town officers; to fix their compensation; to establish and enforce quarantine laws; and from time to time, to pass such ordinances to carry into effect the ordinances of this act, and the powers hereby granted, as the good of the inhabitants may require, and to impose and appropriate fines and forfeitures for the breach of any ordinance, and to provide
<Page 3>for the collection thereof: Provided, That said trustees shall, in no case, levy a tax upon lots owned by the State.
May levy special tax in certain cases.
Sec. 7. That upon the application of the owners of two-thirds of real estate, on any street or parts of a street, it shall be lawful for the board of trustees to levy and collect a special tax on the owners of the lots on the said street or parts of a street, according to their respective fronts, for the purpose of grading and paving the side walks on said street.
Further powers of trustees.
Sec. 8. That the board of trustees shall have power to regulate, grade, pave and improve the streets, avenues, lanes, and alleys within the limits of said town, and to extend, open and widen the same, making the person or persons injured thereby, adequate compensation; to ascertain which, the board shall cause to be summoned twelve good and lawful men, freeholders and inhabitants of said town, not directly interested, who (being first duly sworn for that purpose,) shall inquire into, and take into consideration, as well the benefits as the injury which may accrue, and estimate and assess the damages which would be sustained by reason of the opening, extension, widening of any street, avenue, lane or alley; and shall, moreover, estimate the amount which other persons will be benefitted thereby, and shall contribute towards compensating the persons injured; all of which shall be returned to the board of trustees under their hands and seals; and the person or persons who shall be benefitted and so assessed, shall pay the same in such manner as shall be provided, and the residue, if any, shall be paid out of the town treasury.
Ordinances to be published.
Sec. 9. All ordinances shall, within ten days after they are passed, be published in a newspaper printed in said town, and posted in three of the most public places thereof.
Real estate sold for taxes, subject to redemption.
Sec. 10. That when any real estate, in said town, shall have been sold by the authority of the corporation thereof, for the non-payment of any tax that may have been levied upon the same, the same shall be subject to redemption by the owner or owners thereof, his, her, or their agent or agents, within one year after the same shall have been sold, on paying to the treasurer of the board of trustees of said town, double the amount of the taxes for which the same was sold, together with costs for the selling of the same. But should the said lots, or parts of lots so sold for the non-payment of the taxes aforesaid, not be redeemed within the time specified, then, in that event, it shall be the duty of the president of the board of trustees of the said town, to execute a deed, with a special warranty, signed by the president of said board, and countersigned by the clerk thereof.
Sec. 11. It shall be the duty of the board of trustees to cause to be paid to the purchasers of lots, all moneys which may have been paid to the treasurer, over the costs for selling the same.
Officers of the town.
Sec. 12. The officers of said town (in addition to the trustees) shall consist of one clerk, one street commissioner, one treasurer, one assessor and collector of taxes, one town surveyor, two measurers of wood and coal, two measurers of lumber, two measurers and weighers of grain, and such other other officers as the trustees of said town may deem necessary for the good of said town.
Trustees may form fire companies.
Sec. 13. That the president and trustees of said town shall, whenever that they may deem necessary, order the formation of fire engine companies, and fire-hook and ladder companies. The fire engine companies each, to contain from twenty-five to forty able bodied men, of between the ages of eighteen and fifty years, and no more. The fire, hook and ladder companies to contain each from fifteen to twenty-five able bodied men, and no more. Which companies shall be officered and governed by their own by-laws; shall be formed only by voluntary enlistment. Every member of each company shall be exempted from jury and military duty; and whenever a member of such company shall have served twelve years, he shall receive a discharge from the incorporation, signed by the president, and shall, forever thereafter, be exempted from further jury duty, and from military duty, except in case of invasion.
Town officers to be sworn.
Sec. 14. That the members of the board of trustees, and every officer of said corporation, shall, before entering on the duties of his office, take an oath or affirmation before some judge or justice of the peace, to support the constitution of the United States and of this State, and faithfully to demean themselves in said office.
Town divided into three districts.
Sec. 15. That this incorporation shall be divided into three districts, to wit: All that part which lies south of the Chicago river, and east of the South Branch of said river, shall be included in the first district; all that part which lies west of the North and South branches of said river, shall be included in the second district; and all that part which lies north of the Chicago river, and east of the North Branch of said river, shall be included in the third district; and the taxes collected within the said respective districts, shall be expended under the direction of the board of trustees, for improvements within their respective districts; but all elections for trustees, in said town, shall be by general ticket.
Approved, Feb. 11, 1835.
1John Hamlin introduced HB 112 in the House of Representatives on January 14, 1835. The House passed the bill on January 14. On January 17, the Senate referred the bill to the Committee on the Judiciary. The Committee on the Judiciary reported back the bill on January 20 without amendment, and the Senate referred the bill to a select committee. The select committee reported back the bill on January 29 without amendment. On January 31, the Senate tabled the bill, but later reconsidered and passed the bill. On February 11, the Council of Revision approved the bill and the act became law.
Journal of the House of Representatives of the Ninth General Assembly of the State of Illinois, at their First Session, Begun and Held in the Town of Vandalia, December 1, 1834 (Vandalia, IL: J. Y. Sawyer, 1835), 273, 290, 465, 526, 530, 532; Journal of the Senate, of the Ninth General Assembly of the State of Illinois, at their First Session, Begun and Held in the Town of Vandalia, December 1, 1834 (Vandalia, IL: J. W. Sawyer, 1835), 257, 258, 272, 283, 363, 391, 393, 443, 484, 486, 497;Journal of the House of Representatives of the Ninth General Assembly of the State of Illinois, at their Second Session, Begun and Held in Pursuance of the Proclamation of the Governor, in the Town of Vandalia, December 7, 1835 (Vandalia, IL: J. Y. Sawyer, 1835), 388.
2The original legislation on incorporating towns called for only five trustees.
Printed Document, 4 page(s),
Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Ninth General Assembly, at their First Session (Vandalia, IL:
J. Y. Sawyer, 1835), 204-07, GA Session: 9-1,