In force, Jan.[January] 7, 1836.
AN ACT to re-locate the seat of Justice of Clark County.1
Sec.[Section] 1. Be it enacted by the people of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly, That William F. Thornton, William Prentiss, and John Hendrix of Shelby county, and Charles Emmerson, and William Reddick of Macon county, be, and they are hereby appointed commissioners, to re-locate the seat of justice of Clark county.2
When and where to meet.
Sec. 2. Said commissioners, or a majority of them, shall meet at Darwin, on the 3d Monday in February 1836, or within eight days thereafter, and after taking and subscribing an oath before some justice of the peace for said county, faithfully and impartially, without fear, favor or affection, to discharge the duties assigned them by this act, shall proceed to the discharge of the same as is hereinafter directed.
To re-locate the seat of justice on National Road.
Sec. 3. It shall be the duty of said commissioners, or a majority of them, to re-locate the seat of justice of said county, at such suitable point on the National Road in said county, as to them shall seem most conducive to the present and future interests, wants, convenience, and prosperity of the people of said county; taking in view its nearness to the centre of the present and probable future population of the county; its nearness to the geographical centre of the county; the timber, water, soil, and health of the adjacent country, as well as the donations that may be proposed.3
Donations in land or money.
Sec. 4. Said commissioners may ask and receive from the person or persons, on whose lands they may locate the seat of justice of said county, a quantity of land as a dona-
<Page 2>tion of not less than fifty4 acres, lying on both sides of the National Road; or if they shall deem it more conducive to the interests of the county, they may receive a donation of not less than five acres in such a shape as may be agreed upon by the owner or owners thereof, and the said commissioners; Provided, The person or persons making such donation in land, will secure to be paid to the county of Clark, an additional donation of one thousand five hundred dollars, one half whereof, to be paid on the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven, and the other half on the first day of September, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven.
Bond for deed.
Report to clerk.
Sec. 5. Said commissioners shall demand a bond for a deed, with covenants of general warranty, to the county of Clark, for the lands on which they shall make such location; which bond, together with the securities for the money, and a full report of their proceedings, they shall return to the clerk of the county commissioners’ court of said county, to be by said clerk, laid before his court, at its next regular or special term thereafter.
If removed previous to 1846.
Sec. 6. Should the seat of justice when located under this act, be removed therefrom, previous to the year one thousand eight hundred and forty-six, the donor, or donors of the land on which such location shnll be made, shall have and receive from the county of Clark, the sum of two hundred dollars.
Donation to be laid off into lots.
Sec. 7. It shall be the duty of the county commissioners of said county, as soon as they shall have received the report aforesaid, to cause said donation to be laid off into lots, and to dispose of the same at such times and places, and upon such terms as they shall deem best: Provided, The proceeds thereof, and the money that may be donated under this act, together with the court house and jail in Darwin, shall go to constitute a fund, for the erection of a court house at the new county seat, and to be applied to no other purpose whatever.
Sec. 8. Said commissioners shall receive for their services, the sum of three dollars per day each, for each day they may be necessarily employed in the discharge of the duties herein required of them; to be paid out of the county treasury of Clark county.
Sec. 9. It shall be the duty of said commissioners, to examine as far as practicable, the whole county, and to be governed in all things, by the true interest of the same; and they shall also receive sealed proposals of donations of land and money, or either; and the county commissioners of Clark county, shall, as soon as they receive the report of the commissioners aforesaid, give a name to the
<Page 3>place that has been selected as the county seat, and cause a plat thereof to be recorded.
Sec. 10. All courts that now are required by law to be held at Darwin, shall from and after the first day of June, eighteen hundred and thirty-six, be held at the place selected under this act.5
Approved, Jan. 7, 1836.
1On December 12, 1835, Uri Manley in the House of Representatives presented petitions from citizens of Clark County, requesting the relocation of the county seat. The House referred the petitions to a select committee. In response to these petitions, Manley of the select committee introduced HB 59 in the House on December 23. On December 30, the House amended the bill by striking out the word “seventy” in the fourth section and inserting in lieu thereof the word“fifty.” The House passed the bill as amended. On December 31, the Senate passed the bill. On January 7, 1836, the Council of Revision approved the bill, and the act became law.
Illinois House Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 2nd sess., 36-37, 133, 177, 195, 241, 248, 260; Illinois Senate Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 2nd sess., 134, 138, 179, 180, 198.
3The chief complaint with Darwin, the county seat since 1823, was that it was neither located at the geographical center of the county or at the center of the present or probable future population.
Illinois House Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 1st sess., 387-88.
4On December 30, 1835, the House of Representatives struck out the word “seventy” and inserted in lieu thereof the word “fifty.”
Illinois House Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 2nd sess., 177.
5The commissioners appointed under the auspices of this act failed to make the required relocation, and in 1837, the General Assembly passed another act to relocate the county seat. In May 1837, voters agreed to remove the county seat from Darwin, and in August, voters selected the nearby town of Marshall over Auburn to be the county seat.
Newton Bateman and Paul Selby, eds., Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Clark County ed. by H. C. Bell (Chicago: Middle West, 1907), 627-28.
Printed Document, 3 page(s), Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Ninth General Assembly, at their Second Session (Vandalia, IL: J. Y. Sawyer, 1836), 255-57, GA Session: 9-2,