In force, Jan.[January] 12, 1836.
AN ACT to establish the County of Will.1
Sec.[Section] 1. Be it enacted by the people of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly, That all that tract of country lying within the following bounds, to wit: beginning at the north-west corner of township thirty-seven north, of range nine east, and running thence east, to the east line of range ten; thence south, six miles; thence east, six miles; thence south six miles; thence east, six miles; thence south, six miles; thence east, to the state line; thence south, to the Kankakee, and down the same to the north line of township thirty-one; thence west, to the west line of range nine; thence north, to the place of beginning, shall constitute a county, to be called the county of Will.2
Seat of justice
Sec. 2. The permanent seat of justice of said county, shall be at the village of Juliet; and the public buildings thereof, shall be erected on the public square, recorded in the plat of said town as public ground, and adjoining to section fifteen.3
Sec. 3. The said county of Will shall constitute a part of the sixth judicial circuit; and a circuit court shall be held for said county, at some convenient house in the village of Juliet, until the public buildings shall be erected. The times of holding said courts, shall be appointed by the judge presiding on said circuit.4
Sec. 4. All justices of the peace, constables, and the county surveyor, heretofore elected and commissioned in
<Page 2>and for the county of Cook, that now reside within the above boundaries, shall hold their offices in and for said county of Will.
Sec. 5. The legal voters of said county, shall meet at the several places of holding elections, in the different precincts, as now organised, within the above boundaries, on the first Monday of March next, appoint judges and clerks of elections, and proceed to elect three county commissioners, a sheriff, a coroner, and recorder for said county; and the returns of said election shall be made by said judges and clerks, to the justices of the peace in said county, any three or more of whom, shall meet at the village of Juliet, within seven days after the said election, and proceed to open said returns, and in all things perform the duties required by law of the clerks of county commissioners’ courts, and justices of the peace, in like cases.
Officers, how chosen.
Sec. 6. For all officers, except county officers, the county shall vote with the county of Cook, the returns of the elections of which, shall be made to the clerk of the county commissioners’ court, for the county of Will, by whom a certified abstract of the returns of such election, shall be made to the clerk of the county commissioners’ court of Cook county, within seven days thereafter.
Approved, Jan. 12, 1836.
1Responding to a petition from citizens of Cook County, John T. Stuart of the Committee on Petitions introduced HB 70 in the House of Representatives on December 24, 1835. The House referred the bill to a select committee, which reported back the bill without amendment, and on December 30, the House passed the bill. On January 9, 1836, the Senate referred the bill to a select committee, which reported back the bill without amendment, and the Senate passed the bill the same day. On January 12, the Council of Revision approved the bill, and the act became law.
Illinois House Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 2nd sess., 148, 155, 182, 270, 285, 303, 306; Illinois Senate Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 2nd sess., 197, 200, 217, 231.
2Between statehood in 1818 and 1867, the Illinois General Assembly authorized the creation of 104 Illinois counties. During Lincoln’s four terms in the Illinois House of Representatives, the General Assembly authorized 38 counties. The General Assembly allowed voters in the affected county or counties to accept or reject the creation of the new county in only twelve of those cases. In four instances, a majority of voters rejected the creation of the new county. The Illinois Constitution of 1848 made such referenda mandatory in the creation of new counties.
Michael D. Sublett, Paper Counties: The Illinois Experience, 1825-1867 (New York: Peter Lang, 1990), 12-14, 22; Ill. Const. (1848), art. VII.
3For the 38 counties authorized by the General Assembly during Lincoln’s four terms in the Illinois House of Representatives, the General Assembly appointed commissioners to designate the county seat in 23 instances, allowed the voters of the new county to select the county seat in 11 instances, and designated the county seat directly in the remaining 4 instances, including this one.
Sublett, Paper Counties, 14-18.
4When the legislature added an additional judicial circuit a year later, Will County moved to the newly created Seventh Judicial Circuit.
Printed Document, 2 page(s), Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Ninth General Assembly, at their Second Session (Vandalia, IL: J. Y. Sawyer, 1836), 262-63, GA Session: 9-2,