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In force, 18th February 1837
AN ACT to incorporate the town of Upper Alton
Corporation created, their powers & priveleges.
Sec.[Section] 1. Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly, That Enoch Long, William Clark, Peter W. Randle, Isaac E. Warnick, George Haskell, George Smith and Benjamin Walker, be, and they are hereby constituted a body politic and corporate, to be known by the name of the President and Trustees of the town of Upper Alton, 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, receive and hold property, real and personal, within said town and no other, (burial ground excepted) and may lease, sell and dispose of the same for the benefit of the town, and may 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.
Boundary of town.
Sec. 2. That all that district of country contained in section No. seven, and the south half of section No. six, in township No. five north, and range No. 9 west of the third principal meridian, is hereby declared to be within the boundaries of the town of Upper Alton.
Seven trustee[s] to form a board.
Sec. 3. That the corporate powers and duties of said town shall be vested in seven trustees after the term of the present incumbents has expired, to wit: on the first Monday in April, who shall form a board for the transaction of business.
Trustees elect[ed] annually.
Who qualif[y] to vote.
Sec. 4. The members composing the board of Trustees shall be elected annually on the first Monday in April, to serve for one year. They shall be at least twenty-one years of age, citizens of the United States, and shall possess a free-hold estate within the limits of the corporation. Those persons only shall be qualified to vote for trustees, or in such town meetings as may be held in conformity with the further provisions of this act, who possess the requisite qualifications to vote for state officers, and have resided within the limits of the corporation six months previous to such elections or town meetings.
Trustees to point officer fill vacanci[es]
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, and shall have power to fill all vacancies in the board occasioned by resignation, death, or six months absence of any member thereof. A majority shall constitute a board
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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 proceedings, and make such other rules and regulations for their own government as to them may seem proper and expedient.
Trustees to levy and collect tax, to make regulations for town, &c.[etc.]
To regulate [e]lection and fix compensation for officers
Impose and appropriate [f]ines for breach of ordinances
[j]ustices of the peace have ju[r]isdiction to [h]ear and determine
Sec. 6. That the board of trustees shall have power to levy and collect taxes upon all real estate within the town not exceeding one per cent upon the assessed value thereof, except as may be hereinafter excepted, to make regulations to secure the general health of the inhabitants, to prevent and remove nuisances, to restrain cattle, horses, sheep, swine and dogs from running at large, to establish night watches, erect lamps in the streets and lighting the same, to erect and keep in repair bridges, to provide licensing, taxing and regulating merchants, to regulate auctions, taverns, groceries and pedlars, theatrical and other shows, billiard tables and other amusements, to restrain and prohibit gaming houses, bawdy houses and other disorderly, houses, to prevent the shooting of fire arms within the limits of the corporation, to provide for the erecting of a house of correction, to establish and regulate markets, to open and keep in repair streets and avenues, lanes, alleys, drains and sewers, to keep the same clean and free from incumbrances; to establish and regulate a fire department, to provide for the prevention and extinguishment of fires, to regulate the storage of gunpowder 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 town officers, to fix the 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 impose and appropriate fines and forfeitures for the breach of any ordinance, and to provide for the collection thereof; and that in cases arising under his act, or growing out of the by-laws and ordinances made in pursuance of this act of incorporation, any Justice of the Peace within said corporation shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine the same, and an appeal may be taken and writs of certiorari allowed from any such decisions in the same manner as now is or hereafter may be provided by law for appealing from judgements of Justices of the Peace.
Trustees have [p]ower to levy [a]nd collect tax
Sec. 7. That the board of trustees shall have power to levy a tax for the erection of school houses and the support
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of common schools within said corporation, and to raise money by loan on the credit of the town, for commencing and prosecuting works of public improvements, Provided, However, that the same shall be submitted to the vote of the citizens of the town and approved by a majority thereof.
May levy and collect a special tax.
Sec. 8. 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.
May have power to make improvements in town, &c.
Freeholders to enquire of damages.
Damages assessed to be paid.
Sec. 9. 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, and to set aside and appropriate sufficient ground for a square, for a market and other public purposes, making the person or persons impaired 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, widening, or extension of any street, avenue, lane or alley, or setting aside and appropriating ground for a market square and other public purposes, 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.
To survey and plat the ground in corporation.
Sec. 10. That the trustees shall have power to survey and plat all the grounds within the incorporation, and record the same; which, when thus surveyed, platted and recorded, shall be a governing plat for town uses and purposes, Provided, However, that this shall not be so construed as to give the trustees power so to vary from any established plat as to thereby affect the rights of private individuals, or lay off the present unplatted ground otherwise than as out lots.
Persons refusing to pay tax;
land avdertired and sold.
Sec. 11. That whenever the owners of any lot or piece of ground included within the incorporation, shall neglect or refuse to pay the tax or taxes levied on the same, when
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they may become due, it shall be the duty of the trustees to advertise the same for non-payment, either in a newspaper printed in said town, or by posting in three of the most public places in said town, for the space of sixty days; and on further failure of payment thereof, to sell at public sale, so much of said lot or pice of ground as will be sufficient to pay said taxes and defray the expenses of collection.
Ordinances to be published.
Sec. 12. 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 subject to redemption.
President of board to execute deeds.
Sec. 13. 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, upon paying to the treasurer of the board of trustees of said town double the amount of taxes for which the same was sold, together with the cost 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 warrantee, signed by the president of said board, and sealed with the corporation seal.
Officers of town
Sec. 14. The officers of said town, in addition to the trustees, shall consist of one clerk, one street commissioner, one treasurer, three assessors, one town constable and collector, one town surveyor, two measurers of wood and coal, one measurer of timber, one measurer and weigher of grain, and such other officers as the trustees of said town may deem necessary for the good of said town.
President and trustees to form engine companies
Sec. 15. That the president and trustees of said town shall, whenever 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, between the ages of eighteen and fifty years, and no more; the firehook 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 by voluntary enlistment; every member of each company shall be exempted from jury and military duty, and whenever a member of each company shall have served twelve years he shall receive a discharge from the incorporation, signed by the president, and shall forever thereafter be exempt from further jury duty and from further military duty, except in case of invasion.

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Land donated to be vested in corporation.
Trustees may institute suit.
Sec. 16. That all lots of land or parcels of ground in said town, or which have been conveyed by the original proprietors thereof, or other persons, to the inhabitants of said town, in their aggregate capacity, or to any person or persons in trust for them, or for their use and benefit, and all funds raised or to be raised by the sale of donation lots or otherwise, whether for the erection of school houses, academies or places of public worship, are hereby declared to belong to and to be vested in said corporation, and shall be under the management and direction of the trustees aforesaid and their successors, and applied in furtherance of the objects intended by the proprietors or donors thereof; and the said trustees shall have power to institute suits for the recovery of every or any such lots or parcels of ground, should it be necessary; and to perfect in them and their successors the title thereof, or to make such other adjustment relative thereto as to them shall seem expedient and proper.
Trustees to give notice of meetings.
Sec. 17. That it shall be the duty of the board of trustees, in such manner as they may hereafter provide, to give notice of all town meetings to be held, whether for the election of trustees or any other purpose arising under the provisions of this act, by posting the same in three of the most public places in said town, and stating therein the object of such meeting, Provided, However, that not less than three days notice of any such meeting shall in any case be given, except in cases of emergency.
Officers to take oath.
Sec. 18. 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 discharge the duties of their several offices.
May divide town into wards.
Sec. 19. That the trustees may have power to divide said town into such number of wards as to them (shall) seem expedient and proper, Provided, However, that no stock belonging to citizens without the bounds of said town shall be hurt by the authority of said corporation.
Approved 18th February, 1837.
1On January 11, 1837, Robert Smith introduced HB 113 in the House of Representatives. On January 26, the House referred the bill to the Committee on Corporations. On January 31, the Committee on Corporations reported the bill with several amendments, and the House concurred in those amendments. On February 8, the House passed the bill as amended. On February 15, the Senate passed the bill. On February 18, the Council of Revision approved the bill, and the act became law.
Illinois House Journal. 1836. 10th G. A., 1st sess., 179, 235, 398-99, 436, 519, 602, 606, 612, 639; Illinois Senate Journal. 1836. 10th G. A., 1st sess., 377, 390, 398, 432, 448.

Printed Document, 5 page(s), Incorporation Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed at a Session of the General Assembly (Vandalia, IL: William Walters, 1837), 57-61, GA Session: 10-1,