In force 4th March, 1837.
J. Donavan, his heirs, &c.[etc.], may erect toll bridge.
Tolls how fixed.
Bridge when to be commenced and completed.
Sec.[Section] 1. Be it enacted by the people of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly, ThatJohn Donavan , his heirs and assigns be, and they are hereby authorized to erect a toll bridge across Salt Creek in Sangamon county, at or near the place where the said Donavan keeps a ferry. At either end of said bridge, the said Donavan, his heirs or assigns, are hereby authorized to place a toll gate where he or they may ask and demand of all and every person passing, the rate of toll which may from time to time be fixed by the County Commissioners Court of Sangamon county; said bridge to be commenced in one year, and completed in two years from the passage of this act.
Bridge shall be kept in repair, or be forfeited to Sangamon county.
Sec. 2. The said John Donavan, his heirs and assigns, shall at all times after the completion thereof, keep said bridge in good repair, and allow speedy passage for all persons and their property, over it, upon the receipt of the tolls in such cases allowed, as is herein provided; and if at any time said bridge be left out of repair, so that the same be impassable for the space of one year at any one time, the said bridge shall accrue and belong to the county of Sangamon, Provided, however, that the destruction by fire or high water, or other casualty, shall not work a forfeiture of privileges hereby granted.
Cost of bridge how ascertained.
Sec. 3. Whenever the County Commissioners of Sangamon county, shall deem it expedient to purchase said bridge, they may do so, by paying said John Donavan the original cost of said bridge. Said John Donavan is hereby required to file in the clerk’s office of the County Commissioners Court of said county, such vouchers as shall be deemed sufficient by the Commissioners to ascertain the cost of said bridge; and said county Commissioners of said county shall have full power to levy a tax on said bridge as is provided in “An Act to provide for the establishment of ferries, toll bridges, and turnpike roads,” approved Feb. 12, 1827.2
Ford on Salt creek shall not be obstructed.
Sec. 4. If the said John Donavan, his heirs or assigns, shall at any time obstruct the ford on said creek in any manner, he or they so offending, shall forfeit and pay the sum of one hundred dollars for every such offence, to be recovered by action of debt, before any court having competent jurisdiction, one half to the person informing, the other half to the use of the county.
Commissioners appointed to locate road.
Where and when to meet.
Sec. 5. William Stolls and Peter G. Cowardin of Sangamon county, and John Studyvin of Tazewell county, are hereby appointed Commissioners to view, mark, and locate a State road from Couger’s tavern in Tazewell county, to Albany in Sangamon county, doing as little damage to
<Page 2>private property, as the public good will permit. Said Commissioners shall meet at the house of John Donavan in Sangamon county, on the first day of May, or within one month thereafter; and after being duly sworn before some Justice of the Peace, to discharge the duties of Commissioners as aforesaid, as provided in this act, shall proceed to view, mark, and locate said road.
Sec. 6. Said road shall be located four poles wide, and shall be opened and kept in repair, as other State roads are.3
Further duty of commissioners.
Sec. 7. The said Commissioners shall make out and return to the clerks of the county Commissioners Courts, of the counties through which said road may pass, and said Commissioners shall receive a reasonable compensation for their services, not exceeding two dollars per day in proportion to the time spent in each county through which said road shall pass.
Approved 4th March, 1837.
1On February 13, 1837, Job Fletcher introduced SB 199 to the Senate. On February 24, the Senate passed the bill with amendments, and referred it to the House of Representatives. In the House, William F. Elkin motioned that the bill be referred to a select committee that included Abraham Lincoln. On March 1, the committee reported the bill back to the House without further amendment. That same day, the House passed the bill. On March 4, the Council of Revision approved the bill, and the act became law.
Illinois House Journal. 1836. 10th G. A., 1st sess., 695, 761, 778, 854; Illinois Senate Journal. 1836. 10th G. A., 1st sess., 403, 493, 510, 575, 636-37, 639-41.
2Section 14 of the act mentioned here stated that all ferries, toll bridges, and turnpike roads were subject to a tax of between$100 and $200 annually, with the specific amount set by the county commissioners’ court of the county where the ferry, bridge, or road was located.
“An Act to Provide for the Establishment of Ferries, Toll Bridges and Turnpike Roads,” 12 February 1827, Revised Code of Laws, of Illinois (1827), 220-27.
3State roads were those public roads established or designated by the General Assembly and usually crossed county lines. Only the General Assembly could establish, alter, or abandon state roads, until 1840 and 1841, when the General Assembly gave counties the authority to alter or to abandon state roads upon petition by a majority of voters in the area of the change.
Printed Document, 2 page(s), Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Tenth General Assembly (Vandalia, IL: William Walters, 1837), 25-26, GA Session: 10-1