Sec[Section] 1. Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois represented in the General Assembly, That the Commissioners of the School fund of the State shall ascertain from the returns of the Census taken in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty five, the number of White persons in each County under the age of twenty years, and the whole amount of School ^College & Seminary^ funds placed under the control of the Legislature of this State under the provisions of an act of Congress of the 18th April 1818 for the encouragement of learning, shall be equally distributed among the Counties according to such population after first deducting a sum sufficient to place new Counties organised since the taking of the last Census as near as may be on an equal footing with older Counties, said deduction to be made upon the following principle and for the following purposes; allow to each of said new Counties a rateable share equal to three inhabitants for each vote given in said County at the last August election for Member to Congress or Members to the General Assembly and the said rateable share to be drawn by said Counties to be governed in all respects as the shares drawn by the older Counties under this act.
Sec. 2. That on the first Saturday of May next there shall be held in each County in this State an Election for one School Commissioner, said Election shall be held in the same manner that other Elections are held in the County for State and County Officers, The Judges appointed for holding the General Election shall act as the Judges for the Election of said Commissioners and the Election shall be held at the same places, that are appointed for holding the General Elections, and the same qualifications shall be requisite to entitle an Elector to vote for School Commissioners which are in all cases of General Elections for State and County Officers, the person receiving the highest number of votes in the County shall be School Commissioner for the County for the term of two years from the date of his Election upon his giving the necessary Bonds and complying with the requisitions of this act.
Sec. 3. It shall also be the duty of the Judges of the Election for School Commissioner to cause a poll to be opened at the same time and place of holding said election, at which the persons voting for said Commissioners shall also vote for or against the County’s in which they reside receiving its distributive share of the School fund on the terms of this act, and the Judges of such Election shall immediately make return of Election as well the vote on the Subject of the Counties receiving the money, as that of School Commissioner
<Page 2>to the Clerk of the County Commissioners Court, who shall make due return of the same to the Office of Secretary of State, and the Secretary shall immediately cause a Statement of the vote of each of the Counties, on the subject of receiving the School fund, to be presented to the School fund Commissioners of this State.
Sec 4. The person who shall be elected School Commissioner shall within twenty days after his election execute a good and sufficient Bond to the County Commissioners Court of his respective County, in a sum double the amount which shall have been shown to stand to the credit of said County by the Auditor, which Bond may be increased or additional security required in proportion to any increase of responsibility, which may in the opinion of the Court make such increase of Bond or additional security necessary in consequence of the accumulation of the three per-cent fund or other cause, and the firm Bond shall contain a condition that additional Security or increase of Bond shall be given when the said Court shall require the Same, also that the Court shall have power to vacate the Office for a failure or a refusal on the part of said Commissioner to give such increased Bond or additional security, and in case of any vacancy by resignation death or otherwise in the Office of School Commissioner, the County Commissioners Court shall order an election to fill said vacancy and the election shall be held in the same manner that is required in case of the original election of School Commissioner.
Sec 5. The School Commissioner before he shall receive the warrant for the distributive share of his County, shall receive from the Clerk of the County Commissioner’s Court a Certificate under the Seal of the Court, that he has given Bond and security which has been accepted by the Court for the faithful discharge of all the duties of School Commissioner of his respective County, and the Auditor shall file said Certificate in his office with the receipt of the Commissioner for said Warrant, and the money shall be considered in the possession of the County so soon as the Commissioner shall have received the Warrant from the Auditor, and from and after that time the County in agreeing to take the money shall be considered responsible, that the money shall always be subject to control of future Legislatures, and that it will be safely returned when necessary.
Sec 6. The School Commissioners shall so soon as this Act takes effect, ascertain the amount of the distributive share due
<Page 3>each County, and make a full statement of the same to the auditor of public accounts who shall thereupon open an account (in a book prepared and suitable for that purpose) with each County, and shall place to the Credit of each County the sum ascertained to be due in the manner before recited, and when the County has voted for receiving the principal the amount shall be placed to the credit of the County to be drawn for the County by the Commissioner, and where the County has voted against receiving the principal on the terms of this act, then the distributive share of that County shall be credited to the County as loaned to the State at six per-cent per annum, which interest shall be payable semi-annually on a Warrant of the auditor in favour of said County to the School Commissioner of said County, and the sums left in the State Treasury shall be used for revenue purposes until the said Counties may choose at a subsequent election for School Commissioner by vote—a poll always at such elections to be opened for that purpose, to receive the principal on the conditions of this bill. And the auditor shall immediately inform the Clerk of the County Commissioners Court of each County of the amount of School fund Standing to the credit of the County on his Book which may be drawn by said County in the manner following.
Sec 7. Each and every County that receives a rateable portion of the School fund is held bound and agrees to accept the same on the conditions, that the amount of principal shall be kept inviolate and undiminished; and shall be returned into the State Treasury in part or the whole, whenever the same may be required, by any subsequent law of the state, that the interest arising from the loaning the principal shall belong to the County for School purposes and shall be distributed among the Townships of the County according to the population of each Township, to be used in the Township for the purposes of promoting education, the population of the Township to be ascertained in the manner the Court may direct.
Sec. 8. The School Commissioner shall keep an account with each individual to whom he may loan money, showing the amount of the principal sum loaned, also the per cent per annum at which each individual has borrowed money corresponding with each individual’s note which shall be numbered and filed to correspond with a reference on the Books of the Commissioner, and the County Commissioner’s Court shall examine the Books, notes and proceedings of the School Commissioner at every Term of said Court and he is hereby required
<Page 4>to lay before said Court for that purpose his books and notes and all other papers, vouchers &c which he may have in his possession in relation to the School fund.
Sec 9. The Auditor of public accounts shall after the taking the census every five years reapportion the School fund among the Counties according to the white population under twenty years of age, and immediately inform the School Commissioner of each County of the reapportionment, and what amount is due each County, and every School Commissioner who has in his hands or under his control a greater sum than is shown to be the rateable share of his respective County, he shall within 15 days thereafter deposite in the State Treasury the amount of the excess, and the Commissioner in each County who has less than the rateable share due said County, shall apply to the Auditor of public accounts who shall issue his Warrant in his favour as School Commissioner of his said County, which Warrant shall be paid as all other warrants in favour of a School Commissioner in specie, and the amount shall be loaned by said School Commissioner in the same manner, that the original rateable share of the County is herein required to be loaned.
Sec 10. For all Warrants in favour of any School Commissioner shall be paid in specie, and shall be taken by said Commissioner to his respective County and loaned according to this act in specie.
Sec 11. It shall be the duty of the School Commissioner to loan to the Inhabitants of the County all the money which may come into his hands from the State Treasury as School Commissioner in sums not more than three hundred dollars to any one person for period not longer than one year at a rate of interest not less than ten nor more than twenty ^of twelve^ per-cent per annum, (any law to the contrary notwithstanding) payable semi-annual in advance; which loans shall be made immediately after the money shall have been received by said Commissioner after giving twenty days public notic[e] of his intention to loan said money, by causing to be posted up in three of the most public places in each Township Notices of his intention to offer the money to loan to the person who will give the highest rate of interest, within the before mentioned rate of interest, and secure the payment of principal and interest to the satisfaction of the said Commissioner; the amount of School fund on hand which will be offered to be loaned on the particular day at the Court House in each County.
Sec 12. The County Commissioners Court of each County in this State shall order an election to be held in each Township in their respective Counties which contains within its limits fifty inhabitants, for one Treasurer and three Trustees to be denominated and constituted a board of School Trustees for the Township, and the Treasurer of the Board shall act as Secretary and shall receive from his predecessor or predecessors or other persons all moneys books obligations and other interests belonging to the Township for School purposes, the said Treasurer before taking said possession shall enter into Bond to the County Commissioners Court in any sum the Court may think proper not less than double the amount of funds which he may have in his hands by virtue of his office, said Treasurer and Commissioners shall receive a Certificate of election on return of the votes to the Clerks Office of the County Commissioners Court, and shall hold their offices for two years and until their successors are qualified from the date of their election.
Sec 13. Said Board of Trustees shall be constituted a body corporate and politic by the name of the Trustees of the Township (designated by the number of the Township,) and may sue and be sued as such for all acts and contracts by them made as a board of Trustees, they shall have power to adopt any plan which to them may seem best calculated to promote the interest of the inhabitants of the Township upon the subject of Education.
Sec. 14. The receipt of any Treasurer of the Township for the share of interest due his respective Township shall be a good and sufficient voucher to entitle the School commissioner for the County to a credit for the amount, and the School Commissioner shall make an entry on his book of the date and amount of each receipt, and shall number and file all such receipts in a manner corresponding with the entry on his book and the Treasurer of each Township shall in like manner keep an account of the date and amount of each receipt given to said Commissioners and make due report of the same to the County Commissioners Court, by placing said report in the hands of the Clerk of the Court on or before every quarterly term, to be laid before the Court to be examined and compared with the Books and accounts of the Commissioner.
Sec 15. The Board of Township Trustees shall perform all the business and duties, in keeping, ma^n^ageing and
<Page 6>disbursing all funds and School Lands belonging to their respective Townships, that is now required of the School Commissioner of the County, and they shall be governed by the same Laws which are not incompatible with this act that govern and regulate the duties of the School Commissioner of the County relative to the School funds and lands of the Townships.
Sec 16. When ^a majority of^ the inhabitants shall wish to have any school lands belonging to the Township sold they shall direct their petitions to the Township trustees, and said Lands shall be sold ^on the premises^ by the board after giving notice and causing the same proceedings ^in all other respects^ to be had as is now required of the School Commissioner ^in all other respects^ by Law, and the present laws giving the forms and proceedings in relation to the sale of Sec. No 16. shall be observed and shall be sufficient for the Trustees of the Townships.
Sec 17. The mode of securing the payment of all sums either for money borrowed or for land purchased shall be secured in the manner following for one hundred dollars or any sum under that may be secured by the giving a note with two or more responsible freeholders as securities, who shall sign and be considered in all respects as principals. Sums over one hundred dollars shall be secured by mortgage on real estate the title of which shall be clear unincumbered and indisputable, in value treble the amount to be secured, and it shall be expressed in all mortgages and notes that when additional security shall be required, that the same shall be given to the satisfaction of the Commissioner or Trustees of Townships as the case may be, all mortg^a^ges and notes shall be drawn in the name ^17^ of and payable to the said Commissioner or Trustees or his or their Successors in Office for the use of the Inhabitants of the Township to which the money so loaned properly belongs. Provided however in Counties or Townships where the Government land has not been offered for sale, the School Commissioner and Township Trustees shall [h]ave and use a discretionary power as to the kind of security to be required.
Sec 18. All persons wishing to borrow money from any School Commissioner under this act shall
<Page 7>on or before the day set forth in the advertisement of the Commissioners shall place in the hands of the Commissioner his proposition in writing sealed, which shall contain the names of his sureties or the description of the lands which will be offered to secure the faithful payments of the princ[ip]al and interest, and the Commissioner shall decide upon what notes or paper he will loan the money, shall be governed by the rate of interest and the sufficiency of the security.
Sec. 19. So much of the amount which the State may receive under the deposite Bill passed at the last Congress, as may be required for distribution under the provisions of this act shall be so appropriated, and all Warrants drawn by the auditor in favour of any School Commissioner shall be paid out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated.
Sec 20. The School Commissioner for each County shall receive as compensation for all his duties relative to the management of the School fund two per cent per annum on all sums of the principal of th[e] school fund which may come into this hands, and be loaned by him under this act, and the Treasurer of the Board of Township Trustees shall receive the like sum of two per cent per annum on all sums of money received and disbursed by him, and the three Trustees in consideration of their services to their respective Townships shall be exempt from serving on Juries in their respective Counties and from performing Military duty in time of peace.
Sec 21. The Secretay of State shall cause this law to be printed in pamphlet form together with the laws yet in force relating to education and School funds, and cause the same to be distributed with the laws passed by the present General Assembly and the Secretary shall also cause this act to be published in the paper, published by the public printer so soon as this act takes effect, and shall procure a sufficient number of said paper sufficient to furnish the Clerk of the County Commissioners Court of each County with two copies which shall be kept by said Clerk in his Office for the use of any person who may wish to read the Same, The act entitled “an Act to provided for the distribution and application of the interest, on the School college and seminary funds in force Feb 7th 1835 and
<Page 8>all other Acts or parts of Acts upon the subject of School Funds and education coming within the meaning and perview of this act are hereby repealed. This act to be in force from and after its passage.
Passed House of RepresentativesD Prickitt clk[clerk] H R
February 7th 1837.
February 7th 1837.
“An Act for distributing the School funds of this State among the Counties according to the number of children in each County under twenty years of age”
“An Act for distributing the School funds of this State among the Counties according to the number of children in each County under twenty years of age”
To Com of [whole?] & order of day for Monday 13th
Handwritten Document, 10 page(s), Lincoln Collection HB 53, GA Session 10-1, Illinois State Archives (Springfield, IL)