AN ACT to incorporate the town of Shelbyville.1
Boundaries of Shelbyville.
Name & style.
Sec.[Section] 1. Be it enacted by the people of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly, That the boundaries of the town of Shelbyville, in Shelby county, be as follows, viz: one square mile, laid out by lines running due north and south, east and west; and that the southeast corner of lot number one in block number ten, in said town of Shelbyville, be the centre of said square mile; and the inhabitants of said town, and all persons within said boundaries, shall be and are hereby constituted a body politic and corporate, by the name and style of “The trustees of the town of Shelbyville;” and by that name they and their successors shall be known in law, have perpetual succession, sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, defend and be defended, in courts of law and equity, and in all actions and matters whatsoever; may grant, purchase, 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 do all other acts as natural persons; may have a common seal, and break and alter the same at pleasure.
Nnmber of trustees.
Sec. 2. The corporate powers and duties of said town shall be vested in five trustees, (to be chosen and appointed as hereinafter directed,) who shall form a board for the transaction of business.
Qualification for trustee.
Sec. 3. The trustees shall be elected for the term of one year, and until their successors are elected, by residents of said town and incorporation who are qualified to vote for representatives to the Legislature. No person shall be a trustee who is not twenty-one years of age, a citizen of the United States, who has not resided within said incorporated limits six months previous to the election, and who is not a bona fide freehold.
Appointment of president & all officers.
Sec. 4. That the board of trustees shall appoint their president and all other officers of their board, and shall be judges of the qualifications, elections, and returns of their own members. A majority shall constitute a board to do business, and, in case of the refusal to serve, death, or resignation of any member of the board, may supply the vacancy by appointing some other person instead.
May levy tax.
Sec. 5. That the said trustees shall have power, by ordinance, to levy and collect a tax, not exceeding one per centum, on all real estate within the town and limits of the corporation, exclusive of improvements, according to valuation, and one per cent. on all personal property within the incorporated limits; to provide for licensing, taxing, and regulating merchants, auctions, taverns, groceries, and pedlers, and all shows and amusements; to restrain and prohibit gaming laws, bawdy houses and disorderly houses; to make regulations to secure the general health of the inhabitants; to prevent and remove nuisances; to establish and regulate markets; to open and keep in repair streets, alleys, and sewers; to provide for the prevention and extinguishment of fires; to dig wells and erect pumps in the streets; and from time to time to pass such ordinances, to carry into effect the object of this act and the powers hereby granted, as the good of the inhabitants may require, and to impose fines and forfeitures for the breach of any ordinance, and provide for the collection of the same; and that in all cases arising under this act, or growing out of the by-laws and ordinances made in pursuance of this act, 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 for (from) any such decision, in the same manner as now is or hereafter may be provided by law for appealing from judgments of justices of the peace.
Special tax to pave side-walks.
Sec. 6. That, upon the application of the owners of two-thirds of the front of the lots on any street, it shall be lawful for the board of trustees to levy and collect a special tax on the owners of the lots on 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.
Lanes and avenues.
Benefit or damage by widening street.
Sec. 7. 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 corporation, and to extend, open, and widen the same, making the person or persons injured 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 duty sworn for that purpose by any person competent to administer an oath, shall inquire into and take into consideration as well the benefits as the injury which may accrue, and estimate and assess the
<Page 3>damages which would be sustained by reason of the opening, extension, or widening of any street, avenue, lane, or alley; and shall moreover estimate the amount which other persons will be benefitted thereby, and shall contribute towards compensating the person injured; all of which shall be returned to the board of trustees, under their hands and seals; and the persons who shall be benefitted, and thus 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.
Timber to be cleared at the expense of owner.
Sec. 8. That the board of trustees shall have power, by ordinance, to regulate and cause to be cleared off all the timber, under-growth, and rubbish on such parts of the town as have been laid off into town lots, at the expense of the owners of said lots; and, if the owners refuse to comply, to cause the timber and wood to be sold to defray such expense.
Suits, how brought.
Sec. 9. That the board of trustees shall have power to preserve good order and harmony in said town; to punish open indecency, breaches of the peace, horse-racing, shooting, riotous or noisy meetings; for which purpose they may make such ordinances as to them may seem proper, and that are not inconsistent with any of the public laws of this State, and may impose fines for the breach thereof; which fines shall be recoverable before any jnstice of the peace residing in said town; and all suits and judicial proceedings under this act shall be brought in the name and style of “The president and board of trustees of the town of Shelbyville.”
Sec. 10. That the board of trustees may adopt such modes and means for the assessment and collection of taxes as they may from time to time fix upon and determine, and to prescribe the manner of selling property when the tax levied upon it is not paid; Provided, No sale of any town lots or other real property shall be made until public notice of the time and place shall be given by advertisement in some newspaper, or at four public places in said town, at least fifteen days previous thereto.
Lots may be redeemed.
Sec. 11. That when any town lots or real estate shall be sold for taxes by virtue of this act, the same may be redeemed, at any time within two years from the date of such sale, by the owner of said property, or his or her agent, executor, or administrator, paying to the treasurer of said town, for the use of the purchaser of said property, the full amount of purchase money, with interest at the rate of twenty-five per cent. per annum, together with the costs accruing thereon.
Cost of purchase.
Sec. 12. That upon the sale of any town lots or real estate for taxes, a certificate of purchase shall be given to the purchaser, signed by the president of the board of trustees, describing the property sold, setting forth the amount bid, and that the purchaser will be entitled to a deed within two years from the date of the sale, if the property be not redeemed as provided by this act; a copy of which certificate of purchase
<Page 4>shall be left with the clerk of the board of trustees by the president within ten days from the sale aforesaid; and if the town lots or real estate be not redemed as provided in this act, a deed shall be made to the purchaser, signed by the president of the board of trustees; which deed shall be good and valid in law.
Sec. 13. It shall be the duty of the board of trustees to cause to be paid to the purchasers of lots all moneys which may have been paid to the treasurer, over the costs for selling the same.
Ordinances, how made public.
Sec. 14. That all ordinances of the board of trustees shall be written out and signed by the clerk and published in a newspaper printed in said town, or posted up at four of the most public places, for two weeks before taking effect, and within one month from their passage.
Sec. 15. That the board of trustees shall shall have power to appoint a town constable or constables, (and other necessary officers,) who shall possess the same powers and perform the same duties within said incorporated limits as the constables in the different townships possess, and shall be entitled to the same compensation.
All officers to take an oath.
Sec. 16. That the members of the board of trustees and every officer of the corporation shall, before entering on the duties of either 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 their duties, and properly demean themselves in office.
Notice of election.
Vote for or against charter.
Sec. 17. That the foregoing provisions of this act shall take effect and be in force so soon as they shall have been accepted by the inhabitants of said town and incorporated limits, and not before, in manner as follows, viz: An election shall be held, on the first Monday in May next, at the court house, by giving ten days’ notice of the same by posting up advertisements in four of the most public places in said town; at which election any two justices of the peace in said town may preside and appoint their clerk; and all voters qualified as herein before described shall be entitled to vote for or against this charter; and if a majority of all the votes given be for the charter, then the said justices shall determine the time and place of holding the first general election, which shall not be more than one month nor less than two weeks after the acceptance of the charter, and shall publish notice thereof for ten days before the day appointed for the election of trustees; and those elected trustees at the general election shall then proceed as hereinbefore provided, and continue in office for one year, and until their successors are duly elected and qualified.
Sec. 18. That the said justices of the peace who may be judges of the election shall make a true return of both elections, and deliver it to the board, who shall preserve the same; and the board of trustees first elected, or any future board,2
<Page 5>may alter the time of holding elections for trustees, by ordinance, if to the board it seemeth expedient: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall exempt the citizens of said corporation from working on the public highways as heretofore.
Approved, March 2, 1839.
1On February 19, 1839, William F. Thornton introduced HB 324 in the House. On February 25, the House passed the bill without amendment, and referred it to the Senate. On February 28, following the insertion of additional language by Peter Warren, the Senate too passed the bill. On March 2, following the House’s agreement with the Senate addition, theCouncil of Revision approved the bill, and the act became law.
Journal of the House of Representatives, at the First Session of the Tenth General Assembly, of the State of Illinois (Vandalia, IL: William Waters, 1836), 437, 467, 516, 568, 602, 606; Journal of the Senate, at the First Session of the Tenth General Assembly, of the State of Illinois (Vandalia, IL: William Waters, 1836), 418, 462, 501, 508-09.
Printed Document, 5 page(s), Incorporation Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Eleventh General Assembly (Vandalia, IL: William Walters, 1839), 17-21, GA Session: 11-1,