In force, Feb.[February] 3, 1840.
AN ACT to incorporate the city of Quincy.1
Of boundaries and general powers.
Body politic and corporate
Name and style
(Sec.[Section] 1.) Be it enacted by the people of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly, That the inhabitants of the town of Quincy, in the county of Adams, and State of Illinois, be, and they are hereby constituted a body politic and corporate, by the name and style of the city of Quincy, and by that name shall have perpetual succession, and may have and use a common seal, which they may change and alter at pleasure.
Boundaries of city
Sec. 2. All that district of country embraced within the following boundaries, to wit: beginning in the middle of the main channel of the Mississippi river, west of the south side of Jefferson street, thence up the river with said channel to a point due west of the northern extremity of Pease’s addition to said town, thence due east to the eastern side of Wood street, thence due south along Wood street to a point due east from the place of beginning, thence due west down the south side of Jefferson street to the place of beginning, is hereby declared to be within the boundaries of the said city of Quincy.
City to be divided into three wards
Sec. 3. The present board of trustees of the town of Quincy shall, on or before the first day of March next, divide the said city of Quincy into three wards, as nearly equal in population as practicable, particularly describing the boundaries of each.
Lands laid off and recorded, to form part of city
Sec. 4. Whenever any tract of land adjoining the city of Quincy shall have been laid off into town lots and duly recorded, as required by law, the same shall be annexed to, and form a part of the town of Quincy.
May hold real and personal property
Sec. 5. The inhabitants of said city, by the name and style aforesaid, shall have power to sue and be sued, to implead and be impleaded, defend and be defended, in all courts of law and equity, and in all actions whatever: to purchase, receive, and hold property, real and personal, in said city; to purchase, receive, and hold property, both real and personal, beyond the city for burial grounds, or for other public purposes, for the use of the inhabitants of said city; to sell, lease, convey, or dispose of property, real and personal, for the benefit of the city; and to improve and protect such property, and to do all other things in relation thereto as natural persons.
Of the city Council.
Sec. 1. There shall be a city council, to consist of a Mayor and Board of Aldermen.
B’d[Board] of Aldermen, two from each ward
Sec. 2. The Board of Aldermen shall consist of two members from each ward, to be chosen by the qualified voters for two years.
Qualificat’ns[Qualifications] of Aldermen
Sec. 3. No person shall be an alderman, unless at the time of his election he shall have resided six months within the limits of the city, and shall be at the time of his election twenty-one years of age, and a citizen of the United States.
When office of Aldermen to be made vacant
Sec. 4. If any alderman shall after his election remove from the ward for which he is elected, or cease to be a freeholder in said city, his office shall be thereby vacated.
Division of Aldermen by lot
Sec. 5. At the first meeting of the city council, the aldermen shall be divided by lot into two classes, the seats of those of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the first year; and of the second class, at the expiration of the second year, so that one-half of the board shall be elected annually.
Elections, returns of, and contested
Sec. 6. The city council shall judge of the qualifications, elections, and returns of their own members, and shall determine all contested elections.
Sec. 7. A majority of the city council shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of absent members under such penalties as may be prescribed by ordinance.
Rules of proceeding
Expulsion of members
Sec. 8. The city council shall have power to determine the rule of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly conduct, and with the concurrence of two thirds of the members elected expel a member.
Journal of city council to be published
Sec. 9. The city council shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, and the yeas and nays when demanded by any member present shall be entered on the journal.
Aldermen can hold no office in city, created while in office
Sec. 10. No alderman shall be appointed to any office under the authority of the city, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased during the time for which he shall have been elected.
Vacancies, how filled
Sec. 11. All vacancies that shall occur in the Board of Aldermen shall be filled by election.
Mayor & Aldermen to take oath
Sec. 12. The Mayor and each alderman, before entering upon the duties of their office shall take and subscribe an oath “that they will support the Constitution of the United States, and of this State, and that they will well and truly perform the duties of their office to the best of their skill and abilities.[”]
Mayor to determine election in case of tie
Sec. 13. Whenever there shall be a tie in the election of aldermen the judges of election shall certify the same to the Mayor, who shall determine the same by lot in such manner as shall be provided by ordinance.
Twelve stated meetings, yearly
Sec. 14. There shall be twelve stated meetings of the city council in each year, at such times and places as may be prescribed by ordinance.
Of the chief Executive officers.
Term of office
Sec. 1. The chief Executive officers of the city shall be, a Mayor, who shall be elected by the qualified voters of the city, and shall hold his office for one year, and until his successor shall be elected and qualified.
Qualificat’ns for Mayor
Sec. 2. No person shall be eligible to the office of Mayor, who shall not have been a resident of the city for one year next preceding his election or who shall be under twenty-one years of age, or who shall not at the time of his election be a citizen of the United States.
When office of Mayor to be vacated
Sec. 3. If any Mayor shall, during the time for which he shall have been elected, remove from the city, or shall cease to be a freeholder in said city, his office shall be vacated.
In case of tie for Mayor, council to decide by lot
Sec 4. When two or more persons shall have an equal number of votes for Mayor the judges of election shall certify the same to the city council who shall proceed to determine the same by lot, in such manner as may be provided by ordinance.
Contest’d[Contested] election of Mayor
Sec. 5. Whenever an election of Mayor shall be contested, the city council shall determine the same in such manner as may be prescribed by ordinance.
Vacancy in office of Mayor, how filled
Sec. 6. Whenever any vacancy shall happen in office of Mayor it shall be filled by election.
Annual election for Mayor & Aldermen
First election, how conducted
Sec. 1. On the third monday of April next, an election shall be held in each ward of said city for one Mayor for the city, two aldermen for each ward, and forever thereafter, on the third monday of April of each year, there shall be an election held for one Mayor for the city and one Alderman for each ward, the first election for Mayor and Aldermen shall be held, conducted, and returns thereof made, as may be provided by ordinance of the present trustees of the town of Quincy.
Resident inhabitants may vote for city officers
Votes in different wards
Sec. 2. All free white male inhabitants, over the age of twenty-one years, who are entitled to vote for State officers, and who shall have been actual residents of said city ninety days next preceding said election, shall be entitled to vote for city officers: Provided, that said voters shall give their votes for mayor and aldermen in the wards in which they respectfully (ively) reside, and in no other, and that no vote shall be received at any of said elections unless the person offering such vote shall have been an actual resident of the ward where the same is offered, at least ten days next preceding such election.
Of the Legislative powers of the city council.
Assessment & collection of taxes.
Sec. 1. The city council shall have powers and authority to levy and collect taxes upon all property, real and personal, within the limits of the city, not exceeding one-half per cent. per annum upon the assessed value thereof, and may enforce the payment of the same in any manner to be prescribed by ordinance not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States and of this State.
Officers of city
Sec . (2.) The city council shall have power to appoint a clerk, treasurer, assessor, marshall, supervisors of streets and all such other officers as may be necessary.
to give bonds and security, & take oath
May borrow money
May borrow money
Sec. 3. The city council shall have power to require of all officers appointed in pursuance of this charter, bonds with penalty and security for the faithful performance of their respective duties as may be deemed expedient, and also to require all officers appointed as aforesaid to take an oath for the faithful performance of the duties of their respective offices before entering upon the discharge of the same. To establish, support, and regulate common schools, to borrow money on the credit of the city: Provided, That no sum or sums of money shall be borrowed at a greater interest than at six per cent per annum, nor shall the interest on the aggregate of all the sums borrowed and outstanding ever exceed one half of the city revenue arising from taxes, assessed on real property within the limits of the corporation.
Expenses of city, how paid
Sec. 4. To appropriate money and provide for the payment of the debt and expenses of the city.
Quarantine laws, to extend 5 miles
Sec. 5. To make regulations to prevent the introduction of contagious diseases into the city, to make quarantine laws for that purpose, and enforce the same within five miles of the city.
Establishm’t[Establishment] of hospitals
Sec. 6. To establish hospitals, and make regulations for the government of the same.
Health of city, removal of nuisances
Sec. 7. To make regulations to secure the general health of the inhabitants, to declare what shall be a nuisance, and to prevent and remove the same.
Sec. 8. To provide the city with water, to erect hydrants and pumps in the streets for the convenience of the inhabitants.
Alteration of streets
Sec. 9. To open, alter, abolish, widen, extend, establish, grade, pave, or otherwise improve and keep in repair streets, avenues, lanes and alleys.
Sec. 10. To establish, erect, and keep in repair, bridges.
Boundaries of wards
Sec. 11. To divide the city into wards, alter the boundaries thereof, and erect additional wards, as the occasion may require.
Sec. 12. To provide for lighting the streets and erecting lamp posts.
Sec. 13. To establish, support, and regulate night watches.
Regulation of markets
Sec. 14. To erect market houses, establish markets, and market places, and provide for the government and regulation thereof.
Sec. 15. To provide for erection of all needful buildings for the use of the city.
Sec. 16. To provide for enclosing, improving, and regulating all public grounds belonging to the city.
Improvement of Mississippi river
Scc.[Section] 17. To improve and preserve the navigation of the Mississippi river within the limits of the city.
Wharves and docks
Sec. 18. To erect, repair and regulate public wharves and docks, to regulate the erection and repair of private wharves, and the rates of wharfage thereat.
May grant licenses
Sec. 19. To license, tax, and regulate auctioneers, merchants, retailers, grocers, taverns, ordinaries, hawkers, pedlars, brokers, pawn brokers, and money changers.
Rates of drayage and porterage
Sec. 20. To license tax and regulate hackney carriages, wagons, carts, and drays, and fix the rates to be charged for the carriage of persons and for the wagonage and cartage and drayage of property.
Sec. 21. To license and regulate porters, and fix the rates of porterage.
Sec. 22. To licence, tax, and regulate theatrical, and other exhibitions, shows, and amusements.
May suppress disorderly houses
Sec. 23. To tax, restrain, prohibit, and suppress tippling houses, dram shops, and gaming houses, and bawdy and other disorderly houses.
Sec. 24. To provide for the prevention and extinguishment of fires, and to organize an establish fire companies.
Sec. 25. To regulate or prohibit the erection of wooden buildings in any part of the city.
Sec. 26. To regulate the fixing of chimneys, fix the fees (flues) therefor (thereof.)
Sec. 27. To regulate the storage of gunpowder, tar, pitch, rosin, and other combustible materials.
Parapet walls and fences
Sec. 28. To regulate and order parapet walls and partition fences.
Weights and measures
Sec. 29. To establish standard weights and measures, and regulate the weights and measures to be used in the city, in all cases not otherwise provided for by law.
Inspection of lumber and measurement of work
Sec. 30. To provide for the inspection and measuring of lumber and other building materials, and for the measurement of all kinds of mechanical work.
Weight of hay and coal
Sec. 31. To provide for the inspection and weighing of hay and stone-coal, the measuring of charcoal, firewood and other fuel to be sold or used within the city.2
Inspection of tobacco, beef, pork, flour, &c [etc]
Sec. 32. To provide for and regulate the inspection of tobacco, and of beef, pork, flour, meal, and whiskey in barrels.
Sec. 33. To regulate the inspection of butter, lard, and other provisions.
Weight of bread
Sec. 34. To regulate the weight, quality and price of bread to be sold and used in the city.
Size of brick
Sec. 35. To regulate the size of bricks to be sold or used in the city.
Sec. 36. To provide for the taking enumerations of the inhabitants of the city.
To regulate elections and remove offic’rs[officers]
Sec. 37. To regulate the election of city officers and provide for removing from office any person holding an office created by ordinance.
Pay of officers jurors & witnesses
Sec. 38. To fix the compensation of all city officers, and regulate the fees of jurors, witnesses and others, for services rendered under this act, or any ordinance.
Police of city
Sec. 39. To regulate the police of the city; to impose fines and forfeitures and penalties for the breach of any ordinance, and provide for the recovery and appropriation of such fines and forfeitures, and the enforcement of such penalties.
Sec. 4. (40.) The city council shall have exclusive power within the city, by ordinance, to license, regulate and restrain the keeping of ferries, and to suppress and restrain billiard tables.
To make all ordinances necessary
Sec. 5. (41.) The city council shall have power to make all ordinances which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the powers specified in this act so that such ordinance be not repugnant to nor inconsistent with the constitution of the United States or of this State.
Styles of ordinances
Sec. 6. (42.) The style of the ordinances of the city shall be, “Be it ordained by the city council of the city of Quincy.”
Ordinances not to take effect until published
Sec. 7. (43.) All ordinances passed by the city council, shall, within one month after they shall have been passed, be published in some newspaper published in the city, and shall not be in force until they shall have been published as aforesaid.
Published ordinances to be read in evidence
Sec. 8. (44.) All ordinances of the city may be proven by the seal of the corporation, and when printed and published in book or pamphlet form and purporting to be printed and published by the authority of the corporation, the same shall be received in evidence in all courts and places without further proof.
Of the Mayor.
May’r[Mayor] to have casting vote
Mayor pro. tem.
Sec. 1. The Mayor shall preside at all meetings of the city council, and shall have a casting vote and no other: in case of non-attendance of the Mayor at any meeting, the Board of Aldermen shall appoint one of their own members chairman who shall preside at that meeting.
Special meetings, how called
Sec. 2. The Mayor or any two aldermen may call special meetings of the city council.
Duties of Mayor
Sec. 3. The Mayor shall at all times be active and vigilant in enforcing the laws and ordinances for the government of the city; he shall inspect the conduct of all subordinate officers of said city, and cause negligence and positive violation of duty to be prosecuted and punished; he shall from time to time
<Page 7>communicate to the aldermen such information, and recommend all such measures, as in his opinion may tend to the improvement of the finances, the police, the health, security, comfort and ornament of the city.
Persons refusing to assist to quell riots, made liable
Sec. 2. (4.) He is hereby authorized to call on every male inhabitant of said city over the age of eighteen years to aid in enforcing the laws and ordinances; and in case of riot to call out the Militia to aid him in suppressing the same, or in carrying into effect any law or ordinance, and any person who shall not obey such call shall forfeit to the said city a fine not exceeding five dollars.
When officers to exhibit books
Sec. 3. (5.) He shall have power whenever he may deem it necessary, to require of any of the officers of the said city an exhibit of his books and papers.
Mayor to execute acts required of him
Sec. 4. (6.) He shall have power to execute all acts that may be required of him by any ordinance made in pursuance of this act.
Mayor to be commission’d[commissioned] by Gov’nor[Governor] as justice peace
Powers of Mayor
Sec. 5. (7.) He shall be commissioned by the Governor as a justice of the peace for said city, and as such shall be a conservator of the peace in the said city, and shall have power and authority to administer oaths, issue writs and processes under the seal of the city. To take depositions, the acknowledgments of deeds, mortgages, and all other instruments of writing, and certify the same under the seal of the city which shall be good and valid in law.
Exclusive jurisdiction of Mayor, and his fees
Sec. 6. (8.) He shall have exclusive jurisdiction in all cases arising under the ordinances of the corporation, and concurrent jurisdiction with all other justices of the peace in all civil and criminal cases within the limits of the city arising under the laws of the State, and shall receive the same fees and compensation for his services in similar cases.
Jurisdict’n[Jurisdiction] to enforce quarantine laws
Sec. 7. (9.) He shall also have such jurisdiction as may be vested in him by ordinance of the city in and over all places within five miles of the boundaries of the city for the purpose of enforcing the health and quarantine ordinances and regulations thereof, and
Salary of Mayor
Sec. 8. (10.) He shall receive for his services such salary as shall be fixed by an ordinance of the city.
He may be indicted in Cir. court, Adams co. for violation of duty, and fined, and may be removed from office
Sec. 4. (11.) In case the Mayor shall at any time be guilty of a palpable omission of duty, or shall wilfully and corruptly be guilty of oppression, malconduct or partiality in the discharge of the duties of his office, he shall be liable to be indicted in the circuit court of Adams county, and on conviction he shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars, and the court shall have power on the recommendation of the jury to add to the judgment of the court that he be removed from office.
Proceedings in special cases.
When private property is taken for public use, to be paid for
Sec. 1. When it shall be necessary to take private property for opening, widening or altering any public street, land, avenue, or alley, the corporation shall make a just compensation therefor to the person whose property is so taken, and if the amount of such compensation cannot be agreed on, the Mayor shall cause the same to be ascertained by a jury of six disinterested freeholders of the city.
Petitions to open or widen streets
Sec. 2. Where the owners of all the property on a street, lane, avenue, or alley, proposed to be opened, widened or altered, shall petition therefor, the city council may open, widen, or alter such street, lane, avenue, or alley, upon condition to be prescribed by ordinance, but no compensation shall in such case be made to those whose property shall be taken for the opening, widening or altering such street, lane, avenue, or alley, nor shall there be any assessment of benefits or damages that may accrue thereby to any of the petitioners.
Jurors to assess damages, must be sworn
Sec. 3. All jurors empannelled to enquire into the amount of benefits or damages which shall happen to the owners of property proposed to be taken for opening, widening, or altering any street, lane, or alley, shall first be sworn to that effect, and shall return to the Mayor their inquest in writing, and signed by (each) juror.
Rule for assessment of damages
Sec. 4. In ascertaining the amount of compensation for property taken for opening, or widening, or altering any street, lane, avenue, or alley, the jury shall take into consideration the benefit, as well as the injury happening by such opening, widening, or altering such street, lane, avenue, or alley.
Decis’n[Decision] of jury may be set aside.
Sec. 5. The Mayor shall have power for good causes shown within ten days after any inquest shall have been returned to him as aforesaid, to set the same aside and cause a new inquest to be made.
Special tax to grade streets and light the same
Sec. 6. The city council shall have power by ordinance to levy and collect a special tax on the holders of the lots in any street, lane, avenue, or alley, or part of any street, lane, avenue, or alley, according to their respective fronts owned by them for the purpose of paving and grading the side walks, and lighting such streets, lane, avenue or alley.
Inhabitants shall not work co’y[county] roads or pay co.[county] taxes
Sec. 1. The inhabitants of the city of Quincy are hereby exempted from working on any road beyond the limits of the city, and from paying any tax to procure laborers to work upon the same, and from any tax for county purposes except for t h completion of the county jail, now being erected in said city.
City streets to be worked by male inhabitants.
Fine for refusal to labor.
Sec. 2. The city council shall have power for the purpose of keeping the streets, lanes, avenues and alleys in repair to require every male inhabitant in said city over twenty-one years of age to labor on said streets, lanes, avenues and alleys, not exceeding three days in each and every year: and any person failing to perform such labor when duly notified by the supervisor shall forfeit and pay the sum of one dollar per day for each day so neglected or refused.
Punishment of offenders.
Sec. 3. The city council shall have power to provide for the punishment of offenders by imprisonment in the county or city jail in all cases where such offenders shall fail or refuse to pay the fines and forfeitures which may be recovered against them.
Annual statement of receipts & expenditures to be published
Sec. 4. The city council shall cause to be published annually a full and complete statement of all moneys received and expended by the corporation during the preceding year, and on what account received and expended.
Ordinance in force until repealed
Sec. 5. All ordinances and resolutions passed by the president and trustees of the town of Quincy, shall remain in force until the same shall have been repealed by the city council hereby created.
Suits how brought
Sec. 6. All suits, actions, and prosecutions instituted, commenced, or brought by the corporation, hereby created, shall be instituted, commenced, and prosecuted in the name of the city of Quincy.
Actions accruing to trustees to vest in city.
Sec. 7. All actions, fines, penalties, and forfeitures which have accrued to the president and trustees of the town of Quincy, shall be vested in, and prosecuted by the corporation hereby created.
Sec. 8. All property, real and personal, heretofore belonging to “the president and trustees of the town of Quincy” for the use of the inhabitants of said town, shall be and the same is hereby declared to be vested in the corporation hereby created.
This act invalidates no act of trustees
Sec. 9. This charter shall not invalidate any act done by “the president and trustees of the town of Quincy,” nor divest them of any right which may have accrued to them prior to the passage of this act.
Duty of Pres’t[President] and trustees.
To issue proclamations for election of officers
Sec. 10. “The president and trustees of the town of Quincy” shall immediately after the passage of this act take measures to promulgate this law within the limits of the city of Quincy, and issue their proclamation for the election of officers, and cause the same to be published in all the newspapers in said city for four weeks in succession prior to the day of election for said officers.
Appeals allowed to cir’t court
Sec. 11. Appeals shall be allowed from decisions in all cases arising under the provisions of this act or any ordinance passed in pursuance thereof, to the circuit court of Adams county, and every such appeal shall be taken and granted in the same manner and with like effect as appeals are taken from
<Page 10>and granted by justices of the peace to the circuit court, under the law of this State.
Election of mayor pro tem
Sec. 12. Whenever the Mayor shall absent himself from the city, or shall resign, or die, or his office shall be otherwise vacated, the Board of Aldermen shall immediately proceed to elect one of their number president, who shall be Mayor pro. tem.
Act declared public
Sec. 13. This act is hereby declared to be a public act, and may be read in evidence in all courts of law and equity, in this State, without proof.
Sec. 14. All acts or parts of acts coming within the provisions of this charter, or contrary to, or inconsistent with its provisions, are hereby repealed.
City marshall or other officer may issue process throughout the county of Adams
Sec. 15. The city marshall or any other officer authorized to execute writs or other process issued by the Mayor, shall have power to execute the same any where within the limits of Adams county, and shall be entitled to the same fees for travelling as are allowed to constables in similar cases.
Election for adoption of this charter
If voted against, act to be void
Sec. 16. The president and trustees of the town of Quincy shall cause an election to be held in said town on the third Wednesday in March next, at which the inhabitants of said town who are authorized to vote for State officers, shall vote for or against the adoption of this charter, and if a majority of the votes given at such election shall be in favor of the adoption of said charter, said charter shall immediately take effect as a law, but if a majority of the votes given shall be against the adoption of said charter, then this act to be of no effect.
Approved, by the Council, February 3, 1840.
1Orville H. Browning introduced SB 49 to the Senate on December 30, 1839. The Senate passed the bill on January 3, 1840. The House of Representatives referred the bill to the Committee on the Judiciary on January 9. The committee reported back on January 20 without recommending an amendment, but the House passed a separate amendment deleting portions of the 3rd section in the 2nd article and the 2nd section of the 3rd article. The House passed the bill on January 30. The Council of Revision approved the bill on February 3 and the act became law.
Journal of the House of Representatives (Vandalia, IL: William Walters, 1840), 126, 148, 228, 297, 327; Journal of the Senate (Vandalia, IL: William Walters, 1840), 72, 80, 219, 230, 232, 243.
2"Stone coal” refers to hard, shiny anthracite, which is the most desirable type of coal for fuel. Anthracite is rarer and burns more cleanly than the soft bituminous form.
Barbara Freese, Coal: A Human History (New York: Basic Books, 2003), 111-12; George W. Smith, A History of Southern Illinois (Chicago: Lewis Publishing, 1912), 473-74.
Printed Document, 10 page(s),
Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Eleventh General Assembly, at their Special Session (Springfield, IL: William Walters, 1840), 113-22, GA Session: 11-S,