In force, Jan.[January] 30, 1840.
AN ACT permanently to locate the seat of justice of the county of De Kalb.1
Time of election
Persons qualified may vote for or against removal of co.[county] seat
Sec.[Section] 1. Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly, That on the first Monday in August next, the qualified voters of the county of De Kalb, who shall have resided within said county for thirty days next preceding the day of election, shall vote for or against the removal of the county seat, from its present location; and if it shall appear from the returns of the said election, that a majority of all the votes given shall be in favor of a removal of the county seat, and also, that a majority of all the votes given shall be in favor of any other place within said county, then said county seat shall be removed, and the place receiving the number of votes required by this act shall be, and forever remain, the permanent seat of justice for the said county of De Kalb.2
Second election conditional
Sec. 2. If a majority of the votes given shall be in favor of a removal of the county seat, and no other place shall receive a majority, then a second election shall be held on the third Monday of the said month of August, and a selection shall be made from the two places receiving the highest number of votes at the first election.
Notice of elections by clerk
Duty of sheriff
Sec. 3. If shall be the duty of the Clerk of the County Commissioners’ Court, to cause notices of the elections contemplated by this act, to be posted up at three of the most public places within each Precinct, at least twenty days previous to the day of the first election, and ten days previous to the second election, and the Sheriff of the said county of De Kalb shall post up said notices.
Duty of judges of election
Sec. 4. The judges of elections within the several precincts, shall cause separate columns to be ruled in the respective poll books, in which to record the votes given for and against the removal of the county seat from Coltonville, also columns in which to record the votes given for each place, and the returns of said election shall be made, and the votes counted in the same manner that is required by the laws of this State regulating elections.
Time when donation may be received
Sec. 5. Donations of land shall be received at least twenty days previous to the first election provided for by this act, and any persons or persons offering donations of land, shall file with the Treasurer of said county, a good and sufficient bond, with approved security, to be accepted by the said Treasurer, binding the said donor or donors, to execute a deed of general tenure, to thesaid county of DeKalb, for any quantity of land not less than one hundred and sixty acres, and on which the public buildings shall be erected, or donate the county of De Kalb three thousand dollars, or erect within eighteen months from and after the passage of this act, a court-house, the estimate value of which shall be at least three thousand dollars, and to be accepted by the County Commissioners of said county, and no place shall be considered as eligible for the location of the county seat, unless the provisions of this section shall be fully complied with.
Duty of co. com’rs
Sec. 6. It shall be the duty of the County Commissioners to cause special entries to be made of record, of the result of the said elections, and file and preserve the poll books for inspection; to lay off into lots, and dispose of any donation that may be received, to the best advantage for the interest of the county, also to dispose of the present county buildings and other property, should the county seat be removed; the proceeds of which shall be applied to the erection of public buildings which shall be erected without unnecessary delay.
Papers, books &c.[etc] of De Kalb county
Sec. 7. In case the seat of justice shall be removed, all the books, papers and records, belonging, or appertaining to the county of De Kalb, shall be removed to the place selected, as soon as suitable buildings can be obtained, and the Circuit Court of the said county shall be holden at such place as may be determined by the Judge presiding in the ninth Judicial Circuit, on the first day of the term thereof; and which determination or decision of the said Judge, shall prevent a dismissal or discontinuance of any suit in law, or in equity, or any other legal proceedings heretofore commenced and now pending, or which may be hereafter commenced on account of process being made returnable at any other place in said county, until the county seat shall be permanently located, and public buildings erected in accordance with the provisions of this act, any law to the contrary notwithstanding.
Sec. 8. That the act entitled an act to re-locate the seat of justice of the county of De Kalb be, and the same is hereby repealed.
Approved, January 30, 1840.
1On December 17, 1839, Representative John Moore introduced HB 27 in the House of Representatives. On January 2, 1840, the House referred the bill to a select committee. On January 13, the select committee reported the bill without an amendment, and the House passed the bill. On January 18, the Senate referred the bill to a select committee. On January 21, the select committee reported the bill with several amendments, and the Senate concurred in those amendments and passed the bill. On January 25, the House concurred in the Senate amendments. On January 30, the Council of Revision approved the bill, and the act became law.
Illinois House Journal. 1839. 11th G. A., special sess., 45, 80, 119, 165, 251-52, 281, 297; Illinois Senate Journal. 1839. 11th G. A., special sess., 114, 127, 156, 182.
2The General Assembly made an earlier attempt to resolve this issue through An Act to Relocate the Seat of Justice of the County of De Kalb. Many residents of DeKalb County did not receive notice of the resulting referendum. A few persons voted in Coltonville and apparently declared the county seat removed from Sycamore to Coltonville. In the election held on August 17, 1840, in response to this act, 240 voted for removing the county seat from Coltonville, and 143 voted to keep it at Coltonville. At the same election, 207 voters selected Sycamore as the county seat, while 137 voters favored Brush Point.
Henry L. Boies, History of DeKalb County, Illinois (Chicago: O. P. Bassett, 1868), 388-89.
Printed Document, 2 page(s),
Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Eleventh General Assembly, at their Special Session (Springfield, IL: William Walters, 1840), 68-69, GA Session: 11-S,