In force, Feb.[February] 1, 1840.
AN ACT authorizing commissioners’ courts to alter, change, and re-locate State roads.1
Co’nty com’rs[County Commissioners] to have control of roads
Sec.[Section] 1. Be it enacted by the people of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly, That the county commissioners’ courts of the several counties in this State shall have the control of, and jurisdiction over all roads in their respective counties, as well State roads located by State authority, as by the county, and may alter and relocate the same on application.
Petition for) roads
Sec. 2. That when any person or persons desire a change, or re-location of any State road now located, notice of such intended application shall be given, by setting up advertisements in writing, at least one in each road district, through
<Page 2>which said road shall pass, and on the court-house door, twenty days previous to the sitting of the court to which application shall be made; and on petition of a majority of the qualified voters of each road district, through which the road shall pass, fairly obtained, the court shall appoint viewers, to examine therout, and make the location, and the proceedings thereafter shall be had as in cases of county roads: Provided, nothing in this act shall be so construed as to authorize the re-location of any State road, unless the majority of the qualified voters living immediately in the vicinity of such road proposed to be changed, petition for such change; and deposite with the county commissioners’ clerk sufficient money to defray the expenses of such review: And provided further, no change shall be made unless the distance is shortened thereby.
Roads ending at co’y[county] lines
Sec. 3. That when it shall become necessary to have a road altered, or located at a county line, the same shall be agreed on and settled by viewers, from each county, to be appointed by the counties immediately interested; and no State road shall be altered at a county line, or elsewhere, unless a majority of the viewers appointed, agree on such change or location. All roads shall be surveyed, and a plat with the courses and distances reported and recorded, and the county commissioners’ courts are empowered to establish the main leading roads four rods wide.
Sec. 4. In all cases where objection shall be made, and a remonstrance presented to an alteration, or location of a road, the court shall consider the same, and act according to their best judgment for the public good: no power or authority is hereby granted to change or interfere with the great western mail rout,2 or the Darwin and Charleston turnpike.3
Approved, Feb.[February] 1, 1840.
1The House of Representatives passed a resolution on December 28, 1839, instructing the Committee on State Roads to draft a bill granting superintendency of state roads to the county commissioners’ courts. On December 31, the committee reported back and William B. Archer introduced HB 91, which the House referred to a select committee. The committee reported back on January 3, 1840, and recommended an amendment, to which the House concurred. The House passed the bill on January 13. The Senate passed the bill on January 30. The Council of Revision approved the bill on February 1 and the act became law.
Journal of the House of Representatives (Vandalia, IL: William Walters, 1840), 99, 111, 122, 133, 160, 306, 322, 329; Journal of the Senate (Vandalia, IL: William Walters, 1840), 109, 216.
2Section six of the 1837 internal improvement act appropriated $250,000 for a mail route from Vincennes, Indiana, to St. Louis, Missouri. Pursuant to the provisions of the act, the Board of Commissioners of Public Works commenced surveys on the Great Western Mail Route, which surveyors completed by the fall of 1837. In August 1837, Illinois entered into contracts with private firms to construct portions of the route, and construction commenced. By December 1838, the Board of Commissioners on Public Works had expended $94, 932.07 on the road, and by December 1840, the amount spent had increased to $244,547,43.
John H. Krenkel, Illinois Internal Improvements 1818-1848 (Cedar Rapids, IA: Torch, 1958), 80, 82, 130.
3Previous to this act, the powers it numerates will only held by the General Assembly.
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), 51-52, GA Session: 11-S,