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In force, Feb.[February] 19, 1841.
An ACT to create the County of Kendall.
Boundaries of Kendall co.
Sec.[Section] 1. Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly, That all that tract of land included within the following boundaries, to-wit: Commencing at the north-east corner of township number thirty-seven north, of range eight east, of the third principal meridian, running thence south eighteen miles, to the south-east corner of township number thirty-five north, of said range, eight east of said meridian; running thence west eighteen miles, to the south-west corner of said township thirty-five north, of range number six, east of said meridian; running thence north eighteen miles, to the north-west corner of township number thirty-seven north, of said range six, east of said meridian; running thence east eighteen miles to the place of
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beginning, shall constitute a county which shall be called and known by the name of Kendall county.2
Election of county officers
Term of office.
Returns of election how made.
County when organized.
Notice of election.
Sec. 2. An election shall be held in the several precincts or parts of precincts within said county of Kendall, on the first Monday of April next, by the qualified voters of said county, for county officers, to-wit: for one sheriff, one coroner, one recorder, one county surveyor, one county treasurer, one probate justice, three county commissioners, and one clerk of the county commissioners’ court, who shall hold their offices until the next succeeding general election, and until their successors are elected and qualified; said election shall be conducted and the returns thereof made to the clerk of the county commissioners’ court of La Salle county as in other cases, and said clerk shall give certificates of election, and when said county officers are elected and qualified, the said county of Kendall shall be duly organized; said election shall be held and conducted in each of said precincts or parts of precincts by the judges thereof, in such manner as other elections are conducted in this State; and it shall be the duty of the clerks of the county commissioners’ courts of the counties of La Salle and Kane to issue all such notices for said election as arc required by law for holding elections in this State.
In 9th judicial circuit.
Two terms of circuit court.
Sec. 3. Said county of Kendall shall be attached to the ninth judicial circuit, and the judge of said circuit shall fix the times for holding courts therein, two terms of which shall be held in said county annually, at such place as the county commissioners of Kendall county may direct, until the county seat shall be located as is hereinafter provided, and until suitable county buildings shall be erected; it shall be the duty of said commissioners to provide some suitable and convenient building in which said court may be held.
Rights & privileges.
Suits commenced in other counties.
Sec. 4. The citizens of said county of Kendall are entitled in all respects to the same rights and privileges as are allowed in general to other counties in this State, and all suits commenced in the circuit courts of La Salle and Kane counties before the first day of April next, shall be determined in said courts, the same as if this act had not passed.
School com’rs[commissioners] to deliver over papers, &c[etc.]
Sec. 5. The school commissioners of the counties of La Salle and Kane shall pay and deliver over to the school commissioner of Kendall county all the school fund belonging to the several townships in said county of Kendall, and all notes and mortgages pertaining to the same, so soon as the said county shall be organized, and the school commissioner be appointed and qualified according to law, together with all interest arising out of said money, that has not been heretofore expended for schools within that part of La Salle and Kane counties hereby taken and constituted the county of Kendall.
Com’rs to locate county seat.
Time & place of meeting.
Sec. 6. For the purpose of locating the seat of justice of said county of Kendall, the following named persons are hereby appointed commissioners, to-wit: John H. Harris, of
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Tazewell county, Eli A. Rider, of Cook county, and William E. Armstrong, of La Salle county, who, or a majority of them, shall meet at the town of Yorkville, in said county, on the first Monday in June, or within thirty days thereafter, and after being duly sworn by some justice of the peace, shall proceed to locate the seat of justice of said county at the most eligible and convenient point:3 Provided, The said commissioners shall obtain for said county from the claimant or owner of the land on which said seat of justice may be located, a quantity of not less than ten acres; a good and sufficient deed for such land shall be given or secured to the county commissioners of said county elected or to be elected, for the use of said county, for the purpose of erecting county buildings.
Pay of commissioners.
Sec. 7. The commissioners appointed to locate said county seat, shall each be allowed the sum of three dollars per day for each day by them necessarily employed in the performance of that duty, to be paid out of the treasury of said county. This act to take effect from and alter its passage.
Approved, February 19, 1841.
1In response to several petitions, Milton Carpenter introduced HB 115 as “An act to create the county of Orange” to the House of Representatives on January 16, 1841. The House amended the bill on January 19 by replacing all references to “Orange” with “Kendall” by a vote of 51 yeas to 34 nays, with Abraham Lincoln voting yea. This name change represented an effort to honor Amos Kendall, which prompted a lively debate in the House. Ebenezer Peck, John A. McClernand, and other Democrats in the House of Representatives defended the decision to name the county after Amos Kendall, but John J. Hardin and other Whigs were less than impressed. Though a Whig, Asahel Gridley thought it fitting, seeing that Kendall was dead politically after the presidential election of 1840, to name the county after him, seeing it “as not a bad way to commemorate his death and burial.” The House tabled a second amendment to insert the words “honest Amos” before the words “Kendall. ” The House ordered the bill to be engrossed by a vote of 54 yeas to 27 nays, with Lincoln not voting. The House amended the title to its final text on February 1 and passed the bill. The Senate referred the bill to the Committee on Counties on February 4. The committee reported back on February 11, and recommended an amendment, in which the Senate concurred. The next day, the Senate passed the bill. The House passed the amended bill on February 13. The Council of Revision approved the bill on February 19, and the act became law.
Illinois House Journal. 1840. 12th G. A., 234, 245, 250, 312, 380, 390, 438, 442, 443; Illinois Senate Journal. 1840. 12th G. A., 227, 241, 289, 304, 319; Illinois State Register (Springfield, IL), 29 January 1841, 2:6-7.
2Between statehood in 1818 and 1867, the Illinois General Assembly authorized the creation of 104 Illinois counties. During Lincoln’s four terms in the Illinois House of Representatives, the General Assembly authorized 38 counties. The General Assembly allowed voters in the affected county or counties to accept or reject the creation of the new county in only twelve of those cases. In four instances, a majority of voters rejected the creation of the new county. The Illinois Constitution of 1848 made such referenda mandatory in the creation of new counties.
Michael D. Sublett, Paper Counties: The Illinois Experience, 1825-1867 (New York: Peter Lang, 1990), 12-14, 22; Ill. Const. (1848), art. VII.
3For the 38 counties authorized by the General Assembly during Lincoln’s four terms in the Illinois House of Representatives, the General Assembly appointed commissioners to designate the county seat in 23 instances, allowed the voters of the new county to select the county seat in 11 instances, and designated the county seat directly in the remaining 4 instances.
Sublett, Paper Counties, 14-18.
The commissioners met at Yorkville in June 1841, and after examining several possibilities, selected Yorkville as the county seat. In 1845, the General Assembly allowed a referendum on the location of the county seat, and the majority of Kendall County voters chose to move it to Oswego. In 1859, another referendum returned the county seat to Yorkville.
E. W. Hicks, History of Kendall County, Illinois (Aurora, IL: Knickerbocker & Hodder, 1877), 223, 253-54; “An Act for the permanent location of the seat of justice of Kendall county,” 25 February 1845, Laws of the State of Illinois Passed by the Fourteenth General Assembly at their Regular Session (1845), 306-7; “An Act for relocating the County Seat of the county of Kendall,” 24 February 1859, Laws of the State of Illinois Passed by the Twenty-first General Assembly (1859), 45-46.

Printed Document, 3 page(s), Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Twelfth General Assembly (Springfield, IL: William Walters, 1841), 75-77, GA Session 12-2,