In force Feb. [February]27, 1841.
Sec. [Section]1. Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly, That the name of the town of Stephenson, and all the additions thereto, in the county of Rock Island, is hereby changed to, and shall hereafter be known by the name of Rock Island.
Name & style.
Sec. 2. The inhabitants and residents of the said town of Stephenson, and all the additions thereto, are hereby made a body corporate and politic in law and in fact, by the name and style of ''The President and Board of Trustees of the town ofRock Island," and by that name shall have perpetual succession, and a common seal, which they may alter at pleasure, and in whom the government of the corporation shall be vested, and by whom its affairs shall be managed.
Sec. 3. The boundary of the said corporation shall include all that portion of land contained within the limits of the plat of the town of Stephenson, and all the additions thereto, as of record in the recorder's office in the county of Rock Island.
Election of trustees.
Qualifications for trustees.
Sec. 4. The present trustees shall hold and continue in office until the first Tuesday in September next, but there shall be an election held in the court house in said town on the first Monday in April next, to choose four other trustees, who shall act with the present trustees, and continue in office until the first Tuesday in September next, and until their successors are duly elected and qualified, on the first Tuesday in September next, and on the first Tuesday in September of each and every year thereafter, there shall be elected nine trustees, who shall hold their offices for one year, and until their successors are duly elected and qualified; and ten days' public notice of the time and place of holding any election for trustees shall be given by the president and trustees, by advertisements in the weekly newspapers printed in said town, or by posting up notices in six of the public places in said town; no person shall be a trustee of said town who has not arrived at the age of twenty-one years, who has not resided in said town six months next preceding his election; and all free white male inhabitants, over twenty-one years of age, who have resided in said town one month preceding an election, and are qualified to vote for Governor, shall have a right to vote for trustees. And the said trustees shall, at their first meeting after said election in September next, and at every election for trustees thereafter, proceed to elect one of their body president, and shall have power to fill all vacancies in said board, which may be occasioned by death, resignation, removal or a continued absence from said town of six months, and said trustees are empowered to elect a clerk, treasurer, one or more street commissioners, an auditor, attorney, constable, collector and assessor, who shall each give bond and security, in such amount as the president and
<Page 2>trustees shall require, conditioned for the faithful performance of the duties of their respective offices, and the said clerk, treasurer, street commissioners, auditor, attorney, constable, collector and assessor, shall each take an oath, or affirm, before some person qualified to administer oaths, that they will faithfully discharge the duties of their respective offices, who shall each perform such duties as may be required of them by the president and trustees, not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of this State.
Improvement of streets.
Damages by opening streets.
Persons benefited how assessed.
Sec. 5. The said corporation is hereby made capable in law to take and hold to themselves and their successors, any lands, tenements and hereditaments, and the rents, issues and profits thereof, which may be necessary for the erection of any market house, or other public buildings, to promote the interest and public good of the inhabitants of said town, and the same to sell, lease, grant and dispose of, if necessary. They shall also have power to regulate, grade, pave, and improve the streets, lanes, alleys, public squares, and the river shore, not interfering with water lots originally laid out within the limits of said town and corporation, and to extend, open, close and widen said streets, alleys, and lanes, making adequate compensation to any person or persons injured thereby, to ascertain which, the board shall cause to be summoned five lawful men, freeholders and inhabitants of said town, not directly interested, who (being duly sworn for that purpose) shall enquire and take into consideration as well the benefits as the injury which may accrue, and estimate and assess the damages which may be sustained by reason of the opening, widening or extending of any street, lane or alley, and shall moreover estimate the amount which other persons will be benefited 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 benefited, and so 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. The said president and trustees shall sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, answer and be answered unto, in any court whatever.
Rules and by-laws.
Sec. 6. The president and board of trustees aforesaid and their successors, or a majority of them, shall have full power and authority to ordain and establish such rules, by-laws and regulations for their government and direction, and for the transaction of the business and concerns of the corporation, as they may deem expedient, and to ordain, establish and put into execution such by-laws, ordinances and regulations as shall seem necessary for the government of said corporation and the safety of the property in said town, and for the management, control, disposition and application of its corporate property, and generally to do and execute all and regular [singular] such acts, matters and things as to them may
<Page 3>seem necessary, not contrary to the Constitution and laws of this State.
May tax shows.
Lands sold for taxes.
Sec 7. The said president and trustees shall have power to levy and collect a tax, not exceeding one-half of one per centum, on all lots, improvements end personal property, lying and being in said town, according to valuation; to tax public shows, and houses of public entertainment, taverns, stores and groceries, for the purpose of making and improving the streets and keeping them in repair, and for the purpose of erecting such buildings and other works of public utility, as the interests and convenience of the inhabitants of said town may require, and the circumstances render proper and expedient; and said president and 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 provide the manner of selling property when the tax levied upon it is not paid: Provided, That when a tax is due and unpaid, on any town lot or lots, or other real estate, and no personal property is to be found upon which a levy can be made, then and in that case, the collecting officer shall make report to the circuit court of Rock Island county, at the same time and in the same manner as collectors of State and county tax now are or hereafter may be required to do under the revenue laws of this State, and the same proceedings shall be had thereon, in said court, as are to be had in similar cases in the collection of State and county tax on real estate, and the proceeds arising from the sale of real estate for the corporation tax as aforesaid, shall be paid over to the treasurer of said corporation by the officer selling the same.
Suits how brought.
Sec. 8. The president and trustees of said town, or a majority of them, shall have power to preserve order and harmony in said town, or cause it to be done, and to punish and prevent open indecency, breaches of the peace, gambling, gaming houses, horse racing, shooting, and all disorderly houses, and riotous meetings, to remove obstructions in the streets, squares, lanes and alleys of said town, to declare what is a nuisance and remove the same, for which purpose they may make such by-laws and ordinances as to them may seem expedient, and not inconsistent with any public law of this State, and they may impose fines for the breach thereof, which fines shall be recoverable before any justice of the peace residing in said town, and all suits and judicial proceedings instituted under this act, shall be brought in the name and style of "The President and Board of Trustees of the town of Rock Island.
Offenders how punished.
Fines how paid.
Sec. 9. It shall be the duty of any justice of the peace residing in said town, and he is hereby authorized and empowered, upon the violation of any law or ordinance of said corporation, to issue his warrant, directed to the constable of said town, or in case of his absence, to any constable of the county, to apprehend the offender or offenders, and bring
<Page 4>him or them forthwith before him, and after hearing the evidence, if it shall appear that the said accused has been guilty of the violation of any such law or ordinance of the corporation, to impose such fine or imprisonment as shall be pointed out in such law or ordinance: Provided, Such fine shall not exceed five dollars, and imprisonment not to exceed twenty-four hours: Provided, however, That writs of certiorari and appeals shall be granted from judgments under this act as in other civil cases; and in all criminal cases the defendant shall be entitled to an appeal to the circuit court, by entering into bond or recognizance, as the case may require, before the justice of the peace, within twenty days after the rendition of the judgment, with such securities and in such an amount as the justice may think right and proper; and all fines imposed for a breach of the peace or violation of the corporation ordinances, shall be paid into the treasury of said corporation, for its use and benefit.
Redemption of lots sold for taxes.
Sec. 10. 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, heirs, 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 per centum per annum, together with costs accruing thereon.
Sec. 11. That upon the application of the owners of two-thirds of the front lots on any street, or parts of a 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, not to exceed one per centum, for the purpose of grading and paving the side walks on said street.
Ordinances how published
Sec. 12. That all ordinances of said president and board of trustees shall be fairly written out, signed by the president and clerk, and published in the weekly newspaper printed in said town, or posted up at four of the most public places in said town, and no ordinance shall be in force until published as aforesaid at least six days.
Fees of officers.
Sec. 13. That justices of the peace and constables who are required to render services under this act, shall be entitled to the same fees, and may collect them in the same manner as now is, or hereafter may be provided by law.
Sec. 14. That the president, or any three of the trustees, shall have power to call a meeting of the board, by giving one day's notice thereof, and a majority shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a minority shall have power to adjourn from time to time, and compel the attendance of absent members, and in the event that the notice of an election is not given, as required by this act, or from any other cause, that an annual election should not be holden at the proper time, it shall be lawful for the last clerk of the board, or any
<Page 5>two qualified voters in said town, at any time thereafter, to give notice as aforesaid, of the time and place of holding a special election, and the trustees elected at such special election shall have all the powers conferred by this act. This incorporation may at any regular annual election for trustees be dissolved, by three-fourths of the votes given being in favor of such dissolution, in which case this act shall be void and null.
Election for charter.
Sec. 15. That an election shall be held in the said town of Stephenson on the first Monday of May next, where all persons who may be entitled to vote for members of the Legislature, may vote for or against being incorporated under the provisions of this act, with the change of name proposed, and should there be a majority of the persons voting in favor of accepting the provisions of this act, then it is to be and remain in force, otherwise to be null and void.
Approved, February 27, 1841.
1On January 25, 1841, Thomas Drummond introduced HB 137 in the House of Representatives, and the House referred the bill to the Committee on Banks and Corporations. On February 6, the committee reported the bill with several amendments. On February 17, the House passed the bill. On February 24, the Senate referred the bill to the Committee on Incorporations. On February 27, the committee reported the bill with an amendment, which the Senate concurred in, and the Senate passed the bill. On February 27, the House concurred in the Senate amendment. On February 27, the Council of Revision approved the bill and the act became law.
Journal of the House of Representatives of the Twelfth General Assembly of the State of Illinois, Begun and Held in Springfield, November 23, 1840 (Springfield: William Walters, Public Printer, 1840), 279, 337, 371, 419; Journal of the Senate of the Twelfth General Assembly of the State of Illinois, Begun and Held in Springfield, November 23, 1840 (Springfield: William Walters, Public Printer, 1840), 330-331, 396, 446-447.
Printed Document, 5 page(s), Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Twelfth General Assembly (Springfield, IL: William Walters, 1841), 348-52, GA Session 12-2,