Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 1.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

Bill Introduced in Illinois Legislature
to Establish the Counties of Menard, Logan, and Dane [1]

[January 16-19, 1839]

A bill for an act to establish the counties of Menard, Logan and Dane.

SEC. 1st. Be it enacted by the People of the state of Illinois represented in the General Assembly that all that tract of country lying within the following boundaries to wit; Beginning at the North West corner of Section Twentyseven in Township Seventeen North of Range Eight West of the Third Principal Meridian; thence East to the centre of the Southern boundary of Section Twentyfour, in Township Seventeen North of Range Seven West; thence North to the middle of the Northern boundary of said section;Page  128 thence East to the middle of the Northern boundary of Section Nineteen in Township Seventeen North of Range Six West; thence North to the centre of Section Eighteen, Township and Range last aforesaid; thence East to the middle of the Eastern boundary line of said section; thence North to the channel of Rock Creek; thence down the channel of Rock Creek to where the Northern boundary line of section Nine, Township and Range last aforesaid, crosses the same; thence East to the South West corner of Section Two, Township & Range last aforesaid; thence North to the South East corner of Section Twentyseven in Township Eighteen North, Range aforesaid; thence East to the South East corner of Section Thirty in Township Eighteen North Range Four West; thence North to the South East corner of Section Eighteen in Township Nineteen North Range last aforesaid; thence West to the line between Ranges Four & Five; thence North to the Northern boundary line of Sangamon county; thence West with said line to the Illinois river; thence with the present boundary lines of Sangamon county to the place of begining, shall form and constitute the county of Menard.

SEC: 2nd. That all that tract of country lying within the following boundaries, towit; Begining at the North West corner of Township Twenty North of Range Four West; thence South to the South West corner of Section Eighteen, in Township Nineteen North of Range aforesaid; thence East one mile; thence South to the South East corner of the county of Menard; thence East to the line dividing Ranges Three and Four; thence South to the South West corner of Section Seven Township Seventeen North of Range Three West; [2] thence East to the Eastern boundary line of Sangamon county; thence with the present boundary lines of Sangamon county to the place of begining shall constitute the county of Logan.

SEC: 3rd. That all that tract of country lying within the following boundaries, towit; Begining where the Third Principal Meridian crosses the North Fork of the Sangamon river; thence down said river to the line between Sections Nine & Ten in Township Fifteen North of Range Three West; thence South to the South East corner of Section Four in Township Fourteen North Range last aforesaid; thence West three miles by the surveys; thence South three miles by the surveys; thence West three miles by the surveys; thence South to the Southern boundary of Township Eleven, Range last aforesaid; thence East with the surveys to the Third Principal Meridian; thence North to the place of begining shall constitute the county of Dane.

Page  129SEC: 4th. That Benjamin Mitchell of Tazewell county, John Henry of Morgan county, Newton Walker of Fulton county Richard O. Wariner [3] of Montgomery county, and Achilles Morris of Sangamon county be and they are hereby appointed commissioners to locate the seats of Justice of the counties of Menard and Dane. Said commissioners, or a majority of them shall meet at Petersburg in Menard county on the first monday of May next, or within twenty days thereafter, and after being first duly sworn by some one authorized to administer oaths, faithfully and impartially to discharge the duties imposed on them by this act, shall proceed to explore said county, and to locate the seat of Justice thereof with a view to present and future population; which location, when made, shall be and remain the Seat of Justice of the county of Menard.* [4]

SEC: 5th. Said commissioners, or a majority of them, shall meet at such place within the county of Dane as may be agreed on by them, and at such time as they may agree upon not exceeding twenty days after they shall have located the seat of justice of Menard county, and shall then and there proceed to make the location of the seat of justice of the said county of Dane, in all respects conformably with the fourth section of this act.

SEC: 6th. Said commissioners shall make out a certificate of the location of the seat of justice of each of the said counties of Menard and Dane, stating what tract of land, and what part of the tract each location is made upon; which certificates shall be signed by the said commissioners, and filed in the office of the clerk of the county commissioner's court of Sangamon county, and shall be evidence of the said locations respectively.

SEC 7th. Neither of said locations shall be made on private property unless the owner thereof shall either convey to the county, twenty acres of land, having the location at or near the centre thereof, or donate in money, to be applied to the erection of public buildings, the sum of three thousand dollars.

SEC: 8th. That Charles Emmerson of Macon county, Chenney Thomas of McLean county and Charles R. Matheny of Sangamon county, be, and they are hereby appointed commissioners to locate the seat of justice of Logan county; and who, or a majority of whom, shall, in all respects, perform their duties in the manner that the commissioners for the location of the county seats of thePage  130 counties of Menard & Dane, are by this act required to do, and shall meet at the town of Postville in said county of Logan, on the first monday of May next, or within twenty days thereafter for the purpose of performing the same; and such location when so made, shall be and remain the seat of justice of the said county of Logan until the end of the session of the General Assembly in the year 1841.

SEC: 9th Each of said commissioners named in this act, shall receive out of the county treasuries respectively for which he may have served, such per diem allowance, as shall be paid the members of the present General Assembly.

SEC: 10th. An election shall be held on the first monday of April next in each of the counties established by this act, to elect for each of said counties, one Sheriff, one Coroner, one Recorder, one county surveyor, three county commissioners, one clerk of the county commissioner's court, and one Probate Justice of the Peace, who shall hold their offices until the next succeeding general election, and until their successors are elected and qualified; which elections shall be conducted in all respects agreeably to the law regulating elections. Said elections shall be held in the county of Menard, at Petersburg, Sugar-Grove, Huron, and Lynchburg; in the county of Logan, at at [sic] Postville and Pulaski; in the county of Dane, at Buck-Heart Grove, Allenton, and the house of John Durbin, and shall be held by the judges heretofore appointed by the authority of Sangamon county for those precincts respectively, provided, that where any place named in this act for holding said election, has not heretofore been an election precinct, the electors meeting there may choose their own judges and clerks, who shall be qualified according to law previous to entering upon the discharge of their duties.

SEC: 11th. The judges of elections, shall deliver to each officer elected a certificate of his election. The poll books shall be retained by them until the clerks of the county commissioner's courts, shall respectively be qualified, and then deliver such poll-books of each county to it's own clerk, who shall make and transmit to the Secretary of State an abstract of the votes given at such election in the same time, manner and form as is required of clerks of county commissioners courts in elections in other counties of this state.

SEC: 12th. The said counties hereby established shall be attached to, and form part of the first judicial circuit.

SEC: 13th The county of Menard shall be entitled to one representative in the General Assembly & the counties of Logan and Dane together one, the county of Sangamon, five, and the four togetherPage  131 two senators; and, in case any vacancy shall occur previous to the next election, the four counties shall vote together to fill said vacancy in the same manner as if no division had taken place.

SEC: 14th. All bussiness now pending in the Sangamon circuit court, or which shall be commenced therein previous to the organization of the counties hereby established, shall be determined therein, as if no new counties had been established; and the sheriff of Sangamon county is hereby authorized to perform all duties within the boundaries of the said new counties, which may be necessary for the finishing of the aforesaid bussiness. [5]

SEC: 15th. The judges of the several election precincts within the aforesaid counties shall meet at the several places herein after named on the second day after said election to compare their respective polls---in the county of Menard, at the town of Petersburg; in the county of Logan at the town of Pulaski; in the county of Dane, at the town of Allenton.

1st. Amend the bill by striking out the names of Richard O. Warrener, and Achilles Morris wherever they occur.

2nd. amend the 14th. section by adding thereto the following towit: ``and for the collection of the taxes already assessed. All bussiness now pending in the courts of the Justices of the Peace, or of the Probate Justice of the Peace, of Sangamon county, or which shall be commenced therein, previous to the organization of the new counties hereby established, shall be finished by said justices and their constables as though no division had taken place''

Amend by adding as a 16th Section the following: ``The Justices of the Peace and constables now in office for Sangamon county, who reside in the boundaries of the new counties hereby established, shall continue in office in their respective new counties so long as they would have done if no division had taken place''

*Amend the 4th. section by adding the following proviso ``Provided that if the said commissioners shall locate the seat of Justice of Menard county on the West or left side of the Sangamon river, then, and in that case, the lines of said county shall be changed as follows, towit: (Begining [6] at the South West corner of section thirty four in Township Eighteen North of Range Six West; thence North (two) miles) by the surveys; thence East with the surveys to the Eastern boundary line of said county as described in this act;Page  132 thence with the before described boundaries throughout. Provided further, that said commissioner's [sic] in making the location of the seat of Justice of said county, shall pay no regard whatever, to the above contemplated change of lines.['']

Amend the Second Section in the 9th. line by inserting between the words West and thence---The following

Thence east to the North east corner of

Section fifteen township last afforesaid,

thence South one Mile [7]

Amend the amendment of the Senate by striking out all from the word ``Begining'' to the word ``miles'' both inclusive, and insert the following---``Begining at the South West corner of Section Three in Township Seventeen North of Range Six West; thence North four miles'' [8]

Annotation

[1]   AD, I-Ar. The original bill which Lincoln introduced on January 16, was filed with amendments attached on January 19, as the engrossed copy. On February 6 a final amendment of the Senate amendments was adopted. The bill as amended may be found in Laws of Illinois, 1839, pp. 104-107. A supplemental act was also introduced by Lincoln on February 20 (vide infra).

[2]   See fifth amendment (infra), which was to be inserted at this point.

[3]   See first amendment (infra). Both Wariner (Warrener?) and Morris were omitted in the act as approved and printed.

[4]   See fourth amendment marked by asterisk (infra), which was to be inserted at this point.

[5]   See second amendment (infra), which was to be inserted at this point.

[6]   This description was amended by the Senate and then further amended by Lincoln on February 6. (See final amendment to the amendment of the Senate, infra.)

[7]   This amendment is not in Lincoln's handwriting.

[8]   This final amendment was adopted February 6.