Incorporation of Lane (later Rochelle), Illinois

Having recently engaged in a local-history project with my writing students, I’ve concluded both that, one, most of the published narratives of the founding of our city, Rochelle, Illinois, leave some specificity to be desired, and two, it’s really hard to find original historical documents online. It’s not that hard to find these sources in such places as our county recorder’s office, so I’ve been gathering them with the goal of making them available online to any and all seeking information on Rochelle and Ogle County, Illinois. 

From the book Private Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Twenty-Second General Assembly, Convened January 7, 1861. Springfield: Bailhache & Baker, Printers, starting on page 678.

In force February 22, 1861.

AN ACT to incorporate the Town of Lane

Corporate name and powers

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois represented in the General Assembly, That the inhabitants of the town of Lane, in Ogle county, are hereby constituted a body politic and corporate, to be known by the name of “The President and Trustees of the Town of Lane;” and by that name shall be known in law, and have perpetual succession; may sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded, defend and be defended, in courts of law and equity, in all matters and actions whatsoever; may purchase, take, receive and hold personal property and real estate, within the limits of the corporation, but not elsewhere; may lease, sell and convey the same; and do all other lawful acts within the scope of this act of incorporation as natural persons may do; may have a common seal, and break and alter the same at pleasure: Provided, no land shall be sold by them which has been conveyed to or is held by the corporation for streets, alleys, lanes, public grounds or squares.


Section 2. All that portion of the south half of section twenty-four, in township forty, range one east of the third principal meridian, in Ogle county, which has heretofore been laid out into town lots, blocks and out lots, either originally or as additions to the said town of Lane, and recorded in the recorder’s office of said county of Ogle, is hereby declared to be within the limits of the corporation hereby created: Provided, that the board of trustees may extend the limits of said incorporation not to exceed one mile square of land .

Town trusties

Section 3. The corporate powers and duties of said corporation shall be vested in five trustees, who shall form a board for the transaction of business. The first board of trustees, assessor, constable and justice of the peace, shall be elected on the second Monday in March next, and thereafter shall be elected annually, except the justice of the peace, who shall hold his office for the term of four years, as provided in section ten, of this act, on the second Monday in March, in each and every year, to serve for one year and until their successors are elected and qualified; they shall be citizens of the United States, twenty one years of age, shall possess a freehold estate within the limits of the incorporation, and shall have resided therein at least one year next preceding the election. No failure to elect trustees on the day appointed shall operate as a dissolution of the corporation, but such election may be held on any subsequent day, upon five days’ notice, given by any five legal voters of said town, or the clerk of the board of trustees, in such manner as the board of trustees shall by ordinance direct, may call such election.


Section 4. The board of trustees shall appoint their president from their own body, who shall preside at the meetings of the board; and in case of absence or inability to serve as the president, the trustees present shall have power to elect a pro tem. from their own number. The board shall be judges of the qualifications, elections and returns of their own members. A majority of the trustees shall constitute a board to do business …

Election of trustees

Section 41. The first election of trustees shall be held at the office of S. Hamaker, in said town of Lane, …



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.