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 Township Operation in 1858

Written by Robert Campbell, 11 August 1858

I will now give you a sketch of our township proceedings.

The Township' elections are by ballot. The officers to be elected are Supervisor, Township Clerk, Treasurer, 3 School Inspectors, 3 Highway Commissioners, 2 Justice of the Peace, 3 Constables, 2 Poor Masters, 1 Pound Master and an Overseer for each road district in the Township.

The duty of the Supervisor is to go in the month of April to every house in the Township and take down the real estate and personal property of each individual liable to pay taxes. This he is allowed by law to value according to his own judgement. The valuation is usually quite moderate. After he had received from the proper quarter the amount of money to be raised by tax in the township then he makes out a list of the amount to be paid by each and hands it over to the Treasurer for collection. He also received the school reports from the director he sends to the County Treasurer in order to get the public money. He has to attend the board of supervisors with one from each Township in the County.

The Township Clerk is one of the School Inpsectors by virtue of his office. He attends on Inspection days, writes out and signs the teacher certificates. He keeps the Township Library and gives out the books to the Inspectors of several districts. He does a number of other things too, too many to mention.

The Treasurer in the month of December goes through the Township to collect the taxes, remit the money to the County Treasurer. Then in the spring draws from him the library school money belonging to his township.

The School Inspections are taken from the most learned. They visit the schools at least once in each term, selecting books for the library layout and the school districts and make any change in the same that may be deemed beneficial.

The Highway Commissioners receive petitions, survey and lay out new roads, shut up old one where necessary, order bridges to be built and ditches to be dug.

The Justice of the Peace does the law jobs and so at times marries a couple.

The Poor Masters attend to cases of destation, sometimes they give money, sometimes clothing, and sometimes sends them to the County Poor House.

The Pound Masters take charge of stray cattle that are brought to him, advertise them and if not claimed in a given time are sold expenses paid, the balance if any, goes to the poor.

The Road overseers generally termed Path Masters receive their warrants from the road commissioners with the number of days each individual in his district has to work. Warns them when and where he wants the work done and should see that it is judiciously applied.

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