On April 13, 1835, the court consisting of the newly elected commissioners, Isaac Drury. Abraham Miller and Erastus Denison. held their first meeting at New Boston for the trans­ action of county business.

William C. Townsend was appointed county clerk, Ephraim Gilmore county treasurer, John Long school commissioner and Harrison W. Riggs judge of election for the First precinct and Isaac Miller for the Second precinct. William Denison was granted license to operate a ferry on the Mississippi at New Boston.

The county was divided into four road districts, with Abraham Miller supervisor of the First, Lewis Noble of the Second, Jesse Kester of the Third and James H. Bane of the Fourth. It was ordered that $1.20 in taxes be levied on each quarter section of taxable land in the county. This was all the business transacted on the first day. On the second day the court met at 8 o'clock, the commissioners, clerk and Sheriff Silas Drury being present. The following persons were selected for grand and petit jurors for the first term of the circuit court to be held in Mercer county:

Grand Jurors. —George Miller, Isaac Miller. John Farlow, Jesse Willits, John Hill, Mark Willits, David Shaunce, Lewis Noble, Daniel Finkley, John W. Denison, William Willits, Joseph Glaney, John Reynolds, George Blake, Benjamin Vannatta, John Long, James Irvin, Wesley Wicks, Ephraim Gilmore, John Kester, Jesse Kester, Thomas Morgan and John Bates.

Petit Jurors —John Miller, Isaac Miller, George Miller, Abraham Miller, Isaac Dawson, William W. Wilson, John Shaunce, Isaac Drury, William H. Denison, Joseph Noble, Joseph A. Denison, William Drury, Harrison W. Riggs, William Jackson, Robert Reynolds, Newton Willits, Joseph Leonard, Joshua Willits, James H. Bane, Eli Reynolds, John P. Reynolds, Drury Reynolds, Christopher Shuck and John Rankins.

In addition to the selection of the grand and petit jurors, a tax of one-half of one per cent, was levied on certain personal property. This embraced all the business transacted at the first term of the County Commissioners' Court.

On June 1, 1835, the first regular term of the County Commissioners' Court was held. William C. Townsend, the clerk, who had been appointed at the first special meeting, having recorded, as the first item, that he had taken the oath and given bond, failed to get his bond approved, and at this meeting the commissioners appointed William Drury as clerk, when Mr. Townsend resigned. Mr. Drury furnished bond in the sum of $1,000, signed by E. S. Den­ ison and Joseph Leonard, and served as clerk until succeeded by Abraham Miller in October, 1837.

A record book being necessary, Mr. Drury v:as compelled to manufacture one, and to him belongs the honor of making the first record book for the county of Mercer, which is still preserved in the Recorder's office. The sides are made of oak boards, and covered with paper, the corners of buckskin, and the book contains about one hundred pages of foolscap paper. This book, with all the old records of the county, is in an excellent state of preservation

At this session the county was divided into two justices' districts, the New Boston district embracing all that part of the county lying west of the middle of township No. 4 and the rest of the county being embraced in the Sugar Grove district. The State Road, leading from Knoxville, in Knox county, to New Boston, was endorsed at this session.



History of Mercer and Henderson County

Submitted by the Webmaster

©Wini Caudell and Contributors

All Rights Reserved

Illinois Ancestors