PRIVATE LAWS OF INDIANA RELATING TO LA PORTE COUNTY ON LINE 1843-1847 and 1850
available on GoogleBooks 28 July 2012
What follows is a sampling from one county of a little-used legal resource for genealogists and historians that is available in most states and counties. Six annual “local law” books for Indiana are available on line (although not always in obvious ways), and what follows are all the La Porte County, Indiana, entries in them.
Similar such books were published for other years. A worldcat.org search on “Local Laws of Indiana” shows that some of them are held in the law libraries at Valparaiso and Notre Dame, at IU South Bend, and in public libraries at Mishawaka and Fort Wayne, plus the state library and state historical society libraries in Indianapolis. Some are catalogued as serials rather than individual books. Also, note that library copies may have a date one year off printed on the spine!
Laws of a Local Nature Passed and Published at the Twenty-Seventh Session of the General Assembly of the State of Indiana [December 1842] (Indianapolis: Dowling & Cole, 1843)
(Note: the title and search capabilities for this book seem to be so bollixed up the quickest way to get to it is to search on “James Dowd, a native of Ireland”)
pp. 65-66, providing for a railway from Michigan City to La Porte and a procedure for it to deal with the Buffalo and Mississippi Railroad Company, which had apparently already started one.
p. 98, for the relief of Catherine Melville: “James Dowd, a native of Ireland, emigrated to this state, and without having been naturalized, or filing his declaration of intention to become a citizen of the United States,” bought land, the east half of lot 3 in block 12 in Elston’s survey of Michigan City, and then died leaving a widow. She receives title to the land.
pp. 152-53, allowing trustees of School District No. 2 (T35 and 36N, R2W = approximately today’s Pleasant and Union Townships) to collect taxes of up to $125/year to pay off debt on a school building.
p. 187, suspending the effect of a school law in La Porte and three other counties for a year.
Laws of a Local Nature Passed and Published at the Twenty-Eighth Session of the General Assembly of the State of Indiana [December 1843] (Indianapolis: Dowling and Cole, 1844)
(Note: this book has been mistitled by Google and is best found by searching on “Laws of the State of Indiana” and 1844.)
p. 49, incorporating the Union Mill Company – directors Sylvanus Everts, Timothy C. Everts, Henly Clyburn, Reuben Munday, and Samuel Treat. The company was to purchase, use and improve the “Huron Mills” in Noble Township, built by Sylvanus Everts.
p. 75, appointing Henry Wells of Lake County, Jesse Morgan of Porter County, and Elias Taylor of La Porte County as commissioners to “view, mark, and locate a state road from Crown Point . . . by way of Gossett’s Mill [in Porter County] . . . to Michigan city.”
p. 157, allowing the trustees of School District 5 (T37N, R3W = approximately today’s Center Township) to levy taxes to pay for a school.
Laws of a Local Nature, Passed and Published at the Twenty-Ninth Session of the General Assembly of the State of Indiana, Begun . . . the First Monday in December, 1844 (Indianapolis: J. P. Chapman, 1845)
(Note: this book has been mistitled by Google and is best found by searching on “Laws of the State of Indiana” and 1845.)
p. 83, reviving the incorporation of “the Fort Wayne and Laporte clay turnpike company,” first incorporated in 1835. “Said road shall be commenced within five years, and be completed within twenty.”
p. 111, naming John T. Vail and Benjamin Crumpacker of La Porte County and Andrew Keys of Pulaski County as commissioners to lay out a state road from La Porte via Vail’s mill in Union township to Winamac “on as straight a line as the nature of the ground will admit of.”
p. 136, allowing Gustavus Rose of La Porte County and all others interested to petition the La Porte county commisioners “for compensation [damages] . . . sustained in consequence of the . . . opening of a certain road” from La Porte “to Ezekiel Morrison’s.”
p. 140, incorporating the “Laporte County Mutual Insurance Company,” directors Franklin Thwing, George W. Allen, John R. Traver, John P. Early, Gilbert Hathaway, Thomas D. Lemon, James Bradley, and Willard A. Place.
p. 156, permitting county commissioners to “make an allowance” to justices and other county officers for their service in state cases.
p. 258, directing all money “collected on forfeited recognizances” to the county seminary fund.
Local Laws of the State of Indiana, Passed at the Thirtieth Session of the General Assembly, Begun on the First Monday in December, 1845 (Indianapolis: J. P. Chapman, 1846)
(Note: this book has been mistitled by Google and is best found by searching on “Laws of the State of Indiana” and 1846.)
p. 21, authorizing County Auditor to auction off school lands in Section 16, T36N, R2W (= today’s Pleasant Township).
p. 22, for the relief of Felix Ingoldsby. James Macadoo conveyed properties in T35N R2W (= approximately today’s Union Township) to him in a deed with no subscribing witnesses, and Macadoo died without acknowledging the deed. The act directs the county recorder to record it anyway.
p. 26, for the relief of John Johnson. Act allows county commissioners “to make John Johnson, of said county, the same allowance for the arrest of a horse thief, calling himself John Johnson, as they might have made if said horse thief had been convicted of said crime.”
p.85, amending the 1835 charter of the Buffalo and Mississippi Rail Road Company so that it can pursue routes toward Chicago and St. Louis.
p. 220, for the relief of Sarah Gregory “of Laporte county,” divorcing her from Charles, “as though the said marriage contract had never been made.”
p. 248, for the relief of David Stoner, Lewis Ireland, James H. Andrews, Joseph Long, and others. George Belshaw, an alien, sold them land in T37N R1W and R2W (= approximately today’s Kankakee and Wills Townships). Goorge also sold land to William Belshaw, another alien, who sold it to Joseph Long. The act makes all these transactions valid.
p. 310, adding to commissioners’ court sessions in March and June.
p. 314, vacating a part of the town of Independence on the La Porte-St. Joseph county line in T37N R1W (= approximately today’s Wills Township).
p. 357, amending the 1842 act incorporating Laporte University so as to rename its medical department as Indiana Medical College.
p. 362, for the relief of Andrew Richardson. The auditor is to credit him with $61.12 1/2 having to do with T35N R4W (= today’s Clinton Township) and the county school fund.
Local Laws of the State of Indiana, Passed at the Thirty-First Session of the General Assembly, Begun on the first Monday in December, 1846 (Indianapolis: J. P. Chapman, 1847)
(Note: this book may have been mistitled by Google and is best found by searching on “Laws of the State of Indiana” and 1846.)
p. 104, repealing the 1844 road tax act for the town of La Porte.
p. 262, providing for $5 annual fine to any land owner or occupier who allows Canada thistle to grow to maturity in La Porte or any of the other six counties in the northern tier of the state.
pp. 334-5, incorporating the Belmont Manufacturing Company “at or near the village of Belmont, in the county of Laporte,” with directors Ezekiel Morrison, Amzi Clark, George W. Allen, John B. Niles, Gilbert Hathaway, John P. Early, and Ferdinand Roberts. “Said corporation shall have power to manufacture flour from wheat or other grain; to manufacture cotton and woollen goods, and machinery of any kind, and may manufacture any products of this or other States into commodities for consumption or market, except distilled or fermented liquors.”
p. 350, in effect allowing any township to vote on whether to license the sale of “intoxicating liquors” there.
p. 400, allowing La Porte and 29 other counties to charge a “traveling merchant or pedler” a license costing $10-$50 for one year or more. “Persons who are actually bona fide citizens of said counties shall not be subjected to the provisions of this act.”
Local Laws of the State of Indiana, Passed at the Thirty-Fourth Session of the General Assembly (Indianapolis: John D. Defrees, 1850)
(Note: this book may have been mistitled by Google and is best found by searching on “Laws of the State of Indiana” and 1850.)
p. 203-204, incorporating the Union Plank Road Co. (no names of directors given).
p. 344, vacating streets in Michigan City.