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Entered according to the Act of Congress in the year 1858, by


in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Northern District of Illinois.

Manufactured by


Publishers, Printers, Electrotypers and Book Binders,


Jan 15/01



IN presenting this compilation to the public, it is proper to remark, that it has been the intention of the compiler to embrace all that portion of the statute laws of the State of Wisconsin which relates to the organization and government of towns, and the powers and duties of town officers, with the general powers of county boards of supervisors; also, to give all such forms as may be required in transacting business, or performing duties under the law, with the addition of copious notes by way of instruction, with references to adjudicated cases, that the whole may form a complete guide for all town officers, and others interested in this peculiar branch of the law.


It has been the aim of the compiler to arrange the work in as concise and complete a form as possible-that it should contain so much of the law as the subject of the work ought properly to embrace, and nothing this will enable the town officer to turn at once to any portion of his duties, without the necessity of wading through a vast amount of other matter, foreign to the subject, as would be the case in consulting a large volume of the statutes. In the arrangement, it will be discovered, that the notes and forms are carried along in connection with the text; and not added at the conclusion by way of appendix, as is often the case with works of this nature; but are presented upon the same page, or in immediate connection with the text.

This work, as will be seen by the following Act of the Legislature, has received the favorable attention of the State of Wisconsin. Many of the members, both of the Senate and Assembly, expressed a deep interest in the matter, as it would afford great relief to town officers in the discharge of their duties, as well as secure uniformity in practice throughout the State, thereby avoiding the confusion and uncertainty which has existed in practice under the town system of government; among whom were Senators Hanchett, (by whom the bill was introduced,) Chase, Kingston, Boyd, Simpson, Sutherland, Clark, Wheeler, Bean, Warren, Davis, and others. In the Assembly were Mr. Speaker Lovell, Bemis, Corson, Dufer, H. H. and James B. Gray, Millard, McAllister, Pease, Prentice,

Rodolf, Runals, P. H. Smith, Vinton, Weil, and several others; in short, the proposition was cordially approved in both houses. The compiler has now only to hope, that the work will meet the expectation of those generous individuals who interested themselves so generously in its behalf.

The publication of the work has been delayed much beyond what was anticipated, which the compiler regrets. The act in question, as will be seen, requires that the work shall conform to the new revised Statutes, with references to pages and sections. The publication of this work being therefore required to follow that of the statutes, has necessarily caused the delay, although the work on the statutes, under the superintendence of Mr. Lovell, has been crowded with all possible speed. The compiler would here take occasion to acknowledge his obligation to Mr. Lovell, for the favor of advance sheets of the Revised Statutes, as well as for his generous encouragement and friendly aid while prosecuting his labors in connection with this work.

Some time since, the compiler prepared a work similar to this, for the State of Illinois, of which ten copies were furnished by the State to each town, making, in the aggregate, seven thousand copies. Nearly every county has since ordered an additional supply for distribution among the towns, by which fifteen thousand copies in all have now been disposed of in that State; which proves, in some degree, the utility of a work of this nature.

OCTOBER 1, 1858.



The following explanation is given of the abbreviations frequently occurring in the margin of the following pages :

R. S.,

S. L.,

R. A.,

Revised Statutes.

Session Laws.

Revisers' Amendment.
Wisconsin Reports.

The same.

The sections against which the abbreviations " S. L." or "R. A." occur, distinguishes that portion of the matter from the old Revised statutes of 1849, and shows the year in which that portion of the law was enacted, the whole being codified by the revisers in proper manner and being incorporated into the new revised statutes. The abbreviation "Wis." denotes that the section against which it is found has been the subject of adjudication, giving the number of volume, and page.


[Published March 9th, 1858.]


AN ACT to provide for the publication and distribution of the laws of Wisconsin concerning the organization and government of towns.

The People of the State of Wisconsin, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows:SECTION 1. That the secretary of state be and he is hereby authorized and required to purchase of the compiler, as soon as the same may be ready for delivery, a sufficient number of copies of a work entitled "Laws of Wisconsin, concerning the organization and government of towns, and the powers and duties of town officers and boards of supervisors, with numerous practical forms, by Elijah M. Haines, counselor at law," to supply each organized town in this state with six copies thereof, at a cost at which the same shall be sold to individuals, not exceeding fifty cents a copy: provided, said work shall first be submitted to and approved by the governor, and shall correspond to the provisions of the next revision of the statutes of the state of Wisconsin, and shall have full and proper marginal references to pages and sections of said statutes, and to the decisions of the supreme court made under them.

SEC. 2. The secretary of state shall distribute said books among the several counties of the state, allowing to each county a sufficient number to afford six copies to each town therein, in the manner now provided for the distribution of the general laws, and to be distributed among town officers, as the board of supervisors of each county may order.

SEO. 3. The secretary of state shall also at the same time purchase one thousand copies of said book, to remain in his office for distribution among the towns that may hereafter become organized. SEC. 4. The governor of this state shall cause said laws of Wisconsin, concerning the organization and government of towns, to be translated into the German, Norwegian and Holland languages, and two thousand copies of the same to be printed in the German language, and one thousand copies of the same to be printed in the Norwegian language, and six hundred copies of the same to be printed in the Holland language, of which copies the superintendent of public property shall send in all cases, at a special request of some member of the legislature, from one to twenty copies printed in the German language to each member of the senate, and from one to ten copies of the same to each member of the assembly, and from one to ten copies printed in the Norwegian language, to each member of the senate, and from one to five copies of the same to each member of the assembly; said copies to be sent by express, for distribution in the several towns of the state, and the balance of said copies shall be kept in his office for distribution among the towns that may hereafter become organized: provided, that said copies shall not cost more than fifty cents per copy, excluding therefrom the cost of translation, which shall in no case exceed twenty-five dollars for translation in either language.

SEC. 5. There is hereby appropriated out of any money in the treasury, not otherwise appropriated, a sum of money not exceeding fifty cents per volume, and fifty dollars for translation, for the work above mentioned, when it shall have been delivered to the secretary of state, according to the provisions of this act.

SEC. 6. This act shall take effect, and be in force from and after its passage and publication.

F. S. LOVELL, Speaker of the assembly. H. H. GILES,

President of the senate, pro. tem.

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The secretary of state of the state of Wisconsin, does hereby certify, that the foregoing act has been compared with the original enrolled act deposited in this office, and that the same is a true and correct copy thereof, and the whole of such original.

L. 8.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the great seal of the state, at the capitol in Madison, this 9th day of March, one thousand eight hundred and fiftyeight.

D. W. JONES, Secretary of state.



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