Champaign County, Illinois
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County Assessment Office

Stan Jenkins, Supervisor of Assessments

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ASSESSMENT RECORDS – A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE -- HOW IT BEGAN

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The division of counties was as follows: St. Clair County begat Knox, and Knox begat Gallatin, and Gallatin begat Edwards, and Edwards begat Crawford, and Crawford begat Clark, and Clark begat Edgar, and Edgar begat Vermilion, and Vermilion begat Champaign, Ford and Iroquois.

The Creative Act

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois represented in the General Assembly, That all the tract of country west of Vermilion County and East of Macon and McLean counties, to-wit: beginning at the southwest corner of Section 34, on the line dividing Townships 16 and 17 North, in Range 14 West of the Second Principal Meridian, thence west to said line to the east line of Macon County, thence north with said line to the northwest corner of Section 3, Township 22 North, in Range 14 West, thence south on section line to the place of beginning, shall form a new county to be called Champaign.

For the purpose of fixing the seat of justice of said county, John F. Richardson, of Clark County, James P. Jones, of Coles County, and Stephen B. Shelledy, of Edgar County, are hereby appointed commissioners, who, or a majority of them, shall meet at the house of Phillip Stanford in said county, on the third Monday of June next, or in six days thereafter, and, being dully sworn before some justice of the peace of the state, faithfully and impartially to take into view the conveniences of the people, the situation of the present settlements, with a strict view to the population and settlements which will hereafter be made, and the eligibility of the place, shall proceed to explore and carefully examine the country, determine on and designate the place for the permanent seat of justice of the same; Provided, the proprietor, or proprietors of the land shall give and convey by deed of general warranty for the purpose of erecting public buildings, a quantity of land in a square form, or not more than twice as long as wide, not less than twenty acres; but should the proprietor neglect to make the donation, then and in that case said commissioners shall fix said county seat, having in view the interests of the county, upon the land of some other person who will make the donation aforesaid. If the commissioners shall be of the opinion and decide that the proper place for the seat of justice is, or ought to be, on lands belonging to the Government, they shall so report, and the County Commissioners shall purchase one-half quarter section of the tract set forth in their name, for the use of the county. The commissioners appointed to locate the seat of justice shall, as soon as they decide on the place, make a clear report to the Commissioners’ Court of the county, and the same shall be recorded at length in their record book. The land donated or purchased shall be laid out into lots and sold by the commissioners of the county to the best advantage, and the proceeds applied to the erection of public buildings, and such other purposes as the commissioners shall direct, and good and sufficient deeds shall be made for lots sold.

An election shall be held at the place of holding as now laid off by Vermilion County in the said county of Champaign on the second Monday of April next, for one sheriff, one coroner, and three county commissioners, who shall hold their offices until the next general election and until they be qualified; and the Justices of the Peace and the constables who are now in office and residing within the limits of the said county of Champaign, shall continue in office until the next quadrennial election for Justices of the Peace and constable, and until their successors be qualified. It shall be the duty of the clerk of the Circuit Court of said county to give public notice , at least ten days previous to the election to be held on the second Monday in April next, and in case there shall be no clerk in said county, it shall be the duty of the recorder, or judge of probate, to give at least fifteen days’ notice previous to said election, who shall be legal voters , and the returns of the election shall be made to the Clerk, Recorder or Judge of Probate, as the case may be, who gave the notice aforesaid, and by him, in the presence of one or more Justices of the Peace, shall be opened and examined, and they jointly shall give to the persons elected commissioners’ certificates of their election, and like certificates to the persons elected sheriff and coroner, to forward to the governor, which election shall in all respects be conformable to law.

The commissioners appointed to locate the new county seat shall be allowed two dollars per day for each day they may be necessarily employed in making said location, to be paid by said county.

The seat of justice of said county shall be called and known, by the name of Urbana. Approved February 20, 1833, by

John Reynolds, Governor

FIRST COUNTY OFFICE HOLDERS

On the second Monday in April of 1833 the first official election was held at the home of John Light. Moses Thomas, who resided northwest of Homer, had recently been appointed a Probate Judge by the General Assembly and he oversaw the process and issued election certificates. The following county commissioners were elected: Isaac Busey, Jacob Bartley, and George Akers. John Salisbury was elected sheriff, and the records indicate that initially no one was elected coroner.

The next meeting was held on May 6, 1833 and the commissioners appointed Thomas R. Weber as clerk of the board. The board also appointed Garret Moore as a constable at this meeting, as well as selecting Moses Thomas as the assessor and treasurer.

THE FIRST ASSESSMENT IN CHAMPAIGN COUNTY (1833)

In June of 1833, Moses Thomas, the assessor and treasurer, reported the total revenue of the county to be $71.37. Of the total amount, $61.61 was from assessments on the personal property of the 111 taxpayers in the county. Items assessed included the following: horses, cattle, clocks and watches and pleasure carriages. The taxpayer’s names, their property, and the taxes assessed were public information from the inception of county government. The complete listing as presented by Assessor Thomas in 1833 is as follows:

FIRST ASSESSMENT IN CHAMPAIGN COUNTY (1833)
Moses Thomas – Assessor & Treasurer

Owner’s Name Horses
# Value
Cattle
# Value
Clocks & Watches
# Value
Value of Property Taxes Assessed
Westley Arrasmith 1 $10 2 $20 $30 $0.15
Moses Argo 1 $40 1 $8 1 $6 $54 $0.27
George Akers 2 $20 $20 $0.10
Isaac Burris 3 $40 $40 $0.20
Arthur Baird 2 $80 1 $10 $90 $0.45
John Bailey, Sr. 2 $100 9 $114 1 $30 $244 $1.22
John Bailey, Jr. 2 $80 2 $20 $100 $0.50
Jacob Bartley 1 $50 4 $32 $82 $0.41
George Bartley 3 $120 2 $16 2 $13 $149 $0.47 ½
Matthew Busey 3 $150 15 $181 1 $17 $348 $1.74
William Boyd 4 $160 2 $18 1 $20 $198 $0.99
Mijamin Byers 5 $200 14 $190 1 $20 $410 $2.05
Samuel Bromley 3 $120 3 $30 1 $20 $170 $0.85
Asahel Bruer 2 $70 5 $40 1 $10 $160* $0.80*
Isaac Busey 4 $300 9 $100 1 $60 $460 $2.30
Samuel Beckley 2 $100 7 $76 $176 $0.88
John Brown 2 $20 $20 $0.10
Noah Bixler 1 $10 $10 $0.05
Charles Busey 3 $90 11 $124 1 $20 $234 $1.17
James Brownfield 5 $250 2 $20 1 $20 $290 $1.45
John Brownfield, Jr. 2 $50 1 $10 $60 $0.30
John Brownfield, Sr. 6 $300 3 $50 1 $16 $366 $1.83
Benjamin Brownfield 1 $30 1 $6 $36 $0.18
Frederick Bouse 2 $80 11 $124 1 $20 $224 $1.12
Rueben S. Bullard 2 $130 1 $10 $140 $0.70
Joshua Chapman 3 $130 2 $20 $150 $0.75
Nancy Cook 1 $30 1 $10 $40 $0.20
Sarah Coe 1 $20 2 $16 1 $20 $56 $0.28
William Curry 2 $60 6 $60 1 $20 $140 $0.70
William Coe 1 $40 1 $8 $48 $0.24
James Copeland 1 $40 4 $46 1 $18 $104 $0.52
Curtis Carmean 1 $50 1 $10 1 $9 $69 $034 ½
John Coddington 2 $100 7 $84 1 $16 $200 $1.00
Larken Dier 1 $50 1 $8 $58 $0.29
Thomas Dier 2 $100 1 $8 1 $10 $118 $0.59
Benjamin Delaney 1 $50 3 $24 $74 $0.37
James Freeman 2 $80 1 $10 $90 $0.45
Robert French 1 $50 $50 $0.25
Abner Fuller 3 $27 $27 $13 ½
David Gabbard 3 $60 3 $24 $84 $0.42
Jacob Heater 1 $8 1 $16 $24 $0.12
Alexander Holebrooks 1 $50 5 $70 $120 $0.60
Lackland Howard 1 $30 2 $16 1 $20 $66 $0.33
Jefferson Huss 2 $60 3 $24 $84 $0.42
Enoch Humphries 1 $75 $75 $0.37 ½
Thomas Hobbs 3 $38 $38 $0.19
William Harris 1 $10 $10 $0.05
Henry Hannahs 1 $50 1 $10 $60 $0.30
Valentine Iliff 1 $30 3 $40 1 $6 $76 $0.38
John Jayne 1 $10 2 $16 $26 $0.13
James Johnson 1 $10 1 $5 $15 $0.07 ½
Amos Johnson 1 $40 $40 $0.20
William Jackson 2 $70 2 $16 $86 $0.43
Elijah Jackson 1 $30 1 $8 $38 $0.19
John Jackson 6 $75 $75 $0.37 ½
Elias Kirby 2 $70 1 $10 $80 $0.40
John W. Leird 1 $8 $8 $0.04
Garret Moore 3 $38 $0* $0*
Mason S. Martin 1 $50 2 $16 $116 $0.58
Levi Moore 3 $100 2 $16 1 $20 $136 $0.68
James Moss 3 $90 5 $40 $130 $0.65
William Nox, Sr. 2 $75 10 $122 $197 $0.98 ½
Ethan Newcomb 1 $50 6 $75 $125 $0.62 ½
William Nox, Jr. 1 $50 1 $8 $58 $0.29
James Osborn 1 $40 10 $116 1 $20 $176 $0.88
Henry Osborn 5 $64 $64 $0.32
William Osborn 1 $50 2 $18 $68 $0.34
Jonathan Osborn 1 $30 5 $50 $80 $0.40
George Powell 1 $50 2 $40 $90 $0.45
William L. Peters 2 $70 2 $16 $86 $0.43
Abraham Peters 1 $8 $8 $0.04
William Peters 2 $80 3 $24 $104 $0.52
Robert Prather 2 $40 5 $60 $100 $0.50
Daniel T. Porter 1 $10 1 $15 $25 $0.12 ½
Thomas Rowland 2 $60 5 $65 1 $16 $141 $0.70 ½
Gabriel G. Rice 1 $40 2 $20 $60 $0.30
James T. Roe 2 $100 1 $8 $143* $0.71 ½*
John G. Robertson 2 $50 3 $30 $80 $0.40
Mathias Rhinehart 4 $200 8 $94 1 $25 $319 $1.59 ½
Hiram Rankins 2 $80 7 $100 $180 $0.90
Walter Rhodes 1 $100 2 $16 1 $25 $141 $0.70 ½
Robert Russel 1 $20 $20 $0.10
John Salisbury 1 $40 8 $100 $140 $0.70
John W. Swearingen 2 $75 5 $58 $133 $0.66 ½
Joseph Stayton 3 $120 3 $30 $150 $0.75
David Swearingen 1 $25 1 $8 $33 $0.16 ½
John Swearingen 1 $10 $10 $0.05
Cyrus Strong 2 $100 6 $57 1 $16 $173 $0.86 ½
Andrew Stevenson 1 $70 $70 $0.35
Philip Stanford 2 $100 5 $40 1 $20 $160 $0.80
Henry Sadorus 2 $80 13 $160 1 $20 $260 $1.30
John Trueman 2 $40 1 $10 $50 $0.25
Joshua Taylor 1 $50 1 $10 $60 $0.30
Martin Tompkins 4 $50 $50 $0.25
Joshua Trickle 3 $120 4 $32 1 $20 $172 $0.86
Robert Trickle 2 $100 3 $21 1 $28 $149 $0.74 ½
Jacob Thomas, Sr. 2 $100 4 $36 1 $20 $156 $0.78
Henry Thomas 1 $35 5 $62 1 $20 $117 $0.58 ½
Adam Thomas $35 $0.17 ½
Joseph Thomas 8 $87 $87 $0.43 ½
Jacob Thomas, Jr. 1 $30 1 $10 $40 $0.20
Moses Thomas 4 $150 14 $182 1 $16 $348 $1.74
William T. Webber 1 $65 2 $30 $95 $0.47 ½
T. R. Webber 1 $60 3 $40 1 $5 $105 $0.52 ½
John Whiteaker 3 $125 14 $188 1 $20 $333 $1.66 ½
Andrew Wilson 1 $40 1 $8 $48 $0.24
Harris Wilson 2 $80 2 $18 1 $20 $118 $0.59
Henry Wilson 2 $30 $30 $0.15
Samuel Wilson 1 $45 2 $16 $61 $0.30 ½
Adam Yeazel 2 $80 1 $8 1 $16 $104 $0.52
John Zornes 1 $10 $10 $0.05
Totals for 1833 171 $87,085 387 $4,336 45 $776 $12,322 $61.61
* denotes error in calculations