Jefferson Township, Cook County, Illinois

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This article is about the former township in Cook County, IL . For the Chicago community area, see Jefferson Park, Chicago. For other uses, see Jefferson (disambiguation).
Jefferson Township
Former Township
Country United States
State Illinois
County Cook
Organized 1850
 - Disbanded 1889
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Location of Jefferson Township in Illinois

Jefferson Township is a former civil township in Cook County, Illinois, United States that existed as a separate municipality from 1850 until 1889 when it was annexed into the city of Chicago.[1] Its borders were Devon Avenue on the north, Harlem Avenue on the west, Western Avenue to the east, and North Avenue to the south.[2] This region comprised most of what is now known as the Chicago's Northwest Side including the entirety of the following community areas: Jefferson Park, Avondale, Logan Square, Hermosa, Forest Glen, Dunning, Albany Park, Portage Park, Irving Park, Montclare and Belmont-Cragin.

During its brief history it developed from unpopulated wildlife to a largely rural community with a number of suburban villages. However, due to infrastructure limitations, legislative incentives and the lure of better municipal services it, along with numerous adjoining townships, agreed to be annexed into the city of Chicago, creating the largest city in the United States at that time.

History[edit]

The township was founded in 1850.[3] In the 1850s, Chicago was still a walkable urban area well contained within a 2 miles (3.22 km) radius of the center.[4]

After the City of Chicago incorporated in 1837, the surrounding townships followed suit through 1870.[2] After 1850, Cook County was divided into basic governmental entities,[5] which were designated as townships as a result of the new Illinois Constitution.[2][6] Illinois's permissive incorporation law empowered any community of 300 resident citizens to petition the Illinois legislature for incorporation as a municipality under a municipal charter with more extensive powers to provide services and tax local residents.[2][7] Jefferson Township was created by the Illinois General Assembly in 1861 within Cook County.[8] This empowered the township to better govern the provision of services to its increasingly suburban residents.[6]

Following the June 29, 1889 elections,[9] several suburban townships voted to be annexed to the city, which offered better services, such as improved water supply, sewerage, and fire and police protection.[2][7] After the 1889 annexation Chicago was able to leverage efficiencies as the largest United States city in area and second largest in population.[10]

The township has no current governmental structure or functions,[1] other than being used by the Cook County Assessor's office for taxation valuation and record keeping purposes.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Keating, Ann Durkin (2005). "Jefferson Township". The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago Historical Society. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Keating, Ann Durkin (2005). "Annexations and Additions to the City of Chicago". The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago Historical Society. Retrieved 2007-07-18. 
  3. ^ http://genealogytrails.com/ill/cook/jeffersontwp.html
  4. ^ Conzen, Michael P. (2005). "Commuting". The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago Historical Society. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  5. ^ "Townships: Townships After 1850". The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago Historical Society. 2005. Retrieved 2007-10-23. 
  6. ^ a b Keating, Ann Durkin (2005). "Townships". The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago Historical Society. Retrieved 2007-07-18. 
  7. ^ a b Teaford, Jon C. (2005). "Government, Suburban". The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago Historical Society. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  8. ^ Orum, Anthony (2005). "Governing the Metropolis". The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago Historical Society. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  9. ^ Cain, Louis P. (2005). "Annexation". The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago Historical Society. Retrieved 2008-09-08. 
  10. ^ Cain, Louis P. (2005). "Annexations". The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago Historical Society. Retrieved 2007-07-18. 

References[edit]

  • Keating, Ann Durkin. Building Chicago: Suburban Developers and the Creation of a Divided Metropolis. 1988.
  • Miller, Donald L. City of the Century: The Epic of Chicago and the Making of America pp. 282–284; 292.