Farmerville Granted First Charter in 1842

The Gazette
October 5, 1939

Operated Under this Charter For 28 Years

New Charter Granted By State Legislature on March 16th, 1870

Although Farmerville was organized and plotted in 1839, it wasn’t until the general assembly of 1842 that the town was granted a charter and incorporated. It operated under this charter with several amendments until the charter of 1870, under which the town operates today.

The town’s first charter as passed by the legislature in 1842, follows:

“Act No. 104 of 1842, approved March 15, 1842”

“An Act to incorporate the town of Farmerville, in the Parish of Union.”

“Section 1. Be it enacted, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Louisiana, in general assembly convened, that all that portion of land laid off and divided into lots by the Police Jury of Union Parish, and styled Farmerville, shall continue to be known by that name, and incorporated in the manner following hereinafter, to-wit. All the freeholders and inhabitants residing therein shall on the first Monday of March next, and on the first Monday of March in each succeeding year, meet at the courthouse in said town, and then there proceed to elect, by ballot, five resident voters within said town to be trustees thereof for the year ensuing their election, at which election the parish judge of the parish of Union  (or in case of his death, resignation or absence, a justice of the peace of said parish.) shall preside, which election shall be notified by said judge or justice, as the case may be, to the inhabitants, by public advertisements on the door of the court-house ten days before the holding of the same and shall commence at ten in the morning and close at three in the afternoon.

“Section 2. Be it further enacted, etc., That the inhabitants residing in the said town shall be known by the name and style of the “Trustees of the town of Farmerville”, and by that name they and their successors shall have perpetual succession shall have perpetual succession, and be in law capable of suing and being sued, defending and being defended, impleading and being impleaded in all courts and places whatsoever, and in all manner of actions and causes, and may have a common seal, and may alter the same at pleasure;  and shall be capable of purchasing, holding and conveying any estate, real or personal, for the use of said town, for raising money on the town property by tax, not exceeding two hundred dollars a year, for the improvement and police of said town.

“Section 3. Be it further enacted, etc., That within thirty days after the election of the trustees mentioned in the first section of this act, it shall be the duty of the said trustees to meet at the court-house in said town, and there elect, by ballot and a majority of votes, one of their own body to be president, whose duty it shall be to preside at their meeting of the said trustees whenever he may deem necessary, and to take care that the by-laws are faithfully executed.

“Section 4. Be it further enacted, etc., That within thirty days next succeeding their election, the trustees shall proceed to the appointment (by ballot and a majority of votes) of persons to fill the office of clerk, treasurer, assessor and collector of the said corporation, who shall hold their office for one year; and in case a vacancy shall happen in any of the said offices during the said year, it shall be the duty of the said trustees, within ten days thereafter, to appoint some suitable person to fill said vacancy.

“Section 5. Be it further enacted, etc., That the said trustees, or a majority of them, together with the president, shall be a quorum for transacting business shall meet on their own adjournments, and shall have power from time to time to make such by-laws in writing, not inconsistent wit the laws and constitution of this state or of the United States, as they may deem proper, in relation to the public markets in said town, relative to the streets, alleys, and highways therein, and draining, filling up, keeping in order and improving the same, relative to nuisances in general, relative to a town watch and patrol, and relative to anything whatsoever that may concern the public and good government of said town; but no such by-laws shall extend to the regulating or ascertaining the prices of any commodities or articles of provision that may be offered for sale in said town.

“Section 6. Be it further enacted, etc. That the said trustees, may make, ordain and impose such fines for the breach of their by-laws, rules and ordinances as they shall think proper, not exceeding fifty dollars for each offence, to be recovered before any justice of the peace or court having cognizance thereof, in the name of the president of the corporation and for the use of the same.

“Section 7. Be it further enacted, etc. That the said trustees, clerk, treasurer, assessor and collector shall, within ten days after their election, and before they proceed to execute their several offices, respectively take and subscribe an oath or affirmation before any justice of the peace of the parish of Union, for the faithful performance of the duties of the office to which they may be severally elected.

“Section 8. Be it further enacted, etc. That the treasurer and collector to be annually elected shall, before they enter on the execution of their offices respectively, five such security for the faithful performance of the duties of the office to which they are appointed as the trustees may deem sufficient.

” Section 9. Be it further enacted, etc. That all male inhabitants of said town above the age of fifteen, and under the age of fifteen, and under the age of fifty, shall be subject to work on the streets of said town twelve days in every year under the penalty of a fine of two dollars for every day they shall fail when duly notified, which notification shall be the same as the notices now are relative to the working on public roads in said parish, provided that all person working the streets of said town shall be exempt from road duty in said parish.

“Section 10. Be it further enacted, etc., That the collector of said town shall, within such time as shall be provided for by the by-laws of the corporation, after the receipt of his warrant for collecting any tax that may have been ordered to have been raised, collect and pay the same to the treasurer; and the said collector shall have the same power to enforce the payment of the taxes imposed by the said trustees as are given by law to the sheriffs of this state to compel the payment of state taxes.

“Section 11. Be it further enacted, etc., That this act shall be in force from and after its passage.

“(Signed) Wm. C. C. Claiborne, Speaker of the House of Rep. “Felix Garcia, President of the Senate. “A. B. Roman, Governor of the State of La”

Charter of 1870

In 1870, the state legislature convened at the capitol in special session. Before them was a bill for the issuance of a new charter to the Town of Farmerville.

They found that the town had been issued its first charter in the year 1842, as amended in the year 1866.

So, on March 16, 1870, the state legislature issued the following charter, under which Farmerville still operates:

Charter of the Corporation of Farmerville

“Act No. 51 of the General Assembly of the Sate of Louisiana for the year 1870 to renew the corporation of the Town of Farmerville in the Parish of Union; to provide for the government of the same and to repeal the laws heretofore existing, on the same subject matter.

“Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Louisiana, in general assembly convened, that the inhabitants of the town of Farmerville. in the parish of Union, are hereby created and made a body corporate with perpetual succession under the name and style of Farmerville; that the said corporate limits shall be one mile square, having the court house in said town for its center.

“Section 2. Be it further enacted, etc. that on the fourth Monday of March in each and every year between the usual hours of holding elections, the qualified voters residing within the aforesaid incorporated limits shall elect a mayor and four aldermen to administer the affairs of said town for the ensuing year and until their successors are elected and qualified and by the name of the mayor and aldermen of the town of Farmerville the said incorporation shall and is hereby made capable in law to sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, answer and be answered, defend and be defended, in any court or place whatever, and also to have hold , purchase, possess, receive and enjoy, to them and their successors, any kind of property, and the same to sell, transfer, lease, farm or dispose of, also to have a common seal, the same to alter and change at pleasure.

“Section 3. Be it further enacted, etc., that it shall be the duty of the sheriff of the parish to give at least ten days notice by posting up the same at two or more public places in said town of the first election to be held under this act and to appoint three commissioners, qualified voters of said town, to hold said election, and the said commissioners shall within twenty-four hours after said election, post over their signatures at two or more public places in said town the names of the person who have been duly elected mayor and aldermen of the said town of Farmerville.

“Section 4. Be it further enacted, etc., that for all elections after the first, the mayor and aldermen of said town shall, previous to any election for members of this body, appoint three persons, qualified voters residing within said town as commissioners to hold said elections, and said mayor and aldermen shall fix the place and manner of each annual election, and for the purpose of filling vacancies in their body, they shall fix the time, place and manner of holding the elections and in all cases ten days public notice shall be given before holding any election; it shall be the duty of the commissioners of election to present at the same, and certify in writing over their own signatures the results thereof, and within twenty-four hours after closing the polls, the file such certificate wit the clerk of the mayor and aldermen, who shall forthwith notify the members elected of the same.

“Section 5. Be it further enacted, etc., that before entering upon the duties of their offices, the mayor and aldermen shall take the constitutional oath of office and the said mayor shall preside over all their meetings, and they are hereby empowered to ordain and establish all such ordinances, by-laws, rules and regulations, and to appoint all such officers as they may deem expedient for the government and police of said town, not inconsistent with the constitution and the laws of the United States and this state, and they shall have the power to levy and collect a tax for the use of said corporation upon all taxable property within said corporation, not to exceed in amount, one thousand dollars. They shall have power to prohibit houses of ill-fame and disorderly houses to remove nuisances, to tax all shows and plays and gaming tables, grog shops and groceries; they shall have the power to impose fines for breaches of their ordinances, rules and regulations, which shall not exceed fifty dollars and in default of the payment of any fine, then to imprison in the parish jail for a period not exceeding thirty days; and in the absence of the mayor the aldermen shall elect a president pro tempore, from among themselves, to act in his place and in all cases the mayor, or in his absence, the president pro tempore and two aldermen shall constitute a quorum to do business and the mayor and aldermen shall appoint a clerk,  whose duty it shall be to keep a faithful record of the proceedings of their meetings and to make public their ordinances by advertising the same in some newspapers in said town or by posting copies of them in two or more public places in said town and no persons shall be a mayor or alderman unless he is a qualified voter of said corporation.

“Section 6. Be it further enacted, etc. that the mayor of said town shall have the power to suppress all riots, routs and unlawful assemblies, affrays and tumults, and  he shall have power to cause to be arrested and brought before him for trial under regulations of the mayor or aldermen, all offenders against the ordinances, rules and regulations of said town. He shall also be ex-officio justice of the peace within the limits of the limits of said town and commissioned accordingly.

“Section 7. Be it further enacted, etc. that all persons living within the limits of said corporation be exempt from all road duty, except such as may be imposed by the mayor and aldermen of said town.

“Section 8. Be it further enacted, etc. that the mayor of said town shall receive in compensation for his services as are allowed by the law for similar services such compensation as the board of aldermen may allow him.

“Section 9. Be it further enacted, etc. that all laws heretofore existing on the same subject matter be and the same are hereby repealed and the same are hereby repealed and that this go into effect from and after its passage.”

“(Signed)”
“Mortimer Carr, Speaker of the House”
“Oscar J. Dunn, Lieutenant-Governor and President of the Senate”

“Approved March 16, 1870”
“H. C. Warmouth, Governor, State of Louisiana”

 

 

 

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