Elements of Civil Government eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 218 pages of information about Elements of Civil Government.

OTHER OFFICERS.—­In some States there are superintendents of the poor, or infirmary directors, who have charge of the county infirmary in which the dependent poor are maintained; in others the township overseers of the poor support these unfortunates with funds furnished for that purpose by the county.  In some States there is a collector who collects all the taxes of the county; a county jailer who holds prisoners in custody and has charge of the county buildings, under the commissioners’ directions; and also a circuit clerk, or district clerk, who is the recording officer of the circuit court, or district court as it is often called.

JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT:  COUNTY JUDGE OR PROBATE JUDGE.—­The judicial power of the county is vested in the county judge, or probate judge, who in many States is its most prominent and important officer.  He has jurisdiction of wills and estates, appoints administrators and guardians, and settles their accounts.  In many states he grants licenses; presides over the legislative body of the county; makes orders opening roads and appointing overseers of the public highway:  appoints officers of elections; holds examining trials; sits in the county court to try minor offences and civil suits for small amounts; and in a few States acts as county superintendent of schools.

In some States there is a probate judge, or judge of the orphan’s court, in addition to the county judge.

[1]Thorpe’s Civil Government.


1.  What is meant by unit of political influence?

2.  What affairs are too extensive for a smaller community than the county?

3.  Why is the county seat so called?

4.  State the terms and the names of the officers of this county.

5.  Why do the officers of the county need legal advice?

6.  What is meant by the sheriff administering to the courts?

7.  What are licenses?

8.  Of what use is the treasurer’s bond?

9.  What is the collector’s duplicate list?

10.  What is a writ?

11.  What is the plot of a survey?

12.  What is a will? an administrator?

13.  What is an examining trial?

14.  Do you think the county judge or probate judge should act as superintendent of schools?  Why?


Resolved, That a poll-tax is unjust.



VILLAGES, BOROUGHS, AND CITIES.—­The county usually has within its limits villages or cities, organized under separate and distinct governments.  When the people become so thickly settled that the township and county government do not meet their local public wants, the community is incorporated as a village.  Villages are often called towns, and incorporated as such, especially in the Southern States; but the word taken in this sense must not be confounded with the same word, denoting a political division of the county in New England, New York, and Wisconsin.

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Elements of Civil Government from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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