In February, 1841, the Legislature granted a charter for the organization of the village
of Racine. The people adopted the same at a special election held the following month. In
April, the first election took place, under the charter, at which Dr. Elias Smith was
chosen President. The Board of Trustees consisted of Consider Heath, Alanson Filer,
Marshall M. Strong and Sidney A. Sage. L. S. Cary was elected Clerk.
At the first meeting of the Board, held April 12, 1841, Dr. Smith resigned his office.
Alanson Filer was called to the Chair, as President pro tem. Amaziah Stebbins, who was
elected Assessor, also resigned, and Alfred Cary was appointed to that position. A
special election for President was ordered to be held May 5. A tax of $300 was ordered
"spread" for the current year. The first accounts audited were those presented by
Levi Conroe, $100 for work at the mouth of the river; and $4 each to Alfred Cary, J. M.
Sprague and C. W. White for services as Assessors.
Charles S. Wright was elected President at the May election, and was 6the first
active President of the village.
The principal business transacted by the Board during the first year was the improvement
of the streets. Until 1838 and 1839, the territory now defined as the First Ward was
covered with oak timber. That winter, the trees were cut down and chopped into cordwood,
but the stumps were left in the ground and the brush-wood was not burned. Main street
was incumbered with a mass of such debris south of Fourth street. In 1841, the Trustees
entered into a contract with Socrates Hopkins to grub the stumps and turnpike Main
street from Second to Seventh, 125 rods, at a cost of $1 per rod. S. H. Fenn was also paid
for clearing the stumps from a part of Sixth street. The citizens petitioned for sidewalks
on both sides of Main street, between Third and Fourth, and the Trustees, with a peculiar
burst of generosity, appropriated $14 for the work of contructing a walk in front of
Blocks 13 and 14.
The Clerk was allowed $10 for one year's labor in that office.
November 13, 1841, Isaac Harmon was appointed Clerk.
April, 1842, the elections resulted in the following manner: Bushnell B. Cary, President;
Alanson Filer, Levi Blake, S. A. Sage and Consider Heath, Trustees; Isaac Harmon, Clerk;
Ludlow F. Lewis, Treasurer and Collector; and J. M. Sprague, Alfred Cary and Chester W. White,
In 1843, the Board consisted of M. B. Mead, President; Charles S. Wright, Alanson Filer,
L. F. Lewis and John Dickson, Trustees; Isaac Harmon, Clerk. Capt. Thomas J. Cram was appointed
Chief Engineer of the Harbor Improvement work. A. G. Knight was chosen Collector and Treasurer
of the village. Mr. Mead resigned the Chair, October 23, and was succeeded by Warren Cole
as President. Messrs. White, Cary and Sprague were elected Assessors.
In 1844, the Board was presided over by Warren Cole, and was composed of Charles S. Wright,
Lucius S. Blake, Ludlow F. Lewis and John Dickson. Isaac Harmon still served as
Clerk. A. G. Knight was Treasurer. C. W. White, Alfred Cary and Consider Heath were elected
April, 1845, John A. Carswell became President, and Charles Herrick, S. S. Dickinson,
William H. Lathrop and David Bradley, Trustees. Isaac Harmon was Clerk. William S. Rice
succeeded to the Treasurership. John Mann was appointed Harbor-master. Nathaniel Carswell
was employed ring the Court House bell five times a day, to indicate stated hours,
for which he was paid $1.25 per diem. The Assessors were James O. Bartlett, Isaac N. Parker
and Alfred Cary.
In 1846, C. W. Spaford was elected President, and Nathan Burnham, John G. Conroe,
S. B. Peck and Elisha Raymond, Jr., Trustees. Mr. Harmon was chosen Clerk.
James O. Bartlett was Treasurer, and H. F. Cox, Jr., Alfred Cary and L. K. Smith, Assessors.
In 1847, C. W. White was President; Edwin Gould, James Fleming, James M. Killip, and
William H. Waterman were Trustees. Mr. Harmon was re-elected Clerk. George Bull was
chosen Treasurer, and Robert Cothie, C. S. Wright and Isaac N. Parker, Assessors.
April, 1848, the last election under the village charter was held, and resulted in the
choice of Eli R. Cooley, President; William M. Allen, Reuben M. Norton, Seneca Raymond
and John H. Palmeter, Trustees. Isaac Harmon was again elected Clerk. The Assessors
were S. S. Hurlbut, A. P. Dutton and David McDonald.