The First Dayton Bridge



John Green owned the west bank of the Fox river in 1837 and William Stadden owned the east bank. The following act of the General Assembly authorized them to build and operate a toll bridge.


AN ACT to authorize John Green and William Stadden, to build a Toll Bridge across Fox River.
In force 20th July, 1837

Sec. 1.             Be it enacted by the people of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly, That John Green and William Stadden, their heirs and assigns, be and they are hereby authorized to build a toll bridge across Fox River; in township number thirty-four, north of range number four east, on section number twenty-nine at the town of Dayton, in La Salle county, State of Illinois.

Sec. 2.             The said John Green and William Stadden, their heirs or assigns shall commence the building of said bridge within two years, and complete said bridge within five years from and after the passage of this act; said bridge shall be built in a good and workmanlike manner, so as to give a safe and easy passage to all persons and their property wishing to cross said bridge.

Sec. 3.             After said bridge shall be completed, the said John Green and William Stadden, their heirs or assigns, are hereby authorized to place a toll gate on either end of said bridge or elsewhere, where they may ask and receive of all and every person passing said bridge such toll as the county commissioners’ court shall fix from time to time.

Sec. 4.             If said bridge shall be out of repair for more than six months at any one time, said charter shall be forfeited; Provided, That destruction of said bridge by fire, high water, other casualty shall not work a forfeiture of the privileges hereby granted, but said Green and Stadden, their heirs or assigns, shall proceed immediately to repair the same.

Sec. 5.             If any person or persons shall wilfully do or cause to be done any injury to said bridge, the person or persons so offending shall forfeit and pay to the said Green and Stadden, their heirs or assigns, double the amount of such injury or damages, to be recovered before any court having jurisdiction of the same.

Sec. 6.             The said Green and Stadden, their heirs or assigns, shall be entitled to purchase, hold and convey, as much real estate as may be necessary to construct the aforesaid bridge, and erect a toll house or whatever may be necessary for the use and purposes of said bridge.

Sec. 7.             This act to be in force from and after its passage.

Approved, 20th July, 1837.

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