6 - 1888 Incorporation

posted Aug 13, 2015, 2:33 PM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library   [ updated Aug 13, 2015, 2:33 PM ]
From "North Judson Centennial 1966" booklet:

Now the town of North Judson had grown until there were about 800 inhabitants, quite a town for those days, and it became apparent that a town government should be established, the better to care for the problems of a growing community. 

North Judson was incorporated in 1888 and the first town election held on February 16, 1889, when the following town officials were elected:  John L. Eatinger, William Y. Hine and Jacob Keller, Trustees; John Sager, Clerk, Dr. James F. Noland, Treasurer, and John Held, Marshal. 

Following are the records of several of the first meetings of the town board: 
  • March 11, 1889, Lewis C. Foust, George Lightcap and John H. Smith were appointed members of the school board.
  • On March 18, 1889 and ordinance was passed prohibiting the indecent exposure by any person on any street or public place within the town. 
  • April 13, 1889, bills were allowed – W. Y. Hine $9.00 for labor and Walter and George Lightcap $18.69 for materials for building a town Calaboose (a town jail).
  • May 13, 1889 the board allowed themselves each $10.00 and the town treasurer $10.00 for services.

The first town tax levies made by the members of the board at a meeting on September 4, 1889 were:  On each $100.00 property valuation, Corporation 30 cents; Road 10 cents; School Tuition 25 cents and $1.00 on each poll.  

The first dozen oil street lights were purchased by the town board October 7, 1892, when they paid a lamp lighter 50 cents per lamp per month. 

When the original town was platted the principal business section was planned to be on Main Street, which is the widest street in town, and on which street the early business buildings were built, including the first hotel, the Central House, the present Fingerhut Bakery, and a store building facing south across the street from bakery.  Also the Jacob Burch Building known as the Burch’s Opera House Block, and now owned by the Wayne Star Lodge. 

Lane Street, now principal business street, was first surfaced with cinders and later with a few railroad carloads of crushed stone.  It was in the late 1890s that the first brick pavements were laid, the cost being paid by the owners of the abutting property, with the town paying for the cost of the street intersections. 

The town trustees granted a franchise at a board meeting on April 15, 1896 to the Grossman Electric Light Company, the current being generated by power from a flour mill then owned by them.  Frank Vessely and Daniel Pixa, two progressive citizens, lataer took over the electric light business, which was subsequently wholly owned by Mr. Pixa who greatly enlarged the utility. 

He later sold the plant to the Calumet Electric Light and Power Company.  To the credit of this honorable citizen it should be told that Mr. Pixa verbally agreed on a price for the property, but before the sale was concluded he was offered several thousand dollars more the for utility from other interests and which he refused.  The utility is now owned and operated by the Northern Indiana Public Service Company, providing excellent service over two 34,500 volt circuits, which is backed up by the Company’s interconnected transmission system.  The company brought natural gas to North Judson in February 1960.  Ample electric power and natural gas is supplied by the company for domestic or industrial uses at fair and reasonable rates. 

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