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Martin Neel and Francis Clements were judges; John Keneday and John Greenman were clerks. There were twenty-nine votes cast, as follows:
There is no record of the vote in this precinct on the constitution.
The vote received by the several candidates, and result of vote on the constitution submitted to the people was as follows:
Isaac B. Power.
For constitution ..
With regard to this election it may be remarked that with the exception of the vote on the constitution, politics had very little to do with the vote. There were 295 votes cast to 189 at the first election, showing a gain of 108 votes in less than one year. Three persons chosen at the first election were re-elected; viz., David Durham, David T. Durham and Francis A. Barker.
Though it would doubtless be a matter of much interest to give a synopsis of the election in 1847 and 1848, it is not practicable to do so here. At another place we shall speak of the political history of the county, where reference will again be made to these elections.
The government of the county continued to be in the hands of the board of county commissioners, and the other county offices remained the same till 1851, when there was a revolution in county affairs. The board of county commissioners was abolished and in its stead was created the office of county judge, that official also assuming the duties of probate judge; the offices of recorder and treasurer were united, and instead of a county assessor, there were assessors for each township. We are, therefore, now led to speak of the system of county government which was in existence from August, 1851, till January 1, 1861, commonly known as the
COUNTY JUDGE SYSTEM.
The old board of county commissioners held their last meeting prior to the regular fall election which occurred on the 4th day of August, 1851. The county judge system went into effect one week from that date, August 11th. The first gentleman who filled this office was Joseph Brobst, who served till 1855; in 1855 F. M. Frush was elected and served till 1861, when the law was changed and the management of the county affairs went into the hands of a board of county supervisors, consisting of one member from each civil township.
During these ten years the county judge had exclusive and almost absolute jurisdiction over the affairs of the county. There was nothing to prevent him from being a veritable despot in his own little realm. Persons having claims against the county were compelled to abide by the decision of this functionary or accept the alternative of going into the District Court; the location of roads and bridges, the erection and repairing of county buildings, the levying of taxes, the formation of civil townships, the settlement of probate business, the granting of licenses and the arbitrament of contested elections were one and all under the supervision and dependent on the fiat of the county judge. He was amenable to no one except on election day when he submitted his name to the voters of the county. Yet notwithstanding this almost unlimited sway of authority, there were but few judges but were very popular, their tenure of office exceeding, as a rule, that of any other county officer, and notwithstanding the fact that the county judge was not responsible to any higher supervising official there are few, perhaps but one, instances in which a county judge in the State of Iowa ever proved recreant to his trust. This is more than can with truth be said of county clerks and treasurers, although their accounts are carefully overhauled and closely supervised by other authorities. We are led