Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

Series 84228

Sevier County (Utah). County Commission Minutes

Dates: i 1865-

7 microfilm reelsSkip to Containers

These records are housed in the Utah State Archives' permanent storage room.

Historical Note

An agency history is available.

Scope and Content

These minute books record the actions of the county commission, the governing body of the county. The commission (known during the territorial period as the county court) was authorized to manage all county business and property. This includes budgeting and auditing; use of county lands; districting for schools, roads, voting, drainage, etc.; taxing, specifically acting as an ex-officio board of equalization; business licensing; arranging for the construction of roads, public buildings etc.; contracting for services; supervising the conduct and payment of all county personnel; providing for basic health care, public safety, and care of the indigent; canvassing election returns and appointing certain officials; and incorporating municipalities.

Following the formation of territorial government, the legislature in 1852 passed acts relating to the formation and government of counties. There were no county commissions, but the probate judge in conjunction with the county selectmen were invested "with the usual powers and jurisdiction of County Commissioners" and as such were known as the county court. The probate court clerk (also known as the county clerk) was to keep the records of the court. Sevier County followed this pattern of government when created in 1865. The court suspended business in 1867 because of Indian hostilities, requiring the probate judge to re-organize the county (re-appointing selectmen, redrawing precincts and school districts, etc.) in 1871 when business resumed. With statehood in 1896 an actual board of county commissioners was created. The probate judge was removed, but the selectmen continued serving as commissioners until elections were held. The county clerk remained the clerk of the board, recording the minutes. Minute entries are prefaced by date, names of those present, and where and when the board met.

The commission was authorized to manage all county business and county property. This included auditing all claims against the county and payments by the treasurer. Until the early 20th century, individual claims were regularly itemized in the minutes. Annual budgets, salaries, and departmental budgets and fiscal reports are recorded throughout. The commission levied property taxes for county purposes and by the 1880s served as a board of equalization. Adjustments on individual property tax assessments are itemized.

The county court controlled all timber and water privileges and could grant mill sites and herd grounds. Irrigation districts were created beginning in 1871 and the first drainage districts were set up from about 1915 to 1920. The court and later the commission created road districts and oversaw the layout of roads, a task noted regularly throughout the minutes. They located sites and oversaw the erection of public buildings such as a courthouse and jail.

Commissioners cared for the indigent and oversaw public health and safety. Quarantine regulations were established and physicians and health boards appointed. Use of the pauper fund increases by the 1930s. Such proceedings frequently include a brief discussion of the family's personal and financial circumstances as well as the county's determination of what relief to allow. Tax relief is common during the period with details concerning compromise settlements on delinquent taxes and tax sales entered in the minutes. Entries note the tax amount and often the description of the personal property or location of the real property involved.

Commissioners served as canvassers of elections, also appointing election officers, setting the boundaries of voting precincts, and assigning polling places. The county provided for elections to incorporate towns and to bond. The county was authorized to license liquor vendors and butcher shops. Business licenses in general were granted by the court beginning in the 1880s. The granting of franchises for such things as telephones and electricity are noted beginning in the late 1890s.

Arrangement

The series is arranged chronologically by date of meeting. Volumes are labeled alphabetically, starting over in 1901.

Research Note

Given the diversity and extent of the county commission's activities, the minute books should be consulted not only by researchers seeking information on the commission, but by those seeking information on any county agencies, their personnel, or their services to individuals; on private contractors and their plans for work on county projects; on private businesses operating within the unincorporated county limits; and on private individuals or charitable institutions holding taxable or untaxable property within the county. Virtually any person living in, or any activity taking place in, unincorporated areas of Sevier county (up to and including the incorporation or disincorporation of municipalities) was affected by the activities of the county commission and is reflected in the minutes.

Related Records

Minutes from Sevier County (Utah). County Commission, Series 85242, contain those enacted by the commission and discussed in these minutes

Access Restrictions

This series is classified as Public.

Preferred Citation

Cite the Utah State Archives and Records Service, the creating agency name, the series title, and the series number.

Processing Note

The Sevier County Clerk as secretary for the Sevier County Commission may have current holdings. Original paper copy may be held in the office. Reel 1 was filmed in 1966 by the LDS Genealogical Society; information on reels 2 and 3 is not available. The series was processed by A.C. Cone in July 1996.

Indexing Terms

  • County budgets—Utah—Sevier County.
  • Tax collection—Utah.
  • Water resources development—Utah—Sevier County.
  • Sewage disposal—Utah—Sevier County.
  • Police—Utah—Sevier County.
  • Highway planning—Utah—Sevier County.
  • Fire departments—Utah—Sevier County.
  • Refuse and refuse disposal—Utah—Sevier County.
  • Sevier County (Utah)—Politics and government.

Container List

REEL VOLUME DESCRIPTION
1 A 1865 Mar 06 - 1877 Mar 05
1 B 1877 Jun 04 - 1887 Sep 06
1 C 1887 Dec 05 - 1894 Aug 20
1 D 1894 Sep 03 - 1901 Jan 03
2 A 1901 Jan 07 - 1911 Dec 31
3 A 1911 Dec 31 - 1912 Dec 30
3 B 1913 Jan 06 - 1932 Nov 07
3 C 1932 Nov 08 - 1941 Dec 30
3 D 1942 Jan 05 - 1948 Jul 03
4 D 1942 Feb 02 - 1977 Dec 10
5 E 1978 Jan 05 - 1995 Dec 18
6 F 1996 Jan 05 - 2002 Dec 16
7 G 2003 Jan 06 - 2005 Dec 19