Garfield County (Utah). County Commission Minutes
These records are housed in the Utah State Archives' permanent storage room.
An agency history is available.
Scope and Content
These minute books record the actions of the county commission (known during the territorial period as the county court), the governing body of the county. The court was authorized to manage all county business and county property. This included auditing all claims against the county. The members authorized salaries and the purchase of supplies and services. They levied property taxes for county purposes and served as a board of equalization. The members created election precincts, road districts, and school districts and appointed superintendents of such districts. They also appointed other county officials (e.g. water superintendents, fish and game wardens, fruit tree inspectors, quarantine physician) and set the salaries of each. The court located sites and oversaw the erection of public buildings. Business licenses, particularly liquor licenses, were obtained through the commission. The commission approved the incorporation of towns. The selectmen in conjunction with the court (after statehood, the commissioners) were to provide for the maintenance of the indigent and incapacitated. All these activities are noted in the minutes.
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. This same structure was followed by Garfield County upon its creation in March 1882.
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. The previous responsibilities were maintained and expanded.
The principal activity noted in the minutes is the monitoring of the fiscal health of the county. Bills submitted for the purchase of supplies and services are recorded at each meeting. The county commission assessed taxes and served as a board of equalization, adjusting assessments of individual property. In the late 1890s, the commission began issuing bonds of indebtedness. Annual financial statements and the county auditor's reports are recorded in the minutes.
Other responsibilities noted in the minutes include the appointment and fiscal oversight of numerous county, district and precinct officials. The commissioners created school districts and road districts and oversaw the layout of roads. The commissioners served as canvassers of elections also appointing election officers, setting the boundaries of voting districts, and assigning polling places. They oversaw the health of the community, appointing physicians or health officers and financed the care of the indigent, deaf, and incompetent. They approved the incorporation of towns and licensed businesses, particularly butcher shops and saloons. Commissioners provided for building public buildings, notably a court house in the late 1890s and mapping of private subdivisions. They oversaw the resources of the county, appointing fish and game wardens and fruit tree inspectors.
Chronological by date of meeting.
This series is available on microfilm.
This series is classified as Public.
Cite the Utah State Archives and Records Service, the creating agency name, the series title, and the series number.
The Garfield County Clerk as secretary for the Garfield County Commission should be contacted for more recent holdings. This volume was filmed in 1966 with the original retained in the office. The series was processed by A.C. Cone in August 1995.
- County budgets--Utah--Garfield County.
- Tax collection--Utah--Garfield County.
- Water resources development--Utah--Garfield County.
- Police--Utah--Garfield County.
- Highway planning--Utah--Garfield County.
- Fire departments--Utah--Garfield County.
- County government--Administration--Garfield County (Utah).
- Garfield County (Utah)--Politics and government.
- Garfield County (Utah)--Appropriations and expenditures.
- Garfield County (Utah)--Officials and employees--Selection and appointment.
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