1973 W. Rawlins Road, Elizabeth IL 61028
Phone: 1-815-777-3577 Fax: 1-815-777-4866
Welcome to the official web site of Guilford Township. This web site was prepared by your township officials and is dedicated to improving communications between township residents and your elected officials. It provides information about township meetings, departments, services, and facilities.
It is our sincere hope this will increase your awareness of township government. Please take the opportunity to browse through this web site and become better informed about what we do to serve you.
Township government got its start in North America in 1636 and is the oldest form of government on the North American continent. In Illinois, township government held its first elections a century and a half ago after their creation by Constitution in 1848.
Located in the northwest corner of Illinois in Jo Daviess County, the first recorded meeting of Guilford Township was conducted April 5th, 1853, and held at the home of James D. Rawlins. The historic original town hall was built in 1886. In the winter it was heated with a wood-burning stove. There was no indoor plumbing. Eventually it was removed from the site after a new town hall was built. The old town hall was later struck by lightning and burned to the ground.
The new, larger town hall and garage was built in 1985 and is located on Rawlins Road, named after the Rawlins family who were among the earliest settlers. John A. Rawlins was born in Galena in 1831. He was appointed Clerk to record the proceedings of the first Guilford Township meeting. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1854, was a Major General in the War of the Rebellion (known as the Civil War), was later appointed Secretary of War by President Ulysses S. Grant, but died shortly after that.
Guilford Township was named by John A. Rawlins and is one of twenty-three townships in Jo Daviess County. Population in 1990 was 411; it more than doubled to 916 by 2000, and reached 1,206 in the 2010 Census. Our township measures 37.34 square miles and is the unit of local government which administers three essential services for our township community: providing General Assistance as administered by the Supervisor's Office, local property tax assessing through the Assessor's Office, and maintenance of township roads by the Highway Commissioner's Office. Including the Highway Commissioner, the Road District currently has three full-time and as many as four part-time employees depending on the season.
Francis Wachter is our Township Supervisor. The Multi-Township Assessing District Contract Assessor, Theresa Cole, performs local property tax assessing. Our Highway Commissioner is Jeffrey Winders, and our Township Clerk is Claire Bersbach.
The overall governing body of the township is the Board of Town Trustees, whose members are Wayne Wienen, Lawrence C. Lomax, Dan R. Ripley, and Lawrence A. Stoneburner.
The total amount of the combined Township and Road District Operating budgets for the fiscal year 2014-2015 (April 1, 2014 through March 31, 2015) is approximately $1,434,589. The Operating Budgets are available for inspection upon request and are on file at the Jo Daviess County Courthouse, 330 North Bench Street, Galena, Illinois.
All township records are available on written request to the Township Clerk. All Road District records are available on written request through the Highway Commissioner's Office. The township does not maintain regular office hours. Therefore, prior arrangements and an appointment with a township official are necessary. There is no fee charged for the first 50 copies made of public records.
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Located within The Galena Territory, Belden School was founded in 1859 and served as a schoolhouse for 84 years. It was also a community-gathering place where local residents came to vote, levy taxes and socialize. Then for 61 years it sat empty, falling into disrepair. In 2004 a serious, committed, restoration effort began with the formation of the Belden School Restoration Committee.
After five years of hard work, research, fundraising, volunteerism, time, talent, support, generous gifts, donations, and grants, the Sesquicentennial Celebration and Rededication Program Open House was held on September 5, 2009. Belden School will be used as an interpretive center providing a wonderful view of the history of education in the Galena area.
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Neither Guilford Township, Jo Daviess County, Illinois, nor any agency, officer, or employee of the township warrants the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of any information published on the website, nor endorses any content, viewpoints, products, or services linked from this website and shall not be held liable for any losses caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of such information. Portions of such information may be incorrect or not current. Any person or entity that relies on any information obtained from this website does so at his or her own risk.