Wayne 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 commission was authorized to manage all county business and county property. This includes budgeting, equipment purchasing, and auditing; use of county lands; districting for schools, roads, voting, 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; incorporating municipalities; and by the mid-1970s, planning and zoning. 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. This same structure was followed by Wayne County upon its organization in May 1892. 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 was the clerk of the board, recording the minutes. The previous responsibilities were maintained and expanded.
One of the principal activities noted in the minutes is the monitoring of the fiscal health of the county. Bills submitted for the purchase of supplies and services and departmental budgets are recorded regularly. The county commission assessed taxes and served as a board of equalization, adjusting assessments of individual property. The commissioners appointed and oversaw numerous county, district and precinct officials. They coordinated both departmental programs and personnel.
The commission created school districts and road districts. A major responsibility noted throughout the minutes is 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 licensed businesses and granted franchises. They oversaw the resources of the county, allowing bounties on varmints and providing for the eradication of noxious weeds.
The commission oversaw the health and welfare of the county residents. They financed the care of the indigent and insane; relief projects were common topics in the 1930s. The commission appointed health officers, a public health nurse, and other health and welfare officials. By the 1950s, the commission created a library board and acquired TV service. The commission became part of the Six County Development Program in the 1970s to provide health, mental health, and recreation programs for the county. A major addition to county commission functions was made in 1941 when the commission was empowered to provide for the development and zoning of unincorporated areas of the county and to appoint a planning commission. Wayne County appointed a planning commission in 1975.
Chronological by date of meeting.
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 or private subdivisions; 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 Wayne county (up to and including the incorporation of municipalities) was affected by the activities of the county commission and is reflected in the minutes.
This series is classified as Public.
The Wayne County Clerk as secretary for the Wayne County Commission should be contacted for recent holdings and paper copy. Filming was begun by the county in 1983. The series was processed by A. C. Cone in September 1996. Several reels were cut to remove unrelated series filmed on the same roll.
Page Last Updated October 18, 2012.