The History of Keokuk County, Iowa
DES MOINES: UNION HISTORICAL COMPANY.
1880.

COUNTY FINANCES.

There is very little cause for complaint in regard to the financial management of the county. There has been an absence of extravagance from the beginning, and in the main, county affairs have been managed in an economical and judicious manner. Indeed, many are of the opinion that the management of county affairs has been too conservative. The greatest expenditures have always been those voted by the people themselves.

Elsewhere we have given statistics of the earlier financial affairs of the county. They will afford interesting points of comparison with statements of the present time and a few years back.

The permanent improvements have been quite generally made, and with the one exception of keeping up the immense bridge system of the county, there is no reason why expenses may not yet be considerably reduced.

The following is the total valuation of lands and personal property, and also the aggregate amount of each tax levied in the county for the year 1878, as shown by the tax-books when the same was delivered to the county treasurer for collection:

Total valuation ………………………………………………..  $ 4,999,537

TAXES.

LEVY.

AMOUNT.

State …………………………………     2 mills. $   9,997.07
County  ……………………………...              3    “ 14,995.61
School  ………………………………     1 mill.         4,998.54
Bridge  ………………………………     1   "         4,998.54
Insane  ………………………………     1   "         4,998.53
Poor farm  …………………………..     1   "        4,998.54
County Bond  ……………………….     1   "         4,998.54
Poll  ………………………………… …………………         2,361.00
Road  ……………………………….. …………………         1,473.15
District, loans of  …………………… …………………       31,155.34
Railroad  ……………………………. …………………       55,307.58
City  ………………………………… …………………         1,032.60
          Total  ………………………… …………………  $ 141,315.04

In order that a comparison may be made with another county of nearly equal population and valuation, the taxes levied in Warren county for the same year are hereby subjoined. They were as follows:

Total valuation ………………………………………………..   $ 4,905,937

TAXES.

LEVY.

AMOUNT.

County  ……………………………...     4   mills.  $  19,607.03
State  …………………………………     2      "        9,803.50
School  ………………………………     1    mill.        4,901.75
Bridge  ………………………………     1½ mills.        7,352.59
Poor farm  …………………………..     1½    "        2,450.85
Bond  ……………………………….     1½    "        2,450.85
Insane  ………………………………     1½    "        2,450.85
Poll  ………………………………… …………………       2,158.00
Road  ……………………………….. …………………        4,915.88
District  ……………………………… …………………      18,185.16
School-house  ………………………. …………………        5,708.12
Contingent  …………………………. …………………        8,567.46
City  ………………………………… …………………        2,118.99
          Total  ………………………… …………………  $  90,733.03

 

The following table will show the tax levied for the ten years beginning with 1870 and ending with 1879:

Total tax for 1870....  $    85,935.78           Total tax for 1875....  $ 113,561.80
Total tax for 1871....      174,863.72   Total tax for 1876....     113,917.65
Total tax for 1872....      105,626.58   Total tax for 1877....       98,168.19
Total tax for 1873...        93,164.29   Total tax for 1878....     141,315.04
Total tax for 1874....        96,312.29   Total tax for 1879....       74,001.66

The general expenses of the county for the fiscal year 1878, as shown by the auditor's books, are shown by the following exhibit:

Courts  ......................................................................................................  $  2,390.34
Supervisors ..............................................................................................         765.86
Superintendent of Schools  ....................................................................         980.27
Other county officials  ............................................................................      2,999.15
Township officers  ..................................................................................      2,235.66
Roads and bridges  ................................................................................      6,270.86
Fuel, light and repairs county buildings  ..............................................        873.44
Books and stationery  .............................................................................      1,197.20
Sheriff's deputies and bailiffs  ................................................................         797.29
Jail expenses  ..........................................................................................         754.45
Deaf, dumb and insane  .........................................................................      1,705.24
Justices and constables  .........................................................................         716.53
Witnesses in justices' courts  ................................................................         755.25
Elections  .................................................................................................         579.75
Poor-house  ............................................................................................       2,709.83
Insane building  .....................................................................................       2,864.20
Poor outside infirmary  ..........................................................................        1,800.11
Printing  .................................................................................................        1,463.58
Miscellaneous  ......................................................................................           204.15

                             Total  ……………………………………………..   $ 32,063.16

For the sake of comparison we present the following exhibit for Warren county, for the same year.  As before remarked Warren county has something near the same valuation and population as Keokuk and for the purpose of comparison furnishes a fair standard, with the exception of court expenses; in this particular Warren county should not be regarded as a good standard as the court expenses there were unusually high owing to a very unusually expensive murder trial.

Courts  .....................................................................................................  $ 12,390.34
Grand jury  .............................................................................................          876.25
Township officers  .................................................................................        1,419.55
Supervisors and county officers  .........................................................        7,508.68
Collection delinquent taxes  .................................................................            50.90
Roads  .....................................................................................................            23.50
Certificate of balance  ............................................................................       5,219.76
Assessors  ...............................................................................................          991.00
Fuel for court-house and jail  ................................................................          315.29
Goods for court-house and jail  .............................................................          181.29
Jail expense  ............................................................................................         644.55
Books, stationery and printing  .............................................................      3,036.97
Janitor  .....................................................................................................         520.00
Miscellaneous  ........................................................................................      2,541.34

Total county fund  ...................................................................................    14,044.76
Total bridge fund  ..................................................................................       5,580.10
Total poor farm fund  .............................................................................       1,784.03
Total insane fund  ..................................................................................          357.55

          Total ……………………………………………………… $41,158.10

The county has no indebtedness except a bonded debt which amounts to thirteen thousand dollars.

Transcribed by Steven McBride. Thank you, Steve!

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