Township government, often called “grass roots” government, pre-dates the U.S. Constitution by over 150 years. Township government in the United States dates back to the mid-1600’s when English colonists of the Rhode Island territory brought with them a tradition of government based on the English parish. The English parish and township shared common boundaries and often the same officials would be elected to serve on both governing boards. In early America, a township consisted of a group of citizens living within a reasonable distance of a centrally located meeting house. At a “town” meeting, usually attended by all residents and families, every voter had the privilege of joining in the discussion of issues of public concern. Proposals regarding “town” actions required the approval of the majority of the citizenry.After the revolution, Congress designated the land extending to the Mississippi River as the Northwest territory. In 1787, Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance, providing for a pattern of government that established territorial governors and congressional townships. Each township comprised an area of six miles square, which became popularly known as “six by six”.In 1818, the first Illinois Constitution called for the establishment of county governments whereby three commissioners were elected at large to comprise a governing board. During the mid-1800’s, Northern Illinois experienced an influx of settlers from new land who were accustomed to the “town” form of government and demanded that countries make provisions for township units. The second Illinois Constitution, passed in 1848, suggested that legislators provide for an optional township government; and the State Constitution of 1870 made it law.
Wauponsee Township is one of 17 townships in Grundy County, Illinois, and one of 1433 townships in Illinois. Wauponsee Township was established on November 6, 1849, and currently, occupies 28 square miles within Grundy County. Our 2000 Census indicates that our population had grown to 2,491 with approximately 860 building structures (residences, commercial, industrial and farm parcels) within. As of the 2009 Tax Year, the assessed valuation of all properties is near $69,000,000. Wauponsee is part of the 11th Congressional District and is contained within the 75th Illinois State House and 38th State Senate Districts.