Ela Township, Lake County Illinois

Ela Township Homes For Sale History of Townships in The United States Lake County Homes For Sale Your Lake County Home Value

Ela Township, situated in Lake County, Illinois, USA, is named after George Ela, a prominent Illinois legislator. With a population of 42,654 according to the 2010 census, the township covers an area of 35.9 square miles, including 1.5 square miles of water bodies.

The township's geography is enriched by various lakes, such as Ashley Lake, Bresen Lake, Echo Lake, Forest Lake, Lake Germaine, Lake Louise, Lake Zurich, and Leo Lake, contributing to its natural beauty.

Ela Township shares borders with several other townships, including Fremont Township to the north, Libertyville Township to the northeast, and Vernon Township to the east. It also neighbors Wheeling Township and Palatine Township in Cook County to the southeast, Barrington Township (Cook County) to the southwest, and Cuba Township to the west, along with Wauconda Township to the northwest.

Within Ela Township are several cities and towns, including Deer Park, Hawthorn Woods, Lake Zurich, and parts of Barrington, Long Grove, and North Barrington. The township also has small extensions of Arlington Heights and Vernon Township, as recorded in the United States Census data from 2000.

The area hosts three primary cemeteries: Fairfield, Lake Zurich, and Saint Matthew Lutheran. Major highways like U.S. Route 12, Illinois State Route 22, and Illinois State Route 53 traverse through the township, ensuring accessibility and connectivity. Additionally, Ela Township is served by Honey Lake Heliport and Rotor Swing Heliport, along with the Canadian National Railway.

History of Townships in the United States

In the United States, townships represent the oldest form of government still in operation today. Dating back to 1636, American settlers introduced this system as a way to escape the autocratic governance prevalent in Europe. This grassroots democratic process was carried out through town meetings, where residents gathered to discuss important matters and establish local laws.

In Illinois, township government was established in 1849 following the adoption of the Illinois Constitution of 1848. This constitution allowed voters in each county to choose between establishing township governments or adopting a county commission form of government without townships. Presently, 85 out of the 102 counties in Illinois operate under the township form of government, with a total of 1,433 townships serving over eight million residents.

Townships are distinct geographic areas separate from cities and counties. While a large city may contain multiple townships, a single township may encompass several smaller towns. Township government functions at the local level and is intended to address the basic needs of the community. It is designed to operate closely with the residents it serves, particularly in rural areas where townships often serve as the primary source of social services and road maintenance.

Illinois townships are mandated by law to fulfill three primary functions:

  • General Assistance: Providing food, shelter, or emergency relief to individuals in need until they are able to support themselves or qualify for other forms of assistance.
  • Property Assessment: Township Assessors determine property values for all properties within the township.
  • Road and Bridge Maintenance: Townships collectively maintain approximately 71,000 miles of roads in Illinois, representing over half of the state's total road miles.

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