Grant Township, Lake County, Illinois

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Grant Township, situated in Lake County, Illinois, USA, is home to a population of 26,523 as of the 2010 census. Formerly known as Goodale Township, it officially changed its name on March 8, 1867.

Covering an area of 23.0 square miles, with 5.4 square miles consisting of water bodies, Grant Township features several lakes, including Brandenburg Lake, Duck Lake, Fish Lake, Fox Lake, Long Lake, Nippersink Lake, Redhead Lake, Sullivan Lake, and Wooster Lake. Additionally, the township is traversed by the streams of Eagle Creek and Squaw Creek.

Grant Township shares its borders with various adjacent townships, including Antioch Township and Lake Villa Township to the northeast, Avon Township to the east, and Fremont Township to the southeast. It also neighbors Wauconda Township to the south, McHenry Township in McHenry County to the west, and Burton Township (McHenry County) to the northwest.

Within Grant Township are several cities and towns, including Fox Lake, Lakemoor, Long Lake, Round Lake, and Volo, as well as the unincorporated town of Ingleside.

The township is home to two cemeteries, Grant and St. Bede Catholic Cemetery. Major highways such as U.S. Route 12, Illinois State Route 59, Illinois State Route 120, and Illinois State Route 134 pass through the area, ensuring convenient transportation. Additionally, Grant Township is served by Arrow Heliport, Precision Chrome Heliport, and Fox Lake Seaplane Base, along with the Milwaukee District/North Line railroad.


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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