Jonesborough (Tennessee) Board of Mayor and Alderman
In 1777 the North Carolina General Assembly created Washington County, the first county established in the area from which the state of Tennessee was later created. Two years later the General Assembly established the town of Jonesborough in Washington County. Named for Willie Jones of Halifax, North Carolina, Jonesborough is the county seat of Washington County and the oldest town in Tennessee.
The town of "Jonesboro" was incorporated in 1903 by the Tennessee General Assembly. The charter established the town's boundaries, provided for the election of a board of mayor and aldermen, defined the powers and authorities of the board, provided for the appointment of town officers, and named the first Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
The government of the town was vested in the Board of Mayor and (four) Aldermen, which was granted the power to pass "all by-laws and ordinances for the government of the town" and "all reasonable ordinances for the regulation and preservation of public morals, the health and peace and good order of the town." Specifically, the board was empowered to levy and collect taxes; to appropriate money and provide for the payment of town debts; to make regulations to prevent the introduction and spreading of contagious diseases; to open, alter, or improve streets, alleys and sidewalks; to establish police force; to license and regulate merchants, druggists, retailers, etc.; to provide for the prevention and extinguishment of fires; and to impose fines for violation of any town ordinance. In addition, the board was given the power to appoint a city marshall "with a sufficient police force," a health officer, a recorder (who would also serve as a town treasurer), and a six-member board of education.
The first members of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen named by the legislature in the charter were R. C. Thomas, mayor, and J. S. Stuart, J. H. Epps, John P. White and W. E. May, aldermen. The mayor and aldermen were to serve without compensation and were to be elected every two years by the qualified voters of the town.
Found in 1 Collection or Record:
The Jonesborough (Tennessee) Board of Mayor and Aldermen Minute Book consists of one bound minute book containing (1) a list of forty-nine previously adopted ordinances and bylaws which were ratified and confirmed by the board elected on April 5, 1906, and (2) minutes of meetings of the board of mayor and aldermen from April 16, 1906 through April 11, 1910. A subject index is recorded at the front of the minute book.