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in the wagon roads of the state. The following goes well back to the organization of the state:
"An act appropriating part of the three per cent. granted for laying out, opening and making roads within this state.
"WHEREAS, By virtue of the act of Congress, entitled, 'An act, in addition to and in modification of the propositions contained in the act,' entitled, “An act to enable the people of the eastern division of the territory, northwest of the river Ohio, to form a constitution and state government, and for the admission of such state into the Union on an equal footing with the original states, and for other purposes,' this state is entitled to receive three per cent. of the net proceeds of the lands of the United States lying within the state of Ohio, which since the thirtieth day of June, 1802, have been, or hereafer may be sold by the United States, to be applied to the laying out, opening and making roads within the said state, and to no otier purpose whatever. And, whereas, also, the General Assembly of the state of Ohio did, on the fifteenth day of April, 1803, pass "An act, empowering the treasurer of the state, to receive from the secretary of the treasury of the United States, monies granted for the opening of roads within the state;' therefore,
“SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Ohio, That seventeen thousand dollars of the monies which have been, and hereafter may be, received by the treasurer of the state, agreeably to the provisions of the before recited acts, be and the same is hereby appropriated, for the purpose of laying out, opening and making roads within this state, in the places and manner hereinafter prescribed."
Various specific appropriations follow for public roads to at least seventeen different localities, ranging from one hundred and fifty dollars to sixteen hundred and fifty dollars in amount. These provisions, with certain matters in reference to the detail of work contemplated, were provided for in Sections 2 and 3 of this act.
"Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of each road commissioner to cause the road for which he is appointed to be carefully surveyed and plainly marked, on or as near a direct line as the nature of the ground and the situation of the country over which the same is to pass, will admit; and all roads laid out under this act, shall be sixtysix feet in width and shall be and remain public highways: Provided, however, That the commissioners under this act, shall not be bound to cause said roads to be opened, otherwise than is in this act provided, and each commissioner shall be entitled to receive three dollars per mile, for surveving, marking, examining and making return of his road, and for all other services done and performed under this act.
“Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That each of the aforesaid Commissioners, immediately after he shall have ascertained the ground over which his part of a road is to pass, shall lay out the same into convenient lots of not less than five miles, nor to exceed thirty miles, and shall divide the whole sum of money allowed to his part of the road, amongst the several lots thereof, in proportion to the labor that is necessary to be done on each lot, and shall set up a notice in writing at the court house or court houses of the county or counties, where the road is to pass, and in two of the most public places in the vicinity of said road, that he will receive proposals until a day to be mentioned in his advertisements, not less than twenty days after setting up such notice for opening each lot of said road, and the said commissioners shall contract with the person making the most advantageous proposal: Provided, That the said person shall at the same time, enter into bond to said commission, in double amount of the money that shall be allowed for his lot of road, with such security as may be approved of by the said commissioner, conditioned for the faithful performance of his contract: And provided also, That the said contract shall require at least the labor hereinafter mentioned, to be expended on every part of said road, viz: All timber and brush shall be cut and cleared off, at least twenty feet wide, leaving the stumps nu. more than one foot in heighth; wet and miry places shall be made passable by a causeway sixteen feet wide, to be made of timber covered with earth; small streams that are difficult to be passed shall be bridged; where the road passes on sidling ground, it shall be dug horizontally into the hill, so that the road shall measure crosswise at least eight feet in the solid ground; in ascending hills that are to be dug, the road shall not have a greater elevation, from a horizontal line, than fifteen degrees; and it shall be the duty of the commissioner to examine every part of the road so made: And provided also, That all the roads mentioned in this act, for which there is less than ten dollars per mile appropriated to the opening thereof, the commissioners of such roads are allowed to use their own discretion as to the width and bridging, so that the money may be laid out to the best advantage, in making as good a road as the nature of the case will admit.
“Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That when any person, who shall have made a contract, for opening any lot of road as aforesaid, shall have completed the same, agreeable to his contract, the commissioner appointed to superintend that part of the road within which said lot is situated, shall give to the said person an order on the treasurer for the amount of money due to him upon his contract: Provided, that said order shall not be payable until after the first day of November next; and it shall be the duty of each of the said commissioners, to forward to the treasurer, before the first day of November next, a list of all orders by him drawn upon the treasurer, stating the amount of each order, and if there shall not be in the hands of the treasurer as much of the money appropriated under this act, as will be sufficient to pay off the whole of such orders, the treasurer is hereby directed to make a distribution of the money in his hands between the several persons holding said orders, in such manner that each person may receive such part thereof as shall be proportioned to the amount of his order; and the said treasurer is further directed, at the end of every three months after the said first day of November next, in like manner to make distribution of the money between the several persons holding orders on him, until the whole are paid off.
"SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of each of the commissioners aforesaid, to return to the clerk of the court of common pleas of the proper county, an accurate map and field notes of the survey of such part of his road as is laid out in such county, and it shall be the duty of such clerk to record the same at the expense of the county; and it shall also be the duty of such commissioner, to make a report to the next General Assembly, of his transactions under this act, accompanied by a fair list of all such orders as he may have drawn upon the treasurer; and it shall be the duty of the treasurer, to make a statement to the next General Assembly, of all the monies by him paid out pursuant to the directions of this act, together with the receipts and vouchers therefor.
Speaker of the Senate.'
Almost every legislature, from the time of the passage of the above act, to the present time, passed laws and amendments relative to road location and establishment, but careful examination has failed to determine that any of them recognized that the state had any other obligation to the common roads of the state than grew out of the necessity of legalizing the acts of local authorities and designating methods of procedure to make such acts of legal force. The principle of state aid was never recognized by legal enactment.
Under the stimulus of the Good Roads agitation, prevalent in 1891 and 1892, the legislature passed the following resolution:
“Authorizing the Governor to appoint a Commission for the purposes therein named.
“WHEREAS, The Governor of Ohio, in his last annual message, most earnestly asked the consideration of the General Assembly to the subject of good roads; and suggested the appointment of a Commission to investigate and carefully consider all plans proposed and experiments being made, and to submit a report with recommendations in time for the meeting of the first session of the next General Assembly; and
"WHEREAS, It is the opinion of many engineers and inventors that electric and other artificial powers may be successfully applied to the country roads, when properly prepared, so as to reduce the cost and time of transportation, both on freight and passengers, far below that which can ever be attained by the continued use of horses and other animals; therefore,
"Be it Resolved. By the General Assembly of the State of Ohio, Tliat the Governor be and he is hereby authorized to appoint a Commission, composed of four suitable citizens of the state, two of whom shall be chosen from each of the two political parties which received the largest number of votes in this state at the last general election, whose duty it shall be to thoroughly investigate the whole subject of road construction and the cost of transportation over the various kinds of roads, including those operated by steam power and electric power, as well as those operated by horse power. Said Commission shall make report to the Governor what the average cost per ton per mile now is by horse power, and what the approximate cost would be if artificial power should be substituted for horse power; and especially whether it is possible and advisable to construct country roads so that both cars and wagons can pass over the same road, propelled by either horse power or artificial power; also the estimated cost of such combination roads, as compared with the cost of roads established for horse power only, together with whatever recommendations they have to make as to the road laws of Ohio, or as to the enactment of any new laws by the legislature of the state. The report containing the findings, conclusions and recommendations of such Commission shall be transmitted by the Governor to the General Assembly, together with such comments as he may by message see fit to make thereon, and such additional recommendations as he may desire to make. Said Commission shall conclude its investigation and file its report with the Governor, as aforesaid, on or before the 21st day of December, 1893.
Adopted February 28, 1893.”
Governor McKinlev, in pursuance to the above resolution, appointed as said Commission, Martin Dodge, David S. Oliver, J. R. Dunlap and D. W. Sprague. This Commission submitted their report December 21st, 1893. The following are extracts from the majority report:
"The Commission has held several meetings and las entered into correspondence with parties all over the state and has gathered such facts and figures as were obtainable in the limited time allotted it for its labors. As a matter of history, and for reference for future laborers in the cause of road improvement, it may be here noted that the agitation for good roads is not confined to Ohio alone, but in a greater or less degree prevails all over the United States.
“One of the labors of the Commission has been an investigation into the laws enacted in other states relating to road construction. Among recent enactments on the subject we note the following:
".I law was enacted in New Jersey in 1891, the distinctively new feature of which is that one-third of the cost of making the roads provided for in the law should be paid out of the state treasury. The amount that can be withdrawn from the state treasury under this law is limited. I previous law provided that one-third of the cost of building county roads should be paid by the cities, towns, townships or boroughs in and through which said road passed, and two-thirds of the cost should be paid by the courty at large. Under this law great improvements were made in the roads of Union County, New Jersey.
“The State of Massachusetts on June 10th, 1893, passed a law providing for the appointment of a permanent Highway Commission, consisting of three members whose term of office shall be three years. The Commissioners are paid a salary of two thousand dollars each annually, and are allowed their traveling expenses in addition; the Commission is to compile statistics relating to the public roads, may be consulted without charge relative to road construction; shall make maps showing public roads and location of material suitable for road building, and shall bold one public meeting each year in each county of the state. Upon petition as prescribed by law, the Commission may build new roads or convert existing roads into state highways. In all cases the roads shall be graded at the expense of the county or counties through which they run. It is evident that this law practically puts the entire cost of constructing and mainaining the public roads on the state at large.
"We have also made an inquiry into the present condition of the roads in each county in the state of Obio, and the results are tabulated in Appendix I attached to our report. From this table we learn that about two-thirds of the counties in Ohio have nothing better than common dirt roads, over which to transport goods and merchandise."
The following from Appendix A referred to is here given as a matter of considerable interest":
$10.428 30,000 to 60,000
1,000 20.000 25,000 20,100 15,000
15 350 130 500
! Very few.
Cost per mile.
No of miles macadamized.
Amount raised by txation per
754 (25 Gravel) 15,000
15,000 to 20.000
12,000 to 15,000 2.500 400 Gravel.
10,000 1,500 632 Gravel.
1/2 of all Roads. 2,500 to 4,000 | None.