The Illinois Constitution of 1848 gave voters in each county the opportunity to adopt Township Government. By 1850, the first township governments began operation, including Thornton Township. Today, 85 of Illinois 102 counties operate under the township form of government and the 1,433 townships serve more than 8 million citizens.
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In December, 1977 the Thornton Township Supervisor and Board of Trustees decided that the largest township in the State of Illinois should have a Township Flag and Seal. Therefore, during the same month, the Department of Special Services was instructed to notify all high schools in the Thornton Township area of a contest to design a Township Flag and Seal.
At the may, 1978 board meeting, all entries were reviewed by the Supervisor and Board of Trustees and a winner was declared. Miss Karri Howard, a junior at Thornridge High School, was selected as the winner. Her explanation of the Township Flag and Seal design is as follows:
This flag was designed to represent Thornton Township. The split “T” represents the two T’s that in Thornton Township. It is split by the blue area which represents the waters in and throughout Thornton Township, such as the little Calumet River, Thorn Creek, Stony Creek and the Grand Calumet...
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History of Townships
Township government, established in Providence, Rhode Island in 1636, is the oldest existing unit of government continuing to serve on the North American continent. Township government was in existence for 140 years prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The wording of the Declaration of Independence reflects the fact that 38 of its 56 signers had experienced the benefits of township government.