Thursday, June 22, 2017

Happy 136th Birthday, Dorchester!

Tomorrow (Friday, June 23) marks the 136th anniversary of Dorchester's incorporation as a village. Happy Birthday, Dorchester!


As Dorchester's population grew to nearly 300 by the early 1880s, it became necessary to establish a formal system of government. 

On June 23, 1881, a petition was presented to and granted by the Saline County commissioners for the incorporation of the village.

The following residents were appointed by the commissioners as village trustees: D.G. Panter, John Oberlies, N.B. Alley, Thomas Jarrett and W.H. Pallett.  At the same time, C.F. Thomas, J.H. Clark and M.O. Alley were named village clerk, treasurer and marshal, respectively.

On July 6, 1881, the first meeting of the Dorchester Village Board was held.  At this meeting, the trustees designated that the first Monday of each month would be the regular meeting time for the board, which is still adhered to today, 135 years later.

Four other ordinances were approved at this first meeting of the Dorchester village board.  

They were:

  • Ordinance 1:  Regulating the sales of intoxicating liquors in the village;
  • Ordinance 2:  Imposing a license tax on dogs in the village;
  • Ordinance 3:  Levying a five mills to the dollar valuation taxes for the year 1881; and
  • Ordinance 4:  Providing for the grading and guttering of streets and alleys, as well as construction of wooden sidewalks.
These ordinances showed the concerns of a new community that was trying to improve conditions and encourage growth of our village.

Just a little history lesson on Dorchester's 136th birthday.


  1. Can we bring back this village board and have them impose a higher tax on all dogs in town? Especially those that bark??

  2. Only if we impose a tax on all cats that meow.

  3. Only if we impose a tax on all cats that meow.


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