William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas


[TOC] [part 39] [part 37] [Cutler's History]



SECTION 1. The judicial power of the State shall be vested in a Supreme Court, District Courts, Probate Courts, Justices of the Peace, and such other courts, inferior to the Supreme Court, as may be provided by law; and all courts of record shall have a seal, to be used in the authentication of all process.

SEC. 2. The Supreme Court shall consist of one Chief Justice, and two Associate Justices (a majority of whom shall constitute a quorum), who shall be elected by the electors of the State at large, and whose term of office, after the first, shall be six years. At the first election, a Chief Justice shall be chosen for six years, one Associate Justice for four years, and one for two years.

SEC. 3. The Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction in proceedings in quo warranto, mandamus and habeas corpus; and such appellate jurisdiction as may be provided by law. It shall hold one term each year, at the seat of government, and such other terms at such other places as may be provided by law, and its jurisdiction shall be co-extensive with the State.

SEC. 4. There shall be appointed by the Justices of the Supreme Court, a reporter and clerk of said court, who shall hold their offices two years, and whose duties shall be prescribed by law.

SEC. 5. The State shall be divided into five judicial districts, in each of which shall be elected by the electors thereof a District Judge, who shall hold his office for the term of four years. District Courts shall be held at such times and places as may be provided by law.

SEC. 6. The District courts shall have such jurisdiction in their respective districts as may be provided by law.

SEC. 7. There shall be elected in each organized county, a Clerk of the District court, who shall hold his office two years, and whose duties shall be prescribed by law.

SEC. 8. There shall be a Probate Court in each county, which shall be a court of record, and have such probate jurisdiction and care of estates of deceased persons, minors and persons of unsound minds, as may be prescribed by law, and shall have jurisdiction in cases of habeas corpus. This court shall consist of one Judge, who shall be elected by the qualified voters of the county, and hold his office two years. He shall be his own clerk, and shall hold court at such times and receive for compensation such fees as may be prescribed by law.

SEC. 9. Two Justices of the Peace shall be elected in each township, whose term of office shall be two years, and whose powers and duties shall be prescribed by law. The number of the Justices of the Peace may be increased in any township by law.

SEC. 10. All appeals from Probate Courts and Justices of the Peace shall be to the District Court.

SEC. 11. All the judicial officers provided for by this article shall be elected at the first election under this Constitution, and shall reside in their respective townships, counties or districts during their respective terms of office. In case of vacancy in any judicial office, it shall be filled by appointment of the Governor, until the next regular election that shall occur more than thirty days after such vacancy shall have happened.

SEC. 12. All judicial officers shall hold their offices until their successors shall have qualified.

SEC. 13. The Justices of the Supreme Court and Judges of the District Court shall, at stated times, receive for their services such compensation as may be provided by law, which shall not be increased during their respective terms of office: Provided, such compensation shall not be less than fifteen hundred dollars to each Justice or Judge each year, and such Justices or Judges shall receive no fees or perquisites, nor hold any other office of profit or trust under the authority of the State or the United States during the term of office for which said Justices and Judges shall be elected, nor practice law in any of the courts of the State during their continuance in office.

SEC. 14. Provision may be made by law for the increase of the number of judicial districts whenever two-thirds of the members of each House shall concur. Such districts shall be formed of compact territory and bounded by county lines, and such increase shall not vacate the office of any Judge.

SEC. 15. Justices of the Supreme Court and Judges of the District Courts may be removed from office by resolution of both Houses, if two-thirds of the members of each House concur; but no such removal shall be made except upon complaint, the substance of which shall be entered upon the journal, nor until the party charged shall have had notice and opportunity to be heard.

SEC. 16. The several Justices and Judges of the courts of record in this State shall have such jurisdiction at chambers as may be provided by law.

SEC. 17. The style of all process shall be, "The State of Kansas," and all prosecutions shall be carried on in the name of the State.

SEC. 18. Until otherwise provided by law, the First District shall consist of the counties of Wyandotte, Leavenworth, Jefferson and Jackson. The Second District shall consist of the counties of Atchison, Doniphan, Brown, Nemaha, Marshall and Washington. The Third District shall consist of the counties of Pottawatomie, Riley, Clay, Dickinson, Davis, Wabaunsee and Shawnee. The Fourth District shall consist of the counties of Douglas, Johnson, Lykins, Franklin, Anderson, Linn, Bourbon and Allen. The Fifth District shall consist of the counties of Osage, Coffey, Woodson, Greenwood, Madison, Breckinridge, Morris, Chase, Butler and Hunter.

SEC. 19. New or unorganized counties shall, by law, be attached, for judicial purposes, to the most convenient judicial districts.

SEC. 20. Provision shall be made by law for the selection by the bar, of a pro iempore Judge of the District Court, when the Judge is absent or otherwise unable or disqualified to sit in any case.


SEC. 1. All elections by the people shall be by ballot, and all elections by the Legislature shall be viva voce.

SEC. 2. General elections shall be held annually, on the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday in November. Township elections shall be held on the first Tuesday in April, until otherwise provided by law.


SECTION 1. Every white male person, of twenty-one years and upward, belonging to either of the following classes - who shall have resided in Kansas six months next preceding any election, and in the township or ward in which he offers to vote, at least thirty days next preceding such election - shall be deemed a qualified elector: First. Citizens of the United States. Second. Persons of foreign birth who shall have declared their intention to become citizens conformably to the laws of the United States on the subject of naturalization.

SEC. 2. No person under guardianship, non compos mentis, or insane, shall be qualified to vote, nor any person convicted of treason or felony, unless restored to civil rights.

SEC. 3. No soldier, seaman or marine, in the army or navy of the United States, or of their allies, shall be deemed to have acquired a residence in the State in consequence of being stationed within the same; nor shall any soldier, seaman or marine have the right to vote.

SEC. 4. The Legislature shall pass such laws as may be necessary for ascertaining, by proper proofs, the citizens who shall be entitled to the right of suffrage hereby established.

SEC. 5. Every person who shall give or accept a challenge to fight a duel, or who shall, knowingly, carry to another person, such challenge, or shall go out of the State to fight a duel, shall be ineligible to any office of trust or profit.

SEC. 6. Every person who shall have given or offered a bribe to secure his election, shall be disqualified from holding office during the term for which he may have been elected.

SEC. 7. Electors, during their attendance at elections, and in going to and returning therefrom, shall be privileged from arrest in all cases except treason, felony or breach of the peace.


SECTION 1. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction shall have the general supervision of the common school funds and educational interests of the State, and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by law. A Superintendent of Public Instruction shall be elected in each county, whose term of office shall be two years, and whose duty and compensation shall be prescribed by law.

SEC. 2. The Legislature shall encourage the promotion of intellectual, moral, scientific and agricultural improvements, by establishing a uniform system of common schools, and schools of higher grade, embracing normal, preparatory, collegiate and university departments.

SEC. 3. The proceeds of all lands that have been or may be granted by the United States to the State, for the support of schools, and the five hundred thousand acres of land granted to the new States, under an act of Congress distributing the proceeds of public lands among the several States of the Union, approved September 4, A. D. 1841, and all estates of persons dying without heir or will, and such per cent as may be granted by Congress, on the sale of lands in this State, shall be the common property of the State, and shall be a perpetual school fund, which shall not be diminished, but the interest of which, together with all the rents of the lands, and such other means as the Legislature may provide, by tax or otherwise, shall be inviolably appropriated to the support of common schools.

SEC. 4. The income of the State school fund shall be disbursed annually, by order of the State Superintendent, to the several County Treasurers, and thence to the Treasurers of the several school districts, in equitable proportion to the number of children and youth resident therein, between the ages of five and twenty-one years; Provided, that no school district, in which a common school has not been maintained at least three months in each year, shall be entitled to receive any portion of such funds.

SEC. 5. The school lands shall not be sold unless such sale shall be authorized by a vote of the people at a general election; but, subject to re-valuation every five years, they may be leased for any number of years not exceeding twenty-five, at a rate established by law.

SEC. 6. All money which shall be paid by persons as an equivalent for exemption from military duty; the clear proceeds from estray, ownership of which shall rest in the taker-up; and the proceeds of fines for any breach of the penal laws, shall be exclusively applied in the several counties in which the money is paid or fines collected, to the support of common schools.

SEC. 7. Provision shall be made by law for the establishment, at some eligible and central point, of a State University, for the promotion of literature, and the arts and sciences, including a normal and an agricultural department. All funds arising from the sale or rents of lands granted by the United States to the State for the support of a State University, and all other grants, donations or bequests, either by the State or by individuals, for such purpose, shall remain a perpetual fund, to be called the "University Fund," the interest of which shall be appropriated to the support of the State University.


SECTION 1. Institutions for the benefit of the insane, blind, and deaf and dumb and such other benevolent institutions as the public good may require, shall be fostered and supported by the State, subject to such regulations as may be prescribed by law. Trustees of such benevolent institutions, as may be hereafter created, shall be appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate; and, upon all nominations made by the Governor, the question shall be taken in yeas and nays, and entered upon the journal.

SEC. 2. A penitentiary shall be established, the directors of which shall be appointed or elected, as prescribed by law.

SEC. 3. The Governor shall fill any vacancy that may occur in the offices aforesaid, until the next session of the Legislature, and until a successor to his appointee shall be confirmed and qualified.

SEC. 4. The respective counties of the State shall provide, as may be prescribed by law, for those inhabitants who, by reason of age, infirmity or other misfortune, may have claims upon the sympathy and aid of society.


SECTION 1. The militia shall be composed of all able-bodied white male citizens between the ages of twenty-one and forty-five years, except such as are exempted by the laws of the United States or of this State; but all citizens of any religious denomination whatever, who, from scruples of conscience, may be averse to bearing arms, shall be exempted therefrom, upon such conditions as may be prescribed by law.

SEC. 2. The Legislature shall provide for organizing, equipping and disciplining the militia in such manner as it shall deem expedient, not incompatible with the laws of the United States.

SEC. 3. Officers of the militia shall be elected or appointed, and commissioned in such manner as may be provided by law.

SEC. 4. The Governor shall be Commander-in-Chief, and shall have power to call out the militia to execute the laws, to suppress insurrection, and to repel invasion.


SECTION 1. The Legislature shall provide for organizing new counties, locating county seats, and changing county lines; but no county seat shall be changed without the consent of a majority of the electors of the county, nor any county organized, nor the lines of any county changed so as to include an area of less than four hundred and thirty-two square miles.

SEC. 2. The Legislature shall provide for such county and township officers as may be necessary.

SEC. 3. All county officers shall hold their offices for the term of two years, and until their successors shall be qualified; but no person shall hold the office of Sheriff or County Treasurer for more than two consecutive terms.

SEC. 4. Township officers, except Justices of the Peace, shall hold their offices one year from the Monday next succeeding their election, and until their successors are qualified.

SEC. 5. All county and township officers may be removed from office, in such manner and for such cause as shall be prescribed by law.


SECTION 1. In the future apportionment of the State, each organized county shall have at least one Representative; and each county shall be divided into as many districts as it has Representatives.

SEC. 2. It shall be the duty of the first Legislature to make an apportionment, based upon the census ordered by the last Legislative Assembly of the Territory; and a new apportionment shall be made in the year 1866, and every five years thereafter, based upon the census of the preceding year.

SEC. 3. Until there shall be a new apportionment, the State shall be divided into election districts; and the Representatives and Senators shall be apportioned among the several districts as follows, viz:

First District. - Doniphan County, four Representatives, two Senators.

Second District. - Atchison and Brown Counties, six Representatives, two Senators.

Third District. - Nemaha, Marshall and Washington Counties, two Representatives, one Senator.

Fourth District. - Clay, Riley and Pottowatomie (sic) Counties, four Representatives, one Senator.

Fifth District. - Dickinson, Davis and Wabaunsee Counties, three Representatives, one Senator.

Sixth District. - Shawnee, Jackson and Jefferson Counties, eight Representatives, two Senators.

Seventh District. - Shawnee, Jackson and Jefferson Counties, eight Representatives, two Senators.

Eighth District. - Douglas, Johnson and Wyandotte Counties, thirteen Representatives, four Senators.

Ninth District. - Lykins, Linn and Bourbon Counties, nine Representatives, three Senators.

Tenth District. - Allen, Anderson and Franklin Counties, six Representatives, two Senators.

Eleventh District. - Woodson and Madison Counties, two Representatives, one Senator.

Twelfth District. - Coffey, Osage and Breckinridge Counties, six Representatives, two Senators.

Thirteenth District. - Morris, Chase and Butler Counties, two Representatives, one Senator.

Fourteenth District. - Arapahoe, Godfrey, Greenwood, Hunter, Wilson, Dorn and McGee Counties, one Representative.


SECTION 1. The Legislature shall provide for a uniform and equal rate of assessment and taxation; but all property used exclusively for State, county, municipal, literary, educational, scientific, religious, benevolent and charitable purposes, and personal property to the amount of at least two hundred dollars for each family, shall be exempted from taxation.

SEC. 2. The Legislature shall provide for taxing the notes and bills discounted or purchased, moneys loaned, and other property, effects, or dues of every description (without deduction), of all banks now existing or hereafter to be created, and of all bankers; so that all property employed in banking shall always bear a burden of taxation equal to that imposed upon the property of individuals.

SEC. 3. The Legislature shall provide, each year, for raising revenue sufficient to defray the current expenses of the State.

SEC. 4. No tax shall be levied, except in pursuance of a law which shall distinctly state the object of the same; to which object only such tax shall be applied.

SEC. 5. For the purpose of defraying extraordinary expenses, and making public improvements, the State may contract public debts; but such debts shall never, in the aggregate, exceed one million dollars, except as hereinafter provided. Every such debt shall be authorized by law for some purpose specified therein, and a vote of the majority of all the members elected to each House, to be taken by the yeas and nays, shall be necessary to the passage of such law; and every such law shall provide for levying an annual tax sufficient to pay the annual interest of such debt, and the principal thereof, when it shall become due; and shall specifically appropriate the proceeds of such taxes to the payment of such principal and interest; and such appropriation shall not be repealed, nor the taxes postponed or diminished, until the interest and principal of such debt shall have been wholly paid.

SEC. 6. No debt shall be contracted by the State, except as herein provided, unless the proposed law for creating such debt shall first be submitted to a direct vote of the electors of the State, at some general election; and if such proposed law shall be ratified by a majority of all the votes cast at such general election, then it shall be the duty of the Legislature next after such election to enact such law and create such debt, subject to all the provisions and restrictions provided in the preceding section of this article.

SEC. 7. The State may borrow money to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or defend the State in time of war; but the money thus raised shall be applied exclusively to the object for which the loan was authorized, or to the repayment of the debt thereby created.

SEC. 8. The State shall never be a party in carrying on any works of internal improvement.


SECTION 1. The Legislature shall pass no special act conferring corporate powers. Corporations may be created under general laws; but all such laws may be amended or repealed.

SEC. 2. Dues from corporations shall be secured by individual liability of the stockholders to an additional amount equal to the stock owned by each stockholder; and such other means as shall be provided by law; but such individual liabilities shall not apply to railroad corporations, nor corporations for religious or charitable purposes.

SEC. 3. Whenever the bonds pledged as collateral security for the circulation of any bank shall depreciate in value, the Auditor of State shall require additional security, or curtail the circulation of such bank, to such extent as will continue the security unimpaired.

SEC. 4. All circulating notes shall be redeemable in the money of the United States. Holders of such notes shall be entitled, in case of the insolvency of such banks, to preference of payment over all other creditors.

SEC. 5. The State shall not be a stockholder in any banking institution.

SEC. 6. All banks shall be required to keep officers and offices for the issue and redemption of their circulation, at a convenient place within the State, to be named on the circulating notes issued by such bank.

SEC. 7. No banking institution shall issue circulating notes of a less denomination than $5.

SEC. 8. No banking law shall be in force until the same shall have been submitted to a vote of the electors of the State, at come general election, and approved by a majority of all the votes case at such election.

SEC. 9. Any banking law may be amended or repealed.

[TOC] [part 39] [part 37] [Cutler's History]