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Bedford Township Tax Book
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- County of Frontenac
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1 folder of textual records
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As one of the earliest settled areas in Ontario, the area comprising Frontenac County has evolved through every stage of municipal growth in over two hundred years of recorded history. The Loyalists settled in the first municipal areas, survey units called townships. As it was necessary to provide for the maintenance of law and order and the settlement of minor disputes, a number of magistrates, by an ordinance of 1785, were given limited civil jurisdiction The Loyalists, however, were accustomed to a substantial amount of great local automony. To satisfy these concerns and to provide for a rudimentary judicial and administrative system for the new settlers, Lord Dorchester, the Governor-in-Chief, divided the area into four Districts (Luneberg, Mecklenburg, Nassau and Hesse). At the same time he appointed judges of the Court of Common Pleas, justices of the peace, a sheriff, a clerk for the Court of Common Pleas, and of the sessions of the peace, and coroners in each district.
As early as 1800, certain townships -- for example, Amherst, Simcoe, Wolfe and Howe Islands, were added to the Frontenac County responsibilities. From time to time, certain townships were withdrawn and administered by other county jurisdictions. With the Act of Union in 1841 municipal government was established in Canada. Thus, from 1842 the Midland District Municipal Council administered this area of present-day Ontario. The Council consisted of twenty members. John Bennett Marks became the first Warden of the Midland District Council. This system of municipal government remained in effect until the passage of the Municipal Act of 1849 which is commonly called "the Baldwin Act."
In 1850 the United Counties of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington came into being. The first Council Meeting of the new United Counties met on January 28, 1850. The sixteen-member Council appointed David Roblin from Richmond Township as the first Warden.
This system of municipal government remained in effect until September 7, 1864 when the separation of the Counties of Frontenac and Lennox and Addington occurred. The first session of the Council of the new County of Frontenac was held on January 24, 1865. D.D. Calvin, the Reeve of Wolfe Island, was elected the first warden of the newly separated County. Since then Frontenac County has consisted of the following townships: Barrie; Bedford; North and South Canonto; Palmerston; Clarendon and Miller; Hinchinbrooke; Kennebec; Kingston; Loughborough; Olden; Oso; Pittsburgh; Portland; Howe Island; Storrington; and Wolfe Island.
The same basic structure remained until amalgamation was ordered by the Provincial Minister on January 7, 1997. The City of Kingston was joined with two townships (Pittsburgh and Kingston), and the 14 remaining townships were incorporated into four newly alligned municipalities (Central Frontenac, North Frontenac, South Frontenac, Frontenac Islands). The amalgamation became effective as of January 1, 1998. The County of Frontenac no longer exists as an administrative body but has been replaced by the new municipalities.
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