Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD) System Illinois State Archives


The office of county coroner became constitutional with statehood in 1818. Coroners were elected for two-year terms.1 The duties of the coroner were to aid in keeping the peace; to carry out the duties of the sheriff in his absence; to hold inquests and hear testimony over the bodies of all persons suspected of dying through unnatural causes; and to arrest all persons found guilty of homicide by coroner's juries.2

In 1869, coroners were required to keep inquest records on file.3 In 1880, their election terms were lengthened to four years; and in 1971, coroners were authorized to take blood and other samples from bodies as required by law.4

Record Descriptions

1Constitution of 1818, Article III, section 11.
2L. 1821, pp. 22-23.
3L. 1869, p. 104.
4Constitution of 1870, 1880 Amendment, Article X, section 8; P.A. 77-659.