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ity to make good, and there is little difference whether he was paid a salary or had an interest in the profits of the business. In nearly every business there are certain methods pursued and certain regular customers and patrons of that business. The knowledge and information which a person interested in such business obtains by reason of his connection therewith are valuable, and it is injurious to such business to disclose its secrets or impart information of its affairs to competitors. The reason for entering into such contracts as the one in this case is to prevent such knowledge being disclosed. While the evidence upon which the master based his report is conflicting as to whether plaintiff in error had actually solicited business for Law from customers of the Alcock Plumbing Company, plaintiff in error admitted that he had figured on business for Law and furnished estimates for various plumbing jobs. He had done the same kind of work for the Alcock Plumbing Company and knew just how that company would bid or contract for work, and if he was worth anything to Law he was bound to make use of that knowledge in doing the same kind of work for him. In the case of Ryan v. Hamilton, 205 Ill. 191, which was a bill for an injunction to restrain a physician from practicing medicine within a certain territory in violation of a contract by which he had sold his practice and agreed not to practice within that territory, we held that in interpreting written contracts fairly entered into, it is the duty of courts to uphold rather than defeat them and to give them a reasonable and sensible construction, so as to carry out the intention of the parties as far as possible. In the case of Ranft v. Reimers, 200 Ill. 386, it was held that a seller conveying and warranting the good will of a business may be enjoined from soliciting old customers upon re-engaging in the same business and from appropriating the same telephone number as that used in the business sold and by which a large part of the orders had been received. In that case there was no specific agreement by the seller not to engage in the same business again.

On the whole, we are unable to say that the decree of the superior court sustaining the master's report, and the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming such decree, are erroneous. "The judgment of the Appellate Court will therefore be affirmed.

Judgment affirmed.

THE PEOPLE ex rel. Charles Agnew, Plaintiff in Error, vs.

EDWARD GRAHAM et al. Defendants in Error.

Opinion filed April 22, 1915.

1. ELECTIONS—ward lines must not be crossed in fixing election districts. In fixing the boundaries of election districts in a city ward lines must not be crossed, although a ward may be divided into several election districts or precincts, in which case the voter must have resided in the precinct thirty days before the election. (Welsh v. Shumway, 232 III. 54, followed.)

2. SAME—when fact that voting place is not in the ward does not invalidate election. The fact that a city, divided into three wards, had but one polling place for city elections, which was located just across the street from the boundary lines of two of the wards, does not invalidate the election on the ground that the voters in two of the wards had to cast their ballots outside the boundaries of such ward, where such custom has been followed in such city for years and it is not shown that any injury to anyone has resulted therefrom.

3. SAME—when place of residence of judges does not invalidate election. Where a city has but one polling place for a city election, the fact that all three of the judges do not reside in the precinct where the polling place is located does not invalidate the election.

Cooke, J., dissenting.

Writ of ERROR to the Appellate Court for the Second District ;-heard in that court on writ of error to the Circuit Court of LaSalle county; the Hon. Joe A. Davis, Judge, presiding.

L. B. OLMSTEAD, and . BUTTERS & CLARK, (GEORGE S. WILEY, State's Attorney, of counsel,) for plaintiff in error.


FAISSLER, FULTON & ROBERTS, and BROWNE & WILEY, for defendants in error.

Mr. JUSTICE CARTER delivered the opinion of the court:

This proceeding was commenced in the circuit court of LaSalle county October 4, 1912, by the State's attorney filing with leave of court, in the name of the People, on the relation of Charles Agnew, an information against Edward Graham, F. E. Blakeslee and P. J. Cruise, requiring them to show by what warrant they respectively exercised the offices of mayor of Earlville and aldermen of said city and the offices of president and secretary and member of the board of local improvements of said city, which offices, the information alleged, they had and still usurped. Respondents set up, by plea, their title to their respective offices. A demurrer thereto having been overruled, plaintiff in error elected to abide thereby and judgment was entered in favor of respondents. A writ of error was sued out from the Appellate Court for the Second District, and that court affirmed the judgment. The case has been brought to this court by petition for certiorari.

From the petition and plea it appears that the city of Earlville was organized under the general City and Village act on February 5, 1887, and about two months thereafter, by ordinance, it was divided into three wards, the boundaries of which it is unnecessary to state here. The same day an ordinance was passed providing that the city council should appoint three judges of election, one from each of the three wards, and one or more clerks, who should conduct all the city elections until their successors were selected; that the elections in said city should be held at a place therein to be designated by the city council in a notice published by the city clerk twenty days before the election; that a ballot-box should be prepared with three compartments, lettered "First Ward," "Second Ward” and “Third Ward,” respectively, and that each voter's ballot be deposited in the compartment designated for the ward in which he resided, otherwise such ballot should not be counted for alderman. It further appears that the said last mentioned ordinance remained in full force from 1887 to the time of the hearing of this cause and had never been repealed or amended, and that said city of Earlville had conducted and held all elections from and after its organization in conformity with said ordinance. From the plea it further appears that in the spring of 1911 a primary, and thereafter an election, were duly called, due notice thereof given and the same duly held, and that the respondents became candidates for the respective offices and all necessary steps were taken to place their names on the primary ballot and on the official ballot in the election; that they were fully qualified in every respect to be candidates and to hold the said offices, and that they were each duly nominated and elected, Graham for mayor and Cruise and Blakeslee for aldermen of the first and second wards, respectively, and that the election was held according to law and the returns canvassed and declared, and they duly qualified and entered upon said offices, and thereby, under the law, became members of the board of local improvements and were at the time of filing said plea occupying said offices; that said primary and said election of 1911 were held at the city hall in the city of Earlville, which was the place designated by the city council and had been the place of holding elections in said city for twenty years last past; that the ballot-box contained three compartments, and that all those voting at the election were legally qualified voters in the ward designated on the compartment in which their ballots were deposited and that each judge of election possessed the qualifications required by law. The plea further alleged “that there was a large vote cast at said election and a fair ex


pression of the will of the voters of said city; that no one entitled to vote was deprived of his right to do so by reason of the polling place being situated as aforesaid, and that the said election was conducted in all respects in the same manner as has been the custom and practice in said city for more than twenty years and as provided for by the general ordinances of said city; that said city hall is centrally and conveniently located for holding such elections,” etc. It further appears from the plea that the city hall was located not more than sixty feet distant from the boundary lines of both the first and second wards of said city, being located in the southeast corner of the third ward, directly north of Winthrop street, the northern boundary of the first ward, and directly west of Ottawa street, the western boundary of the second ward.

The first question necessary to be considered is whether the ward lines must be taken into consideration in fixing the boundaries of the precinct or voting district. The words "precinct" and "district” are frequently used interchangeably and with the same meaning in the various statutes of this State. (People v. Markiewicz, 225 Ill. 563.) Section 3 of article 4 of the Cities and Villages act provides that “all persons entitled to vote at any general election for State officers within any city or village, having resided therein thirty days next preceding thereto, may vote at any election for city or village officers.” (Hurd's Stat. 1913, p. 268.) If this were the only provision of the law affecting residence and election districts there would be no question, as contended by counsel for defendants in error, that a city, even though divided into wards, could be considered as one election district. Section 4, however, of said article 4 of the Cities and Villages act, provides, among other things, that the city council may divide the city into wards, and that one alderman shall annually be elected from each ward. Section 9 provides that the city council shall designate the place or places in which the

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