This section is from the book "Popular Law Library Vol8 Partnership, Private Corporations, Public Corporations", by Albert H. Putney. Also available from Amazon: Popular Law-Dictionary.
Section 5. A municipal corporation may be defined as "the incorporation, by the authority of the government, of the inhabitants of a particular place or district, and authorizing them in their corporate capacity to exercise subordinate specified powers of legislation and regulation with respect to their local and internal concerns. This power of local government is the distinguishing feature of a municipal corporation proper." 10
A municipal corporation is a body politic, because it takes in succession, and a body corporate, because the persons are made in a body, and have capacity to take and grant by a particular name. The primary idea of a municipal corporation proper is an agency to regulate and administer the internal concerns of the locality in matters peculiar to the place incorporated, and not common to the State or people at large.
The principle of law is well settled, that the term municipal corporation embraces both the territory and its inhabitants and it follows as a natural sequence, that the citizens of an incorporated territory, combined with that territory, form the municipal corporation.11