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 41. The law is well settled that a municipal corporation is purely of legislative creation, for local government, in places where it is presumed the public welfare will be subserved thereby; and it is familiar law that, in the absence of constitutional restriction the legislature may provide for the organizing, uniting, dividing, or annulling such corporations, in such manner as it shall deem best to promote the public welfare.3
The power to create corporate bodies for municipal purposes, with the means of self-government, is a legitimate exercise of sovereignty, belonging to the legislative power of the State, and an unincorporated settlement cannot by its own acts alone become entitled to the rights and privileges of a municipal corporation or subject itself to liabilities therefor.4
The legislature is omnipotent in all matters relating to the authorization of the formation of municipal corporations and investing them with powers of local government, except so far as restrictions have been placed upon the legislature by the constitution.5 There are two essential requisites to the constitution of a municipal corporation, viz.: territory and population. Dillon says, in his work on Municipal Corporations, Sec. 9: "Municipal corporations are bodies politic and corporate, and established by law, to share in the civil government of the country, but chiefly to regulate and administer the local or internal affairs of the city, town, or district which is incorporated. Like other corporations, they must be created by law. They possess no powers or faculties not conferred upon them, either expressly or by fair implication, by the law which creates them, or other statutes applicable to them. Persons residing in or inhabiting a place to be incorporated, as well as the place itself, are - both the persons and the place - indispensable to the constitution of a municipal corporation."
2 Brumm's Appeal (Pa. St.), 12 Atlantic Reporter, 855;Western Savings Fund Society vs. City of Philadelphia, 31 Pa. St., 175; Bailey vs. Mayor, Etc., of New York, 3 Hill, 531.
3 Morgan vs. Beloit, 7 Wall, 613;
Thornton vs. Abbott, 61 Mo., 176; Mount Pleasant vs. Beckwith, 100 U. S., 514. 4 New Boston vs. Dunbarton, 12
N. H., 409; Buford vs. State, 72 Tex., 182.