In 1856, when the Delaware Railroad established a station stop at the intersection of the road from Canterbury with the road to Willow Grove, there were only a few farmhouses located nearby. The stop was called Canterbury Station, as it was only a mile west of that community. A village began to form as it became a center for commerce for the surrounding farms, and it took the name Viola after the daughter of a local landowner.
Viola was incorporated in 1913 as "The Commissioners of Viola." The boundaries, which were originally rectangular, are described in the Incorporating Act. The Town was to be governed by a board of five Commissioners serving two-year terms. Meetings of the Commissioners were to take place four times a year, in March, June, September, and December. From among the Commissioners, a President was to be chosen to preside over the meetings. Other Town officials to be appointed were a Treasurer, an Assessor, a Tax Collector, an Alderman, a Clerk, and a Town Constable. The Assessor was to assess all real estate except vacant land which exceeded five acres, and also all male citizens who were to subject to a per capita tax of seventy-five cents. The tax to be levied on the Town was not to exceed $300 annually. The Commissioners were charged with passing ordinances for the good government of the Town and authorized to light and improve the streets (assisted by an annual allocation from Kent County Levy Court of $200), pave and improve the sidewalks (at the expense of the adjacent property owners), plant and protect ornamental trees, and make and repair public pumps. The Alderman and Constable were charged with keeping the peace including suppressing all disorderly or noisy assemblages and preventing gathering which may interfere with the free use of the streets. Citizens of the Town could petition the Commissioners to lay out and open new streets.
Thirty-four years later, in 1947, the only amendment to the 1913 Incorporating Act was passed into law. This increased the amount of taxes which could be levied annually to $500.
† State of Delaware Public Archives, archives.delaware.gov, accessed December, 2022.
Nearby Towns: Camden Town •