Illinois County Courthouses–June 2017

Early June saw my 3rd drive to capture picture of all 102 Illinois county courthouses.  It was an unusually bright and warm day, perfect for sightseeing.

Trip 3 Map

 

Logan County – Lincoln

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Built in 1905, the people of Lincoln still use their county courthouse set in the middle of the downtown square.  Unlike many of the courthouses in Central Illinois, it doesn’t look like it has been modified much from when it was originally constructed.  The plaza was originally home of a smaller courthouse that Lincoln seems to have used when he was a lawyer.

Overall, the site is in decent condition, even the four clocks at the top were still working.

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Picture of the west side.

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There is a bronze statue of its namesake.  As any Route 66 traveler can tell you, the town loves Lincoln.  This is one of the many portrayals of the man scattered throughout the town.

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The site features one of the better Civil War memorials I’ve seen.  Plain and distinct.

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Overall, like most of the small towns I have visited so far in Illinois, the square around the courthouse has seen its better days.  The buildings where about 2/3rds full, with mostly local establishments and some local artist areas.

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Neat little arcade style building on the south side of the square facing the courthouse.

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This is the Postville Courthouse that was originally in Mount Pulaski and moved to the town before after Lincoln become the county seat.  The original name of Lincoln was Postville, before it was renamed in the 1850s.  The building is a state historic site.  Like many others in Illinois, it needs a little TLC. 

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The world’s largest covered wagon.  Of course the top-hated man needs to be riding it.

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The town is trying to be a Route 66 tourist attraction, so of course there would be tacky historic buildings scattered throughout the town.

Tazewell County – Pekin

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On my way to Pekin, I passed an old high school in the dying town of Harness.  The town has seen its better days.  They didn’t even have the population to turn the building into a community center as more prosperous towns do on occasion.

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The Tazewell County Courthouse is an imposing structure built in 1916.  Like most of the public building of the era, it attempts to look like something from Greece. 

As a kid, I used to be impressed by this type of building.  Build solid and impregnable, it looks out of place among the run down side streets of the surrounding commercial district.

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Nothing says welcome like several artillery piece surrounding the building.

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The building sides have these impressive looking arches leading toward the side entrances.

 

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The grounds are well kept and rather beautiful.

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The front of the courthouse has many run down looking buildings.  Many are empty and have label scars of previous tenants.

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Given the size of the town, there was no one around.

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Wow, this must be the last pay phone in town.  It even still worked.

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Masonic temple on the south side of the court house. 

Peoria County – Peoria

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As suspected, I found the Peoria County Courthouse is the largest one I’ve seen so far.  Built in that 1960s brutalist architecture that people found so enlightening at that time it gives the area a lost in time feel. 

It is not only this building.  Much of Peoria’s downtown area looks this way, from the Busey Bank building to Caterpillar’s headquarters.  You can really tell that the cities height of growth was in the 1950 through the 1970s.  Now the city looks like many so many other Rust Belt cities.

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I am not sure if Lincoln ever practiced in town, but that doesn’t stop him from popping up in bronze.

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The employee entrance on the north side.

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The bell from the original courthouse that was on site from 1876 until 1962.  Too bad they didn’t keep the building.

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The WWII memorial on the south side.  In the background you can see  Caterpillar Headquarters.

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The overall building is nicely kept up to date.  The grounds is a little lackluster though.

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Large Civil War memorial built in the 1910s (I think.)  I is quite impressive, but needs a little up keep.

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Stark County – Toulon

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I was surprised that the Stark County Courthouse was so old, and still in use.  Built pre-Civil War Era around 1856, it is one of the older building that I have come access in my travels that is still in use.

Toulon itself is very small for a county seat.  Overall, Stark county has less than 6,000 people, so I assume there is no need for a larger structure.

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To the west side of the building, their is some sort of annex.  It looks like it was once the jail house but was repurposed for office use.

Like many other rural seats, the grounds was impressive and well kept.

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The building is in decent shape.  It looks like the county has tried to modernize it over time here are their, but it still has that quant feel.

 

Marshall County – Lacon

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The Marshall County Courthouse is a mix of old and new.  Built in 1853, it has been heavily renovated and looks like a much newer structure.  The grounds are larger than most with many trees and a few walking paths.

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The renovations make the structure look a bit curious and utilitarian.

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At some point in the 20th century the build was enlarged with one of the ugliest and out of place annexes that I have ever seen.  This addition makes the north and east side unpleasant to walk around.

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The grounds shown from the southeast side of the building.

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The tank on the southwest side is one of the cooler things found of the grounds of Illinois courthouses.

Woodford County – Eureka

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The Woodford County Courthouse is rather imposing.  Build just before the turn of the 20th Century, it a tall three plus story building that seems to dwarf the rest of the buildings surrounding the semi square.  Both the grounds and building itself are well kept up, at least on the west and south sides.

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The building is built on top of a rise.

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Facing the south side of the building.

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The east side is less impressive with a large parking lot detracting the the grandeur of the entrant.  The north side holds the police station an jail.