Christian County Courthouse: 1840-1856
The marker is located in the southeast part of Taylorville, just northwest of the intersection of IL 48 and IL 49. The marker is near the entrance to the Christian County Heritage Historical Museum.
Christian County Historical Society, Bertrand Hopper Memorial Foundation, Illinois State Historical Society, Taylorville Park District and Taylorville Tourism Council
The first courthouse of Christian County (originally Dane County) was built in 1840 for $2,350. It was located in the center of Taylorville's public square. Court was held on the lower level with county officers sharing the upstairs floor. Since the circuit court came to town only twice each year, the courtroom was available at other times for use by county commissioners or for public functions.
Until 1853, Christian County was part of the Eighth Judicial Circuit. A judge would travel to all county seats in the circuit twice each year to hear cases. The circuit was almost 450 miles long and took almost three months to complete by horse and buggy.
Abraham Lincoln was one of the attorneys who traveled the Eighth Circuit and came to Taylorville. He had trials in this courthouse before Judge David Davis, whom he later appointed to the United States Supreme Court. During one trial, Lincoln was interrupted by a loud noise from the hogs underneath the courthouse. In mock earnestness, he asked Judge Davis to issue a "writ of quietus" requiring the sheriff to abate the nuisance!
This courthouse was replaced with a new one in 1856 and sold for $267. It was moved several times before being placed on these museum grounds in honor.
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