The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Centennial Celebration: Hancock County Courthouse Centennial Celebration

The Hancock County Courthouse was built in 1907-08 and is considered by many to be one of the top five in the State of Illinois. Two courthouses preceded this one in the county. The first was a log cabin courthouse which stood where the second jail stands now, across the street to the south and was built in 1833.

The second courthouse was built in 1838-39 and stood where the present day courthouse is located.

The third courthouse is a beautiful three story structure made of white Bedford stone from Indiana. It was originally topped with a roof of red Spanish tiles but has since been replaced with regular shingles. The two side entrances on the east and west are at ground level, while the north and south entrances have steps that enter the courthouse on a landing between the first and second floors.

On the interior, a four-foot wainscoting of Tennessee marble lines the walls of the corridors. The steps and risers are also of marble and the floors are mosaic marble tile. The doors, woodwork and trim are of a dark, rich Mahogany.

The large rotunda in the center of the courthouse leading up to the dome is of fish scale art glass, as is the smaller rotunda in the main courtroom on the third floor. A colored art glass depiction of Miss Justice is on the landing between the second and third floors on the east side and catches the morning sun. There is stained glass in the ceiling in front of Miss Justice, and half circle stained glass windows in the county board room and in the hall to the State's Attorney's office.

On top of the courthouse dome facing south is an 8 foot statue of Miss Justice, made of zinc and holding the scales of justice in one hand and a sword in the other, hoping that justice prevails in the rooms below.

On Saturday, October 18, 2008, they will be celebrating the Courthouse Centennial. The Centennial Committee is selling two books to help pay expenses for the celebration. The first book is called "Hancock County of Illinois" and has been made possible by the generosity of over 110 Hancock County businesses.

For every business that bought a page in the book, another page was made available to showcase a historical home, building or other point of interest in the county. The pictures in the book are pen and pencil drawings by renowned artist, David Alan Badger of Havana, Illinois. Each page is accompanied by descriptive text and the book sells for $40. The second book is called "Mansion on the Prairie" and sells for $20. This book contains old and current pictures, drawings by David Alan Badger, and the history of Hancock County and the three courthouses. For each book purchased in advance, you will receive a FREE 11 x 14 print of the courthouse. Mr. Badger will be available on October 18 for a book signing.

The Hancock County Courthouse Centennial Committee cordially invites all to come to the courthouse on Saturday, October 18, 2008 and help us celebrate the birthday of an "architectural marvel."

Centennial Program

Sat., Oct.18, 2008
Memorial Hospital 5K Run/Walk 8 am
Courthouse Tours 9 am to Noon
McNamara Band 11 am to Noon
Parade Noon
Program 1:30 pm
Presentation of Colors
National Anthem
Recognition of Bench and Bar
Recognition of Local Officials
Address - Honorable Max B. Stewart,
Circuit Judge Retired
Time Capsule
Singing of "America"
Closing Remarks