Peoria Landmark #453
Peoria Landmark #305
I could give Msgem grief for calling it the Eureka Courthouse instead of the Woodford County Courthouse, but I won’t because before I looked it up that’s what I called it too.
History of the Woodford County Courthouse, located at 115 N Main St in Eureka, Il:
Most of the area of land now known as Woodford County was originally a part of Sangamon County with the county seat in Springfield. Later it was a part of Tazewell County with the county seat in Pekin. That area was combined with smaller portions of Livingston and McLean Counties. Woodford County was created by an act of the Illinois Legislature on February 17, 1841. One of the prime movers for the new county was Thomas Bullock who selected the name in honor of his former home county in Kentucky
This creating act established the temporary county seat to be in the town of Versailles (then located about two miles southeast of Eureka) on the condition that its citizens provide a courthouse building free of charge. It also provided for a popular election to establish the permanent location within two years; however, this was later amended to allow a decision by five commissioners. The temporary courthouse was duly provided, and the first trials were held there in 1841 with A. Lincoln, David Davis, and A. Gridley being some of the circuit riding attorneys in attendance.
Amidst considerable controversy and devious political maneuvering, it was decided by the commissioners that a permanent courthouse would be constructed in the town of Hanover (now Metamora). The cost of construction was $4,400 for the two-story frame and brick structure, which still exists for public inspection and enjoyment on the Metamora town square. The first session of court in this location was held in September, 1843, with many of the same participants (by this time attorney Davis had become Judge Davis). The town of Versailles was soon to die on the vine and is no more, to be located only by a stone marker along the fence line.