Taylorville in Christian County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
The Last Stop
Looking for Lincoln
“I had pleasant accommodations at Taylorville in company with Mr. Lincoln & Mr. Thorton,” Circuit Judge David Davis once wrote from here. He found this town–the last county seat on his circuit route–to be “prettily laid out, & tastefully arranged with trees & shrubs.” But pigs rummaging underneath the floor boards of the courthouse sometimes disrupted the Judge’s courtroom. Once, it was so noisy that attorney Lincoln reportedly rose to his feet to demand a “writ of quietus” to abate the hog nuisance. Pigs seemed to be a theme for Lincoln here in Taylorville. In 1842 he represented James Masterson, whose herd of four hundred pigs escaped when a careless boy allowed the cows he was herding to break down a holding pen fence. Masterson lost seventy pigs worth a total of $350. Lincoln sued the negligent boy’s father on behalf of Masterson. Lincoln lost. A jury (whose members probably had unpredictable children of their own) ruled that the boy’s father was not liable for the son’s negligence.
Pigs rooting around the old courthouse may have reminded Lincoln of a pet he
For over a Decade Lincoln attended court here in Taylorville, usually twice a year – in June and November. Dane County (later renamed Christian County) became part of Illinois’ Eighth Judicial Circuit in 1839. A two-story wood frame courthouse was erected here on the public square in 1840. It sat on twelve stone pillars that elevated the floor eighteen inches above the ground (permitting pigs to get underneath). A local resident recollected hearing Lincoln “tell many a story on the wood pile on the north side of the court house of an evening after court had adjourned.” In 1853 Christian County became part of the Seventeeth Judicial Circuit, and Lincoln ceased his semiannual visits. In 1854 officials removed the old frame courthouse, though it was preserved and may still be visited today.
8th Judicial Circuit
1839 - 1853
John McClarey, Sculptor
Mr. And Mrs. Monte Sigrist and Family
Dedicated on May 28, 2005
Erected by Looking for Lincoln.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture • Animals • Government & Politics. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the Looking for Lincoln series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1842.
Location. 39° 32.941′ N, 89° 17.755′ W. Marker is in Taylorville, Illinois, in Christian County. Marker is at the intersection of West Main Cross Street and South Washington Street, on the left when traveling west on West Main Cross Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Taylorville IL 62568, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Christian County Coal Miners (within shouting distance of this marker); Abraham Lincoln - Eighth Judicial District (within shouting distance of this marker); Christian County Courthouse (approx. one mile away); a different marker also named Abraham Lincoln - Eighth Judicial District (approx. 11.6 miles away).
Also see . . .
1. Looking for Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area website homepage:
Many resources for tracking of Lincoln through History and Illinois, for all ages. (Submitted on October 9, 2008, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
2. Looking for Lincoln Video - on P.B.S. Follow Henry Louis Gates, Jr. "...from Illinois, to Gettysburg, to Washington, D. C., and face to face with people who live with Lincoln every day...". (Submitted on October 22, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
Credits. This page was last revised on May 30, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 7, 2008, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. This page has been viewed 1,471 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 7, 2008, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. submitted on October 10, 2008, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. 17. submitted on May 30, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.