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Taylorville in Christian County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The Last Stop

 

—“Looking for Lincoln” —

 
The Last Stop Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 4, 2008
1. The Last Stop Marker
Inscription. “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 had kept as a boy in Kentucky. They enjoyed playing hide-and-seek. “I can see his little face now, peeking around the corner of the house to see whether I was coming after him,” he once
The Last Stop Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 4, 2008
2. The Last Stop Marker
reminisced. It was traumatic for young Lincoln when his pig was finally slaughtered to feed the family. “[T]o this day, whenever I see a [little pig]... it all comes back to me,” he related.


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.

[Statue Marker]
The Last Stop
Abraham Lincoln’s
8th Judicial Circuit
1839 - 1853

John McClarey, Sculptor

Donated by
Mr. And Mrs. Monte Sigrist and Family
Dedicated on May 28, 2005

 
Erected by Looking for Lincoln.
 
Marker series.
The Last Stop Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 4, 2008
3. The Last Stop Marker
This marker is included in the Looking for Lincoln marker series.
 
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.
 
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 (Illinois) 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. Many resources for the Tracking of Lincoln through History and Illinois. Aimed at 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.) 

3. Travel with Lincoln.
The Last Stop Statue - Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 4, 2008
4. The Last Stop Statue - Marker
Climb into Lincoln’s buggy and take a trip with Lincoln and his fellow lawyers on the job traveling Illinois as Circuit Lawyers. See all the Lincoln Circuit Markers (and a surprise or two), in the order of his travels while a member of the Circuit of the Eighth Judicial District (of Illinois) during 1847-1857. Use the “First >>” button in the upper right to see these markers in sequence, starting from Springfield. (Submitted on October 22, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.) 
 
Categories. GovernmentNotable BuildingsNotable EventsNotable PersonsNotable Places
 
The Last Stop Statue image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 4, 2008
5. The Last Stop Statue
View Two - The Last Stop Statue image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 4, 2008
6. View Two - The Last Stop Statue
Old Court House - - Exterior image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 4, 2008
7. Old Court House - - Exterior
Signs over Front Door image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 4, 2008
8. Signs over Front Door
Tools of Legal Trade image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 4, 2008
9. Tools of Legal Trade
At the Left Front of the Court Room when you enter the Building.
Court House Desk and File System image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 4, 2008
10. Court House Desk and File System
This is the only known Lincoln Era piece of furnature yet in the Court House.
Table for the Lawyers and Involved Parties. image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 4, 2008
11. Table for the Lawyers and Involved Parties.
Note the shallow wooden boxes throughout the Court House. They held dirt for the tobacco chewing folks - which was quite common in the 1860's.
Fuller View of Lawyers Table image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 4, 2008
12. Fuller View of Lawyers Table
Before computers, pens, or pencils - a good goose quill and a bottle of ink would do the work of writing. Most carried a sharp pocket knife to keep the quill in writing trim.
The Judge's Table & Witness Chair. image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 4, 2008
13. The Judge's Table & Witness Chair.
The Jury Box, Chairs, and tobacco boxes. image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 4, 2008
14. The Jury Box, Chairs, and tobacco boxes.
View towad Back of Court Room image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 4, 2008
15. View towad Back of Court Room
Court House Exterior image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 4, 2008
16. Court House Exterior
If you walked out of the Court House on your own - - the jury found you NOT Guilty. You were free - at last.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 7, 2008, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. This page has been viewed 1,334 times since then and 27 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. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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