A visit to Carlinville in Macoupin County is worth a stop or drive by the beautiful courthouse. The first Macoupin County Courthouse on this spot was built of logs, as well as the second one that was built after the first one was outgrown. The courthouse website states that « Abraham Lincoln frequently represented his clients in this courthouse. In fact, when the State Preservation Agency examined the Courthouse records in the 1990's, they found over 3,000 documents with the signature of A. Lincoln. Those original documents are now in Springfield, but copies are on file in the Macoupin County Courthouse. »
While the courthouse that Lincoln practiced in is no longer around, the history on this spot is still connected to Lincoln’s legacy. Only two year’s after the end of the Civil War, in 1867 the decision was made for a new larger courthouse worthy of the growing town.
With taxes and bonds to pay for the cost, the price escalated and before completion $1,342,226.31 was spent. This cost led to the courthouse being called the "Million Dollar Courthouse."
The website added a bit of scandal hangs in with the history of the building when there were questions about misuse of funds. Read the website http://www.carlinvillechamber.com/courthouse.html for the lowdown, it is quite interesting !
What is equally amazing is that when the courthouse was finished , it was the largest courthouse in the US (except for possible on in New York.) Today it is no wonder that people come to tour and look in awe at the architecture and beautiful structure.
The courthouse was dedicated in 1910 with a bang bringing a parade of cars that they say stretched over a mile at a time when cars were not commonplace.
If traveling in the central Illinois area, check out this historic structure !