Riding the Circuit: Vienna, Johnson County, IL

As a Mount Vernon, Illinois attorney, I travel throughout the state practicing law and meeting with clients about topics ranging from bankruptcy to estate law, from divorce to litigation. In my travels, I enjoy seeing the courthouses in our county seats. Occasionally in my blog I will stop to describe these wonderful buildings and the towns and cities in which they set.

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Johnson_County_Illinois_1843

From Wikipedia:

Johnson County was organized in 1812 out of Randolph County. It was named for Richard M. Johnson, who was then a U.S. Congressman from Kentucky. In 1813, Johnson commanded a Kentucky regiment at the Battle of the Thames, after which he claimed to have killed Tecumseh in hand-to-hand combat. Johnson went on to be Vice President of the United States.

The population of Vienna was 1,434 at the 2010 census. It is a lovely town and I enjoyed driving around seeing the sights!

The Trail of Tears halfway point commemorative totem and flags are located in the adjacent city park.

The courthouse was built from 1869 to 1871; as county records are unclear on the matter, the courthouse was either the fourth or fifth built in the county and the second or third in Vienna. Architect Niles Llewelly Wickwire designed the courthouse in the Italianate style. The courthouse’s design features narrow arched windows with iron hoods, brick quoins on the corners, triangular pediments above the east and west entrances, and a bracketed cornice. The roof is topped by an octagonal cupola with a clock facing each side of the building. The courthouse has functioned continuously since its opening.

A marker in front of the courthouse gives more details:

“The contract for the present courthouse was let on August 5, 1868 for $38,000. Final payment was made in 1881 with the total cost of $80,000.  When the courthouse was completed, it was one of the most attractive ones in the area. About 1908 the interior of the building was rearranged, fire proof vaults built, a heating plant installed, and a local water supply system added. During the 1960s the courthouse got a much needed facelift when it was sandblasted and tuck pointed. The east and west entrances were sealed up and enclosed into offices to give more room. The clock has been recently repaired and again can be heard striking the hours. Some of the county offices have now moved in a building on the west side of the square in an effort to relieve overcrowding. Much of the work on the grounds of the courthouse was done by the Daniel Chapman Chapter DAR. They were responsible for much of the coping wall around the court square which was completed in 1920. In 1921 the sidewalks were laid. … The cannon in the northwest corner was used during the Civil War. … ”

It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 9, 2010

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The courthouse has the familiar design of a long narrow first floor leading to offices as corner circular stairways (with the familiar creaking underfoot) leading to a modern, comfortable courtroom.

The lawn of the courthouse has historical markers and lots of benches to relax on a lovely day. The surrounding shops are typical for a county seat – offices and (open and closed) antique or second-hand shops.

Its age makes it regal and one can imagine standing here one hundred – or even one hundred and fifty – years ago.

A lovely historic courthouse for a lovely historic town!

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About the blogger:

Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois (http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/) has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.

He is also the author of books on finance and bankruptcy available on Kindle through Amazon!

Whether you live in Grayville, West Salem, Centralia or anywhere in Southern Illinois call Curry Law Office today at (618) 246-0993 and Finally Be Financially Free!

You can also access my website at http://www.mtvernonbankruptcylawyer.com

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Riding the Circuit: Shelby County, IL

As a Mount Vernon, Illinois attorney, I travel throughout the state practicing law and meeting with clients about topics ranging from bankruptcy to estate law, from divorce to litigation. In my travels, I enjoy seeing the courthouses in our county seats. Occasionally in my blog I will stop to describe these wonderful buildings and the towns and cities in which they set.

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Shelby_County_Illinois_1843

From Wikipedia:

Shelby County was formed in 1827 out of Fayette County. It was named in honor of Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky and participant in the American Revolutionary War.  According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 22,363. Its county seat is Shelbyville, whose population at the last census was 4,500.00.

Tennessean Barnett Bone built a log cabin along the Kaskaskia River in 1835. His cabin eventually became the county courthouse. The first businesses were blacksmith shops, a general store and stage coach stop, and a grist mill.

The terminal moraine of the Wisconsin Glacier is located near Shelbyville. This is referred to as the Shelbyville Moraine. The Kaskaskia River has been dammed where it breaches the Shelbyville Moraine, forming Lake Shelbyville.

The Army Corps of Engineers broke ground on the dam in 1963, and construction was completed in the early summer of 1970. Tours of the dam are given at 3 P.M. Saturdays and Sundays.

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You can view the dam from the main Illinois highway leading into Shelbyville. It is impressive, but hard to watch while trying to drive. The bridge over the river/lake/damn pours right past the courthouse. A large and impressive feature – with modern features in the back (which is also the main interest).

The courtroom is large and impressive and done in the Second Empire style. Thankfully, when I entered, a judge with whom I am familiar was holding court. It was like seeing an old friend in an unfamiliar place. Like the judge, the bailiffs and clerks were helpful, courteous and friendly.

On the south side of the courthouse sets the Lincoln-Thorton Debate Statue by sculptor John McClarey.

Linda Hughes in Timely Message article on-line gives a few more details about the debate:

The Shelby County Republican Party extended an invitation to Lincoln for a friendly debate with Thornton, who said in his 1896 autobiography, “Slavery, and intimately connected with it, the Nebraska Bill, was the principal question for discussion.” The invitation was one of about 50 that Lincoln received as a candidate for presidential elector, according to Homer H. Cooper in “The Lincoln-Thornton Debate of 1856 at Shelbyville,” published in the Journal of the Illinois Historical Society, Vol. 10. “Thornton was to speak to an audience almost wholly biased to his views, and Lincoln faced the task of convincing jurors with their minds already made up,” Cooper wrote. At that time, Shelby County held no more than 16 Republicans.

Shelby 2

In his opening remarks to his three-hour long talk, Lincoln referred to his friendship with the local lawyer. “I rarely arise to address my countrymen on any question of importance without experiencing conflicting emotions within me. I experience such at this hour as I have never experienced before. It is a matter of great regret that I have so learned, so able, and so eloquent a man.”

Thornton said later, “[Lincoln] spoke so very long that I became apprehensive as to any effort I might make to a wearied crowd.” Yet Thornton always spoke highly of his friend, of his fairness and honesty — his purity.

The first courthouse (south of the present one – although I could find no markers indicating its location) was the site of many trials by lawyer Abraham Lincoln on the 8th Circuit.

Shelbyville was the home of Josephine Cochran, who  invented and patented the dishwasher in 1886.

Shelby 1

The main east-west road in Shelbyville (going pas t the courthouse) has many blocks of active shops – boutiques, restaurant, even (gasp) a bookstore!

Did I partake? Alas, no, I had to get back to my office and it was a two-hour-drive away.

Also, I was in Shelbyville at the same time McDonald’s started its annual re-introduction of the McRib. Shelbyville thus holds the honor of the place in which I ate my first McRib of the 2017 season.

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About the blogger:

Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois (http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/) has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.

He is also the author of books on finance and bankruptcy available on Kindle through Amazon!

Whether you live in Grayville, West Salem, Centralia or anywhere in Southern Illinois call Curry Law Office today at (618) 246-0993 and Finally Be Financially Free!

You can also access my website at http://www.mtvernonbankruptcylawyer.com

Riding the Circuit: Effingham County, IL

As a Mount Vernon, Illinois attorney, I travel throughout the state practicing law and meeting with clients about topics ranging from bankruptcy to estate law, from divorce to litigation. In my travels, I enjoy seeing the courthouses in our county seats. Occasionally in my blog I will stop to describe these wonderful buildings and the towns and cities in which they set.

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Effingham county map

I’ve been familiar with Effingham since first appearing there in 1995. 341 bankruptcy hearings are still held there every third Thursday. Until the early 2000s, bankruptcy court hearings were also held there. The town (and its restaurants) are very welcome places!

From Wikipedia:

Effingham County was formed in 1855 out of Fayette and Crawford counties. As of the 2010 census, the population was 34,242.

Effingham was first settled in 1814, and was known from then until 1859 as Broughton.  The community was named after General E. Effingham, a local surveyor.  Another theory says the County itself may have been named after Thomas Howard, 3rd Earl of Effingham, who resigned his commission as general in the British army in 1775, refusing to serve in the war against the Colonies although there is no written proof that the county was named after Lord Effingham.

On April 4, 1949, St. Anthony’s hospital caught fire and burned to the ground, killing 74 people. As a result, fire codes nationwide were improved. Due to extensive media coverage, including a “Life Magazine” cover story, donations for rebuilding the hospital came from all 48 states and several foreign countries.

Effingham was a sundown town; daytime segregation was enforced until at least the mid-1960s.

But that has little to do with the staff of the county courthouse today – where the clerks and bailiffs are always very helpful and courteous.

The courthouse is only 11 years old – built in 2007 – it is obviously thoroughly modern with comfortable and large lobbies facing south on every floor as well as large courtrooms and modern bathrooms.

Old courthouse

The old courthouse still stands as a museum.

 

The former courthouse still stands as a museum a few blocks away. My first trip to Effingham as a solo attorney caused me much worry – I did not know there was a new courthouse and walked into the museum with only ten minutes to go before the docket call! I crossed the street to the courtroom where, at one time, bankruptcy hearings were held, and asked where the new courthouse was! I made it in time!

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About the blogger:

Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois (http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/) has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.

He is also the author of books on finance and bankruptcy available on Kindle through Amazon!

Whether you live in Grayville, West Salem, Centralia or anywhere in Southern Illinois call Curry Law Office today at (618) 246-0993 and Finally Be Financially Free!

You can also access my website at http://www.mtvernonbankruptcylawyer.com

Riding the Circuit: Richland County (Olney, IL): of county seats and white squirrels!

As a Mount Vernon, Illinois attorney, I travel throughout the state practicing law and meeting with clients about topics ranging from bankruptcy to estate law, from divorce to litigation. In my travels, I enjoy seeing the courthouses in our county seats. Occasionally in my blog I will stop to describe these wonderful buildings and the towns and cities in which they set.

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Richland_County_Illinois_1841

From Wikipedia:

Richland County was established on February 24, 1841, out of portions of East part of Clay and West part of Lawrence counties.  According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 16,233. It’s county seat, Olney, has a population of 8,631.

Settlement of the Richland County area began around 1815 when Thaddeus Morehouse, a native of Vermont, arrived by wagon and built a log cabin along a stagecoach route that ran from Vincennes, Indiana to St. Louis. This log cabin operated as a hotel and tavern.

Richland County was organized as a county in 1841, when it was formed by a partitioning of Clay and Lawrence Counties. There was some controversy regarding the location of the county seat; however, Olney was determined as the choice based on a donation of land and the central location. The name of the town Olney was suggested by Judge Aaron Shaw who desired to honor a friend, Nathan Olney. It was not until 1848 that Olney was incorporated as a village.

The Civil War brought a great deal of turmoil to the county as there were sympathies for both sides. President Lincoln and Stephen Douglas spoke at separate political rallies in Olney on September 20, 1856. While most citizens rallied around the Union it was necessary to have troops stationed in Olney to enforce the draft as union deserters found refuge among local citizens. Overall, the county was pro-Union and an estimated 1,700 Richland County citizens fought for the Union in the Civil war. Nearly 1,000 Olney residents served in World War I, and during World War II, Richland County may have been the only Illinois county outside of Cook that provided 4 generals for the war effort.[citation needed]

The first census of Richland County was in 1850 at which time 4,012 people resided in the county. One hundred years later the 1950 census found a spot north of Olney near Dundas to be the population center of the United States.

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Olney is known for its population of white squirrels. There are two hypotheses about how there came to be white squirrels in Olney.

The first is that in 1902 William Stroup was out hunting and shot a gray female squirrel. The shot knocked the two babies out of a nest, and he brought them home to his children. They were later sold to Jasper Banks, who put them on display in front of his saloon.

The second is that George W. Ridgely and John Robinson captured a cream colored squirrel and then raised several litters of them before bringing a pair to Olney in 1902. Mr. Ridgely sold the pair to Jasper C. Banks for $5 each. Mr. Banks made a green box for his albinos and displayed them in his saloon window.

In 1910, the Illinois legislature passed a law prohibiting the confinement of wildlife, and they were released into the woods.

In 1925, the city passed a law that disallowed dogs from running at large. In 1943, the squirrel population reached its peak at 1000, but now the population holds steady at around 200.

In the mid-1970s, John Stencel, instructor at Olney Central College, received a small grant from the Illinois Academy of Science to study the white squirrels.

A squirrel count is held each fall. White, gray and fox squirrels are counted. The number of squirrels has dropped causing concern. When the white squirrels dip below 100, they are concerned about genetic drift, or changes in allele (gene) frequency, which may reduce genetic variation and therefore speed up the extinction of a small population.

In 1997, the Olney City Council amended its ordinance which disallowed dogs from running at large to include cats. The 1997 squirrel count realized a decrease in cats. They are hopeful this will have a positive effect on the white squirrel population.

White squirrels have the right-of-way on all public streets, sidewalks, and thoroughfares in Olney, and there is a $750 fine for running one over. The police department’s badge even has a picture of a white squirrel on it. The white squirrel has proved to be an enduring symbol of Olnean pride, and stands as Olney’s most defining feature.

The population of white squirrels makes Illinois the only state to have populations of white as well as black squirrels, the latter residing in the Quad Cities area.

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Olney courthouse

The imposing courthouse was built in 1914 in the Neoclassical style. The lobby is huge, the courthouse is huge. It is an impressive and awesome place.

The town itself if lovely! But despite spending lunch at the park, I never saw a white squirrel. Not a real white squirrel …

Olney white squirrel

… but a “regular” squirrel came very close to my picnic table. Perhaps it was his way of welcoming me to lovely Richland County.

Olney real squirrel

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About the blogger:

Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois (http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/) has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.

He is also the author of books on finance and bankruptcy available on Kindle through Amazon!

Whether you live in Grayville, West Salem, Centralia or anywhere in Southern Illinois call Curry Law Office today at (618) 246-0993 and Finally Be Financially Free!

You can also access my website at http://www.mtvernonbankruptcylawyer.com

Riding the Circuit: Perry County, Illinois

As a Mount Vernon, Illinois attorney, I travel throughout the state practicing law and meeting with clients about topics ranging from bankruptcy to estate law, from divorce to litigation. In my travels, I enjoy seeing the courthouses in our county seats. Occasionally in my blog I will stop to describe these wonderful buildings and the towns and cities in which they set.

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250px-Perry_County_Illinois_Incorporated_and_Unincorporated_areas_Pinckneyville_Highlighted.svg (1)

Perry County was formed in 1827 out of Jackson and Randolph counties.  According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 22,350.

From the Illinois South Tourism Visitor’s Guide: Established in 1827, Perry County is named for Oliver Hazard Perry who defeated the British fleet at the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812. It was mainly an inland pioneer outpost, but grew in the 1850s due to the Illinois Central Railroad and discovery of large coal reserves. Famous citizens include Minnesota Fats,  actor Ken Swofford, Albert Brown (the last survivor of the Bataan Death March), and – of great import to this child of Saturday Morning kid shows – the wonderful Billie Hayes…

Its county seat, Pinckneyville is named for Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, an early American diplomat and presidential candidate.  The population was 5,464 at the 2000 census.

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The courthouse is small compared to most: you enter into a central lobby with wings going east and west containing offices and the courtrooms on the second floor.

The courtroom is colored deep and dark, but, as is typical in ALL courtrooms, modernized with access to computer terminals on the bench and the clerk’s desk.

The Courthouse was built in 1850 with its (to date) final portion in 1939.

I remember the Pinckneyville of 35 years before – a stop on the way to and from Carbondale to resupply on drinks and snacks. An excellent pizza place and a good bowling alley. The shops surrounding the courthouse were clothing and dime stores. Over the decades they have been replaced with the businesses typical of a small county seat – a few restaurants and business offices. The blocks north of the courthouse are empty lots now (where most of the shops once stood). I miss the old Pinckneyville…

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About the blogger:

Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois (http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/) has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.

He is also the author of books on finance and bankruptcy available on Kindle through Amazon!

Whether you live in Grayville, West Salem, Centralia or anywhere in Southern Illinois call Curry Law Office today at (618) 246-0993 and Finally Be Financially Free!

You can also access my website at http://www.mtvernonbankruptcylawyer.com

 

Riding the Circuit: Williamson County, Illinois

As a Mount Vernon, Illinois attorney, I travel throughout the state practicing law and meeting with clients about topics ranging from bankruptcy to estate law, from divorce to litigation. In my travels, I enjoy seeing the courthouses in our county seats. Occasionally in my blog I will stop to describe these wonderful buildings and the towns and cities in which they set.

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From Wikipedia:

Williamson County was formed from Franklin County on February 28, 1839, and was named for Williamson County, Tennessee. Many of its early settlers traveled on the Ohio River from Tennessee and Virginia.

Williamson_County_Illinois_1839

It became a center of coal mining, attracting numerous European immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Labor tensions rose as workers sought to unionize and improve their wages and conditions resulted in several episodes of violence. Williamson County is often referred to as “Bloody Williamson,” due to several outbreaks of violence that have few parallels in American history.

These include the Bloody Vendetta (1876), armed confrontation between families and associates during the waning days of Reconstruction; the Carterville Massacre (1899), a Coal Strike (1906), the Herrin Massacre (1922), the Klan War (1924–1926), and the Birger/Shelton Gang War (1926). In June 1915, a Sicilian miner was lynched in Johnston City, Illinois by a mob of 300 Americans as a suspect in the fatal shooting of a wealthy local resident. The Illinois National Guard was deployed to prevent rioting between the miner’s supporters and Americans. They were also later ordered to various locations repeatedly during the 1920s to separate warring parties and attempt to keep order.

Its county seat, Marion (anyone who attended school at nearby Southern Illinois University cannot hear the town’s name without also hearing the jingle “Marion, Marion, the car capital of southern Illinois” from a local car dealer’s television commercials that aired every three minutes…)

The population was 17,193 at the 2010 census. The federal government established a post office at Marion on January 30, 1840, and the legislature incorporated the community as a city on February 24, 1841.

Of course, I mostly remember Marion from my college days. In the 80s the city had the only Panterra’s Pizza in the area, which is still my favorite! Walt’s Pizza is still there and also has excellent pizza – double deckers!

I remember when the mall opened during one of the coldest winters on record! The city also has a Toys R Us (which to date has remained open despite the company’s bankruptcy) and a beloved Red Lobster…

I took the woman who would later be my wife on our first date to Marion (to the multiplex and then … of course … Red Lobster). So how can I not love the place?

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Wlliamson 1910

Its courthouse is a modernist brick structure that replaced a demolished 1889 courthouse on the public square … except for its tower, that remains on the square.

Williason towwer

Built in 1971, it is still one of the more modern courthouses in the area. The rectangular lobby looks over two stories with the courtrooms branching off to the east – criminal matters on the first floor and all other matters on the second (for the most part) with offices on the third.

Although tremendously busy, the bailiffs, guards and clerks are competent, helpful and friendly. It is a pleasure to practice before the county’s judges. Williamson should be very proud of their judiciary!

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About the blogger:

Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois (http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/) has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.

He is also the author of books on finance and bankruptcy available on Kindle through Amazon!

Whether you live in Grayville, West Salem, Centralia or anywhere in Southern Illinois call Curry Law Office today at (618) 246-0993 and Finally Be Financially Free!

You can also access my website at http://www.mtvernonbankruptcylawyer.com

 

 

Top Attorney in Clinton County, Illinois

I received some good – and surprising – news this morning:

I was named the top attorney in Clinton County, Illinois by Docketly!

unnamed

This is, quite frankly, shocking! The courthouse in Carlyle welcomes attorneys who practice not only there, but Nashville, Belleville and St. Louis’ metro-east! I would not be surprised if the number of attorneys practicing there in a given month number in the hundreds!

I enjoy my time at the courthouse in Carlyle where everyone from the bailiffs to the clerks to the judges are professional and courteous. Carlyle has a beautiful “new” courthouse (already twenty years old but still a beautiful building).

Docketly was created and developed to efficiently schedule and retain high quality attorneys to attend short procedural hearings throughout the country.  The attorneys (myself included) are FDCPA trained, experienced and held to a high standard for performance. They strive for instant hearing reporting and getting the best results for their clients.

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About me:

Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/) has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.

He is also the author of books on finance and bankruptcy available on Kindle through Amazon!

Whether you live in Mount Vernon, Salem, Centralia, or anywhere in Southern Illinois call Curry Law Office today at (618) 246-0993 and Finally Be Financially Free!

You can also access my website at http://www.mtvernonbankruptcylawyer.com

Riding the Circuit: Jasper County, Illinois

As a Mount Vernon, Illinois attorney, I travel throughout the state practicing law and meeting with clients about topics ranging from bankruptcy to estate law, from divorce to litigation. In my travels, I enjoy seeing the courthouses in our county seats. Occasionally in my blog I will stop to describe these wonderful buildings and the towns and cities in which they set.

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Jasper_County

From Wikipedia: Jasper County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 9,698. The county was formed in 1831 out of Clay and Crawford Counties. It was named for Sgt. William Jasper, a Revolutionary War hero from South Carolina. During the defense of Fort Moultrie in 1776, the staff of the American flag was shot away. Sgt. Jasper attached the flag to a pole and stood on the wall waving the flag at the British until a new staff was erected.

Newton is its county seat and has a population of 3,069 at the 2000 Census. Newton is home to a large coal-fired power plant and Newton Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area.

Newton is also home to the Drive ‘n Theatre, formerly known as the Fairview Drive-In, that opened in 1953. It is one of 10 drive-ins left standing in Illinois.

Newton has produced several notable natives. These include Texas Ranger pitcher Ross Wolf, Illinois state representative Norman L. Benefiel, folk singer Burl Ives, and Irene Hunt, who set the historical novel about the Civil War, Across Five Aprils, in and around Newton.

Catty-corner from the courthouse is a lovely statue of Burl Ives. He and I are fellow Eastern Illinois University alums!

Burl Ives

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The courthouse was built in 1876 but has been extensively renovated since. The main courtroom is on the second floor and is massive with high ceilings and ample seating. The lobby is immense and airy. I have only appeared there once, but it was enough to leave a positive impression of its charms!

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About the blogger:

Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois (http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/) has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.

He is also the author of books on finance and bankruptcy available on Kindle through Amazon!

Whether you live in Grayville, West Salem, Centralia or anywhere in Southern Illinois call Curry Law Office today at (618) 246-0993 and Finally Be Financially Free!

You can also access my website at http://www.mtvernonbankruptcylawyer.com

 

Riding the Circuit: Marion County, Illinois

As a Mount Vernon, Illinois attorney, I travel throughout the state practicing law and meeting with clients about topics ranging from bankruptcy to estate law, from divorce to litigation. In my travels, I enjoy seeing the courthouses in our county seats. Occasionally in my blog I will stop to describe these wonderful buildings and the towns and cities in which they set.

***

From Wikipedia:

“Salem is a city in and the county seat of Marion County, Illinois. The population was 7,485 at the 2010 census.

“Marion County was organized on 24 January 1823 from portions of Jefferson and Fayette counties. It was named in honor of Revolutionary War Gen. Francis Marion, the “Swamp Fox”.”

It’s size, unlike most counties in Illinois, has remaining nearly unchanged since its founding.

85px-Marion_County_Illinois_1823

Salem is the birthplace of William Jennings Bryan (March 19, 1860 – July 26, 1925), “an American orator and politician from Nebraska. Beginning in 1896, he emerged as a dominant force in the Democratic Party, standing three times as the party’s nominee for President of the United States. He also served in the United States House of Representatives and as the United States Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson.” (from Wikipedia).

Bryan’s birthplace still stands in Salem and is open to the public during specific hours.

He was also known for winning the so-called “Scopes Monkey Trial” of 1925, the legal case in which the substitute high school teacher, John T. Scopes, was accused of violating Tennessee’s Butler Act, which had made it unlawful to teach human evolution in any state-funded school;

as well as his “Cross of Gold” speech criticizing the gold standard at the time – instead advocating  inflating currency by the free coinage ofsilver, a measure popular among the debt-ridden farmers he championed. “You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crownof thorns,” said Bryan; “You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.”

***

Salem Marion

The courthouse is a neoclassical style and built in 1910, replacing the older courthouses that also stood in the center square of the town. As is typical, it is surrounded by law offices, small restaurants, abstract offices, etc. To the north of the courthouse is a huge a beautiful church.

The courthouse sets on the crossroads to two busy highways – Illinois 37 and US 50.

I have appeared in Marion County probably even more than my “home” county. The courthouse opens into a huge lobby going up to all three floors. Voices echo throughout the walkways surrounding the lobby with courtrooms and offices branching from them.

The three courtrooms range from small, modern and intimate to the typical large, ornate and dark brown wooden courtrooms you expect in older courthouses.

The lobby is dominated by a field piece (cannon) of the US Army Light Artillery that was used at the Battle of Shiloh (04/07/1862) by an unknown division. The cannon was made in St. Louis.

The west wall of the second floor hold a beautiful mural depicting the life and accomplishments of Bryan.

The clerks and judges are always courteous and helpful. I enjoy practicing there very much.

***

About the blogger:

Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois (http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/) has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.

He is also the author of books on finance and bankruptcy available on Kindle through Amazon!

Whether you live in Grayville, West Salem, Centralia or anywhere in Southern Illinois call Curry Law Office today at (618) 246-0993 and Finally Be Financially Free!

You can also access my website at http://www.mtvernonbankruptcylawyer.com

Riding the Circuit: Fayette County, Illinois

As a Mount Vernon, Illinois attorney, I travel throughout the state practicing law and meeting with clients about topics ranging from bankruptcy to estate law, from divorce to litigation. In my travels, I enjoy seeing the courthouses in our county seats. Occasionally in my blog I will stop to describe these wonderful buildings and the towns and cities in which they set.

***

From Wikipedia:

“Vandalia is a town in Fayette County, Illinois, United States, 69 miles (111 km) northeast of St. Louis, on the Kaskaskia River. It served as the state capital of Illinois from 1819 until 1839, when the seat of state government moved to Springfield (which remains the capital today). Vandalia was for years the western terminus of the National Road.

Vandalia 2 - Copy

“Today, Vandalia is the county seat of Fayette County and the home of the Vandalia State House State Historic Site. The population was 7,042 at the 2010 Census.

85px-Fayette_County_Illinois_1821

“Fayette County was formed in 1821 out of Bond, Clark, and Crawford counties. It was named in honor of the Marquis de LaFayette, French hero of the American Revolutionary War.”

 

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Vandalia is famous for its connection to Abraham Lincoln:  from http://www.vandaliaillinois.com/for-visitors/explore-vandalia/history-of-vandalia/:

Lincoln in Vandalia - Copy

Abraham Lincoln assumed the first statewide office of his political career at Vandalia. He arrived in the capital city in late November 1834, and the freshman legislator took his seat on December 1, 1834, in the dilapidated second statehouse. He began his second term in December 1836 in the capitol building that stands today. Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States, made his first public speech against slavery in the building that stands today in 1837. While at Vandalia, Lincoln worked for passage of an ambitious internal improvements bill and made a long speech in the House of Representatives on January 11, 1837, opposing a resolution to investigate the state bank, a move that would have damaged the state’s ability to finance improvement projects. In his first published speech, Lincoln announced that he would oppose any move to injure the bank’s credit. Lincoln studied in earnest for a career in law during his time as a legislator, and he was enrolled as an attorney before he left Vandalia following the legislative session that ended in March 1837. He returned to Vandalia twice for sessions before the capital was moved to Springfield in 1839.

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The courthouse is known as the Frederick Remann House and is a converted and expanded farmhouse. The previous courthouse was the old state capitol.

Vandalia Fayette

It is a lovely mix of the current and the old. You enter into a modern lobby with access to a payment window of the circuit clerk and modern bathrooms. You move into the older part of the courthouse with the familiar sounds of creaking staircases and floorboards. The courthouse used for collections and other suits is modernized while the larger courthouse (used for family and criminal matters) is large and old – with the dark browns and vast ceiling familiar to those of us who love old courthouses.

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Vandalia 3

About the blogger:

Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois (http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/) has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.

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