McDonough County Courthouse
McDonough County’s first courthouse was built of logs in 1831 and cost $69.50. It was located at the northeast corner of the square. The second courthouse was built in 1835 and stood on the same grounds as the current courthouse.
It was two stories and had a stone foundation, was made of brick with a cupola that sat in the center of the building. In 1858 an ambitious politician by the name of Abraham Lincoln spoke to member of the community from the Courthouse on two separate occasions, one of them in the pouring rain to a crowd of more than 4,000 spectators.
The current courthouse was constructed in 1871. Noted governmental architect Elijah E. Myers designed the building in the Second Empire style and the courthouse is one of the few remaining buildings of its type in the county.
The building houses the County Clerk, Treasurer and State’s Attorney’s Office among others. The courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. In the late 1970s, the county rehabilitated the building to restore its original exterior.
Established in 1830, McDonough County is named for Commodore Thomas McDonough who led a successful battle againt the British on Lake Champlain in the War of 1812.