The Last Stop

The Last Stop (HM7VZ)

Location: Taylorville, IL 62568 Christian County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 32.941', W 89° 17.755'

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— "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 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 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 onMay 28, 2005
HM NumberHM7VZ
Series This marker is part of the Illinois: Looking for Lincoln series
Placed ByLooking for Lincoln
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 4th, 2014 at 5:05pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 302727 N 4380221
Decimal Degrees39.54901667, -89.29591667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 32.941', W 89° 17.755'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 32' 56.46" N, 89° 17' 45.30" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)217
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 107 S Washington St, Taylorville IL 62568, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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