Well, everyone was caught quite
by surprise when during last week's Logan County Board meeting,
legislative chair Jan Schumacher said that it is ours. Schumacher
said she was contacted by Marla Blair from the Logan County
Genealogical & Historical Society, who asked if she knew that it is
Logan County's 175th anniversary this month.
Yes, February marks the establishment of Logan County 175 years
Schumacher said that a resolution is being written and specially
designed that would be printed on some nice parchment, then signed
by county board members and hung for display in the courthouse.
According to the writings of Lawrence B. Stringer, Logan County
came out of a movement to divide Sangamon County into four parts. It
took eight years of processes to establish what is now known as
Sangamon, Logan, Menard and Dane (later named Christian) counties.
And, it was this very movement that was "responsible for the
bringing into public life of one Abraham Lincoln, then unknown, now
Abraham Lincoln from the Committee on Counties first submitted
the bill for "an Act to Establish the Counties of Menard, Logan and
Dane," on Jan. 16, 1839. Passing the state House and Senate, with
amendments made in each, the law establishing each of the counties,
including Logan, passed on Feb. 5, 1839.
So, Feb. 5 is really Logan County's anniversary date.
Abraham Lincoln named Logan County in honor of his friend Dr.
John Logan, who was then a Democrat and a member of the House,
representing Jackson County. Logan was a well-known Illinois pioneer
who lived from 1788 to 1852.
The first Logan County election was held on April 1, 1839, for
the positions of sheriff, coroner, recorder, surveyor, three county
commissioners, clerk of the county commissioners' court and a
probate justice of the peace.
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With the passing of the bill, it was ordered that the county
seat of justice be set up on the first Monday of May, or within
20 days after.
The three appointed commissioners — Charles R. Matheny, Cheney
Thomas and Charles Emmerson, as witnessed by the justice of the
peace, Stephen Moore — did meet in Postville as the county seat of
justice on the first Monday in May, as documented June 3, 1839, and
put on file in Sangamon County.
The choice of the county seat had been between the three small
towns then in the county: Postville, Mount Pulaski and Middletown.
Postville won with a promise made by proprietors that they would
build a development known as "Knapp, Bird and Tinsley Addition to
Postville." The addition was subsequently developed, with the
Postville Courthouse erected on the new square next to it, using
$3,000 paid by the businessmen. The Postville Courthouse was called
"commodious" as a two-story structure considered rare in Illinois
and was ready for occupancy in 1840.
The county seat would later be moved to Mount Pulaski for a
couple of years and then move back next to Postville in the new
community surveyed, named for and christened by Abraham Lincoln.
Schumacher said that later this year, with the help of Sally
Litterly-Turner, the county clerk and recorder, a commemorative
event of some sort would be planned, perhaps taking place in the
[By JAN YOUNGQUIST]