Skip to content
Home » US States » H-L » Illinois » Alexander County

Alexander County

Alexander County is named for William Alexander, who was an early settler in the district and a State Representative.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Union County

E – Pulaski County and Ballard County, Kentucky

S – Mississippi County, Missouri

W – Scott County, Missouri and Cape Girardeau, Missouri


Created:  March 4, 1819                                                             Map of Illinois highlighting Alexander County

County Seat:

America     1818 – 1833

Unity          1833 – 1845

Thebes      1845 – 1860

Cairo         1860 – present


County Courthouse – Cairo


Location:  2000   Washington Avenue / 19th Street

Built:  1964 – 1965

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Berger Kelley United and Associates

Contractor:  Crawford Construction Company


Description: The building faces west and is a one story brick, concrete, stone and glass structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Cario. The north section is reddish-orange colored brick with light colored stone panels below the windows. The flat roof line has a wide greenish colored horizontal concrete band. The glass entrance is on the west side towards the south side with a higher light colored stone faced section on the southwest corner. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 1st Judicial Circuit.


Old County Courthouse – Thebes



Location:  Oak Street / 5th Street

Built:  1847 – 1848

Style:  Colonial Revival

Architect:   H A Barkhauser of Unity

Contractor:   H A Barkhauser of Unity


Description: The building faces west and is a two story tan colored stone and wood structure. The building is located on the edge of a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River at Thebes. The hand-hewn stone building has walls of unhewn sandstone laid in mortar. Local timber was hewed for the floors and roof. The west front has a wide porch with balcony on the second story. On the east side, there is an entrance at the second story. The roof is hipped. 


See:  The 1st Judicial Circuit includes Jackson County, Johnson County, Massac CountyPope CountyPulaski CountySaline County, Union County and Williamson County.


History:  The county was created in 1819 and America was selected as the county seat. William Alexander built the first courthouse, a brick structure. In 1833. The county seat was moved to Unity and the second courthouse, a log structure, was erected in 1835 but burned in 1842. The county seat moved to Thebes in 1843. The third courthouse was built in 1847 to 1848 at a cost of $4,400 and is still standing. The county seat was moved to Cairo in 1860. The fourth courthouse was designed by J K Frick and constructed by John Major in 1865. The county used the Old Custom House due to the deterioration of the courthouse. The fifth and present courthouse was constructed in 1964 to 1965.


Note:  The lowest point in Illinois is the Misssissippi River at 279 feet ( 85 meters ) which is located in the county. 



County Courthouse – Cairo









Old Customs House – Cairo



Old County Courthouse – Thebes









Photos taken 2007 and 2012