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Franklin County

Franklin County is named for Benjamin Franklin, who was a famed statesman and the United States ambassador to France during the American Revolution.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Jefferson County

E – Hamilton County and Saline County

S – Williamson County

W – Jackson County and Perry County


Created:  January 2, 1818                                                          Map of Illinois highlighting Franklin County

County Seat:

Frankfort          1821 – 1841

Benton             1841 – present


County Courthouse – Benton


Location:  1 Public Square / Main Street

Built:  1874 – 1875

Style:  French Norman

Architect:  John J St. Clair of Benton

Contractor:  John J St. Clair of Benton


Description: The building faces south and is a two story red colored brick structure. The building sits in the center of the Public Square in the center of  Benton. The south front has a square red colored brick tower with mansard roof and two long narrow arched windows on the second story. Buff colored stone trim is along the corners of the building. On either side of the tower are one story dark red colored brick wings. Behind the tower, is a wider section connected to the wider main building. White colored cornices are along the roof line. Additions were added in 1960. The contractor was H H Hurley. The building was restored in 2005.


New County Courthouse – Benton


Location:  1 Public Square / Main Street

Built:  2020 – 2022

Style:  Modern

Architect:  White & Borgognoni Architects of Carbondale

Contractor:  Building Solutions, of St. Louis, Missouri


Description: The building faces south and is a three story red colored brick and concrete structure. The building sits in the center of the Public Square in the center of Benton. The south front has a slightly projecting center section with glass wall rising to the top of the third story.  The windows are narrow, The roof is hipped. In the interior, there are two courtrooms on the second story and two courtrooms on the third story. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 2nd Judicial Circuit.


Note:  The old courthouse will be demolished in July 2020 and the county offices will be moved to the Campbell Building on the Public Square.


See:  The 2nd Judicial Circuit includes Crawford County, Edwards CountyGallatin CountyHamilton County, Hardin County, Jefferson CountyLawrence County, Richland County, Wabash CountyWayne County and White County.


History:  The county was created in 1818 and there was no county seat until 1821, when Frankfort was selected. The first court met at the residence of Moses Garretix at Frankfort Heights in 1821. The first courthouse was a brick structure built in 1826 in Frankfort. In 1841, the county seat was moved to Benton and the second courthouse was built in 1841. The courthouse was destroyed by fire in 1843. The third courthouse was built in 1875 at a cost of $24,000. The courthouse was replaced by the fourth and present courthouse in 2020 to 2022 at a cost of $17,500,000.



County Courthouse – Benton











Photos taken 2007 and 2012