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Hancock County

Hancock County is named for John Hancock, who was a soldier in the American Revolutionary War, and who was the first signer of the Declaration of Independence.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Lee County, Iowa and Henderson County

E – McDonough County and Schuyler County

S – Adams County

W – Lewis County, Missouri, Clark County, Missouri and Lee County, Iowa


Created:  January 13, 1825                                                        Map of Illinois highlighting Hancock County

County Seat:

Carthage  1833 – present


County Courthouse – Cathage


Location:  500 Main Street / South Adams Street

Built:  1907 – 1908

Style:  Beaux Arts

Architect:  Joseph Eldred Mills of Detroit, Michigan

Contractor:  Superior Construction Company of Toledo, Ohio


Description: The building faces north and is a three story gray colored stone and concrete structure. The building is located on the spacious landscaped grounds of the Courthouse Square in the center of Cartage. Built of white colored Bedford stone from Indiana, the building is topped with roof of red colored Spanish tiles. The north front has a large portico rising from the second to third story. A stone arch frames the entrance on the second story and above the entrance are three arched windows. The pediment at the roof contains a small round window. On the roof centre is a large octagonal dome with clock at the top and a statue of Justice. On each of the corners are domes. On the interior, a four-foot wainscoting of Tennessee marble lined the walls of the corridors. The steps and risers are also marble and the floors of mosaic marble. The dome over the rotunda and the courtroom on the second story are of fish scale art glass. Above the staircase leading to the third story is an art glass window depicting “Justice”.  The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 9th Judicial Circuit. To the northwest is the Old County Jail located at 305 Walnut Street and North Fayette Street.


See:  The archiect Joseph Eldred Mills also designed courthouses in Iowa in Harrison County and Muscatine County and in Michigan in Sanilac County


See:  The 9th Judicial District includes Fulton CountyHenderson CountyKnox CountyMcDonough County and Warren County


History:  The county was created in 1825 and was not organized until 1833 when Carthage was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was a log structure built in 1833. The second courthouse was a two story brick structure built in 1839 at a cost of $3,700. In 1868 an addition was built and the courthouse was razed in 1907. The third and present courthouse was constructed in 1907 to 1908 at a cost of $117,828.



County Courthouse – Carthage













Old County Jail – Carthage





Photos taken 2007