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Illinois Appellate Court – Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon


Location:  North Main Street / 4th Street

Built:  1854 – 1857

Style:  Greek Revival

Architect:  Walter B Scates

Contractor:  Charles H Pound of St. Louis, Missouri


Description:  The building faces east and is a two story white colored brick structure.  The building is located on spacious landscaped grounds in the center of Mount Vernon. The building is in the shape of a Maltese Cross. The east front has iron steps to the second story arched entrance. There are two fluted pillars supporting the front gable in the center of which is a medallion of the scales of justice. The windows are narrow and arched. The roof is hipped. The beautiful courtroom on the second story is appointed with walnut benches and judges’ chairs along with other period furnishings. The building houses the Fifth Appellate Court. 


Note:  In 1848 the Illinois Supreme Court was relocated to Mount Vernon as the Southern District and occupied lodge halls unril 1857 when both the Supreme Court and the Appellate Court shared the courtroom until 1887 when the Supreme Court was consolidated in Springfield. When the Supreme Court was in session, the important lawyers in Illinois, including Abrahan Lincoln, gathered in Mount Vernon to argue their cases. Local legend has that it took three weeks to bring the twin wrought iron stairways on the outside front of the building from St. Louis to Mount Vernon by ox-cart.


Note:  Charles H Pound of St. Louis, Missouri, was selected as contractor with a bid of $12,000. The plans and specifications were prepared by the Honorable Walter B Scates, associate judge, in 1854.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Mount Vernon Appelate Courthouse


History:  The 5th District Appellate Courthouse was constructed around 1854 to 1857 at a cost of $16,000 and is still in use as the Appellate Courthouse.


See:  The courthouse is located in Jefferson County.

The Illinois Supreme Court is located in Springfield.



Appellate Courthouse – Mount Vernon













Statue of Abraham Lincoln



Photos taken 2012