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McHenry County

McHenry County is named for General William McHenry, who fought in the War of 1812 and the Black Hawk War, and who served in several General Assemblies.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Walworth County, Wisconsin and Kenosha County, Wisconsin

E – Lake County

S – Cook CountyKane County and DeKalb County

W – Boone County


Created:  January 16, 1836                                                        Map of Illinois highlighting McHenry County

County Seat:

McHenry      1837 – 1843

Woodstock  1843 – present


County Courthouse – Woodstock


Location:  2200 North Seminary Avenue / Russell Court

Built:  1971 – 1972

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Johnson, Kile, Seehausen and Associates of Rockford

Contractor:  Tonyan Construction of McHenry


Description: The building faces southwest and is three story brick, concrete and glass structure. The main entrance at the southwest corner has a round four story tower clad with dark red colored facing and flanked by light red colored brick, and with large glass windows on the second and third stories. The rest of the building is a sand colored brick, with windows grouped between solid wall space. Horizontal light red colored bands define each story. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 22nd Judicial Circuit. The building was expanded in 1990. The architect was Legat Architects and HOK and the project manager was Jerome E Olsen.


Old County Courthouse – Woodstock



Location:  101 North Johnson Street / West Jackson Street

Built:  1857 – 1858

Style:  Italianate

Architect:  John Mills Van Osdel

Contractor:  John Mills Van Osdel


Description: The building faces east and is a two story red colored brick structure. The main east entrance is in the east wing. A horizontal white colored stone band encircles the building at the first story. There is white colored stone above each window. Atop the building is a white colored octagonal dome with flagpole. The building now contains an art gallery and a restaurant. To the east is the Public Square and on the north side is the Old County Sheriff House and Jail built in 1887.


History:  The county was created in 1836 and McHenry was selected as the county seat in 1837 when the county was organized. The first court met in a log tavern in McHenry in 1838. The first courthouse was a two story frame structure built in 1838, was sold in 1844 and is still standing in McHenry. On March 1, 1839, the county was split creating Lake County. In 1840, the court met in April at Independence Grove (now known as Libertyville). In 1843 the county seat was moved to Centerville which was renamed as Woodstock in 1844. The second courthouse was a frame building built in 1844 and located on the Public Square. The third courthouse was a two story brick structure built by Henry Waite in 1846 and known as the “Rat Hole”. The fourth courthouse was constructed in 1857 to 1858 at a cost of $47,000 and is still standing. The fifth and present courthouse was constructed in 1971 to 1972 at a cost of $3,219,000. In 1990 to 1992 the courthouse was renovated and expanded at a cost of $39,025,000.



County Courthouse – Woodstock





Old County Courthouse – Woodstock





Old Sheriff Residence – Woodstock

Photos taken 2007 and 2011