The History of Johnson County Court House - Vienna, IL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 37° 24.876 W 088° 53.796
16S E 332160 N 4142555
Quick Description: From its construction in 1868 to the latest renovations to the lawn in 2003.
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 11/9/2009 8:10:24 AM
Waymark Code: WM7MFH
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member Stunod
Views: 3

Long Description:

Marker Text:

The History of
Johnson County Court House

The Contract for the present courthouse was let on Aug. 5, 1868 for $38,000. Final payment was made in 1881 with the total cost over $80,000.

When the courthouse was completed, it was one of the most attractive ones in the area.

About 1908 the interior of the building was rearranged, fire proof vaults built, a heating plant installed, and a local water supply system added.

During the 1960's the courthouse got a much needed face lift when it was sandblasted and tuck pointed. The east and west entrances were sealed up and enclosed into offices to give more room. The clock has been recently repaired and again can be heard striking the hours. Some of the county offices have now moved in a building on the west side of the square in an effort to relieve overcrowding.

Much of the work on the grounds of the courthouse was done by the Daniel Chapman Chapter DAR. They were responsible for much of the coping wall around the court square which was completed in 1920.
In 1921 the sidewalks were laid. Many of the trees were set by John Harvick, Bain & Jackson, Dr. G.W. Elkins, J.B. Kuykendall, Chapman & Wiley, and C.B. Hester.
The cannon in the northwest corner was used during the Civil War. It was secured by P.T. Chapman during his term in Congress from this district.

The boulder and tablet in the northeast corner was placed there by the DAR. The tablet contains the names of Revolutionary War soldiers buried in Johnson County. Next to it is a tablet commemorating George Rogers Clarks' Trail through Johnson County, also place there by the DAR.
The millstones on the south side of the courthouse were found near Karnak, but it is not known at what mill they were used.
Many improvements have been made to the courthouse and grounds to maintain the authenticity and stately manner it projects. The most recent transformation was performed in the fall of 2003 to enhance the landscape and thus the importance of the landmark. The project was inspired by Wayne Dunn and funded by donations from Honorable Judge Williamson, Southernmost Illinois Delta Empowerment Zone, and the Johnson County Horticulture Club.

County: Johnson County

Historical Society: Johnson County Historical Society

Dedication Date: Fall 2004

Location: 5th St. & Main St., courthouse lawn, Vienna

Website: [Web Link]

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