Back | About this image
Old Shelbyville Courthouse
Old Shelbyville Courthouse

Judge David Davis, Abraham Lincoln, and the rest of the attorneys traveling Illinois' Eighth Judicial Circuit in the early 1850s often visited the Old Shelbyville Courthouse. As the state did not establish a separate, full-time court in each county, such circuit arrangements periodically brought a judge and a traveling group of lawyers to county seats. Here the attorneys took cases from local people, ranging from serious criminal defense work to wills and real estate transactions. In a short period of time that the traveling judge heard such cases as were ready for trial, then moved on to the next county seat. In addition to the county seat of Shelby County, the Eighth Circuit also included stops in Springfield (Sangamon County), Decatur (Macon County), Sullivan (Moultrie County), Paris (Edgar County), Danville (Vermilion County), Urbana (Champaign County), Monticello (Piatt County), Clinton (DeWitt County), Bloomington (McLean County), Metamora (Woodford County), Tremont and later Pekin in Tazewell County, and Mount Pulaski and later Lincoln in Logan County.

Image source: University of Chicago
©Copyright 2002 Abraham Lincoln Historical Digitization Project