The second courthouse in Carthage, was built in the center of the square 1839 by Moses Stephens, at a cost of $3,700. It was razed in 1906 to make way for the new courthouse.
The present county courthouse was dedicated on October 21, 1908. [More information and photos of the courthouse]
On October 2, 1925, during the Hancock County's centennial year, a plaque was placed on the north side of the Hancock County Courthouse:
The Founding of Hancock County, commemorated by the Six Thousand Children of the Elementary Schools. October 2, 1925 Erected and dedicated in honor of John Hancock.
The plaque was unveiled by 10-year-old John Siepel, a native of Hancock Township, Hancock County, Illinois.
Present County Courthouse built in 1908 in Carthage after dissension between Warsaw and Carthage
of white Bedford stone from Indiana; roof of red Spanish tile interior walls of Tennessee marble
dome topped with Miss Justice holding scales courthouse faces south.
Plaque of Lincoln's Visit
Plaque of Douglas's Visit
Current Courthouse Built 1907
Lincoln and Douglas - 1858
Abraham Lincoln spoke here on October 22, 1858, during his campaign for the US Senate which
he lost. The plaque commemorating Lincoln's visit is on a large stone on the south side of the
courthouse. Stephen A. Douglas spoke here on October 11, 1858, during his campaign for the US
Sentate which he won over Abraham Lincoln. The plaque commemorating Douglas' visit is on a
pillar at the entrance on the south side of the courthouse.
Other Commemorative Plaques
Civil War Marker. - west side of courthouse - "In honor of those who served our country in the Civil War." Erected by Alexander Sympson Relief Corp of Carthage, Illinois.
Alexander Sympson was a friend of Abraham Lincoln, and Lincoln stayed in Sympson's home at the southwest corner of Cherry and Marion Streets when he visited Carthage. The home was razed about 1914.
Hancock Marker. - north side of courthouse - 1825-1925. Founding of Hancock County commemorated by the Six Thousand Children of the Elementary Schools. October 2, 1925. Erected and dedicated in honor of John Hancock.
Sundial. - south lawn of courthouse - For George Edmunds, Junr., Esqr., Sonora, Illinois, MDCCCLVI. Placed July 31, 1915 by Civic League of Carthage. North Latitude 40 degrees 30 minutes.
George Edmunds, Jr., and others built a warehouses on the banks of the Mississippi River at Sonora Landing, just south of Nauvoo, in 1858. This was a shipping point for grain, hay, horses, and cattle to St. Louis and other points.