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Effingham County Courthouse

The old Effingham County courthouse was built in 1872 in the Second Empire style, which was popular in the United States 1855-1885. Following the Shelbyville, Tennessee plan for county seats and courthouses, the courthouse in located in a central square in downtown Effingham.

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Legal Pioneers: Four of Illinois First Women Lawyers

Four women pioneers in Illinois broke the barriers of the male dominated legal profession. Through their individual struggles and combined effort Myra Bradwell, Alta Hulett, Ada Kepley, and Catherine McCulloch opened the door of the legal profession to women, and serve as role models for today’s lawyers of either gender.

by Meg Gorecki

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The Bench And Bar Of Effingham County

The bench and bar of Illinois: historical and reminiscent, Volume 1
By John McAuley Palmer  pages  406-22

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The Bench And Bar Of Illinois: Historical And Reminiscent

Regarding Judge Hiram B. Decius

Volume 1, pages 423-427
By John McAuley Palmer

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A special honor for the Effingham County Museum: First Lady Designates Effingham County Cultural Center and Museum as a Preserve America Steward

Washington, D.C. — First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama has signed designation letters for three new Preserve America Stewards, one in Illinois, one in Florida, and one nationwide organization.

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Opening Speech At The Public Meeting About The Future Of The Courthouse

Hello, my name is Delaine Donaldson. I am here today to ask the County Board to save the Courthouse and use it as a heritage and cultural center. Copy the model demonstrated by the McClean County courthouse site. I literally could talk for hours about why preservation is the wisest move for you to make. I have done my homework.

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Hours & Location

100 E. Jefferson Ave.,
Effingham, IL 62401

Daytime Hours:
(January-February)- By appointment only and some special evening hours, TBA
Phone: 217.240.2471 to leave a message

(March through December)
Tuesday and Saturday 10 a.m-2 p.m.

Evening Hours:
6:00-7:00 p.m. on night of lecture series, November-March
Other times by appointment: Call (217)240-2471 to leave a message

ECCCMA Meeting Schedule

Board Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. at the court-house first floor courtroom. For information contact Delaine Donaldson, President at:

General Membership Meetings are held once a month of the second Tuesday of the month at 6:00 p.m. at the court-house first floor courtroom.

Our MISSION is to preserve our Historic Register structure, to collect artifacts from county history, and to use them to educate our local and external communities, while immersed in the broader context of American history.

Our VISION is that the 1872 Effingham County Courthouse remains as an architectural gem that instills a sense of community pride and provides a venue to
educate and showcase the history, art, and transportation of Effingham County.

Get Involved

On November 11, 2012, the Museum opened its doors to the public. Currently there are exhibits on the first floor and the second floor. On the second floor there is exhibit space as well as room for lectures and other types of public gatherings.