Mason County Circuit Court

County: Mason

State: Illinois

Following the creation of Mason County in 1841, the Illinois General Assembly assigned it to the Eighth Judicial Circuit. In 1845, it moved to the First Judicial Circuit, in 1852 it became part to the Fifth Judicial Circuit, and in 1857 it was placed in the newly-created Twenty-First Judicial Circuit. Abraham Lincoln and his partners regularly practiced in the Eighth Judicial Circuit, and they served as attorneys in several cases in the Mason County Circuit Court or on a change of venue from there, including the famous People v. Armstrong murder trial. Lincoln and his partners also handled multiple cases on appeal in the Illinois Supreme Court from Mason County.

An Act for the Formation of the County of Mason; An Act to Establish Circuit Courts; “An Act to Establish the Times of Holding the Circuit Court in the First Judicial Circuit,” 27 February 1845, Laws of Illinois (1845), 49-50; “An Act to Regulate the Times of Holding Courts in the Fifth and Twelfth Judicial Circuits,” 22 June 1852, Laws of Illinois (1852), 177-78; “An Act Establishing the Twenty-First Judicial Circuit,” 7 February 1857, Laws of Illinois (1857), 8-9; For Lincoln’s cases, search under Court Name, “Mason County Circuit Court,” Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, 2d edition (Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2009),