Tazewell County, Illinois

County: Tazewell

State: Illinois

Lat/Long: 40.5333, -89.5500

The Illinois legislature created Tazewell County out of unorganized land in 1827. Parts of it were removed to create McLean, Logan, Mason, and Woodford counties, setting its current boundaries in 1841. It was part of the Eighth Judicial Circuit from 1839 to 1857, during which Abraham Lincoln traveled that circuit as a lawyer. The original county seat was Mackinaw, but in December 1830, the General Assembly appointed commissioners to permanently locate a seat of justice for the county. In the meantime, the county offices were located in Pekin. In 1835, the General Assembly appointed another set of commissioners to establish a permanent county seat, and they decided on Tremont. County offices moved to Tremont in 1836, commencing a lengthy battle between Tremont and Pekin over the county seat. In 1849, Tazewell County residents voted to move the county seat to Pekin, and county government commenced in that town in 1850. Abraham Lincoln served as attorney in over 200 cases in the Tazewell County Circuit Court.

"An Act Creating the County of Tazewell," 31 January 1827, Revised Code of Laws, of Illinois (1827), 113-15; History of Tazewell County, Illinois (Chicago: Charles C. Chapman, 1879), 225, 244, 247-50; 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), http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org.