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Livingston County, Illinois
Genealogy and History

Circuit Court History

The first term of the Livingston County Circuit Court was held October 21, 1839, by Judge S. H. Treat, now of the United States Court. At the time the county was organized, it was placed in the First Circuit, but the Judge sitting in that circuit did not get time to come here, no law had been passed fixing the time for holding Circuit Court in this county, and the Clerk had moved away out of the State.

By the act of 1839, we were placed in the Eighth Circuit, and October fixed for the time of holding Court. Judge Treat wrote up the record, and in the minutes his own attendance is mentioned, and that of David B. Campbell, State's Attorney ; Nicholas Hefner, Sheriff; David Davis and Geo. B. Markley, attorneys.

An order was entered removing the Clerk, Henry Weed, by reason of his absence from the State for more than a year, and appointing D. B. Campbell Clerk pro tem. No grand or petit jurors were summoned to this term. Twenty-nine cases were on the docket, and parties litigant seem to have been taken by surprise, for against eighteen of the cases the minute is entered, '* Neither party appearing, this case is continued." Nicholas Hefner filed his bond as Sheriff, and it was approved. C. W. Reynolds filed his appointment as Clerk, and Judge Treat certified that Hefner had attended Court one day.

At the May term, 1840, W. G. Hubbard was appointed Foreman of the Grand Jury, and, being charged by the Court, retired—Judge Treat says in a letter—to some convenient saw-logs by the mill near by.

The grand jury returned five indictments, the first of which was for selling whisky contrary to the statutes made and provided. It is not, perhaps, singular that the first indictment ever returned to our Court was for that, and it will not be hard to anticipate that the last one may possibly be for the same

This term, Hefner was certified to for two days' attendance.

At the October term, 1840, Garret M. Blue appears as Sheriff. At the April term, 1843, D. S. Ebersol was appointed Clerk, and Augustus Fellows Master in Chancery. At the September term, 1844, R. P. Breckenridge appeared as Sheriff, and John Blue as Coroner. At the September term, 1846, Andrew McMillan appeared as Circuit Clerk. At the June term, 1847, John D. Caton presided as Judge. At the June term, 1848, S. C. Ladd appeared as Clerk. At the December term, 1848, T. Lyle Dickey presided, and Murrill Breckenridge was Sheriff. At the November term, 1850, Hugh Henderson, of the Eleventh Circuit, held court in exchange with Judge Dickey, and B. O. Cook appears as State's Attorney. September, 1851, Henry Loveless was Sheriff. September, 1852, David Davis was Judge, and J. O. Glover State's Attorney. May, 1853, E. S. Leland was Judge ; Geo. W. Boyer, Clerk ; Jeremiah Mathis, Sheriff ; W. H. L. Wallace, State's Attorney. In September, 1853, B. C. Cook was appointed State's Attorney pro tem. In 1855, W. B. Lyon appeared as Sheriff. This brings the record down through the earlier days.

[The History of Livingston County, Illinois - Wm. LeBaron, Jr. & Co. - 186 Dearborn Street, Chicago (1878)]


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