Thursday, February 20, 2020

Those Places Thursday - Clark County Illinois

I recently traveled downstate to Clark County Illinois for a little bit of research.  My dad grew up in that area and most of his ancestors lived there - some as early as 1836.

Clark County Courthouse

My first stop was at the Clark County courthouse in Marshall.  I had visited there over 40 years ago when I was a baby genealogist and had extracted most of the information that I needed.  I double-checked a couple things that I was missing.  Most of their information is online at FamilySearch so I didn't need to copy anything.  I asked about some unusual records (guardian, election, etc) but they didn't have anything else that was accessible.

Closeup of Courthouse with World's Largest Gavel

From there, I went across the street to the Marshall library.  They had a few books on local history but not very much because there was a more extensive collection at the Clark County Genealogical library.

The Clark County Genealogical library was on the other side of the courthouse.  They acutally have a very good collection of local history and genealogy.  There were shelves and shelves of donated family histories, several books with cemetery readings, funeral home records, church histories, and a large collection of local high school yearbooks.  I had the most luck with their collection of newspaper clippings - which were indexed!  The library itself  is only open 3 afternoons a week and is staffed by volunteers.  Dalanne was very helpful while I was there.  The only drawback is that their collections are primarily from the eastern half of the county and my ancestors were from the western half.

Casey township library with bookworm
I ended my day at the Casey township library in the town of Casey.  The librarian there was also very helpful.  They have a large collection that focuses on the western half of the county as well as some from surrounding counties.  I found several items relating to my family including the Casey high school yearbooks from the years that my dad attended.

I spent the night at a bed and breakfast in downtown Casey - the 1890 Sleepover.  I have stayed there several times - in a former storefront with a cute decor.  The town of Casey itself is worth a visit -- it is the home of "Big Things" - world record holding replicas of a rocking chair, a mailbox, and windchime to name a few..  They even provided the world's largest gavel for the county courthouse (see photo above).

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