Franklin County

US States / H-L / Illinois / Franklin County

Franklin County is named for Benjamin Franklin, who was a famed statesman and the United States ambassador to France during the American Revolution.


Created:  January 2, 1818

County Seat:

Shawneetown  1818 – 1821

Frankfort          1821 – 1841

Benton             1841 – present


County Courthouse – Benton


Location:  1 Public Square / Main Street

Built:  1874 – 1875

Style:  French Norman

Architect:  John J St. Clair of Benton

Contractor:  John J St. Clair of Benton


Description: The building faces south and is a two story red colored brick structure. The building sits in the center of the Public Square in Benton. The south front has a square red colored brick tower with mansard roof and two long narrow arched windows on the second story. Buff colored stone trim is along the corners of the building. On either side of the tower are one story dark red colored brick wings. Behind the tower, is a wider section connected to the wider main building. White colored cornices are along the roof line. Additions were added in 1960. The contractor was H H Hurley. The building was restored in 2005.


Note:  The cost of construction of the present courthouse was $25,000. The courthouse will be demolished and the county offices will be moved to the Drew Building on the Public Square.


Note:  The first court met at the residence of Moses Garretix at Franfort Heights in 1821. The first courthouse was a brick structure built a few years later in Franfort. When the county seat was moved to Benton, the second courthouse was built in 1841 and burned in 1843. The third and present courthouse was built in 1875.



N – Jefferson County

E – Hamilton County and Saline County

S – Williamson County

W – Jackson County and Perry County




County Courthouse – Benton













Photos taken 2007 and 2012