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Carlinville Public Library

Site of Second Courthouse Bell at the Episcopal Church

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (Current Site of Second Courthouse Bell) - 415 South Broad Street)

Built in 1865, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church has two connections to Abraham Lincoln.  The first priest to serve the St. Paul’s congregation was Reverend David Dresser, the son of Reverend William Dresser who married Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois.  The bell from the second courthouse which was in the center of the Town Square, where Lincoln practiced law, was secured by A. McKim Dubois, who was one of the four commissioners in charge of building the “Million Dollar Courthouse”.  It stood in the yard for many years and was later hung in a small tower on the north side of the church.  

Early photograph of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Carlinville

St. Paul’s building is based on a design by renowned British draftsman, Richard Upjohn.  After immigrating to America, Upjohn published a book of church designs which became quite popular among frontier congregations.  Buying his book became a license to use one of his plans, and in a short period of time, these simple church structures dotted the frontier landscape.

View of the Church as it stands today, with side view of bell

NEXT: Lincoln Boulder (Methodist Church - 100 block of East First Street)