Champaign County's Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln spent nearly 20 years of his life practicing law on the 8th judicial circuit, traveling from one county seat to another. Even as the circuit shrank while population grew (from 8 counties in 1841 to 15 counties in 1845 to 8 in 1853 to 5 in 1857) the county seat of Urbana in Champaign County was always on Lincoln’s circuit. Each fall and spring, Lincoln traveled the dusty roads from Decatur to Urbana to Danville often with a group of lawyers and a judge assisting in whatever civil and criminal cases were before the court.

In this exhibit, learn who Lincoln knew, where he went, and how he politicked in Champaign County. Enter the county as Lincoln did by sitting in his buggy, listen to the crowd as they await Lincoln’s speech in the Goose Pond Church, mourn with your fellow citizens as they hear news of Lincoln’s assassination. This exhibit will take you back to the time when the future president walked our streets.

Lincoln Interaction

Abraham Lincoln: Large Presence in a Small Town

Visit the Champaign County Courthouse in Urbana to experience the sights and sounds of Lincoln’s legal career near the spot where he tried the cases of the day. Enter the 1850s courtroom, hear Lincoln's voice and witness a fascinating object theatre presentation about Lincoln’s legal career in Urbana.

Coming Soon

Lincoln Legacy Committee - Who We Are

The Lincoln Legacy Committee is a collaborative committee of the Champaign County Forest Preserve and the Champaign County Board formed to promote Lincoln’s presence in our county through the creation of exhibits at the Champaign County Courthouse and the Museum of the Grand Prairie.

Members include a County Board liaison, dedicated community members, institutional members from the Champaign County History Museum, the Champaign County Historical Archives, the Museum of the Grand Prairie, and the Homer Historical Society. For more information contact: