The lost Tazewell County town of Circleville, and the town’s most (in)famous residents, the Berry Gang, are the subject of a special segment by WEEK-TV weeknight anchor Caitlin Knute which aired during the 10 p.m. news on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016:
“SPECIAL REPORT – Circleville: A Lost Town and its Most Infamous Residents”
Circleville was previously the subject of a weblog post here:
“The lost town of Circleville”
Click on the “Circleville” tag below for other mentions of this town at “From the History Room.”
The old Tazewell County Courthouse Block is shown in this detail from an “Aerial View of Pekin,” a unique map that was printed in 1877. The old Courthouse, which stood from 1850 to 1914, is near the middle of this image. To its left are two buildings — at the corner of Fourth and Elizabeth was a building that held county offices for elected officials such as county clerk, recorder of deeds, etc. Just below that, at the corner of Fourth and Court, is the old Tazewell County Jail and Sheriff’s Residence (which was replaced in 1891 — today it’s the location of the McKenzie Building, which was built as a new jail in the 1960s). Since this map was drawn in 1877, it’s only eight years after Bill Berry’s lynching in 1869, which took place outside the jail at the corner of Court and Fourth. Note that there are four trees represented in front of the jail — there’s no telling which of them was Berry’s gallows tree.