Williamson County Courthouse once stood where the tower is located, and the square use to be called the Courthouse Square. The courthouse went into disrepair and was demolished. The tower was designed as a memorial to the courthouse, and the square is now dubbed the the Tower Square Plaza. As we walked around the square we noticed a statue of the current mayor, Robert Butler. He has been in office since 1963 and is the longest serving mayor in Illinois. The success of this small town can be seen in some of the newer buildings which surround the square, one of which is the Marion Cultural and Civic center. It is a state-of-the art facility built in 2004. The charm of this town is in the fact that it also has preserved some of its older buildings, some of which we saw in a driving tour of the older section of town.
Yesterday we returned to downtown Marion where the Williamson County Historical Society Museum is located. The large brick building in which the museum is housed was constructed in 1913. It use to serve as the county jail until 1972. The jail also served as the sheriff's residence, sixteen sheriffs and
their families lived here. The front portion in which they lived was considered to be an elegant home of the late nineteenth century. Pictured below is the living room which features a crimson loveseat circa 1850 and a red satin lamp in the "Gone With the Wind" style.