Living History Day held in Thebes, Ill.

Many people met at a historic courthouse in Thebes, Illinois today for Living History Day
Published: Nov. 5, 2023 at 11:36 AM CST
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THEBES, Ill. (KFVS) - Many people met at a historic courthouse in Thebes, Illinois on Saturday for Living History Day.

The celebration was held as the courthouse turned 175 years old, making it one of the oldest courthouses in the state.

First Judicial Circuit Chief Judge William Thurston signed an order granting permission to hold court cases in this historical courthouse, so they could hold reenactment cases during today’s event.

Some of the reenacted court cases included a case involving a town drunk and another about a mistaken identity at a funeral parlor.

These cases were based on actual events that happened in Alexander County.

The event was held to raise money to continue running the historic courthouse.

“This is a fundraiser and of course it’s just a fun day to get out and get around, but we’re hoping to raise money, in order to help with the preservation of our courthouse,” said Thebes Historical Courthouse volunteer Shapley Hunter. “The courthouse was built in 1848, and operated as a courthouse until 1859, when everything was moved to Cairo. We have some volunteers--I can’t take any credit for it--but we’ve done a lot of work to get this courthouse up and running, and they’ve done a fantastic job. But we need money to keep it going, so we are hoping to raise a little bit of funds to help do that today.”

Dr. Paul Jacobs, 118th District Illinois State Representative, told us about the celebration and the importance of keeping history alive for future generations.

“There are things we frequently spend money on incorrectly in the state, and I think any of the historic buildings that we can maintain for our children, our grandchildren, our great-grandchildren--this is one of the most important things to maintain history,” he said. “History, you can’t rewrite it--you’ve gotta just live it. And this is nice to be able to do, just a reliving of cases, it’s great.”

They don’t perform the celebration every year, so keep an eye out for the next one when it comes.