An historical museum and library dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of materials relating to the history of Lawrence County and its inhabitants.


Since it's inception in 1961, the Lawrence County Historical Society (LCHS) has wanted to create a Historical Museum and Library. On October 9, 2001, a major step was taken when Heritage National Bank donated its banking facility in Lawrenceville to Lawrence County. That same day, the LCHS entered into a long-term lease agreement with the county to establish and operate a Historical Museum and Library upon the premises.
LCHS has retained the services of an engineer, who inspected the building and drew preliminary floor plans. LCHS is also working with the Southeastern Illinois Heritage Foundation for assistance in organizational and exhibit planning. (Located within the US 50 corridor, it is hoped that the museum and library will become an integral part of the Federal Scenic Byway Program)


The Lawrence County Historical Museum and Library is located on part of the original town site of Lawrenceville, which was surveyed on June 27, 1821. George W. Kincaide was the first owner. Later owners included William Mieure, William Tanquary and Alexander David, George Buchanan and Edmund Norris.
In 1888, John W. McCleave and Philip M. Barnes began a private banking enterprise known as McCleave & Barnes. In 1900, their business was re-chartered as the First National Bank of Lawrenceville. In 1923, the bank exterior was remodeled to its present condition. The First National Bank closed in 1934. Four years later, Peoples National Bank moved to the location. They sold the property in 1965 to Lawrenceville Federal Savings and Loan Association, predecessor to Heritage National Bank.


The mission of the Lawrence County Historical Museum and Library shall be:
1. TO MAINTAIN AND OPERATE A HISTORICAL MUSEUM, which will collect, preserve, and exhibit pictures, photographs, paintings, relics, and other physical objects.
2. TO MAINTAIN AND OPERATE A RESEARCH LIBRARY, which will be a depository of published materials such as histories, genealogies, biographies, newspapers, pamphlets; circulars, program and posters, manuscripts such as letters, diaries, journals, and reminiscences; maps, surveys and field books; oral histories; and public documents.
3. TO UNDERTAKE AN EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM, which will promote and stimulate public interest in and appreciation of the history of Lawrence County.
All projects, exhibits and educational programs will relate to the inhabitants of Lawrence County, or to events of historical significance to Lawrence County.
At present, we use the building's main floor for both museum and library purposes. OUR LONG RANGE PLANS call for the main floor to be used as a museum and exhibit area. The second floor would be used as a library for historical and genealogical material. For these plans to become reality, much work will need to be done.


Structural Improvements

Equipment and Supplies

How can you help

FINANCIAL SUPPORT The success of the Museum and Library will depend upon local financial support. Federal and state matching grant programs give serious consideration to applicants who have demonstrated local support. Private charities and foundations, civic organizations, local government and, of course, individuals are important local financial sources.
GIFTS TO THE MUSEUM AND LIBRARY Over the years, many documents and artifacts have been lost. The Museum and Library will at last provide a suitable location to build and safeguard collections. Letters and diaries, family histories, genealogies, scrapbooks, oral histories, photographs, church and school records, local ads, city directories, maps, books and other printed material, period clothing, political and military memorabilia, artifacts of local agriculture and industry are some of the things the Historical Society wishes to acquire.
HISTORICAL SOCIETY MEMBERSHIP LCHS needs and wants new members. The Museum and Library will require new ideas, new energies and new committees. The society meets on a monthly basis. Annual dues are $25.00
LCHS is an Illinois not-for-profit corporation under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue code. Donations and gifts are tax deductible.

For further information contact
Lawrence County Historical Society
P.O. Box 425
Lawrenceville, IL 62439
Or call
(618) 943-2300
Or email

Lawrence County Illinois Historical Society
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