The Goddess of Justice

Updated: Sep 6, 2021


The Goddess of Justice shown on the roof of the historic Montgomery County Illinois Courthouse
The Goddess of Justice shown on the roof of the historic Montgomery County Illinois Courthouse

The Goddess of Justice – Other than this one 1874 drawing showing the statue on top of the Montgomery County Courthouse nothing is known about her. We have photos taken 8 years after the courthouse was built but no statue could be seen. Nothing in the local newspapers about her. Her pedestal was still in place up on top of the courthouse until the 1980’s but was she ever there?


Both Montgomery & Morgan county courthouses were designed by the same guy / same year. Jacksonville has good information on their Goddess of Justice statue and it explains what probably happened to our statue.


From Morgan County Illinois:

The statue of Justice stood on a stone pedestal sixty-four feet above the front entrance on the south wall of the Courthouse. She was carved from one solid block of white pine by the firm of Campbell and Colby of Mystic Bridge, Massachusetts, and was shipped to Jacksonville in October of 1868.


According to an article from the newspaper, “The Mystic Pioneer”, dated October 3, 1868: The statue stands nine feet from the bottom of the pedestal which is one foot thick, leaving eight feet as the exact height of the fixture. The scales, two feet nine inches beam are held up before her in her left hand that she may the better see justice done. In her right hand she grasps a naked sword four feet long. The figure is to be gilded and the scales silvered….”


First to go were the sword and scales – so she stood armless from that time (possibly as early as 1872) until she vanished from her perch atop the Courthouse sometime between 1903 and 1930. Where she is today remains a mystery.


Where the Montgomery County statue is today also remains a mystery.

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Jeff Dunn

Vice President

Historical Society of

Montgomery County

Advisory Board

Illinois State

Historical Society