Beardstown, Virginia, back to Beardstown
When Cass County was formed in 1837, Beardstown seemed the obvious choice for county seat by virtue of its size and regional importance.
As it is with all things in life, there was a “however.” The Illinois General Assembly stipulated the county seat town had to raise $10,000 – $215,160.98 in today’s dollars – to defray the cost of building a courthouse and other public buildings.
Folks in Beardstown liked the idea of becoming the county seat, but paying for the privilege was another matter. Some thought county government ought to foot the entire bill. There was disagreement as to its location in town. Others thought Beardstown should only pay a portion of the $10,000. And a fair number who really wanted nothing to do with the county. While the arguments raged, the legislature gave Beardstown the authority to raise the money through a real estate tax, which was about as popular as a skunk at a picnic.