Chester, Illinois, became the county seat of Randolph County in 1847. The current courthouse was built in 1975 and includes a 5th floor observation deck offering views 350 feet above the Mississippi River.
Next door is an interesting museum that houses artifacts collected over time from Randolph County residents. This Neo-Gothic stone museum, Randolph County Courthouse Annex, was built in 1864 to house the county clerk’s office, but is now used to preserve local history.
Artifacts document the rich history of the area’s early French settlers and later immigrants. Exhibits feature the life and times of folks in Randolph County. The museum contains Native American artifacts from the area and an electric chair once used at Menard Correctional Center. The Musum also contains extensive archives left from its days as the county clerk’s office.