Maquon Village Hall and Jail

Old Village Hall

When Maquon incorporated in 1857, there was no village hall. The first village board meetings were held at A. M. Maple's store, which burnt down two years later in 1859. Much of the initial efforts of the board were to improve the public highways in Maquon. Voters became apathetic however, and when village board elections were held on March 26, 1860, no one showed up to vote.

The Maquon jail was probably built before the Village Hall. Construction began when a "calaboose" was built on the west end of block 11, lot 8 of Maquon in 1865. In 1868, the village tried to sell the building to raise money for sidewalks. The first jail was described as a building made of 3 x 6 planks spiked together and consisted of one small room. This room had one door and a small hole for a window, covered with iron bars. The original plat of Maquon, prepared in 1836, shows this is the same site as where the jail that was demolished in 1994 stood.

Women's Lib In 1923, women governed the village. In the spring election, a women's ticket ran against and defeated the men's ticket by a two to one margin. Men were back in office after the next election and held all of the seats until April 1959 when two women were elected trustees with write-in votes.

By 1994, the village board was faced with the dilemma of either repairing or replacing the building. Over $30,000 was needed to repair the aging structure and to bring the building into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Space in the building was at a premium. The board opted to demolish the building and replace it with a larger village hall at a cost of $37,500. To make room for the structure, the attached jail was also demolished.

Village Hall Demolition

A portion of the old building does live on however. Locally produced bricks from the old building were used to make repairs to the Old Knox County Courthouse in Knoxville. Items of historic interest, including the bars on the windows and door of the old jail were given to the Maquon Historical Society, an organization that maintains a museum in the basement of a refurbished one room schoolhouse at the edge of the village.

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