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PAXTON — The nonprofit Paxton Foundation offered Monday night to buy the 19th-century jail and sheriff’s residence on the courthouse square and pay for the building’s renovation and upkeep.
And Ford County Board members appeared receptive to the idea, as they asked the group to submit a formal written proposal by Feb. 1 for further consideration.
The county board just three weeks earlier had made plans to tear down the 1871 Italianate-style brick sheriff’s residence and attached stone jail — one of the few remaining jails in Illinois built from athens marble — if no viable use for the building could be found.
The board is particularly concerned about the continued deterioration of the county-owned building, which has not been used for 20 years.
“The building is not (structurally) secure now; it’s deteriorating; it’s a liability and an eyesore,” said the board’s chairman, Rick Bowen of Elliott.
The Paxton Foundation, a group dedicated to preserving Paxton’s past, has not determined how it would use the building if it were purchased from the county, although possible uses mentioned Monday included a museum, office space for the foundation’s headquarters, or a bed-and-breakfast.
Please read the full story in the Jan. 16 edition of the Paxton Record.