Special Features of Historic Interest

Early Shawneetown Banks: John Marshall established a bank in his home about 1813; the family
and banking business moved into the new brick home after completion in about 1822; in the late
1830’s a new bank building was erected and the four story stone and classical Greek Revival
structure became the most prominent bank in the state.

Oldest Safe in Illinois: After a fifty-year stay at a museum in Chicago, the oldest safe in Illinois
was returned to Shawneetown in 1979. After utilizing a wooden barrel for holding the money for
quite some time, John Marshall had a substantial wooden vault/safe built. The vault/safe stands
three feet tall, just under three feet in width and length. The safe’s heavy oak surfaces are
covered with iron and studded with iron spikes driven through rivet heads.

Courthouse Mural: The Mural in the court room of the Gallatin Courthouse was painted in 1941
by Earl Ledyard of Chicago. The painting is on canvas and glued to the wall. The Mural
represents historical events of the early days of our county. The small mural on the left as one
faces the front of the courtroom represents Albert Gallatin, the man for whom Gallatin County
was named. Gallatin Was Secretary of the Treasury under presidents Thomas Jefferson and
James Madison. Mr. Gallatin holds the charter for the county. The Mural on the right represents
Gen. Thomas Posey, Aide-de-camp- to Gen. Washington during the Revolutionary War, and
Territorial Governor of the Indiana Territory. It is said that he was the first to be buried in
Westwood Cemetery. In the large center Mural, one will observe the Indians in the upper left
hand corner representing the Shawnee tribe that lived in this area before the white men arrived.
Salt is being processed in kettles; the salt springs were near the present site of Equality.
Flatboats, stalks of corn, covered wagons, and barrels of salt depicted indicate important
industries of the county. Gen. Lafayette is shown in this Mural representing his arrival in
Shawneetown for a visit in 1825.

Commemorative Stamp Day: On Feb. 12, 1968, the U.S. Post Office issued a 6-cent stamp,
commemorating Illinois 150 years of statehood. Shawneetown was chosen as the site for the
event, the oldest post office in the state being located there. Shawneetown post office,
established in 1811, once served as a distribution center for an area that comprised five states.

Turner Opera House: Turner Opera House, constructed in 1901 by Charles Turner, was a
landmark in Equality for 80 or more years. It was recognized as one of the finest south of
Springfield, with its hardwood floors, wide center aisles, and seating for two hundred people.
The last occupant was the grocery store of Dwain and Ethel S peer. The building burned in 1983.
Today the Ohio River Visitors Center in Equality sits at the site of this once famous Opera