PAXTON — Sitting vacant and deteriorating for years, the historic former Ford County sheriff's residence and jail on the courthouse square is expected to be restored and put to use, now that it has a new owner.
"It's good to get it passed on to somebody that hopefully will find a good use for it," Ford County Board Chairman Rick Bowen said after the board voted 9-2 this week to sell the aging complex to the nonprofit Paxton Foundation.
"We wish the foundation the best with finding the funds and the energy to make it beautiful again," Bowen said.
Paxton Foundation President Royce Baier said work would begin soon to restore the 1871 Italianate-style brick sheriff's residence and its attached stone jail — one of the few remaining jails in Illinois built from athens marble.
"We're excited, and we're ready to get started on it," Baier said.
The foundation presented a check for $10 — the total sale price — to the county following the board's vote.