top of page

721 12th Street

West Side

2006- Present: The Office of James Michael Neal, Attorney at Law occupies the entire second floor.

721 12th Street

There appears to be no structural or design changes in the second-floor since the building was originally built except a drop ceiling has been constructed in the restroom at the end of the hallway and the steam heat radiators have been removed.

1909-1997: The front half of the second story was occupied by McGaughey & Tohill, Attorneys as a law office. Originally, their offices consisted of a suite of three rooms: the reception room, the library and the consultation room. They were said to be finely furnished with carpets, desk, table, chairs, lights and bookcases. By 1922 the name of the firm was McGaughey, Tohill & McGaughey; in 1941- McGaughey & McGaughey; in 1956 - McGaughey, McGaughey & Henry Attys; and in 1959-1966 McGaughey& McGaughey.

The McGaughey Law Office Building served as the business and legal offices of a prominent, three – generation family of lawyers for approximately 90 years. Founder John Ellsworth McGaughey (1862 to 1937) began his legal practice in Lawrenceville in 1890, and the firm was in continuous existence until the death of his grandson, Guy E. McGaughey, Jr. in 1997. John E. McGaughey's legal practice coincided with the Lawrence County oil boom (1906 to 1930), and he became a well-known oil and gas attorney throughout southern Illinois. He was an important figure in bringing the Indian Refinery Company (later Texaco) to Lawrenceville, its refinery being an economic centerpiece of the community for more than 60 years.

Like his father, Guy E. McGaughey, Sr. (1892 to 1971), became a well-known oil and gas attorney, serving on numerous state and trade commissions. He was also active in Democratic politics, serving two terms as Lawrence County State's Attorney. Guy E. McGaughey, Jr. (1924 to 1997), a graduate of Yale and Northwestern, practiced in his grandfather's law office building until his death. The McGaughey family were prominent members of the Lawrenceville community for over a century, and the law office building was an important location for many legal, political and business affairs during that period.

1909-1956: Through the years the rear part of the second-floor has been rented to other businessmen. When the building was constructed, it was used by Stinson Brothers to sell rugs and clothing. During Jan 1917 P.S. Lewis and H.O Gudgel opened a life insurance agency upstairs. In 1941 Dee Miller Drilling Co., and W. C. McBride Inc. had their offices on the second floor. In 1956 the offices of the Big Four Insurance Association were located on the second floor. At other times, Shaw and Huffman, Attorneys, and Dr. E. M. Cooley also had offices up there.

1908: When the building was built, the second floor had plaster walls and ceiling, and a concrete floor in the office spaces. A synthetic marble tile floor was installed in the hallway of the second-floor. The second story consisted of office spaces and design typical of the 1900 – 192O period. A walk-in vault and specially designed glass fronted bookcases in the library as well as a skylight in the hallway still exist.

bottom of page