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Judge to Retire After 32 Years on the Bench

Judge to retire after
32 years on the bench
The Circuit Court vacancy left by Judge David Slocum retirement will be filled by the Supreme Court until the next election.
By Deborah Gertz Husar

Herald-Whig Staff Writer


Circuit Judge David Slocum plans to retire Dec. 31 after 32 years on the bench in Brown County. Slocum tendered his resignation in a letter to Illinois Chief Justice Robert Thomas and sent copies to Justice Rita Garman and the court administrator.

"I love the job, love the county, love the people here. I feel as great about the job as the day I started way back in March 1975, but it's time," Slocum said. "My wife retired four years ago, and I'm finding one of these days something will happen to me and we won't have spent as much quality time together."

Slocum, 65, was working in the Quincy law firm of Scholz and Staff when he was appointed to fill the rest of the term of Judge Edward Turner, who retired because of health reasons.

He ran for the office in 1976 in a hotly contested race, with his wife, Marianne, as his campaign manager. He surprised himself by winning the election, won retention over the years, most recently through 2011, and continued to hear cases in Brown County and the 8th Judicial Circuit.

"I'm still doing the job the same way I did it when I started," Slocum said. "Now it somebody else time to do it. It a great job, an important job."

Under the Illinois Constitution, the vacancy will be filled by the Supreme Court until the next election. The job rich legacy appeals to Slocum, who has a strong interest in the history of Adams and Brown counties.

"People have been sitting up here since 1868 in this building," Slocum said. "I look out the window of my office, and across the street is the Presbyterian Church here in Mount Sterling.

Before this courthouse was constructed, they were holding court in the church." The church was a temporary location, serving while the present courthouse was built, after the first courthouse dating to 1848 was torn down shortly after the Civil War. The current courthouse was rebuilt, with the exterior walls intact, after a terrible fire in the late 1930s, Slocum said.

Slocum lives south of Mount Sterling but previously lived three blocks from the courthouse. "I tell people I get home a lot quicker now," he said. "I used to walk to work. It would take 20 minutes. Everybody I would see along the way wanted to stop and talk."

That part of rural life appeals to Slocum, and so does the idea of retirement.

Contact Staff Writer Deborah Gertz Husar at or (217) 221-3379

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