Courthouse renovations uncover ‘prosperity’ paychecks from 1800s

Prosperity checks (WLFI Photo)

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — While renovating the Tippecanoe County Courthouse, workers discovered paychecks dating back to the 1800s.

They were hidden inside some of the crevices within the courthouse dome.

Commissioner’s assistant Paula Bennett said she called the Tippecanoe County Historical Association to find out why they were there.

After some research, Bennett learned people would hide money during new construction with hopes it would bring prosperity and health to anyone occupying the new structure.

Bennett said it must have worked because Tippecanoe County is doing very well.

Now she’s planning to do something similar.

“I’m going to carry on the tradition,” said Bennett. “I’m going to take some more checks and some more money, and I’m going to hide it in the courthouse so the next 50, 60, 75, 100 years, we’ll continue to have health and prosperity.”

Bennett found out the checks are too fragile to be preserved; however, she did make photocopies.

She hopes the tradition will live on forever.