Fayetteville became the county seat at Lincoln County's founding in 1809, named for Revolutionary War Officer General Benjamin Lincoln. It was possibly only the second county seat in the U.S. with a mandatory layout that featured a courthouse square in its center. The first courthouse here was a small log structure that cost just $35 to build. Fayetteville was occupied by Union troops for much of the Civil War, and they even built a "bomb-proof" wall in what was to be the second of four courthouses to anchor the town square. In the late 1800s, this town and several of its neighbors organized "city bands," and built a bandstand on the courthouse lawn to showcase their talents; it is still used today for festivals and community events.

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