The first hitching posts were placed around the courthouse square in 1826 coinciding with the opening of the county’s first courthouse. As most people traveled either by horse or a horse-drawn vehicle until the turn of the century, the posts were a necessity and no one questioned the need for them.
About 1900, with the introduction of the automobile, thinking began to change. IU Prof. V. F. Marsters brought the first manufactured automobile to Bloomington in 1901. From that time forward, although horses continued to be the primary means of transportation for quite some time, automobiles began to gain in popularity.
With the completion of the new courthouse in 1907, most of the people living in Bloomington wanted to banish the hitching rack forever. They believed it was unsanitary, unsightly and did nothing to promote the beauty or progressiveness of the county.