Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lucas County Courthouse

The second Lucas County courthouse replaced the old log courthouse built in 1850.  It was located on the east side of the square just south of the alley.  Jack Jennings and his Turner's clothing store was located in this building when John Pierce wrote these articles.

In June of 1858, the citizens of Lucas County voted 588 to 71 to build a new courthouse on the public square.  This brick structure would be sixty foot square, two stories high with a bell tower, and was to have cost around thirteen thousand, five hundred dollars to build.

Actual costs pushed this figure closer to twenty thousand dollars.  The builder was W.T. Wade, with County Judge Ethan Gard supervising.  Under Judge Gard's direction, the foundation was made of logs.  This was something new in architecture and proved to be the building's undoing.

After about ten years, cracks appeared in the walls to the extent that many believed the building would collapse.  Sheriff Gaylord Lyman rented a church where court was held.

When the courthouse didn't collapse, court was again held there until 1891.  On November 11, 1891 the Board of Supervisors ordered county offices to be vacated.  Supervisor A.M. Wheeler was appointed to find suitable rooms, which he did at a cost of one thousand dollars per year.

The records and offices were relocated to the upper story of the Dewey block, which was the east end of the south side of the square.  This arrangement continued until the present courthouse was completed in 1894.

The picture of the second courthouse shows the north and west side.  The second floor of the south side is where Hiram Wilson, murdered of Sheriff Lyman, was hung.

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