Some courthouses have cornerstones with the history for all to see. Other courthouses are a mystery and require research into the county records, newspapers and articles. Some of the older courthouses have been lost to time and have been replaced by modern structures. Others have survived to preserve the fantastic architectural beauty that cannot be found in modern buildings.
Center of Community
The county courthouses are the center of county life and house the courts and local administrative bodies. As counties have grown in population, new buildings have been constructed with judicial and administrative functions now being separated into a Judicial Center, Justice Center, Courthouse Annex or County Administration Building.
Many counties have a rich history starting with the first step which was the political lobbying to have a county created. The second step was the location of the county seat which evoked battles between competing towns. Sometimes county records where moved in the dead of night from one town to the next. In some cases the courthouse itself was moved. The third step was the building of the courthouse. Each county took pride in constructing a building befitting its stature and budget.
The fourth step, is now the preservation of these symbolic buildings. Some counties have constructed new buildings while maintaining the old building. The advent of indoor plumbing, electricity, modern heating systems and now computer technology have forced modernization and expensive renovations. Unfortunately some of the old courthouses did not survive. The counties that have maintained their old buildings are to be commended.