Sullivan County is named for Daniel Sullivan, who was a general in the American Revolutionary War and who was killed while carrying a dispatch between Fort Vincennes and Louisville, Kentucky.
Surrounding County Courthouses:
N – Vigo County
E – Clay County and Greene County
S – Knox County
W – Crawford County, Illinois and Clark County, Illinois
Created: December 30, 1816
Carlisle 1817 – 1819
Merom 1919 – 1942
Sullivan 1842 – present
County Courthouse – Sullivan
Location: 100 Courthouse Square / South Court Street
Architect: John B Bayard of Vincennes
Contractor: Walter R Heath of Greencastle
Description: The building faces south and is a three story buff colored limestone and concrete structure. The square shaped building is located on the landscaped grounds of the Courthouse Square in the center of Sullivan. The south front has horizontal buff colored stone work on the first story with a small overhang at the entrance. Six large columns rise from the second to third stories diving recessed windows. A wide cornice runs below the roof line and a clock rises above the roof line. In the interior, the rotunda is surrounded by square pillars whose capitals include a course of bead and reel molding, a cima reversa acanthus molding, a plain surface, topped by another acanthus molding and, finally, a smaller flat edged course. These pillars support the paneled ceiling around the rotunda. The inner face of the rotunda at this level is decorated with fluting, interspersed with a scrolled leaf and wreath surrounding a light socket. Above this course is a running ornament. These elements are separated by horizontal moldings. The rotunda floor is decorated with an ornate compass design in black and red grained marble against a ground of beige stone. Black marble outlines the square columns on the floor and highlights the stair. The courtroom is located on the west side of the third story and the interior decorations include a massive oak backdrop to the judge’s bench. This feature includes raised carved floral detailing in the central panel and a pediment above, which encloses a carved eagle with its wings unfurled. The doors and window surrounds are of the same oak and have projecting cornices. Carved floral capitals, matching those in the backdrop are also present on the rails around the jury box and on other furnishings. The walls of the courtroom are punctuated by fluted Composite pilasters resting on oak wainscoting. The coffered ceiling is outlined with combination dentil moldings and decorative plaster medallions containing the dropped light fixtures. The building houses the County Circuit Court and the County Superior Court of the 19th Judicial District.
See: National Register of Historic Places – Sullivan County Courthouse
See: The 19th Judicial District includes Clay County, Putnam County and Vigo County.
History: The county was created in 1816 and Carlisle was delected as the county seat in 1817. The first court met at the home of James Sproule. The county seat was moved to Merom in 1919. The first courthouse was a log structure erected in 1819. The county seat was moved to Sullivan in 1843. The second courthouse was a log structure erected in 1843 and was destroyed by fire in 1850. The third courthouse was designed by Edwin May and constructed by James Pound and William Reed in 1852 at a cost of $7,853. In 1872, an addition was constructed by William Greenlee at a cost of $60,000. The fourth and present courthouse was constructed in 1926 at a cost of $500,000.
County Courthouse – Sullivan
Photos taken 2008