Rice County is named for Samuel Allen Rice, who was a Brigadier-General in the United States volunteers and who was killed April 30, 1864 at Jekins Ferry in Arkansas.
Surrounding County Courthouses:
N – Ellsworth County
E – McPherson County
S – Reno County
Created: February 26, 1867
Atlanta 1871 – 1876
Lyons 1876 – present
County Courthouse – Lyon
Location: 101 West Commercial Street / East Avenue Street
Built: 1911 – 1912
Style: Richardsonian Romanesque
Architect: J C Holland & Son of Topeka
Contractor: Cuthbert and Sons
Description: The building faces south and is a four story dark red colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds of the Courthouse Square in the center of Lyons. The north front has a large arch extending up to the second story. At the roof line is a large dormer. White colored horizontal stone bands run between the floor levels. On the center of the roof is a high square red colored brick tower with clock and steep roof. Dressed limestone highlights the foundation. In the interior, the first story has a cross hall plan with an entrance on each side of the building. On the west side is a grand staircase with an oak balustrade. There are plaster walls and ceilings. The County District Court courtroom is located at the northwest corner of the third story. The building houses the County District Court of the 20th Judicial District. The building was renovated in 1972 and 1982.
See: The architect, J C Holland and Company of Topeka, designed courthouses in Clay County, Geary County and Mitchell County; and in Nebraska in Jefferson County. Holland and Son designed courthouses in Ness County. With Frank C Squires, he designed courthouses in Riley County and Thomas County. With Charles W Squires, he designed the courthouses in Marion County and Osborne County.
See: National Register of Historic Places – Rice County Courthouse
History: The county was created in 1867 and Atlanta was selected as the county seat in 1871 when the county was organized. The first courthouse was the wood frame hotel owned by Levi Jay. The county seat was moved to Lyons in 1876 and the courthouse was moved to the new site and rebuilt. In 1880, the second courthouse was a two story brick structure built by E C Sooy. The third and present courthouse was constructed in 1910 to 1911.
County Courthouse – Lyons
County District Court courtroom
Picture 1880 County Courthouse
Photos taken 2010 and 2022