Franklin County is named for Benjamin Franklin, who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and who lived from 1706 to 1790.
Surrounding County Courthouses:
N – Kearney County
E – Webster County
S – Smith County, Kansas and Phillips County, Kansas
W – Harlan County
Created: February 16, 1867
Franklin City 1871 – 1874
Bloomington 1874 – 1920
Franklin 1920 – present
County Courthouse – Franklin
Location: 405 15th Avenue / O Street
Built: 1925 – 1926
Style: Classical Revival
Architect: George A Berlinghof of Beatrice
Contractor: Vrana Brothers of Omaha
Description: The building faces east and is a two story buff colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Franklin. Limestone is used for the foundation and also trim, especially at the east entrance and along the parapet. The stonework contrasts with golden tan brick and provides an important unifying element. The east front of the rectangular shaped building has projecting north and south sections with a recessed center section. Since the east facade is the primary entrance, it has more elaborate detail: brick pilasters, consoles, foliated panels, plagues with swags, and shields. The central entrance on the first story is framed with stone. A horizontal stone band runs between the first and second stories. A wide cornices runs below the flat roof line. A stone crest rises along the roofline. The east entry steps of the courthouse lead to a very small corridor on the first story which has offices leading off all sides. The district courtroom occupies most of the west end of the second story. Important elements are the original high ceilings, elaborate plasterwork including a cornice with acroteria, medallions, and egg-and-dart courses, paired squared pilasters with fanciful capitals, low grey marble wainscoting, broad plaster ceiling beams decorated with an acanthus pattern, and three large lights hanging from ornate plasterwork. Hallways have grey marble wainscoting, terazzo floors with border patterns, and golden oak woodwork. The building houses the District Court and County Court of the 10th Judicial District.
See: The architect, George A Berlinghof of Beatrice, designed courthouses in Colfax County, Greeley County, Howard County, Kearney County, Lincoln County, Nemaha County, Seward County and Thayer County; and in Iowa in Crawford County.
See: National Register of Historic Places – Franklin County Courthouse
See: The 10th Judicial District includes Adams County, Clay County, Harlan County, Kearney County, Nuckolls County, Phelps County and Webster County.
History: The county was created in 1867 and Franklin City ( Waterloo ) was selected as the county seat in 1871. The county seat was moved to Bloomington in 1874. The first courthouse was a two story structure built by A A Hathaway in 1878. In 1920, the county seat was moved to Franklin. The county rented premises until the second and present courthouse was constructed in 1925 to 1926 at a cost of $100,000.
County Courthouse – Franklin
Photos taken 2010