Rock County is named for the Rock River which flows through the county and for the rocky condition of the soil in the area.
Surrounding County Courthouses:
N – Keya Paha County
E – Holt County
S – Loup County
W – Brown County
Created: November 6, 1888
Bassett 1888 – present
County Courthouse – Bassett
Location: 400 State Street / Caroline Street
Built: 1939 – 1940
Style: Art Deco
Architect: E B Watson of Norfolk
Contractor: Rock County
Description: The building faces west and is a two story white colored stuccoed concrete structure. The building is located on a low hill on spacious landscaped grounds in the center of Bassett. The rectangular shaped building has a raised basement and has a slightly protruding center section on the west front with a recessed entrance on the first story. A large sectioned window is located above on the second and third floors. Brown trim is along the roof line of the flat roof. The interior plan is T-shaped, with entry stairs at the stub of the “T”. Rectangular vaults that run east-west flank this interior staircase, and two more are placed side-by-side opposite the stairs on the west wall. Features include metal counters, terrazzo flooring, concrete ceilings, long wood benches in halls, and simple light fixtures and woodwork. The courtroom is located on the south side of second story. Courtroom furnishings are simple and are original displaying Art Deco patterns, notably pilasters and courses with vertical decoration. Spectator seats are inexpensive fold-down wood theater seats. The concrete ceilings are divided by simple concrete beams and have simple hanging globes. The building houses the District Court and County Court of the 8th Judicial District.
Note: The contractor was Rock County using local labor and trades,.This was a Works Project Administration project which provided funding of $33,000.
See: The architect, E B Watson of Norfolk also designed the courthouse in Knox County.
See: National Register of Historic Places – Rock County Courthouse
See: The 8th Judicial District includes Blaine County, Boyd County, Brown County, Cherry County, Custer County, Garfield County, Greeley County, Holt County, Howard County, Keya Paha County, Loup County, Sherman County, Valley County and Wheeler County.
History: The county was created in 1888 and Bassett was selected as the county seat. The county used rented premises until the first courthouse, a wood frame structure was built in 1889 at a cost of $5,000.The courthouse burned in 1897. The second courthouse was a two story frame structure built in 1897. The courthouse was torn down after the third and present courthouse was constructed in 1939 to 1940 at a cost of $50,000.
County Courthouse – Bassett
Photos taken 2006, 2010 and 2016