Seward County is named for William H Seward ( 1801-1872 ), senator from New York and leader of the anti-slavery wing of the Whig Party, and who served as Secretary of State arranging the purchase of Alaska.
Surrounding County Courthouses:
N – Butler County
E – Lancaster County
S – Saline County
W – York County
Created: January 26, 1856
Seward 1856 – present
County Courthouse – Seward
Location: 529 Main Street / North 5th Street
Built: 1905 – 1906
Style: Beaux Arts
Architect: George A Berlinghof of Beatrice
Contractor: Marxen & Rokahr of Avoca, Iowa
Description: The building faces south and is a three story Bedford Indiana limestone and concrete structure. The building is located on the landscaped grounds of the Courthouse Square in the center of Seward. Constructed with smooth faced limestone, the north front and south side have a large arch at the entrance on the first story with four Corinthian columns above and pediment at the roof line. The east and west sides have three arches of the first story, four Corinthian columns and a pediment at the top. There is a parapet on each corner of the building. On the center of the roof is an octagonal dome with red colored roof. The roof line is flat. In the interior, the sole staircase is located at the center of the north facade across from the entry. A large assembly room is located on the first story. Original features remain in hallways, including plaster capitals and moulding, terrazzo flooring, marble stairs, baseboards, and counters in offices, and metal balusters and newels topped with urns. The District Court courtroom is located on the third story and has now been divided into two courtrooms. The building houses the County District Court and County Court of the 5th Judicial District.
Note: During construction other contractors were L W Pomerene and Company of Lincoln for heating and plumbing at a cost of $6,100) and John Martz of Seward for electrical work at a cost of $775.
See: The architect, George A Berlinghof of Beatrice, designed courthouses in Colfax County, Franklin County, Greeley County, Howard County, Kearney County, Lincoln County, Nemaha County and Thayer County; and in Iowa in Crawford County.
See: The contractor, Marxen & Rokahr of Avoca, Iowa, also constructed the courthouse in Iowa in Crawford County.
See: National Register of Historic Places – Seward County Courthouse
County Justice Center – Seward
Location: 261 South 8th Street / Main Street
Built: 2016 – 2017
Architect: Goldbeg Group Architects, PC
Contractor: BCI Beckenhauer Construction Inc.
Description: The building faces east and is a two story brown colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds to the southwest of the courthouse. The first story is below ground and is exposed on the west side. The “L” shaped building has an entrance located on the south of the east front. The roof line is flat. The building contains courtrooms. The building houses the County District Court and County Court of the 5th Judicial District.
History: The county was created in 1856 and Seward was selected as the county seat in 1871. The first courthouse, which did not occupy the present courthouse square, was a frame structure built in 1872. Between 1879 to 1907, the county rented rooms for more fireproof storage space than the courthouse could provide. The second and present courthouse was constructed on 1905 to 1906 at a cost of $80,350. The County Justice Center was constructed in 2016 to 2017.
County Courthouse – Seward
Photos taken 2009