Washington County is named for George Washington, who was the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797.
Surrounding County Courthouses:
N – Burt County
S – Douglas County
W – Dodge County
Created: February 11, 1855
Fort Calhoun 1855 – 1869
Blair 1869 – present
County Courthouse – Blair
Location: 1555 Colfax Street / South 16th Street
Built: 1889– 1890
Style: Renaissance Revival
Architect: O H Placey of Lincoln
Contractor: Richards & Company of Omaha
Description: The building faces west and is a two story red colored brick and stone structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds of the courthouse square in the center of Blair. The raised basement level is rusticated rough Warrenburg, Missouri sandstone. The upper walls are faced with St. Louis brick. Ribbons of the contrasting stone trim form continuous sills and lintels and run horizontally around the building. The building has four square brick towers on each corner. The first story entrance is framed with stone and has two entrance doors. On the center of the roof is a large cupola. The roof is hipped. In the interior, a long hallway runs north and south and intersects at the center with a small stub of an entry hall from the main entrance on the west. Located in the building are double fireplaces (placed back-to-back to heat two rooms) and vault doors with painted scenes. The County Court courtroom is located in the southeast corner of the first story. On the second story, the District Court courtroom runs the length of a façade with views on the east and west sides while the longer expanse opens onto the stairs on both the north and south ends of the building. The building houses the County District Court and County Court of the 6th Judicial District. On the east side is the Law Enforcement Center constructed in 1975 and on the south is a one story annex constructed in 1995.
Note: A unique feature not found on other Nebraska courthouses are the painted metal forms in the gables over the two entrances. Several subjects cornucopia, wheat, pumpkins call attention to the fertile agricultural foundation of the county, while the ship in full sail likely recalls the immigrant experience and the shields symbolize county government. Another highly unusual feature of the building are the stone rosettes at the corners of windows; up to seven patterns (perhaps more) are used.
See: The architect, O H Placey of Lincoln, designed the courthouse in Illinois in Shelby County
See: National Register of Historic Places – Washington County Courthouse
History: The county was created in 1855 and Fort Calhoun was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was a log structure and a crowd of De Soto backers mounted a siege on the courthouse, and one man was killed in the hostilities. Fort Calhoun surrendered the county records to the mob after a two-day stand-off, but later regained the county seat designation in the appropriate manner, an election. The county seat was moved to Blair in 1869. The county rented premises until the second and present courthouse was constructed in 1889 to 1890.
County Courthouse – Blair
Photos taken 2008