Washington County

US States / N / Nebraska / Washington County

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

E – Harrison County, Iowa and Pottawattamie County, Iowa 

S – Douglas County

W – Dodge County


Created:  February 11, 1855                   Map of Nebraska highlighting Washington County

County Seat:

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


See:  The 6th Judicial District includes Burt CountyCedar CountyDakota CountyDixon CountyDodge County and Thurston County.


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