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Benton County

Benton County is named for Thomas H Benton, who was a United States Senator from Missouri.

 

Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Newton County and Jasper County 

E – White County and Tippecanoe County

S – Warren County

W – Iroquois County, Illinois

 

Created:  February 18, 1840                                                      Map of Indiana highlighting Benton County

County Seat: 

Oxford   1843 – 1874

Fowler   1874 – present

 

County Courthouse – Fowler

 

Location:  706 East 5th Street / North Grand Avenue

Built:  1874

Style:  Second Empire French

Architect:  Gurdon Paine Randall of Chicago, Illinois

Contractor:  Levi L Leach

 

Description:  The building faces north and is a four story red colored brick and stone  structure. The buildinding is located on spacious landscaped grounds in the center of Fowlwer. The north front extends from the building with a stone framed arch at the entrance and rising to a mansard roof. The building has arched windows and stone trim runs vertical at the corners. The base of the building is course white colored stone. In the interior, the north entrance still contains wood wainscoting. The courtroom is located at the center of the third story and many of the details of this room are intact, particularly the woodwork and configuration of the space. The niche at the north end of the room, which forms a back drop to the judges seat may have had ornamental paint or stenciling, but has been over painted. Some of the furniture, including two tables is also original. Halls and the court room have had modern light fixtures installed, and in some cases the ceiling has been lowered to allow for the required utilities. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 2nd Judicial District.  The building was remodeled in 1936. In 1995, an addition was constructed on the south side. The architect was Pyramid Architect / Engineering Inc.

 

See:  The architect, Gurdon Paine Randall of Chicago also designed the courthouses in Marshall County, and in Georgia in Bibb Countyin Illinous in Montgomery County and Morgan County and in Michigan in Menominee County

 

See:  National Register of Historic Places – Benton County Courthouse

 

See:  The 2nd Judicial District includes Jasper CountyNewton County and Porter County.

 

History:  The county was created in 1840 and Oxford was selected as the county seat. The first court met at the home of Basil Justus near Oxford. The first courthouse was a two story wood structure erected by Francis Boynton of Oxford in 1843 to 1845. The second courthouse was a brick structure built by George Brown of Lafayette in 1854. The county seat was moved to Fowler in 1874. The third and present courthouse was constructed in 1874 at a cost of $54,000.

 

 

County Courthouse – Fowler

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos taken 2008