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Clay County

Clay County is named for Henry Clay, who was an American statesman, U.S. Senator and Congressman from Kentucky 1806-1852, U.S. Secretary of State 1825-1829, three times Speaker of the House and three times candidate for president.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Parke County and Putnam County

E – Putnam County and Owen County

S – Greene County

W – Sullivan County and Vigo County


Created:  February 12, 1825                                                      Map of Indiana highlighting Clay County

County Seat: 

Bowling Green  1825 – 1877

Brazil                 1877 – present


County Courthouse – Brazil


Location:  609 East National Avenue / South Alabama Street

Built:  1912 – 1914

Style:  Neo-Classical

Architect:  John W Gaddis of Vincennes

Contractor:  Baily & Koerner of Louisville, Kentucky


Description:  The building faces north and  is a three story gray colored stone structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Brazil. The north front has a large portico supported by four large columns rising to a wide pediment containing a clock. On the center of the roof is an octagonal dome with round green colored roof. The interior has a rotunda topped by a colorful octahedral dome of stained glass. The floors are mosaic tile in bright patterns. On the west side are two sets of curving marble stairs with decorative metal balustrades. Marble balustrades also surround the open spaces, which are flanked by Ionic columns, on the upper stories overlooking the atrium. The halls feature original brass light fixtures, marble wainscoting, and mahogany veneer trim surrounding the office entrances. The second story contains a large “Convention Hall” with its original platform and maple floors. The third story contains the courtrooms. The Superior Court — originally the Grand Jury Room — on the west is relatively small and unimposing. The circuit court on the east boasts a lavish space ~ restored in the 1980s ~ featuring a recessed arch behind the judge’s bench containing a mural depicting a Roman court scene. Above is a small stained glass skylight. The building houses the County Circuit Court and the County Superior Court of the 19th Judicial District.


See:  The architect,  John W Gaddis of Vincennes designed courthouses in Huntington County and Putnam County.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Clay County Courthouse


County Justice Center – Brazil



Location:  611 East Jackson Street / South Alabama Street

Built:  2004 – 2006

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Shenkel-Shultz

Contractor:  Hanning Construction Inc.


Description:  The building faces north and  is a one story buff  colored concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Brazil to the south of the courthouse. The north front has projecting central entrance with four large pillars with short columns supporting a curved roof on the center of the building.


See:  The 19th Judicial District includes Putnam CountySullivan County and Vigo County.


History:  The county was created in 1825 and Bowling Green was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was a log structure built by Philip Hedges in 1829. The second courthouse was a brick structure built by Dempsey Seybold in 1840 and was destroyed by fire in 1851. The third courthouse was also a brick structure built in 1851 at a cost of $11,000. And was destroyed by lightening in 1910. The county seat was moved to Brazil in 1877 and the fourth courthouse was built by Noah T Keasy, John G Ackelmire and John Andrew in 1876 to 1977 at a cost of $33,300. The fifth and present courthouse was constructed in 1912 to 1914 at a cost of $225,000. The County Justice Center was constructed in 2006.



County Courthouse – Brazil























Photos taken 2008