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Monroe County

Monroe County is named for James Monroe, who was President of the United States from 1817 to 1825.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Owen County and Morgan County

E – Brown County and Jackson County

S – Lawrence County

W – Greene County and Owen County


Created:  January 14, 1818                                                        Map of Indiana highlighting Monroe County

County Seat: 

Bloomington  1818 – present


County Courthouse – Bloomington  


Location:  Courthouse Square / East 6th Street

Built:  1907 – 1908

Style:  Beaux Arts

Architect:  Wing & Mahurin of Fort Wayne

Contractor:  Calwell & Drake Construction of Columbus


Description:  The building faces south and is a three story stone and concrete structure. The building is located on the landscaped grounds of the Courthouse Square in the center of Bloomington. Each side of the building has a projecting portico with horizontal stone on the first story. Above the doorways are four ionic-capitaled pilasters with shafts rising two stories to support the entablature beneath the roof. Above the roof line are carved panels. A cornice runs along the roof line with balustrade on the top. In the center of the building is an octagonal dome with clock and rounded roof. On the top is the original fish-shaped weather vane from the 1826 courthouse. In the interior, the central hallway is finished in limestone with columns in Egyptian Revival style, The staircase is located at the south entrance. Stairs, floors and portions of the walls are made of marble laid in a two color design. Stair railings are cast iron. At the center is the rotunda under the dome with eight classically inspired murals. The former Circuit Court courtroom on the north side of the third story has original mahogany wood work, brass lighting fixtures and a skylight, and is named as the Judge Nathaniel Usher Hill III Meeting Room. 


Note:  Two of the artists were Albert Molnar, Sr. whose murals depict figures in classical dress and incorporate themes of local impotrtance and Gustave Brand who completed murals, the stained glass dome and the large  stained glass window on the second level landing. Albert Molar sculpted the Light of the World located at the main entrance.


See:  The architect, Mahurin & Mahurin ( Wing ) of Fort Wayne also designed courthouses in DeKalb County, Hancock County, LaPorte County and Starke County.


See:  The contractor, Caldwell & Drake Construction of Columbus, Indiana also constructed courthouses in Boone County, Putnam County and Starke Countyin Ohio in Mahoning County and Ottawa Countyin Pennsylvania in Somerset Countyand in West Virginia in Wetzel County and Wood County.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Monroe County Courthouse


County Justice Building – Bloomington  



Location:  301 North College Avenue / West 7th Street

Built:  1983 – 1985

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Unknown

Contractor:  Unknown


Description:  The building faces east and  is a four story concrete and glass structure. The rectangulat shaped building is located in the center of Bloomington. The east front has large arches on the first and second stories at the south end of the building with recessed entrance. The north end has glass panels. The windows on the third and fourth stories are small. The roof line is flat. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 20th Judicial District.


See:  The 20th Judicial District includes Greene County, Lawrence County and Owen County.


History:  The county was created in 1818 and Bloomington was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was a one story, two room log cabin built in 1818.The second courthouse was a two story brick structure designed by William Low and built by John Ketcham built in 1819 to 1926. The courthouse was expanded in 1856 to 1857 by John F Rodges and in 1875. The courthouse was demolished in 1906 when the third and present courthouse was constructed in 1907 to 1908 at a cost of $250,000. The building was restored in 1983 to 1984.



County Courthouse – Bloomington





Light of the World























County Justice Building – Bloomington



Photos taken 2008