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Saint Joseph County

Saint Joseph County is named for the Saint Joseph River, which was named for Saint Joseph, who is the patron saint of New France.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Berrien County, Michigan and Cass County, Michigan

E – Elkhart County

S – Marshall County and Starke County

W – LaPorte County


Created:  April 1, 1830                                                               Map of Indiana highlighting Saint Joseph County

County Seat:

St. Joseph    1830 – 1931

South Bend  1831 – present


County Courthouse – South Bend


Location:  101 South Main Street / West Washington Street

Built:  1896 – 1897

Style:  Beaux Arts

Architect:  Charles Allerton Coolidge of Boston, Massachusetts

Contractor:  James Stewart & Company of St. Louis, Missouri.


Description:  The building faces east and is a two story gray stone style structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of South Bend. A large dome defines the cross axis of the gable roofs with pedimented ends. Set on a stone drum embellished with a garland motif, the dome, as well as the gable roof, are tiled. The Bedford stone and granite walls are divided into three sections: the foundation level of massive smooth-cut stone, the first floor of horizontal stone rustication, and the upper level which is smooth-cut stone articulated with pilasters, string courses and recessed blind arches. The east center section extends from the main building and has a small portico on the first story supported by four columns. At the top of the section is a pediment with clock. The windows on the second story are arched. The courtroom is located on the second story. The building was renovated in 1998.


Note:  The supervising architect for Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge was George Selby of South Bend.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Third Saint Joseph County Courthouse


Old County Courthouse – South Bend



Location:  112 South Lafayette Boulevard / West Washington Street

Built:  1854 – 1855

Style:  Greek Revival

Architect:  John M Van Osdeland and Olmstead.

Contractor:  Unknown


Description:  The building faces west and is a two story buff colored brick and stone rectangular structure. The building is located in the center of South Bend on the west side of the courthouse. The west front has a large portico with six columns rising to a wide pediment at the roof line. On the roof id a square wood cupola. The roof is hipped.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Second Saint Joseph County Courthouse


History:  The first county seat was Saint Joseph in 1830. The county seat was moved to South Bend in 1831 and the first court met at the home of Alexis Coquillard in 1831then at Calvin Lilley’s hotel. In 1833 a two story wood courthouse was built by Peter Johnson in downtown South Bend at a cost of $3,000. An addition was built in 1838. In 1855, the second courthouse was designed by John Van Osdel of Vanosdel & Olmstead at a cost of $35,000 and is still standing. In 1896 the courthouse was transported approximately thirty yards to the northwest using a system of rolling logs and pulleys. The third and present courthouse was constructed in 1898 on the spot where the 1855 courthouse originally sat. The cost of construction of the courthouse was $250,000.


County Administration – South Bend



Location:  227 West Jefferson Boulevard / South Lafayette Boulevard

Built:  1967 – 1970

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Maurer, Van Ryn, Ogden & Natali, Inc.

Contractor:  Unknown


Description:  The building faces south and is a fifteen story red colored brick, concrete and glass structure. The building is located in the center of South Bend on the southwest side of the courthouse. The central tower is rectangular with a flat roof line. On the east and west are three story wings with recessed first story and vertical pillars. The building houses the County and City offices.


Note:  The principal architect was Oliver H Ogden of South Bend and the cost of construction was $3,665,882.



County Courthouse – South Bend











Old County Courthouse – South Bend





County-City Building – South Bend





Photos taken 2008