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Brown County

Brown County is named for Albert Gallatin Brown, who was a United States Senator from Mississippi at the time of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, or for O H Browne, who was a member of the legislature.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Richardson County, Nebraska 

E – Doniphan County

S – Atchison County and Jackson County

W – Nemaha County


Created:  August 25, 1855                     Map of Kansas highlighting Brown County

County Seat:

Hiawatha  1858 – present


County Courthouse – Hiawatha 


Location:  601 Oregon Street / South 6th Street

Built:  1925 – 1926

Style:  Classical Revival

Architect:  William Earl Hulse & Company of Hutchison

Contractor:  Harvey E Wood


Description: The building faces north and is a three story limestone and concrete structure. The building is located on spacious landscaped grounds of the Courthouse Square in the center of Hiawatha. The symmetrical north  and south sides are nearly identical, fronted by central blocks pilled slightly forward of the main wall. There are entrances on the north and south sides. The north front has three entrances with pediments above. Four high Corinthian columns rise from the second story to the top of the third story and above is a wide header with further header above containing a large crest. The center section projects slightly and the windows divided by the columns are recessed. The sides also have a projecting center section with recessed windows. The roof line is flat. In the interior there is a large lobby on the first story. The stairs are made of gray and white colored marble. The walls and floors are the same marble and on the second story lobby there are large marble pillars. The County District Court courtroom is located on the north side of the third story. There is a small courtroom on the west side of the third story. The building houses the County District Court of the 22nd Judicial District. 


Note: The architect, William Earl Hulse & Company of Hutchison, designed courthouses in Barton County, Kiowa County, Osage County, Pawnee CountyReno County, Wallace County and Wichita County.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Hiawatha Courthouse Square


See:  The 22nd Judicial District includes Doniphan County, Marshall County and Nemaha County.


History:  The county was created in 1855 and Hiawatha was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was a two story frame structure erected in Hiawatha at a cost of $2000 in 1858. The courthouse was torn down in 1880. The second courthouse was a two story brick structure designed by E P Carr and constructed by James A McGonigle in 1879 at a cost of $20,000. The third and present courthouse was constructed in 1925 to 1926.



County Courthouse – Hiawatha























County District Court courtroom



















Small courtroom





Photos taken 2009 and 2022