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Washington County

Washington County is named for George Washington, who was the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797.

 

Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Jefferson County, Nebraska and Gage County, Nebraska

E – Marshall County

S – Riley County and Clay County

W – Cloud County and Republic County

 

Created:  February 10, 1857                  Map of Kansas highlighting Washington County

County Seat:

Washington  1857 – present

 

County Courthouse – Washington  

 

Location:  214 C Street / East 2nd Street

Built:  1932 – 1934

Style:  Art Deco

Architect:  H G Overend & C F Boucher of Wichita

Contractor:  Blaser-Vollmer Construction Company of Wichita

 

Description:  The building faces west and is a two story limestone and concrete structure. The  rectangular shaped building is located on spacious landscaped grounds in the center of Washington. The building is constructed  of Bedford limestone and has a partially raised basement. The west front has a slightly projecting center section with a long vertical window on either side of the central entrance. Tall fluted pilasters with floral capitals demarcate each bay. The spandrels contain three decorative panels, the center panel contains the scale of justice and is flanked by identical panels containing a circular feature. Stone carved eagles done in an angular style perch above the two first level windows that flank the entry. The smooth stone walls are decorated with stylized geometric motifs done both in stone and metal. Two stone carved, bundled scrolls rise above the facade’s two outer most pilasters on each side of the building. On the north and south sides, the center section is recessed. The roof line is flat. At the first story, a set of double metal doors with glass panels lead from the vestibule into the courthouse lobby. The main interior spaces are finished with grey Tennessee marble wainscoting on both levels. Coved plaster ceilings are supported by square pillars on the first level. A polished marble staircase runs along the western wall of the lobby, leading to the second level. Original frosted glass and metal light fixtures and chandeliers illuminate the lobbies on both stories and are used in some of the hearing rooms, such as the second story County District Court courtroom located along the east side and the first story county Commissioner’s Meeting Room located at the northwest side. The courtroom has fluted plaster pilasters which rise from the wooden wainscoting and terminate in a decorative metal cornice. The German nickel cornice is embossed with floral designs. A small dentil course runs above the cornice. Elaborate German nickel lintels embossed with vegetal and geometric motifs span the courtroom windows. The courtroom configuration and original wooden furnishings are maintained. The building houses the County District Court of the 12th Judicial District.

 

See:  The architect, Overend & Boucher of Wichita, designed courthouses in Hamilton County and Kearny County.

 

See:  National Register of Historic Places – Washington County Courthouse

 

See:  The 12th Judicial District includes Cloud CountyJewell County, Lincoln County, Mitchell County and Republic County.

 

History:  The county was created in 1857 and Washington was selected as the county seat. The county occupied rented premises. The first courthouse was a two story log structure built by E Woolbert in 1860, sold to S F Snider who sold it to the county in 1868. The courthouse burned in 1869. The second courthouse was built by the county in 1871 and which burned on December 15, 1872. The third courthouse was a two story wood structure built in 1873 at a cost of $2000. The fourth courthouse was designed by Schage & Nichols and constructed in 1886 to 1887. The courthouse was remodeled in 1901 and damaged by a tornado in 1932. The fifth and present courthouse was constructed in 1932 to 1934 at a cost of $102,000 on the site of the fourth courthouse.

 

 

County Courthouse – Washington

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

County District Court courtroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commissioner’s Meeting Room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture third County Courthouse 1878

 

 

Picture fourth County Courthouse 1886

 

 

Picture fourth courthouse remodeled 1901

 

 

Photos taken 2009, 2010 and 2022