Skip to content
Home » US States » H-L » Kentucky » Owen County

Owen County

Owen County is named for Abraham Owen, who was killed at the Battle of Tippecanoe and who lived from 1769 to 1811.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Carroll County and Gallatin County

E – Grant County and Scott County

S – Scott County and Franklin County

W – Henry County


Created:  February 6, 1819                    Map of Kentucky highlighting Owen County

County Seat: 

Hesler ( Heslerville )  1819 – 1822

Owenton                    1822 – present


County Courthouse – Owenton 


Location:  136 West Bryan Street / Thomas Street

Built:  1857 – 1858

Style:  Greek Revival

Architect:  H P McDonald of Louisville

Contractor:  Nathaniel C Cook of Frankfort with James A Rice and Steve Wess


Description:  The building faces east and is a two story red colored brick structure. The building is located on the landscaped grounds of the Courthouse Square in the center of Owenton. The east front has a high portico supported by four red colored brick columns. Above the portico is a large white colored square cupola; with copper gold colored dome. The interior has a narrow central corridor with diagonally ascending stairs and large front windows. The courtroom on the second story has an attractive tin ceiling and pine paneling. On the north and south are small one story wings which were added in 1868 after the Civil War. The building was renovated in 1930 and in 1970. On the west side is the old jail designed by H P McDonald Brothers of Louisville in 1874.


Note:  Confederate and Union troops occupied the courthouse during the Civil War.


See: This courthouse was the first designed by architect,  H P McDonald of H P McDonald Brothers of Louisville, who designed courthouses in Adair County, Boone County, Carroll County, Casey County, Graves County, Henry County, Hickman CountyPike County, Simpson County and Trimble County. Harry, Kenneth and Roy McDonald of Louisville, Kentucky designed courthouses in Indiana in Gibson County and Washington County.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Owen County Courthouse and Jail


County Judicial Center – Owenton 



Location:  401 South Main Street / Gaines Avenue

Built:  2010 – 2012

Style:  Modern

Architect:  CMW Inc. of Lexington

Contractor:  Codell Construction Company of Winchester


Description:  The building faces southwest and is a two story red colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on spacious landscaped grounds to the southeast of the center of Owenton and the courthouse. The southwest front has a semi-circular porch supported by thin white colored columns. On the second story is a semi-circular section with round windows and a white colored dome. Above, there is a large clock with peaked roof. The hipped roof has a central octagonal white colored cupola with gold colored dome.  The Circuit Court is located on the second story and the District Court is located on the first story. 


See:  The contractor was Codell Construction Company of Winchester which company constructed many courthouse in Kentucky ( see  Louisville ).


See:  The 15th Judicial Circuit includes Carroll CountyGrant County and Owen County.


History:  The county was created in 1819 and Hesler ( Heslerville ) was designated as the county seat. The first courthouse was a log cabin located in Hesler. In 1822, the county seat was moved to Owenton. The second courthouse was a log cabin erected in Owenton in 1828. A third courthouse was built. The fourth and present courthouse was constructed in 1857 to 1858 at a cost of $15,910. The County Judicial Center was constructed in 2010 to 2012.



County Courthouse – Owenton





























County Judicial Center – Owenton









































Old County Jail – Owenton







Photos taken 2007 and 2018