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Ionia County

Ionia County is named for a province in Greece.    

 

Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Montcalm County

E – Clinton County

S – Eaton County and Barry County

W – Kent County

 

Created:  March 2, 1831                         Map of Michigan highlighting Ionia County

County Seat:

Ionia  1837 – present

 

County Courthouse – Ionia  

 

Location:  100 Main Street / Hudson Street

Built:  1883 – 1886

Style:  Italianate and Renaissance

Architect:  David W Gibbs of Toledo, Ohio

Contractor:  Clare Allen / Chauncey Waterbury

 

Description:  The building faces south and is a three story Ionia sandstone structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Ionia. The south front has a large portico with three arches on the first story and four columns rising to the top of the third story with decorative pediment above. The foundation is course stone and the first story is course brown colored sandstone and the upper stories are smooth sandstone. The building has a wide projecting cornice along the roof line. On the center of the roof is a large square clock tower with white colored dome and Statue of Justice at the top. The interior has black and white colored marble floors and a grand stairway made of oak and cherry. The courtroom is located on the second story. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 8th Judicial District, County District Court and County Probate Court. The building was renovated in 1994.

 

Note: The contractor, Clare Allen went bankrupt and the project manager, Chauncey Waterbury completed the construction. The construction costs rose from #45,000 to $70,000.

 

See:  National Register of Historic Places – Ionia County Courthouse

 

See:  The 8th Judicial District includes Montcalm County.

 

History:  The county was created in 1831 and Ionia (Washington Center) was selected as the county seat in 1837 when the county was organized. A small county office was erected in 1843 and repaired in 1874. The court first met in a schoolhouse. The court met at rented premises in the store of Daniel Ball, the residence of Avel Avery in 1846 to 1850 and then Smith’s Hall until 1868. Bayard’s Hall was rented from 1868 to 1879 and then the Amory Hall was rented from 1879 to 1886. The first and present courthouse was finally constructed 1n 1883 to 1886 at a cost of $70,000.

 

See:  Michigan’s County Courthouses by John Fedynsky

 

 

County Courthouse – Ionia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos taken 2008