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Howell County

Howell County is named for James Howell, who was a pioneer and settler, or for Thomas J Howell, who was another settler.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Texas County

E – Shannon County and Oregon County

S – Fulton County, Arkansas

W – Ozark County and Douglas County


Created:  March 2, 1857                         Map of Missouri highlighting Howell County

County Seat:

West Plains  1857 – present


County Courthouse – West Plains  


Location:  160 Courthouse Square / Main Street

Built:  1935 – 1937

Style:  Art Deco

Architect:  Earl Hawkins of Springfield

Contractor:  L H Britton.


Description: The building faces west and is a three story gray colored Carthage stone and concrete structure. The building is located on the landscaped grounds of the Courthouse Square in the center of West Plains and is 82 feet square. The west front has a central entrance on the first story. The second and third story windows are a single vertical section. The roof line is flat. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 37th Judicial Circuit. This was a Work Projects Administration project. On the west side is the County Office Building.


See:  The architect, Earl Hawkins designed courthouses in Laclede County, Ozark County and Webster County.


See:  The 37th Judicial Circuit includes Carter County, Howell County, Oregon County and Shannon County.


History:  The county was created in 1857 and West Plains was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was a log structure built in 1859. The building was destroyed by fire in 1866. The second courthouse was a three room frame structure built by T E Britton in 1869 at a cost of approximately $776. The third courthouse was a brick structure designed by Henry H. Hohenschild and was constructed by G W Goodlander of Fort Scott, Kansas in 1883 to 1884 at a cost of $16,600. The building was razed in 1933. The fourth and present courthouse was constructed in 1935 to 197 at a cost of $107,000.



County Courthouse – West Plains





Photos taken 2009