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Polk County

Polk County is named for James Knox Polk, who was the eleventh President of the United States of America.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – McMinn County and Monroe County

E – Cherokee County, North Carolina

S – Fannin County, Georgia and Murray County, Georgia

W – Bradley County


Created:  November 28, 1839                Map of Tennessee highlighting Polk County

County Seat: 

Columbus  1839 – 1840

Benton       1840 – present


County Courthouse – Benton  


Location:  101 Main Street / Ward Street

Built:  1936 – 1937

Style:  Art Deco

Architect:  Ruben Harrison Hunt & Company of Chattanooga

Contractor:  Forgum Jones Company


Description:  The building faces northwest and is a two story gray colored limestone and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Benton. The cruciform plan building is constructed of cream colored brick on a stone foundation. A stone cornice caps the parapet walls on the main block of the building, corbelled brick caps the walls on the side wings of the building. The windows are metal casements surrounded by fixed lights. The northwest front has a recessed central entrance. The windows are vertical with panels between. The center section projects from the main building. The roof line is flat. The interior has terrazzo tile floors, plaster and marble walls, vaulted plaster ceilings, marble wainscoting and stair balustrades, terrazzo stairs, and interior wooden doors, some with glass panels, some with solid wood doors. The first story has a marble walled lobby at the main entrance with a short flight of marble stairs leading to the central hallway and marble columns on the opposite side of the hallway in front of county offices. The courtroom is located on the second story. The building was funded by the Federal Emergency Administration for Public Works. 


See:  Ruben Harrison Hunt of Chattanooga, Tennessee, the architect, also designed courthouses in Alabama in Talladega Countyin Georgia in Elbert County. in Mississippi in Chickasaw CountyLawrence County and Leflore County and in Tennessee in Hamilton CountyHenry County and Warren County.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Polk County Courthouse


County Justice Center – Benton  



Location:  161 Industrial Access Circle / Parksville Road

Built:  2005 – 2007

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Webb Brothers

Contractor:  Webb Brothers


Description:  The building faces south and is a one story red colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds to the west of the center of Benton. The south front has a high section with porch on the first story supported by brick pillars and with recessed glass entrance. The roof line is flat. In the interior, the courtrooms are located along the first story hall. The building houses the County Circuit Court, County Chancery Court, County Criminal Court, County General Sessions Court and County Juvenile Court of the 10th Judicial District.


See:  The 10th Judicial District includes Bradley County, Monroe County 


History:  The county was created in 1839 and Columbus located on the Conasauga Creek was selected as the county seat and later, Benton was selected as the county seat in 1840. The first courthouse was built on the courthouse square in 1840. The second courthouse was a brick structure built in 1851. The courthouse burned in 1894. The third courthouse was a Colonial Rival structure constructed by W R Harper in 1897. The courthouse burned on December 2, 1935. The fourth and present courthouse was constructed at a cost of $100,000. The County Justice Center was constructed in 2005 to 2007.




County Courthouse – Benton













County Circuit Court courtroom









Picture 1897 County Courthouse







County Justice Center – Benton









County Circuit Court courtroom

Photos taken 2012 and 2018