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Wise County

Wise County is named for Henry A Wise, who was a governor of Virginia and a Confederate States Army General during the Civil War.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Letcher County, Kentucky

E – Dickenson County and Russell County 

S – Russell CountyScott County and Lee County

W – Harlan County, Kentucky and Letcher County, Kentucky

Surrounds Independent City – Norton


Created:  February 16, 1856                  Map of Virginia highlighting Wise County

County Seat: 

Wise   1856 – present


County Courthouse – Wise  


Location:  206 East Main Street / Spring Avenue SE

Built:  1895 – 1896

Style:  Renaissance Revival and Italianate

Architect:  Frank Pierce Milburn of Washington, DC

Contractor:  Milbourne Gilliam & Creed Flanary


Description:  The building faces north east and is a two story buff colored brick structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Wise. The north front has a small porch at the central entrance with two columns rising to a balcony on the second story. The northeast corner has a high square clock tower and the northwest corner has a high square tower with openings at the top. The second story windows are arched. The base of the building is rough cut limestone. In the interior, the central entrance hall has an open well stair executed in cast iron with classicized newel in the form of a fluted column with an Ionic capital, an iron railing with fanciful scrolled decoration and applied anthemion ornamentation, and open-work treads also executed in cast iron. A wooden matchboard wainscot runs the perimeter of the hall. The hall retains its original pressed-tin ceiling. The second story has the courtrooms. The building houses the County Circuit Court, County General District Court and County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court of the 30th Judicial Circuit. The architect was Frank Pierce Milburn and the contractor was Milbourne Gilliam & Creed Flanary. On the west side is a light brown colored brick two story addition constructed in 1920. The addition has a balustrade along the flat roof line. On the south side is the modern courthouse constructed from 1979 to 1980. The architect was Charles B McElroy and the contractor was Armstrong Construction Company, Inc.


See:  The architect Frank Pierce Milburn of Washington, DC.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Wise County Courthouse


See:  The 30th Judicial Circuit includes Lee CountyNorton and Scott County. The courthouse also serves as the courthouse for the Indepedent city of Norton


History:  The county was created in 1856 and Wise was selected as the county seat. The first court met in the Baptist Church in Gladeville ( Wise ) in 1856. The first courthouse was a two story log structure built by J Dobson in 1857. The courthouse was burned during the Civil War in 1864. The court met in the Virginia Hotel and the second courthouse was built in 1876. The third and present courthouse was constructed in 1895 to 1896.



County Courthouse – Wise

























Photos taken 2013