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Adams County

Adams County is named for John Adams, who was the second President of the United States of America, or for John Quincy Adams, who was the sixth President of the United States of America.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Grant County and Lincoln County

E – Whitman County

S – Whitman County and Franklin County

W – Grant County


Created:  October 20, 1883                    Map of Washington highlighting Adams County

County Seat: 

Ritzville  1883 – present


County Courthouse – Ritzville


Location:  210 Broadway Avenue / Washington Street

Built:  1940 – 1941

Style:  Art Deco

Architect:  Whitehouse & Price

Contractor:  Clyde M Ludberg


Description:  The building  faces southeast and is a three story buff colored brick and concrete structure. The rectangular shaped building is located on spacious landscaped grounds in the center of Ritzville. The southeast front has a central one story entrance which projects from the main building with a recessed doorway. The central section projects slightly and higher than the north and south wings. The roof line is flat. In the interior, the County Superior Court and County District Court courtrooms are located on the southeast side of the third story. The building houses the County Superior Court and the County District Court. The Superior Court Courtroom is ornamented with its original wood wainscot along all four of its walls. The judge’s bench rests at the most elevated level, centered at the front of the room. Both agriculture and patriotic inspired decoration can be found in the subtle details of the courtroom. A blue ribbon accented by yellow starts rests at the top of the walls, resembling colors and starts of the American flag. The plaster crown molding placed directly above the blue ribbon continues the agricultural theme found throughout the courthouse. The detailing is an abstracted representation used to resemble influence from wheat and agriculture of the region. The central portions of the ceiling have been raised and finished with an acoustical treatment that has been painted with a repeating wheat pattern. On the northwest side is the jail which was constructed in 1941 to 1942. The architect and contractor were the same.


See:  National Register of Historical Places – Adams County Courthouse


History:  The county was created in 1883 and Ritzville was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse in 1892 was a two story wood frame house located at Washington Street and Broadway purchased from Nelson H Greene in Ritzville at a cost of $500. The second courthouse was a two story brick structure built by Burnham & Clapp in 1891 at a cost of $1,945. In 1905, a two story addition was designed by Preusse & Zittel and the contractor was Hastie & Dougan at a cost of $12,247. The third and present courthouse was constructed in 1940 to 1941 at a cost of $120,000.



County Courthouse – Ritzville



















County District Court courtroom





County Superior Court courtroom









Photos taken 2012 and 2016