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Oneida County

Oneida County is named for the Oneida Native American people.

 

Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Vilas County

E – Forest County

S – Langlade County and Lincoln County

W – Price County 

 

Created:  April 11, 1885                          Map of Wisconsin highlighting Oneida County

County Seat: 

Rhinelander  1885 – present

 

County Courthouse – Rhinelander

 

Location:  1 South Oneida Street / Davenport Street

Built:  1908 – 1911

Style:  Neo-Classical

Architect:  Christ H Tegen of Manitowoc

Contractor:  Ryckman Sons & Company of Kalamazoo, Michigan

 

Description:  The building faces west and is a three story buff colored stone and concrete structure. The building is located on spacious landscaped grounds of the Courthouse Square in the center of Rhinelander. The first story is a rusticated ashlar limestone base with semi-circular, arched openings. The west front has three arches on the first story and six Ionic columns rising from the second story to the top of the third story with recessed windows. On the center of the roof is a large dark green colored dome with small cupola at the top. The interior has a three-story light well surrounded by a doughnut of county offices. The orders of columns, pilasters, and piers surrounding the well change in classical sequence from floor to floor: Doric on the first, Ionic on the second, and Corinthian on the third. Great piers at each corner of the well are faced with pilasters in the appropriate orders on the lower two floors. At the third floor, squinches spring to arch the four well openings and support the circular skylight. Spandrel panels are decorated with four identical mosaics depicting eagles perched before stars-and-stripes shields. Column and pilaster capitals are painted in gold leaf throughout the interior, and a few geometric, blue stencils may still be found below third-floor capitals. The general paint scheme of the interior employes institutional greens and yellows of recent vintage. The County Circuit Court courtroom is located on the north side of the third story. The courtroom has the original ornate columns and trim, and a beautifully painted ceiling.  The judge’s bench is a replica of the original bench. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 9th Judicial District. In 1909, the steel frame of the dome was built by Cadillac Machine Company of Cadillac, Michigan. The interior was finished by Scott Taylor Company of Ashland. The gold gilt work and stenciling in the rotunda area was applied in 1919 by the Conrad Schmitt Company of Milwaukee. The building was renovated in 1991. In 1982 the County Law Enforcement and Social Services Facility was constructed on the east side. The building contains a courtroom on the east side of the second story.

 

Note:  The third-floor, east stairhall contains two murals dated 1919 and painted by “F. Biberstein” on facing walls. One depicts a lumberman rolling on and directing floating logs. The other is a romanticized vision of three Indians drying and stretching skins before their teepees (even though bent-sapling wigwams were used in Wisconsin) by a rapids-strewn river, along which rests a dugout canoe. Across the light well, on the west wall, is a small mural depicting a “Hodag,” a mythical monster of local legend that is heavily promoted by the local chamber of commerce with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

 

See:  The architect, Christ H Tegen of Manitowoc also designed the courthouse in  Manitowoc County.

 

See:  National Register of Historic Places – Onedia County Courthouse

 

See:  The 9th Judicial District includes Florence County, Forest County, Iron County, Langlade County, Lincoln County, Marathon County, Menominee County, Portage County, Price CountyShawano County, Taylor County, Vilas County and Wood County.

 

History:  The county was created in 1885 and Rhinelander was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was designed by William Waters and constructed by Joseph Webber in 1887. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1908 to 1911 at a cost of $96,500 for the basic structure, $1,300 for extras and $12,000 for heating plumbing, lighting and furniture. The cost of the 1991 renovation was $2,750,000.

 

 

County Courthouse – Rhinelander

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

County Circuit Court original courtroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

County Circuit Court courtroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos taken 2007, 2010 and 2022