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Washington County

Washington County is named for George Washington, who was the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Fond du Lac County and Sheboygan County

E – Ozaukee County

S – Waukesha County 

W – Dodge County


Created:  December 7, 1836                  Map of Wisconsin highlighting Washington County

County Seat: 

West Bend  1836 – present


Old County Courthouse – West Bend


Location:  320 South 5th Street / Chestnut Street

Built:  1889 – 1890

Style:  Romanesque

Architect:  Edward V Koch of Milwaukee

Contractor:  William Blaeser Jr.


Description:  The building faces east and is a two story buff colored brick and stone structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of West Bend to the west of the courthouse. A rusticated limestone raised basement, dressed limestone courses ( projecting between the first and second stories ) and shallow projecting pavilions on the west, north and south ends relieve the expanses of blond brick wall. Narrow round headed windows are symmetrically distributed on three sides of the building, occurring singly or in pairs framing the shallow pavilions; openings in the pavilions themselves occur in threes or fives. The east front has a high eight story square central tower with arched entrance on the first story. The roof is hipped. The interior has a divided stairway inside the front entrance. Like the double door at the entrance, the paneled wainscoting and handrails are of oak, as are the wooden spool balustrade and newels between the second and third stories. Between the first and second stories, newels and ornamental balusters are constructed of steel. The former courtroom was located on the second story. The old County Jail is located on the south side and was built in 1886.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Old Washington County Courthouse


County Courthouse – West Bend



Location:   432 East Washington Street / Indiana Avenue

Built:  1961 – 1962

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Ray R Gauger

Contractor:  Charles D Smith & Son


Description:  The building faces south and is a two story buff colored brick, stone and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of West Bend. The center section rises higher above the east and west wings and has vertical windows on the second story. The roof line is flat. In the interior is an entrance lobby at the center of the south front which is lined with marble. Marble decorated the lower portion of the corridors. The building houses the County administration.  An addition was constructed in 1978 to 1980 on the north side. The architect was Brust-Zimmerman Inc. and the contractor was Ames Luterbach Construction Inc. A further addition was constructed in 2003 to 2006. The east side has an entrance with large glass windows. In the interior, the four County Circuit Court courtrooms are located along the north side of the second story. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 3rd Judicial District. The architect was Venture Architects and the contractor was VJS Construction Services. On the north side is the Sheriff’s Department.


Note:  During construction the mechanical contractor was Ross Engineering Company and the electrical contractor was Pieper Electrical Company.


See:  The 3rd Judicial District includes Dodge CountyJefferson CountyOzaukee County and Waukesha County.


History:  The county was created in 1836 and West Bend was selected as the county seat. The county was organized in 1854 and the first courthouse was a Greek Revival frame structure built in 1854 and was later moved to Main Street and converted into a hardware store. In 857, a one story stone structure was built to house offices. The second courthouse was a stone and brick Romanesque Revival structure designed by Edward V Koch of Milwaukee and constructed by William Blaeser Jr. at a cost of $45,000 in 1889 to 1890 and is still standing. The third and present courthouse was constructed in 1961 to 1962 at a cost of $1,800,000. An addition was constructed in 1980 at a cost of $6,500,000.



Old County Courthouse – West Bend







County Courthouse – West Bend






























Photos taken 2007 and 2022