Sunday, May 21, 2017

Seward County Courtnouses

The City of Seward had agreed to build a building in which to transact the county business and a block of ground upon which to locate it, when it was chosen over Milford the be the County seat at a special election on October 10, 1871. The block of land is where the new Justice Center is located and for years, the location of the County Jail. This is the building that was erected on the site and served as the County Courthouse for about 12 years. County official became concerned about the fire hazard of having County records stored in a wooden building the rented a brick facility on Seward Street. This 2nd Courthouse is located in the 600 block of Seward Street where Woods Brothers Reality now occupies part of the building at #644.  Shortly before his death in 1900, Lewis Moffitt bequeathed his 360 acre farm to the County with provision cc the care of his widow. It was his plan that the funding from the farm would enable the county to have its own Courthouse on "market block" and a new jail. At the election in 1904, approval was granted for the construction of an 80 x 100' building of Indiana Limestone as nearly fireproof as possible.  The cornerstone laid on September 20, 1905, it was constructed during 1905-06, and opened for business in 1907.
When the original wooden building was of no longer of any use to the  County it was sold and moved up the street to the location currently occupied by Dale's Motel at the corner of 8th and Main. It was converted to a blacksmith shop and owned by George Knipple. Elaine remembers of going there as a little girl with her Dad in the '30's. I too remember the building and believe it was demolished during the 1940's.

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