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History of the Marion County Courthouse

Photo is of the first Marion Co. courthouse located at present site in Hamilton (not the Pikeville ones-not sure if there was one or two at Pikeville). This photo was taken around l875 or l876. It was completed in l883, destroyed by fire in l887.  Submitted 2/19/2003 by Sabra N. Sudberry


The following was Submitted by Joel Palmer & Belinda McRae


Marion County Courthouse # 2
Marion County Courthouse # 2

The first Marion County courthouse at Hamilton was destroyed by fire March 30, 1887. A special session of the Court of County Commissioners was called. The Honorable W. H. Matthews presided. W.T. Bishop, W.R. Hall and J.J. Kuykendall were the commissioners. They suggested a new courthouse be built of brick with a tin roof. It didn't work out that way though. Notice of the need was put out in the Marion Herald. The plans and specifications were adopted and bids were taken for building the new wood courthouse. J.C. Camp's bid of $ 3,750 was accepted. He was paid $ 1,000 up front. A bond for twice the amount of the bid with waivers had to be taken.

W.R. White, W.T. Gast and W.A. Hall were appointed as the building committee to supervise the building of the courthouse according to the "plans and specifications". One fourth of one percent was tagged on the state tax for assessed property in 1887. This was placed in a "courthouse building fund account".

J.C. Camp was allowed $ 25.00 to remove the rubbish from the courthouse square where the old courthouse had stood. W.D. Brown and sons were paid $ 27.00 for tax receipt books and abstract books to replace the ones destroyed in the fire. W.H. Matthews, Clerk of the court, was allowed $ 3.00 for one day's service. W.H. Bishop was allowed $ 4.20 for one day's service and 24 miles travel. W.R. Hall was paid $ 3.40 for one day's service and 8 miles travel. J.J. Kuykendall was paid $ 5.30 for one day's service and 46 miles travel.

Court was held in the lower room of Frasier's and Gast's store in Hamilton during the time the courthouse was being built. Grand Jury was held in the upper room of the jail. The Commissioners Court ordered the purchase of a fireproof safe from A.R. Gill, agent for Diabold Safe and Lock Company of Ohio for $ 500.00 with $ 250.00 paid in January 1888 and $ 250.00 bearing with 8% interest, paid off January 1889.

Marion County Courthouse # 3
Marion County Courthouse # 3


In 1900 the people decided to build a stone courthouse that would be less likely to burn. W.R. White and Thomas W. Wigginton were authorized by the court to move the old # 2 courthouse. R.W. Clark was paid $ 75.00 for two lots to put it on. Bids were accepted and a contract let to F.M. Dobson for the sum of $ 21,600.00 to be paid in five equal installments. Mr. Dobson was required to make a $ 10,000.00 bond and guarantee faithful performance of the contract. W.E. Spink was appointed supervisor of construction.

The contract issued to F.M. Dobson was transferred to the Alabama Jail and Bridge Company. A special courthouse tax was ordered by the court- 25 cents on every $ 100.00 worth of assessed property. In September 1901 the old courthouse was put up for sale. It was sold to R.E. Dunn for $ 350.00. J.W. Clark was paid $ 19.50 to move the fireproof safe to the new courthouse. A fire insurance policy was taken out on the new courthouse. The premium was $ 300.00 for three years. W.H. White was paid $ 30.00 for 60 chairs for the courthouse. T.V. Bondmon was paid $ 40.00 for the carpet. C. Nothington was apid $ 1.10 for installing a window shade. Fred Fite was allowed $ 5.00 for winding the clock for one year.

This information was taken from the Minutes of the Marion County Commissioners Court, Volumes I and II.

 

 

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