Marion County Courthouse Torn Down

Fairmont Free Press
January 14, 1897

"She Passes Away"

In the Silent Watches of the Night:The Old Court-House We Mean.

A Force of Twenty Men go at The Old Pile of Scraps and In a Few Hours Leveled It to the Ground.

A number of the citizens of the town and county were agreeably surprised on last Tuesday evening to learn that the old court house had been ordered torn away to make room for a new one. While the "Great Paper" has kept this improvement constantly before the people for the last four years, and it has been the talk of the people of the county for the last two years, we confess that we were among the number whose surprise was most happily appreciated at the action of the court.

The county court has been in session for the last week or so, and the matter has been under careful consideration by that body during its present term. The matter was finally decided upon last Tuesday, and an order was entered declaring the old house unsafe, unhealthy for judge and jury, unsafe for audiences, dangerous to life, offices too small, and various good and substantial reasons were enumerated, why it should be destroyed and a new one built, and it was accordingly done.

The contract for removing the same was let to R. L. White, at the price of $400, for tearing down and hauling away the building, and he immediately put a number of men to work on the job. The first blow struck on the old building was at 4:15, and by midnight of Tuesday the main part of the building was piled in a heap and being hauled away. The work continued far into the night, and the clearing away of the debris has been carried on industriously since the attack.

Arrangements have been made with the trustees of the Methodist Protestant church to use their building on Quincy street, until such time as the new one shall be completed and ready for occupancy, and after to-day the records of the county will be transferred to that building, where court will also be held temporarily.

Judge W. S. Meredith has the pleasant honor of holding the last court in the old building and Hon B. L. Butcher can button his coat a little higher by reason of having made the last speech before the walls fell. Whether it was Mr. Butcher's speech or Mr. Kirby's oratorical effort that caused the joists to crack will have to be hereafter discovered.

The sentiment in favor of the new court house, we believe, is almost universal, and the court has no doubt acted to a great extent on this prevailing opinion, as expressed through the columns of the Free Press by its correspondents, and the further fact that the new building is a positive necessity.

We are not as yet able to give any points as to what the new building will be, but we presume that the court will build one that the people of the county will be proud of, and one that will reflect intelligence and credit to themselves.

The Great Paper will keep all its readers posted without fear or favor.