Union County Courthouse
The Union County Courthouse was completed in 1883 and restored in 1994. In 1880, the Ohio Legislature allowed Union County to sell bonds to fund the courthouse. The land was purchased between Fifth and Sixth Streets for the location of the courthouse. The courthouse was designed by David William Gibbs and constructed in 1883 by Jacob Karst & William Woodruff of Toledo. The completed courthouse was a four-storied building with a 168-foot tower. The courthouse was restored in 1994, including the addition of holding cells, attorney-client conference rooms, and handicap access. The courthouse is still in use today, as it houses the Union County Court of Pleas and its probates and juvenile divisions.
A aerial view of the courthouse
Union County Courthouse Present day
Older depiction of the Courthouse, before restoration
Entrance before restoration
Backstory and Context
The courthouse was dedicated on January 27, 1883, at a total cost of $135,015. At the dedication it was said "we feel confident that in transferring this building to the citizens of Union County, that for beauty of architecture, good workmanship, convenience and completeness, it is not excelled, if equaled, by any courthouse in the State of Ohio." The Union County Courthouse is the twin of the Henry County courthouse in Napoleon because David Gibbs designed their exteriors to look the same. The Union County Courthouse was designed by David William Gibbs using elements of Italianate and Second Empire architectural style. It too more than 600,000 bricks to finish the construction of the courthouse. The courthouse features a mansard roof with pointed corner towers. The most mesmerizing aspect of the courthouse is either the four zinc eagles that are placed above the entrance or the 10 foot statue of Lady Justice that stands atop the bell tower.
The courthouse is still in use today. Judge Don W. Fraser is in charge of the Common Pleas Court. While the Honorable Charlotte Coleman Eufinger is the Probate and Juvenile Court Judge. The Outside of the courthouse is the Veterans Remembrance Monument and Plaza. In the center of the plaza sits a large granite slab sits on the courthouse lawn, as a memorial to veterans. The plaza is open to the public, while the courthouse hours of operation is from 8:30 A.M-4:00 P.M., and closed on the weekends.
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- Every brick has a story., Visit Uptown. Accessed April 29th 2020. https://www.visituptown.org/history-tour.
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- Probate/Juvenile Court, Union County, Ohio Probate/Juvenile Court. Accessed April 29th 2020. https://www.co.union.oh.us/probatejuvenile-court.
- Union County Courthouse, The Supreme Court of Ohio & The Ohio Judicial System. Accessed April 29th 2020. https://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/Courthouses/union.asp.
- Welcome to the Union County Ohio Veterans Remembrance Website, Union County Ohio Veterans Memorial-Home Page. Accessed April 29th 2020. https://www.ucvetmemorial.org/.