Putnam County Courthouse, located in Winfield, serves as the seat of government for Putnam County, West Virginia.
After the creation of Putnam County in 1848, Winfield became the
county seat due to its proximity to the Kanawha River. Red House Shoals was the
name of the area before the assigning of the county seat. The old 1848 courthouse building was
starting to fall apart. Soon there was a plan to create a new building. M.
Hensley, E.S. Honaker, and M.V.B. Deal who were commissioners at the time, were
to decide on a contractor to start building the county seat building replacement.
They chose A.D. and S.J. Ross of Kenova. The two brothers did not post a bond
that was needed to start the building process and pushed the entire project to
a standstill. The annual county taxes were found too small an amount to start the
construction on the building and there was an attempt to get a bond issue put on the Election
Three years passed by and part of the old courthouse collapsed
in the midst of a storm in 1899. This building was deemed no longer usable and
the county seat was moved to a church. For the rest of the year, what remained
of the old courthouse was torn down. This was the start of building a new
county courthouse. Almost exactly one
year after the storm that collapsed part of the old courthouse, the county had
its new county courthouse building1.
Frank Piece Milburn was the architect for this project and
had done other courthouse architectural work in other states. He utilized
Romanesque Revival for the design of the building, which ended up having
towers, arches, and thick forms1. After WWII, the building gained some new additions on its
northeast side in 1953, 1963, and 19741.
Today, the Putnam County Courthouse includes vital
statistics (birth, death, and marriage certificates), County Clerk, Circuit
Clerk, Assessor’s Office as well as other important governmental offices.