Butler County is named for Richard Butler of Pennsylvania. He was a major general in the American Revolutionary War. Butler gave his life in 1791 fighting American Indians in northern Ohio.
The courthouse was reconstructed in 1889. The old building was completely torn down. This fresh start cost 305,000 dollars. The courthouse is architecturally stunning. It features several styles of architecture. The courthouse was designed in the Second Empire style with some features in the Italianate style.
There have been several tragedies on the courthouse property.
It has served many purposes over the last 126 years. A fire in 1912 took the lives of three Hamilton firefighters. The fire destroyed several beautiful features of the courthouse including the cupola, tower, and Goddess of Justice statue. The Goddess of Justice is blind-folded wielding her sword. She is holding the scales of justice.
In 1913, the courthouse was used as a morgue for over 200 souls that died in a massive flood. It was revived in 1914. All of the damaged items were subsequently replaced in 1914. The 1914 tower was larger than the previous one. A new dome was built. The dome is 225 feet higher than the street. The dome lasted until 1926 when it too was greatly damaged by lightning. It was dismantled.
The interior of the courthouse is stunning. The third floor of the courthouse features red granite and marble columnns and archways. There is a gorgeous double staircase.The flags illustrate the beautiful details on the ceiling of the old Butler County courthouse. There is a courtroom that features antique desk, chairs, and historic documents and pictures.