CLARKE COUNTY’S OLD COURT HOUSE

June 28, 2010 § 3 Comments

I ran across these two old post cards depicting the Clarke County Court House that preceded today’s building.  You can click on the pictures to see a larger version with more detail.  My guess is that the pictures were taken in the 1890’s to early 1900’s, judging from the buggies parked around the building.  The current court house does not have a cornerstone that I could find in a very brief saunter around the outside last week, but it does have the names of the Board of Supervisors 1912-1916, which would indicate to me that the building was built during their term. 

I showed these to Gilford Dabbs, and he told me that he had heard that the old court house was located on what is now  a vacant lot next to First Baptist Church in Quitman.  By the way, Gilford is old, but he’s not old enough to remember this old building himself.  

Does anyone know why this court house was replaced?  Was there a fire like there had been in Meridian that precipitated the building of the new version?  Does anyone have any other pics of it, inside or out?  Does anyone know what happened to the eagle?

That object dangling in front of the building in the bottom picture is a street light suspended on wires.

These photos, along with around 4,600 others showing scenes from all around Mississippi during the period from 1892 to the 1940’s, are available at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History’s website here.

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§ 3 Responses to CLARKE COUNTY’S OLD COURT HOUSE

  • shea says:

    I love these photos, all of this information. Thank you for sharing it.

  • Thanks for that info, Jim. I wonder what became of the 1876 court house? And I bet somebody has that eagle stashed away in an attic!

  • Jim Potuk says:

    The courthouse in the above picture was built in 1876, Due to the growth of Quitman and Clarke County, the courthouse became inadequate for county use. In 1912 the supervisors ordered the sale of bonds for the construction of a new courthouse and jail. The building was completed and occupied in 1914,

    The original location of the first courthouse in Clarke County was probably at a site near South Jackson and Franklin Street. The exact location is unknown since the “public square” was fairly large and the courthouse was probably located in the center of the square. The general location was probably on the east side of South Jackson at the corner of South Jackson and Franklin Street. This courthouse was apparently burned when Quitman was raided during the civil war.

    “There was still no courthouse in Quitman in 1866, for the board (of supervisors) at its January meeting ordered that the ‘stone house in Quitman known as Markes Old Stone House be designated as the building to hold the several district and county courts for this year,”. ……”By October of 1869….the board ordered a new courthouse built on the site of the old courthouse in the Town of Quitman. For some reason, the county seat was moved to Enterprise and a building was constructed in that location. It may have been due to military intervention by the commanding general in charge of reconstruction. In 1873, the State legislature moved the county seat back to Quitman which resulted in the construction of courthouse in the picture above.

    This information came from an article by Grady Dansby and updated by Helen Ann Beeman in the Second Edition of Historic Clarke County’s history book.

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