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First County Courthouse

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Early Washington County Courthouses
Article by Charles Y. Alison

First Courthouse

The fourth county courthouse as it appeared about 1890.

William Campbell, in his book One Hundred Years of Fayetteville: 1828-1928, reports that the first courthouse in Washington County was built in 1829 about where Block Avenue and Center Street intersect. "It was a rude log house 20x20, with a puncheon floor, covered with three-foot clapboards held in place by weight poles," he wrote.

It cost the county $49.75 and was built under contract by Capt. Sam Marrs.

The sale of lots in Fayetteville in 1836 led to a windfall of revenues for the county, and county officers contracted with Messrs. Kincaids to build a brick courthouse in 1837. This courthouse burned, and county business was carried on in the upstairs of James E. Trott's dry goods store on the north side of the square.

In 1854, a new courthouse was built at the center of the square. George D. Baker built the new edifice at a cost of $6,900. This courthouse, like many of the buildings in Fayetteville, was burned during the Civil War.

After the war, James H. Van Hoose and Dr. Thomas J. Pollard oversaw the building of the county's fourth courthouse, also at the center of the square. Built by Alexander Hendry for $22,500, this courthouse served the county until about 1905, when what was then the latest courthouse was built at the intersection of College Avenue and Center Street. The fourth courthouse was razed and the center of the square later became home to the federal post office.