The History of the Coshocton County Courthouse
In 1764, Colonel Henry Bouquet established the site of what is now Coshocton. In 1811, the County was founded and the town became the county seat – they both took the name of COSHOCTON, an Indian name meaning “Black Bear Town.”
During the early years of the county, sessions of Court and other county business were conducted in rented rooms, as no courthouse or other county building was in existence. When the court square was cleared 1819, a log house was built to serve as the county courthouse. A second two-story courthouse was constructed in 1824 at a cost of $1,984.00. A belfry was added to the new courthouse in 1834. The courthouse bell was forged in Pennsylvania and transported from Cleveland on the Ohio Erie Canal to Roscoe Village. The bell was later installed in the present courthouse where it adorns the roof along side the historical four sided clock that to this day keeps perfect time in the stately clock tower.
Architects Carpenter and Williams of Meadville, Pennsylvania and contractor S. Harold & Company of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania built the present Coshocton County Courthouse from 1873 to 1875 at a cost of $65,597.00. The total cost was approximately $100,000.00 when furnishings and finery were complete. Most, if not all, offices of Coshocton County government were housed there. Until recently, transom windows displayed the locations of the County Engineer and County Recorder. Lettering designating the Men’s Witness Room and Ladies Witness Room is still in place today.
The Second Empire Architecture Style Courthouse is crowned with a mansard roof containing elaborate dormer windows. The five-story clock tower is crowned with an ornate iron cresting.
The interior transverse hallways are flanked with two, open cast iron stairways. The courtroom is blessed with a breathtaking mural painted in 1908 by renowned artist Arthur William Wolfle. The mural, Wolfle’s first canvas painting, is thirty feet long, five feet high,and of magnificent color. The painting depicts the famous signing of the peace treaty by British Colonel Henry Bouquet and the Delaware Indians near the Coshocton County Walhonding River in November, 1764.
The courthouse was dedicated to the citizens of the Coshocton County in July, 1875, and remodeled in 1954. Today, it still continues serving as an iconic hub of the county, and holds records dating to 1811.
This history of the Coshocton County Courthouse was contributed by Irene Miller, former Clerk of Court. Irene is an ardent enthusiast and protector of all things “Coshocton”. She has spent countless hours collecting historical artifacts and photographs relating to the Courthouse, and has worked tirelessly to preserve the historical integrity of the Courthouse and surrounding grounds.