This 1891 building served as Marshall County’s courthouse for nearly 90 years. By the 1970s some county officials thought it had outlived its usefulness and was too expensive to maintain. The Marshall County Historical Society took the lead in generating public support to save it. Eventually, the county built a new courthouse next door and in 1979 deeded the old courthouse to the Historical Society.
Over $200,000 has been spent since then to preserve and maintain it. Funds have come from grants, donations, and a trust fund set up by far-sighted Historical Society members.
In the first years of Historical Society ownership, the building continued to house some county offices as well as business tenants. Then some of the rooms were converted to display the growing collection of county history artifacts. The museum gradually expanded to the current 20 display rooms. The building has several storage vaults with cast-iron doors and interior iron shutters. The courtroom is used for weddings, plays, mock trials, and meetings.
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