The Museum

 

The  Marshall County Historical Society maintains a county history museum and an office for genealogical and history research in the former county courthouse.  The courthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

The design of the Historic Courthouse is Richardsonian Romanesque, named after the influential 19th Century architect, Henry Hobson Richardson. The architectural firm that won the competition for design of the building was H. C. Koch of Milwaukee.  The cornerstone was laid in July of 1891 at a ceremony attended by several thousand persons.

 

Over one million bricks were used in the building -- hydraulic-pressed bricks from St. Joseph, Missouri on the exterior, and Marysville bricks for the interior. The walls are over two feet thick. The octagonal tower is 104 feet high with a slate roof and copper caps. On the east and west sides of the building are large terra-cotta panels with the word "Justice" in decorative lettering. At the entrance huge polished red granite columns flank the seven-foot oak doors. 
 

The lobby is fully lined with enameled, high-fired, vitreous tile brick, in a sparkling display of expert masonry. The central staircase is composed of ornate cast iron with polished slate treads. Perhaps the most unique feature is the use of steel railroad rails as original construction beams.

 

 In the courtroom with its 23-foot vaulted ceiling, sunlight comes through eight stained-glass windows. The original spectator seating provides a wire hat holder underneath each seat for the convenience of gentlemen. (Ladies in the audience kept their hats on.)  The courtroom contains most of the original oak furnishings.  

 

Whether for a first visit or re-visiting a place of childhood memories, this is a must-see feature of northeastern Kansas.