Throwback Thursday: The DeKalb County Courthouse in the John Martin Smith Collection

Willennar Genealogy Center’s collection is full of Throwback Thursday potential, so let’s get our #TBT on!

Did you know the current DeKalb County Courthouse is actually courthouse #3?

Courthouse _1

The 1st DeKalb County Courthouse was a simple frame-style building, built in Auburn in 1843. Two decades later, measurements were taken for a new courthouse, and the original building was moved 40 feet north to make room for the new one. In 1864, a man named Daniel Altenburg bought the original courthouse, removed the valuables, and then burned it to celebrate the end of the Civil War.

Courthouse _2

This is a photo of the 2nd courthouse (built in 1864) and jail (built in 1875). It was demolished in 1910 to make way for a new courthouse, and a temporary court was set up in a building on E. 8th Street. Unfortunately, a fire in 1913 destroyed that building, and many records from the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court were lost.

Courthouse _3

This is an architect’s drawing of the current DeKalb County Courthouse before its construction. It was built by J. B. Goodall of Peru, Indiana, in the style of modern ionic Greek architecture.

To see more of the courthouses (and their constructions/demolitions) in the collection, click here and search “JMS Courthouse.”

-By Genealogy Intern Chelsea



About Jenny

I am the Associate Director of Eckhart Public Library. My office is in the Administrative Annex, but I can often be found roaming the Eckhart Public Library Campus, performing acts of librarianship in every department! I love to read and learn about history. I'm also a huge fan of movies, TV and pop culture in general, and I love to read books of all types. Currently, I'm working my way around the romance section, with some historical fiction and graphic novels thrown in for variety! But you never know what I'm going to pick up next.
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