NWA GHOST CONNECTION

Washington County Courthouse Revisit

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History; Washington County Courthouse One of the first activities upon moving into the new courthouse was to sell the old one. On May 31, 1905 George Stockwell was appointed Commissioner to sell the [1868] courthouse. Upon advertising for the sale of the building, Stockwell reported that A F Wolf was the highest bidder, paying $415 for said building and $16.70 for its fixtures (County Court Record R, page 134). Upon removal of the 1868 courthouse, the site was turned over to the City of Fayetteville, who shortly thereafter deeded the lot to the federal government for use as a Post Office. Another issue facing Washington County in 1905 was the fact that it still owed Donaghey $86,000. The Levying Court remedied this by raising the sinking fund to 2 mills to pay Donaghey over the next several years (County Court Record R, page 233). The earliest, as with the most recent, years of the historic courthouse’s history were marked with mechanical and maintenance issues. The first thing to go wrong was the hydraulic elevator, as it was discontinued in 1906. Apparently, the cost of water needed to operate it was too expensive. (County Court Record R, page 335). In 1910, the Levying Court allocated money to repair the roof (County Court Record S, page 617). In 1913, the Committee on the Court House and Jail reported that the roof still leaked and that there were problems with birds in the attic. They recommended soldering the roof along the cone and screening the ventilators to keep the birds out of the tower (County Court Record U, page 67). In 1916, the upper floor of the courthouse was furnished with cots for hung juries (County Court Record U, page 388). Also, starting in 1916, the Fayetteville Public Library began leasing space in the basement of the courthouse. They remained there until 1927 (Flashback, Volume XIV, Number 3, pages 3-4). In 1917, the Committee on the Court House and Jail reported that the basement floors were rotting and the floors and walls were separating in the City Water Department’s Office (southeast corner of first floor). They recommended replacing basement wood floors with concrete ones (County Court Record U, page 484). During the administration of County Judge George Appleby (1917-1919), the entire courthouse was re-decorated by local interior designer Paul M Heerwagen (One Hundred Years of Fayetteville, Campbell, 1928). For the entire History follow this link

Washington County Courthouse history

Investigation Results

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