GREENE COUNTY COURTHOUSE HISTORY LOG COURTHOUSE
First Greene County Courthouse A log structure built by George Graham and George Ullom for Sheriff James Hook in 1797, a year after Greene County was created in 1796. It was used as the county's seat of government until about 1800 when a brick courthouse was built on High Street. It is believed to be the oldest log courthouse on it's original lot in Pennsylvania and possibly in the whole country.
The following photos are courtesy of several Greene County residents:
Click images to enlarge photo
A NEW HOUSE FOR THE GREENE COUNTY COURT: The present courthouse was built in 1850 after the November 1849, and February 1850, grand juries had recommended the same to the county commissioners. The foremen of those grand juries being Simon Fuller and William Gilespie respectively. The old courthouse was removed by George Zimmerman in the winter of 1849-50. The cornerstone of the new courthouse was laid by the Free Masons of the County on June 24, 1850.
In 1920-1921, there were two improvements made at the courthouse, a brick addition made two new rooms available, one on the first floor as a private office for the sheriff, and one on the second floor for the county engineer. Secondly, a new men's bathroom was constructed in the basement of the courthouse.
As the twenty-first century approached, it was evident that the court facilities must be expanded significantly to accommodate efficiency of service to the public, record preservation, accessibility, and facilities for a second judge. In 1997 a project costing approximately $4 million was undertaken to raze the old jail and a portion of the old sheriff’s residence annexed to the courthouse of the purpose of housing an elevator, public restrooms, a second courtroom, judge’s chambers, law library, and other necessary facilities and offices.
The project also included renovation to the original courthouse with an attempt to maintain the historical integrity of that building to the extent possible while complying with current regulations. Following approximately 15 months of temporarily being housed in the former Fort Jackson Hotel Building, the courts and the related offices moved into the new and renovated facilities. The formal dedication took place on October 28, 1988 with the Honorable Thomas Ridge, Governor of Pennsylvania, providing the keynote address.
(before and after pictures courtesty of Tom Headlee). Click here to read more about "The New House for the Court".
SITE OF GREENE COUNTY's FIRST COURT 1797:
The monumental rock and marker are located east of Waynesburg on Rt 21. Images courtesy of GreeneSaver, click image to enlarge photo
A BRIEF HISTORY OF GREENE COUNTY AND ITS COURT SYSTEM: "A Struggle for Possession" ... Long before King Charles II granted William Penn the colony of Pennsylvania on March 4, 1681, the Native Americans had their own claim of title and councils of government upon this land. Indian Sachem of the Six Nations ruled the lands, including Greene County, made the laws, chose the trails, settled their disputes, and determined the battle sites.
Click here to read more on the Struggle for Possession.
"The First Court" ... Greene County was a part of the Fifth Judicial District of the Commonwealth and the President Judge was Alexander Addison of Pittsburgh who continued to hold court here, with the help of associate justices.
Click here to read more on the first court.
"The Creation of a County" ... After the long struggle of nations and states for her territory, and the gruelling exposure of the people to the savagery of the Indians and the elements of nature, all of which fostered an intense spirit of local unity among the citizenry, Greene County was created by Act of the General Assembly of the Commonwelath of Pennsylvania on February 9, 1796. It contained 577 square miles in area and was named for General Nathanael Greene, of the General Washington's most distinguished and revered Revolutionary War aides. The county took its place with understandable pride among the constellation of counties in the Commonwealth.
Click here to read more on the Creation of a County.
For general information, please contact the Information Services at 724-852-5399 / Toll Free: 1-888-852-5399. County Office Building, 93 E. High Street, Waynesburg, PA 15370