Noble County Courts

History of the Noble County Courthouse

(click on any picture for more information)

Noble County was organized in 1836 by an act of the Legislature and the appointed Commissioners originally chose Sparta as the county seat, though no county buildings were ever erected there.  Residents objected to the erection of buildings so far from the center of the county and the Commissioners then agreed on a new location, Augusta, a point two miles west of Albion.  A Courthouse and jail were built at that location in 1837 and in 1843 the courthouse was accidentally destroyed by fire.

In 1844, Commissioners relocated the seat of justice to Port Mitchell and a temporary building was erected for a courthouse.  Soon after, however, the Legislature passed an act which provided for an election in 1846 to choose a county seat.  In June 1846, Albion (then known as the "Center") was chosen and a frame courthouse was built on this site in 1847 by Samuel T. Clyner for the sum of $4,045.00.  It resembled a courthouse in Sunbury, PA.  The courthouse was again destroyed by fire on January 25, 1859, and arson was suspected.

The second courthouse on this site was built by George Harvey in 1861 at a cost of $11,000.00.  The building soon became too small and it was decided to build a larger building on this site.

In the fall of 1887 it was demolished and construction soon began on the current courthouse.

Architect Edward O. Fallis designed the Romanesque structure for the cost of $114,062.41.  The cornerstone was laid on May 29, 1888 and it was dedicated on October 15, 1889, a remarkable construction achievement.

In 1904 an Italian artist, Giovenni Gioscio painted life size portraits in the courthouse rotunda of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, and recently assassinated William McKinley.

Two Superior Courts were added to the original Circuit Court due to increased population and case filings and courtrooms were created. 

In 2002 the original Circuit Courtroom was renovated and restored.  Modern video and wireless internet technology was added as well.  Rededication was held November 30, 2003.

In 1981 the Noble County Courthouse, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

If you have any Courthouse photos you wish to share (we have none from the era 1930-2000), please contact Judge Laur.

Judge Laur also wishes to recognize Noble County Historian Robert Gagen for his invaluable assistance with this project.