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The Courthouse

Courthouse Description on plaque in courtyard 

"Built in 1877 at a cost of $45,201 the Davis County courthouse is an outstanding example of Second Empire architecture with its distinctive mansard roof and dormer windows. The structure measures approximately 97 by 87 feet with walls made of red brick covered by a sandstone veneer. Surmounted by a statue of the "Lady of Justice", the belfry tower raises the total height to over 123 feet. The tower houses the original 1876 Seth Thomas clock and an immense 1878 Kimberly bell that was also rung in the early days as a fire alarm.

The design was the work of architect T. J. Tolan of Indiana, considered at the time to be the most successful in this style courthouse. In continuous use since its construction, the large courtroom seats nearly 300 people on the original walnut chairs and benches. The basement still contains the cells that were the county and city jails until 1973. A fence was originally constructed around the courtyard square of the same type that still surrounds the jailhouse windows.

One of the most unusual visitors to view the building was a human fly who succeeded in scaling the outside walls in the early 1930s. The courthouse has grown to become a familiar symbol of Davis County and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974."  

This website is a growing repository of information about the Davis County Courthouse and grounds. We welcome any information, legends, stories, memories, pictures, drawings, maps, etc.  All these things will add to our knowledge. We will make them accessible to the public as we update this website. In this way we hope to solve the mysteries and tell the story of this great building, as we continue to work toward its preservation for the enjoyment of future generations. Please contact us if you would like to share photographys or information about the courthouse.

Architectural Features


Meneely and Kimberly Bell


Seth Thomas Clock


See Inside the Clock Tower