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Watertown in Codington County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Codington County Courthouse

 
 
Codington County Courthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Roger Dean Meyer, May 17, 2006
1. Codington County Courthouse Marker
Inscription. An example of Neo-classical architecture with Renaissance exterior elements, the Codington County Courthouse was built by Gray Construction under the direction of architects Freed and Perkins & McWayne. It cost $375,000.00 and was dedicated in June 1929 by County Commissioners Vern G. Wolheter, James E. Kiley, R. S. Lockhart, Thomas M. Spartz, Col. Lee Stover, Ivar Tvinde, and Patrick Walsh.

Richly finished in marble and gold leaf, the interior is one of the most ornate of any courthouse in the state. The rotunda is the most striking interior feature, with its intricate colored glass dome. Nearby are two large murals, one representing “Justice and Power” and the other “Wisdom and Mercy,” painted by Vincent Aderente of New York City.

The county’s first permanent courthouse was also located on this site. That brick and stone building, with its imposing entrance tower, was constructed in 1883-1884 but was later torn down. Before it was built, the business of county government was conducted at various locations in the county, including Goss Hall and a Heegard and Company building, both after October 1878.

Before that the county seat was at Kampeska, near the outlet of the Big Sioux River at Lake Kampeska beginning on August 7, 1878. The county was first organized on July 19, 1878 when territorial
Justice and Power image. Click for full size.
September 29, 2008
2. Justice and Power
The mural, mentioned on the marker, was completed by artist Vincent Aderente. This picture submitted by Aderente's granddaughter.
governor William A. Howard appointed three commissioners. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 44° 53.934′ N, 97° 6.852′ W. Marker is in Watertown, South Dakota, in Codington County. Marker is on First Avenue SE 0.1 miles east of Broadway, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Located at the front (north) entrance to the Codington County Courthouse. Marker is at or near this postal address: 14 First Avenue SE, Watertown SD 57201, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Old M. & ST. L. Depot Museum (approx. 0.3 miles away); Watertown (approx. ¾ mile away).
 
More about this marker. Please note that the marker misidentifies the name of the artist who painted the murals as Vincent Adoratti. According to the Director of the Codington County Heritage Museum, who personally inspected the murals for the signature, the correct spelling of the artist's last name is Aderente.

Apparently, the artist's name was misspelled in the 1929 dedication program and booklet for the new courthouse. This error went unnoticed until 2006, leading to misspelling the artist's last name on the marker.

A short
Wisdom and Mercy image. Click for full size.
September 29, 2008
3. Wisdom and Mercy
The mural, mentioned on the marker, was completed by artist Vincent Aderente. This picture submitted by Aderente's granddaughter.
list of some of Aderente's other public building murals include works in the Denver Mint, the Utah State Capitol, St. Mathews Cathedral in Washington, D.C., the City Hall of Yonkers, NY, the Hudson County Courthouse in Jersey City, NJ and the main post office in Flushing, NY.
 
Also see . . .  Civil Servants and Structures of Watertown and Codington County, South Dakota. The Courthouse is mentioned in this chapter from the book, Watertown and Codington County, by Tim Hoheisel and Lisa Hanson and published in 2002 by Arcadia Publishing. (Note the same misspelling of the author's name, Adoratti, that appears on the actual marker is repeated in this book as well.) (Submitted on September 29, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 
Codington County Courthouse image. Click for full size.
By Roger Dean Meyer, May 17, 2006
4. Codington County Courthouse
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Roger Dean Meyer of Yankton, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 3,193 times since then and 40 times this year. Last updated on , by David Aderente of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Roger Dean Meyer of Yankton, South Dakota.   2, 3. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   4. submitted on , by Roger Dean Meyer of Yankton, South Dakota. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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