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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Springfield in Robertson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Robertson County Courthouse

 
 
Robertson County Courthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 3, 2015
1. Robertson County Courthouse Marker
Inscription. Robertson County was established April 9, 1796, during the first session of the General Assembly of Tennessee. The act provided commissioners to establish the county government system and raise money to build a courthouse and jail. Court meetings were held at the homes of Jacob McCarty and, Benjamin McIntosh, then George Bellís store. July 15, 1799 the first courthouse was completed which was a log structure. Very little description remains other than the February 1805 court orders to “contract for the building of a frame addition to the west end of the Court House 12 feet in length to be as high as the House with a partition through it of planks to make two jury rooms with a window on each side of the addition with a chimney of brick or stone with a fire place in each jury room to terminate in one funnel, the whole is to be done in as workman a like manner as the present court house and of as good materials.”

In November 1806, an order was given for “stocks to be erected on the public square”. At that time some punishment for crimes were recorded as being lashes and days in the stock. During the years 1818 through 1820 special tax collected amounted to $6842.29 and the old log courthouse with its addition, and the brick and rock attached to it were sold. These funds were used to build our second Courthouse.
Third County Courthouse Built in 1879 image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 3, 2015
2. Third County Courthouse Built in 1879
Close-up of lower left image on marker
The second courthouse built in 1819 was a two story square brick building with walls 44 feet long placed on a stone foundation. The walls above the foundation were 30 feet high. In July 1847 a committee was appointed to investigate the cost to dig a well and obtain good water on the Public Square as near the Court House as practical. After the fall of Fort Donelson in February 1862 during the War Between the States, Union forces occupied the city and county. Much of the business normally handled in the Courthouse was delayed. Chancery Court was closed from November 1861 to May 1865. During 1878 a civil engineer report stated “this building is liable to fall at any time from hard wind and heavy rain”, thus in January 1879 a building committee was appointed to procure plans relative to building a new Court House. At a cost of $20,959.40 the third Court House was built in the architectural design called Second Empire. This building is within the center section of what you see today.

The third county courthouse built in 1879 shown with the iron fence, gate and posts which were added in January 1881. This fence was removed and sold in October 1918. The Courthouse was erected with four small rooms to be used as water closets. When the sewer was completed in 1906 these rooms were completed as restrooms at a cost of $200. Approval was given in April 1911 to proceed
1910 Chancery Court Clerk Office image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 3, 2015
3. 1910 Chancery Court Clerk Office
Close-up of lower center left image on marker
to have the building wired for the purpose of being lighted by electricity.

(Lower Center Left Image Caption)
1910 Chancery Court Clerk E.A. Hicks seated at desk; notice the telephone wires hanging from the ceiling. The large oak cabinet on the left side of the photograph was fitted with tin storage boxes in which the Chancery Court cases loose papers were stored.
This 1879 custom cabinet is on display at Robertson County Archives.

(Lower Center Right Image Caption)
A committee was appointed in July 1928 to study the needs of the courthouse. They found that the building was a good one in need of repairs, but too small for the needs of the court. Thus construction began and in 1929 the north and south wings, and the clock tower were added at a cost of $106,685.12. Sand colored brick was added to the entire structure but the old red brick on the center section of 1879 is visible inside the attic.
Additions being made in 1929 changed the architectural style to Italian Renaissance Revival.
The banner is advertising the move called Dynamite being shown at a nearby theater.

(Right Image Caption)
This 1940's era photo shows dark areas on the tower which weighs 135 tons. These areas were early signs of water infiltration which caused damage to the exterior precast concrete and interior steel structure.
1929 Construction on Wings and Clock Tower image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 3, 2015
4. 1929 Construction on Wings and Clock Tower
Close-up of lower center right image on marker
During the 1960's through 1980's engineers reported continuing deterioration of the structure. Repairs were made and a major restoration was completed in 1982. However, the structural problems were not corrected. During 2005 through 2007 nearly four million dollars was spent to replace the damages with new material, change the steel structure for longevity and renovate the building making it viable for continued court use.
The Robertson County Courthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.
 
Location. 36° 30.537′ N, 86° 53.133′ W. Marker is in Springfield, Tennessee, in Robertson County. Marker is at the intersection of W. Court Square and W. 6th Avenue, on the right when traveling north on W. Court Square. Click for map. Marker is located in the southwest corner of the grounds of the Robertson County Courthouse. Marker is in this post office area: Springfield TN 37172, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Robertson County Korean War Memorial (here, next to this marker); Fallen Confederate Soldiers (a few steps from this marker); Robertson County World War II Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Robertson County World War II Tree Memorial
Robertson County Courthouse in the 1940's image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 3, 2015
5. Robertson County Courthouse in the 1940's
Close-up of right image on marker
(within shouting distance of this marker); Robertson County Vietnam Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Tennessee Light and Power Company (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Robertson County Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); An Army In Springfield (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Springfield.
 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 
Close-up of Images on Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 3, 2015
6. Close-up of Images on Marker
Left image caption: Fountain on the Courthouse lawn built in 1908
Right image caption: 1910 photo believed to be the office of County Clerk, Lee T. Dowell. Note the door and window woodwork which are still in use today.
Close-up of Images on Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 3, 2015
7. Close-up of Images on Marker
Left image caption: The clock made by Howard Clock Company in Corydon, England, which was added to the courthouse in 1929 weighs 1,374 pounds and is still in use today.
Right image caption: The bell which resides in the tower, sounds the hour and half hour.
Robertson County Courthouse Marker<br>and Korean War Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 3, 2015
8. Robertson County Courthouse Marker
and Korean War Memorial
Robertson County Courthouse image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 3, 2015
9. Robertson County Courthouse
View to southwest from Main Street / 5th Avenue
Robertson County Courthouse image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 3, 2015
10. Robertson County Courthouse
View to northeast from W. Court Square / W. 6th Avenue
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 179 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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