“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Ardmore in Carter County, Oklahoma — The American South (West South Central)

Federal Courthouse (1898)

Southern District


— Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations, I.T. —

Federal Courthouse (1898) Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, October 21, 2019
1. Federal Courthouse (1898) Marker
Inscription.  The construction of this courthouse was financed in 1898 by two private entrepreneurs, Joe F. Robinson and A. V. Doak. The building was leased to the Federal Government and the court was presided over by Judge Hosea Townsend. This fourth location for the Federal Courthouse since 1890* was in use until the Federal Building on Washington Avenue was built in 1915.

The first floor of the structure housed the U.S. Commissioner, the U.S. Attorney the U.S. Marshall and the Jury rooms. The Court, judges chambers, witness room and the Court Clerk's office were located on the second floor.

West of the court was the jail which was divided into two sections by a high stone wall wide enough for two guards to walk with guard houses at two corners. The first section was for male prisoners. The second section was for women prisoners, the men's hospital, jail offices and quarters for the "trustees". A well dug in the back of the prison yard provided water for all. Beneath the jail a stone dungeon was built which served as the ločal insane asylum. This jail was in use until 1904, when the old Carter County Jail was built.

Federal Courthouse (1898) Marker to left of center door. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, October 21, 2019
2. Federal Courthouse (1898) Marker to left of center door.

Ardmore's being designated a "court town" brought prosperity to the local businesses. In 1896 there were 100 lawyers in Ardmore as a result of the Federal Court's large caseload, each paying a $15.00 permit fee to practice law in the Chickasaw Nation. At that time cases were heard randomly as no court docket was set. This required litigants to remain in Ardmore for the months when court was in session. The litigants were essentially forced to remain in Ardmore until their turn came up. This situation continued until Statehood in 1907, when much of the caseload came under the jurisdiction of the State District Courts.

*1890 Broadway Methodist Church, 1891 two story frame on N. Washington burnt 1895, temporary courthouse on W. Main 1895 where Kress Bldg. stands
Erected by Ardmore Main Street Authority.
Location. 34° 10.379′ N, 97° 7.839′ W. Marker is in Ardmore, Oklahoma, in Carter County. Marker is at the intersection of West Main Street (Oklahoma Route 199) and B Street SW, on the left when traveling west on West Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 200 West Main Street, Ardmore OK 73401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Noble Brothers Hardware (within shouting distance of this marker); Luke’s Music Store

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(within shouting distance of this marker); Randol Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); Ardmoreite Building (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Masonic Temple 1896 (about 600 feet away); Hotel Wisnor/Carter-Booker Building (about 700 feet away); Killing of US Marshal Dow Braziel (approx. 0.2 miles away); Daubes’ Store (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ardmore.
Categories. Government & PoliticsNotable Buildings

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Credits. This page was last revised on November 9, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 9, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 42 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 9, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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