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Forsyth in Rosebud County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Rosebud County Courthouse

 
 
Rosebud County Courthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 13, 2020
1. Rosebud County Courthouse Marker
Inscription.  Scandal and intrigue surrounded the construction of Rosebud County Courthouse in 1914. Rosebud County citizens recognized the need for a new courthouse when they passed a $125,000 bond issue in 1911 to fund the building. To design a suitable replacement for the original courthouse—a wood-frame former schoolhouse— county commissioners hired Montana architects Link and Haire. That highly respected firm ultimately designed courthouses for eighteen of Montana’s fifty-six counties. Featuring a colossal portico and an octagonal tower topped by a copper dome, Link and Haire’s design was well received, and Gray’s Construction Company of South Dakota began excavation amid high praise in 1912. Trouble commenced when it became clear that the project was more than $40,000 over budget. In September 1913, the editor of the Forsyth Times-Journal lambasted the county commissioners for the cost overrun and brought suit to restrain them from further expenditure. Apparently worried that his company would not be paid in full, Gray’s foreman refused to turn over the keys to the completed building, despite a court order. The clash had moments of high comedy:
Rosebud County Courthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 13, 2020
2. Rosebud County Courthouse Marker
The marker is in front of the light stand on the right.
at one point, the foreman locked himself inside the building and secreted himself between the ceiling and the roof. Ultimately, a grand jury vindicated the commissioners. Ruling that the building’s design was “imposing and attractive” and its interior “very harmoniously and artistically decorated,” the grand jury declared that the county received “full value for the money expended.” Their judgment still stands. The elegant Neoclassical building remains one of Rosebud County’s architectural jewels.
 
Erected by Montana Historical Society.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Government & PoliticsNotable Buildings. In addition, it is included in the Montana National Register Sign Program series list.
 
Location. 46° 16.056′ N, 106° 40.503′ W. Marker is in Forsyth, Montana, in Rosebud County. Marker is on Main Street near 12th Avenue, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1250 Main Street, Forsyth MT 59327, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Forsyth, MT (within shouting distance of this marker); Thomas Alexander, 1856-1918 (within shouting distance of this marker); Blue Front Rooming House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct
Rosebud County Courthouse image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 13, 2020
3. Rosebud County Courthouse
line); Forsyth Residential Historic District (about 300 feet away); McCuistion Residence (about 300 feet away); First Presbyterian Church and Manse (about 400 feet away); Beeman Residence (about 500 feet away); Bland Residence (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Forsyth.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 14, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 14, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 36 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 14, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Mar. 7, 2021