WOODRUFF COUNTY COURT HOUSE
for court house information, contact:
Woodruff County Clerk
500 North Third Street
Augusta, AR 72006-2056
(From Rivers and Roads and Points in Between, Vol VII, No. 4, Fall 1979, "History of the Seats of Justice, Woodruff County, Excerpts from a Research Paper by John B. Fryer, 1961)
"Woodruff County was created by vote of the people in pursuance of the ordinance of the State Convention of 1861, and was organized in 1862.
..The organization of the county was not fully completed until 1865, after the war between the states had ended. Augusta was made the seat of justice. The first term of court in Augusta was in October, 1865. "
"Before the Civil Was (Thomas) Hough built a large two-story brick residence, with servants' quarters in the rear, utilizing a full city block in North Augusta. On April 21, 1870, the county paid Mr. Hough $18,000 for this property, to be used as a court house and jail."
"...As court dockets grew and records accumulated, the Hough residence became more inadequate, thus adding to the necessity of a larger and more functional court house. it was quite evident that a good portion of the people of the county did not wish to build a court house in Augusta, but instead, build one in the geographical center of the county. Colona, a site about six miles southwest of McCrory, and near the geographical center of the county, on the Batesville and Brinkley Railroad, was the most frequently mentioned location. The citizens of McCrory thought that their town was the most practical and satisfactory site of all. "
"...In the first session of the Woodruff County Court following the enactment of Senate Bill III, creating a Southern Court District, a request for a new court house and jail in Augusta was made. An appropriation of $30,000 was made for this purpose from the county general fund."
Apparently there was much political controversy within Woodruff County over the establishment of the county seat and the building of the courthouse, with each town (McCrory, Augusta, and Cotton Plant) wanting to be the county seat. It appears that the present court house was established, under the architectural guidance of Charles L. Thompson of Little Rock, on the original Hough property within a few years after 1900.
The Fryer article goes on to say that there was "...an additional contract with Mr. C. W. Clark to erect an iron fence around the court house in Augusta at a cost of $2,008.80, and to erect a clock chamber in the tower of the same building, installing a clock with a 1,000 pound, first-class bell, at a cost of $1,975, approved by T. E. Stanley, Judge."
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Tuesday, 12-Feb-2013 18:18:38 MST