Courthouse Virtual Tour
You may tour the Butler County Courthouse through our guided virtual tour.
You may navigate through the tour using the "Go Back" and "Forward" arrows near the bottom of each page.
The first Butler County court building was a two-story structure housing a jail and courtroom which was erected in 1810 on the site of a former garrison building at Old Fort Hamilton.
In 1817, a brick, two-story courthouse was built on the public square on land which was donated by Israel Ludlow. A bell signaled the start of court, public occasions and emergencies.
In 1837 a portico and Corinthian columns were added, with a clock tower and cupola. That structure was demolished in 1885.
The present Butler County Courthouse was erected in 1889 at a cost of $305,000. The building was surmounted by a clock tower on which stood a statue of the Goddess of Justice, blindfolded, grasping her sword and holding aloft the scales of justice. There was a small dome on each of the four corners of the building. The interior is graced by red granite and marble, with prime oak, black walnut and cherry woodwork.
In 1912, three Hamilton firefighters died in a fire in the courthouse. The fire destroyed the tower, cupola and statue, all of which were replaced in 1914 by a larger clock tower and a massive dome which rose 225 feet above the street.
The courthouse also served as a temporary morgue when more than 200 people died in the flood of 1913. In 1926 the great dome was damaged by lightning and subsequently dismantled; however, the clock tower still remains.