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Park County Courthouse - Cody, WY
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 44° 31.538 W 109° 04.026
12T E 653593 N 4932072
Quick Description: Now both an old and a new courthouse, the original Park County Courthouse was completed in December of 1913 and an addition was completed in 1983.
Location: Wyoming, United States
Date Posted: 4/1/2019 6:39:03 PM
Waymark Code: WM10AEK
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Sneakin Deacon
Views: 0

Long Description:
While Wyoming became a state in 1890, it was not until 1909 that Park County was established and was not organized until 1911. Cody was chosen as the county seat in 1909 and county offices were established in a brick building, the Spencer Building, on Rumsey Avenue. These offices were too small from the outset, prompting officials to petition for a proper courthouse. Citizens were unhappy with the floating of a $45,000 bond issue to pay for a new courthouse, but were assured that their new courthouse would very likely cost less than that amount. When completed in 1912 it actually had cost $55,000. Part of that cost, $1017, was expended on a town clock, complete with 500 pound bell, mounted in a copper domed cupola atop the building. That $1017, though, was donated by one Mr. W.R. (William Robertson) Coe, businessman and philanthropist born in Kingswinford, Staffordshire, England.

Following the completion of the courthouse addition in 1983, Park County was left with a large courthouse with an identity problem. Is it a classically styled, buff brick building with a beautiful clock tower atop, or is it a low, Prairie School style building faced with fieldstone? It's both to be truthful, making it an architectural mongrel of the Heinz 57 variety.

Park County Courthouse
In 1909, the town of Cody was chosen as the Park County seat. County officials were elected in 1911. The first courthouse was a brick building on Rumsey Avenue known as the Spencer Building and now part of the Chamberlin Inn complex. The original structure was not large enough, however, to house the county offices for the nine elected officials and their related staff. These officers were: sheriff, assessor, superintendent of schools, coroner, surveyor, attorney, treasurer, county clerk and clerk of district court. Voters elected three county commissioners in 1911. That number has changed from time to time and currently the commission has five members.

To fund the construction of a new courthouse and sheriff’s residence on land that was known as Arta Park in the middle of town, a controversial $45,000 bond issue was floated. The public questioned the large amount of money the county officials wanted to raise. Local newspapers tried to assure the public that in all likelihood not all the money would be used.

The bond issue passed in 1912 and a three-story courthouse and sheriff’s residence were built. The jail was located in one half of the building, and the sheriff and his family lived in the other half. Male prisoners were kept in the first floor cells, and the women were housed on the second floor.

Access to either jail area was available only from the outside. The exercise yard for the inmates was between the residence and the rear of the courthouse. The new building was ready for use in 1912. The courthouse tower sported a clock, donated by Cody resident and benefactor, William Robertson Coe, which is still operating today.

That jail continued to serve the County until the late ‘60s when a new jail was built on 11th Street and Beck, facing east. Once that was completed, Sheriff Harley Kinkade and his family moved into their apartment in the new jail, the parking lot behind the Courthouse was paved, and the old jail/sheriff’s residence was torn down.
From Wyoming History

Photo goes Here
1912 Courthouse
Photo goes Here
1983 Courthouse

Year Built: 1912 & 1983

Current Use of Building: Courthouse

Level of Courts: County

Dates this building was used to house judicial proceedings: 1812-present

Physical Address:
1131 11th Street
Cody, WY
82414


Hours:
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday


Related Website: [Web Link]

Architect: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
At least one original photograph should be added to the gallery. And please describe your impressions and visit to the courthouse.
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