The Fairbury Journal-News once printed that the Jefferson County Courthouse was not a museum, but perhaps it should qualify. Business is still conducted daily but visitors may wish to stop in just to have a look at the building and it's contents. Built in 1891 at a cost of $60,000, the courthouse is full of unique furnishings and original fixtures. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The district courtroom features oak woodwork and tables and theater chairs with ornate wrought-iron work. There are several ceramic-fronted fireplaces and several marbled-top wash stands that remain original.
The outside of the building is just as impressive. Arthur and Ferdinand Bower, stonecutters from England who settled here, cut the stones for the building by hand. The first offices were occupied in 1892. The clock on the tower was not installed until July, 1910. The bell, which weighs 1000 pounds and still tolls every hour, can be heard up to 2 miles away.
The south side of the courthouse is the front of the building and has the word "Jefferson" above the door. The south, east and west sides of the building have statues that depict law, equality and freedom.
The safe, inscribed "Mosler Bahmann sc Co. patented Jan. 2nd 1888, Cincinnati", is decorated with a scenic picture of a harbor in color and a stylized flower design including tulips and butterflies. It is only one of the many unique items the building offers visitors.
Hours: The courthouse is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Phone: (402) 729-2148
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