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May 31, 2018     Lovell Chronicle
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May 31, 2018
 

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May 31, 2018 I The Lovell Chronicle 7 BY STEVA DOOLEY Note: A celebration marking the 100th birth- day of the Big Horn Coun- ty Courthouse has been planned for Friday, June 1, starting at 3:30 p.m. There will be cupcakes, ice cream, popcorn and drinks, plus live music by the Old Time Fiddlers. Commissioner Felix Carrizales will wel- come guests and visitors at 3:45 p.m. and area histori- an Jeanie Cook will share some history of the area and the courthouse. The departments of the court- house will be open for vis- itors to look at interesting exhibits. The following is a history of the buildings ini- tial development. Although the Big Horn County Courthouse offi- cially opened June 18, 1918, it became a dream nearly two years before that. The first mention of the need for a new courthouse was recorded in the minutes of the county commission meeting of Sept. 16, 1916. Undoubtedly there was talk among the people, of- ricers of the county and the commissioners before that time, but a resolution was issue. There were many is- Bowman as the architect. sues with the courthouse He then "visited with the passed unanimously during the Sept. 16 meeting, then in use. It was to small, county officers and went "Whereas, Big Horn poorly built, beyond is use- over the plans with the idea County has no Court ful life and had been added of getting suggestions for House, nor has it any Jail onto many times in an ef- any changes which might adequate for its needs; "And Whereas the ex- isting indebtedness of Big Horn County, Wyoming, which will be created by the proposed construc- tion of a Court House and a fort to make it adequate. The county had been forced to rent offices around Basin for the court chambers for district court and report- ers, the county and prose- cuting attorney, the sher- iff, the clerk of court, the superintendent of public instruction and the coun- ty surveyor. The county as- sessor's office was so small and lacked records storage that according to an article in the October 20, 1916, is- be desired" The public got a preliminary glimpse of suitable Jail will not exceed two per cent on the pres- ent assessed value of the taxable property, in said Big .Horn County, Wyoming, as shown by the last gener- al assessment preceding of said County; expected at any time. It was hoped that the courtroom would be in readiness for the session of court start- ing in the 20th of March, but Judge Metz wasn't so sure as he postponed call- ing a jury. In a resolution adopt- ed during the county com- missioners meeting on April 2, 1918, the county of- ricers were instructed to vacate their rented offices and move immediately to the new courthouse. The Commissioners stated that there would be no more rent paid after April 1, 1918. And finally on June 18, the formal opening of the courthouse was held. Peo- ple came from all sections to be present even though it meant many of them worried about high water in the rivers and creeks. The people of the county, to whom the courthouse belonged and still does be- long inspected the premis- es and visited with the var- ious county officers. The Basin Band gave a fine con- cert from tlae steps. Judge Percy W. Metz welcomed the people of the coun- ty "to see what the com- missioners had done with possible and that from 30- ly February the architect, 40 men would be work- Wm. Bowman, informed ing on the building. By the the editor that "the court- middle of May the pile driv- house would be completed er had arrived, the pilings and the furniture in place for the foundation werefor use by the 1st of April:' going in, but supplies were On March 1st, 1918, it not arriving as quickly as was announced in the Big changes in Big Horn Coun- what the courthouse might needed and the construe- Horn County Rustler that ty in the past few years. But look like in the Dec. 22 edi- tion was not "proceeding as the "courthouse was corn- just 18 years ago Judge Par- tion of the Big Horn Coun- quickly as was planned:' pleted and ready for the melee had held court in a ty Rustler when a picture of On a side note, at the furnishings:' shack located just to the the courthouse at Douglas time of the building of the The writer of the article west of the present court- was printed, courthouse, the nation was went over the building and house and he had heard the By the middle of Feb- entering WWI and men made this report: judge tell of the hardships ruary Mr. Bowman had an were being recruited to "I am much impressedconnected with holding artist's rendition of what serve the war effort. It was with the completeness of court at that time:' the new courthouse would a turbulent time in the na- the accommodations pro- "At the end of the meet- look like and the next step tion and even in the small vided. Onthe first floor are ing visitors again passed was entered. Mr. Bowman counties of Wyoming. the rooms for the coun-through the court house was certain that the court- It was the first of June ty clerk, the treasurer, the and noted its many ad- the money entrusted to their care for building pur- poses" Mr. W.E. Edwards of Germania Bench said that "there had been great "Now, Therefore, Be It sue of the Big Horn County house would be ready forbefore the pilings for the assessor and the coun- vantages, after which they Resolved, that the ques-Rustler, "The county asses- occupancy by Nov. 1. Thefoundation were in and the ty commissioners. Each proceeded to Fraterni- tion of whether the Board sor is cooped up in a small request for constructionwork of laying the wallsof these rooms is provid- ty Hall, where the evening of County Commissioners,room, with his records bids was advertised and the could begin. Then, like all ed with an ante room andwas spent in dancing. of said county shall be au- piled on the floor and old bid opening was scheduled building projects, the news vault. On the second floor And so a little over 18 issue the reg- ! and ab !utely with- for Marchl9 of note began to- wane as are ,the-:: i:eo rt Ooi,the month af ei - ist& ed c0upon bonds ofOiit ':any protection fromThe commis s the work'on the building judg g ':io m, for rfiis i6ners-fi St ipiit :bh the County to the amount fire of theft." opened the bids on Tq[arch progressed pretty much the court stenographer, the the request for selling fh'e "f of Sixty Thousand Dol- When the dust settled 21 and got a rude awaken- along expected lines. As county attorney, the clerk bonds, the people of Big lars and bearing interest after the election, the bond ing when it became obvi- the building began to take of the district court and Horn County had their new at the rate of rive percent per annum payable annu- ally, and to be issued, pay- able and redeemable in the manner following: Payable at the option of the Coun- ty ten years after date, and absolutely due and payable twenty years after date; for the purpose of providing means for the construc- tion of a Court House and an adequate Jail, and for the necessary furnishings and equipment of the same, be submitted to the electors of the said County of Big Horn, at the ensuing gen- eral election, to wit, on the Seventh day of November, A.D. 1916." Beginning then the first of October the commis- sioners proceeded to edu- cate the voters on the need for the passing of the bond issue was passed by a ma- jority of 584, the unofficial count, with two precincts missing was 1458 for and 874 against. Big Horn Coun- ty was going to get a new courthouse. With this win, the commissioners could advertise for bids on the bonds, hire an architect, approve plans and then let the contracts for building and furnishing. The com- missioners wasted no time and at a special meeting on Nov. 17, 1916, they in- structed the county clerk to advertise for bonds. At this same election, Wood- row Wilson was re-elect- ed president of the United States. By Dec. 15, the bond bids were back, a bond company was chosen and the com- missioners chose Wm. N. ous that the $60,000 they shape, though, another counsel rooms for visiting had allotted for the build- problem presented itself: attorneys. On the top floor ing and furnishing of the money, or lack thereof,are to be found the head- courthouse was not going In mid-October ameer- quarters for the jury, the to be enough. They award- ing was announced asking janitor's sleeping room, the ed the bid to the lowest people to come and give bailiffs room and a num- bidder "with the under- their opinions on how theber of rooms which will be standing that the plans and commissioners should pro-allotted later. In the base- specifications would be so ceed. The bid for the fur- ment are to be located the changed as to get the price nishings came in at $13,000 sheriffs office, the office within the limits of the and the funds necessary for of the local justice of the amount on hand:' them were not available, peace, the farmers' room Groundbreaking took Then in the minutes of a in which the county agent place on April 17, 1917, and special meeting the con- and the county demonstra- the contractor in charge of tract for fixtures and furni- tor will have headquarters the excavation estimated ture was let to the Monarch and the janitor's room." that the excavation would Engineering Company "for By the middle of March be finished in a week. At the S12,000 subject to modi- county officers were get- groundbreaking ceremony, rications agreed upon be- ting impatient and the Mr. C.C. Kirk, representing tween the Commission- County Attorney Gilmore the Monarch Engineeringers, the Architect, and the Hartigan and the Clerk of Company which had the Monarch Engineering" Court F.I Rue moved into contract for the construc-News of the war and their rooms in the new tion, assured the people happenings overseas filled courthouse. The court- of the town that local help the papers during the win- room furniture was partial- would be used as much as ter and into January. In ear- ly in place, the rest of it was courthouse. The cost of building was between 53,000 and $54,000. At the time of the completion of the construction the con- tractor stated that he was sure the buil.ding would cost between $90,000 and $100,000 to build. The cost of materials was going up at an alarming rate. The nation was at war, and the people were buying war bonds to finance that war. It was the beginning of a great time in the history of Basin and Big Horn County. One of the speakers during the program said this, "I am deeply impressed with the material evidences of prog- ress, and believe that with the return of our boys after the war, the Big Horn Basin will enjoy a wonderful era of development. rth (Big 9-1orn q-lospital istrict 1115 Lane 12, Lovell, WY- 307-548-5200 www.nbhh.com ORTHOPEDICS Jimmie Edwards, PA-C June l&15 307-578-1955 PSYCHIATRIC SERVICES Jenny Titus, DNP, FPMHNP-BC June 4, 11, 18 & 25 888-504-4074 PODIATRY Big Horn Foot Clinic Lael Beachler, DPM June 6 & 21* 888-950-9191 MIDWIFE Sharae Bischoff, APRN June 6&20 307-754-7770 t CARDIOLOGY Kristin Scott-Tillery, M.D. June 8 406-238-2000 ORTHOPEDICS Jared Lee, M,D. June 8&22 307-578-1955 ORTHOPEDICS Mark Ryzewicz, M.D. Clint Merritt, PA June 12 & 26 307-578-2180 DERMATOLOGY Jared Lund, M.D. June 14 800-332-7156 GENERAL SURGERY Michael Hill, M.D. June 22 800-332-7156 HEARING AID CLINIC Alfred McClees, M.D. June 27 800-331-6009 FOOT CLINIC 307-548-5213 for appointment and information www.nbhh.com Please use the clinician's phone number as listed to schedule an appointment. ANYTIME DAY OR NIGHT the North Big Horn Hospital and New Horizons Care Center provide services to persons utilizing the facilities without discrimination based on race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion or handicap. FIND YOUR NEXT IN THE LOVELL CHRONICLE published ever)/Thursday/. Call 307-548-2217 to subscribe now.