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Chase County Courthouse: Cottonwood, KS



Built in 1873, the Chase County Courthouse in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, is the oldest courthouse in the state and the longest continuously operating courthouse west of the Mississippi. The building was designed by Kansas State Architect John G. Haskell in the Second Empire style and built from local materials, including limestone from the Flint Hills and walnut wood from the banks of the Cottonwood River. Its 113-foot clocktower is visible from miles away on the rolling prairie, which unfortunately, makes the courthouse susceptible to lightning strikes. Unique features on the interior include a self-supporting spiral staircase constructed using an undetermined technique, tally marks scratched in the prison cells, and a Japanese cannon of unknown provenience.

The Chase County Courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. The building is open for self-guided tours during business hours and houses the offices of Chase County employees.


Melissa Link

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