Casey County Courthouse Built In 1888

Friday Ritchey and I visited the Casey County Courthouse in Liberty, Kentucky.  Although showing its age, it is still quite beautiful!

From a 1995 article in The Advocate-Messenger of Danville, Boyle County, we learn that ‘The stately courthouse, built in 1888 on the Courthouse Square, has Richardsonian architectural features such as a stone foundation, quoins and porch balustrade.  The entrances are arched.  The tower sports Richardsonian brick and stone banding and an Italianate corbeled cornice.  The courthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.  The original building cost $15,000 and was designed by McDonald Brothers of Louisville.’  Israel Sanford Matherly, originally of Washington County, did the woodwork at the courthouse.  He had a handmade lathe to turn the spindles for the stair rails and balusters at the courthouse.

Richardsonian architecture was named after architect Henry Hobson Richardson, 1838-1886.  His masterpiece is Trinity Church in Boston.

The McDonald Brothers firm included Harry (Henry) McDonald, who served in the Civil War as a Confederate soldier; Donald McDonald and Kenneth McDonald.  Several other courthouses in Kentucky were built by this firm – Adair County, Henry County, Hickman County, Simpson County, Muhlenberg County and Owen County.  Their work also took them out of the state of Kentucky.

Casey County Courthouse

Present seat of justice, built 1888, was preceded by log building, 1809, and brick structure, 1837.  Architects for current courthouse were the noted McDonald Bros. of Louisville.  Its asymmetrical design and lavish use of stone trim (by T. D. Dunhauser of Germany) are unusual features among courthouses on McDonald firm.  Listed on National Register of Historic Places, 1977.

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