Franklin County Courthouse

 315 South Main Street
Ottawa, Kansas 66067
(785) 229-3410

Open Monday-Friday  8AM - 4:30PM

Franklin County Courthouse Map

Franklin County Courthouse - Ottawa, Kansas
Franklin County Courthouse
Franklin County Courthouse - Ottawa, Kansas

The beautiful Franklin County Courthouse in Ottawa, Kansas is a blend of Romanesque Revival and Colonial Revival architecture which was built in 1893. Construction of the courthouse took only a year and 3 months from the laying of the cornerstone until dedication. As attractive as the exterior is, the interior with its oak woodwork and incredible 1890s courtroom is even more impressive.

The building was designed by George P. Washburn of Ottawa and was one of the first of many public buildings he designed. When construction of the courthouse was approved by local election, the cost was set at no more than $50,000. The county government only stayed within that limit by separately paying for the heating, plumbing, gas, electrical, fixtures, furniture, filling & grading, and the architect fees. The official cost of the building was $49,014.69, but the total cost was $66,939.25.

While these photos were being taken, a woman was walking laps in the large courtroom and I mentioned that it would make a wonderful movie set, only to learn from her that the courtroom and the exterior of the building were used in the 1989 made for TV two part movie Cross of Fire, which stared John Heard, Mel Harris and George Dzundza. The rest of the movie (which was set in 1920s Indiana) was filmed in Lawrence and Topeka. Interestingly enough, although he was well down in the list of actors credited in the movie, each of the three people working in the courthouse who told me about the movie mentioned that is stared Lloyd Bridges.

Statue of Justice on Franklin County Courthouse roof
Statue of Justice and cupolas with a clock and bell

There are oak stairways at the front and rear entrances.

This is one of the historic displays in the first floor hall way. The entire building is a period piece, with many signs,
fixtures, tile and furniture dating back to the building's construction.

Franklin COunty courtroom - Ottawa, Kansas
View of the courtroom from the balcony. The floor at the front of the room and the balcony where this photo
was taken are the only significant changes to the court room since its construction.

Court room light fixture - Ottawa, Kansas
Light fixture in the courtroom

Jury box - Franklin County Courthouse
Jury box

Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall - Ottawa, Kansas
This office on the third floor was once the meeting hall of the Grand Army of the Republic (Civil War Union Veterans).

Byffal Woman statue by Charlie Norton - Ottawa, Kansas
"Buffalo Woman" by Charlie Norton was dedicated October 7, 1989 to celebrate Ottawa's 125th Anniversary/

Franklin County Veterans Memorial - Ottawa, Kansas
The Franklin County Veterans Memorial was dedicated in 1999 to commemorate Franklin County citizens who
perished in wars from World War I to the present.

Franklin County Courthouse Map - Ottawa, Kansas
Franklin County Courthouse Map

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copyright 2016 by Keith Stokes