Box Elder County Courthouse

Although remodeled several times since it was constructed in 1857, the Box Elder County Courthouse is the oldest building in Utah. Throughout the years, the courthouse has had numerous roles.

The original Box Elder County Courthouse was constructed in 1857 and was used as a school, church, theater, and government office. It was the largest hall in town and had a gallery built into the west end with a choir loft under the gallery. School was taught in the downstairs east room of the building as late as 1880. Each Sunday, the entire community gathered to meet in the large upstairs room of the building for church services. After the town's division into wards, or ecclesastical boundaries, the Fourth Ward continued to hold church services in the courthouse until 1880. 

Brigham City was incorporated in 1867 and quarterly meetings with the mayor and city council first took place in the building. By 1894, bi-monthly sessions were held. In the 1870s, there was a large bell hung on the roof which signaled work time, lunch time, and quitting time with the Brigham City Co-operative enterprises. In 1887, the building was remodeled and a clock tower was added. 

In 1910, the building was greatly expanded. Local architects Funk and Wells oversaw the design of the large front addition in Neoclassical style. The clock tower was redone, with the original building now in the back. The new county courthouse was one of the most prominent buildings in the city and was visible from the Depot. 

Few changes have been made to the building since 1920. A new clock was purchased for the clock tower in 1950, and in 1960 a small addition was constructed on the northeast part of the building. The interior of the building has been remodeled several times, though much of the 1910 section remains intact. The floor plan of that section has not been altered substantially, and most of the original woodwork remains. The recorder's offices, clerk's offices, district courtroom and judicial chambers have all remained in their same locations since the 1910 addition to the building.

In 1988, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Today, as the oldest county courthouse in the state, the Box Elder County Courthouse remains a vital government building.

Images

The Box Elder County Courthouse
The Box Elder County Courthouse Source: "Box Elder County Court House." 1936. 48860; Utah State Historical Society Classified Photo Collection. Used by permission, Utah State Historical Society. https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6571ks6.
Another perspective on the courthouse .
Another perspective on the courthouse . Source: "Box Elder County Court House." n.d. 48880; Utah State Historical Society Classified Photo Collection. Used by permission; Utah State Historical Society. https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6ws9216. 
Box Elder County Courthouse in 1890
Box Elder County Courthouse in 1890 The home of the county's first theatre. Source: "Box Elder County Court House." 1890. 48870; Utah State Historical Society Classfied Photo Collection. https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s61j9jjj.
The Courthouse in 1988
The Courthouse in 1988 Source: "Box Elder County Courthouse." 1988. 88000399; National Register of Historic Places Collection. https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/AssetDetail/61f00999-a6e9-4eda-8f4a-05dadcb99bb2.

Location

Metadata

Cabe Cameron, Weber State University , “Box Elder County Courthouse,” Intermountain Histories, accessed February 24, 2024, https://www.intermountainhistories.org/items/show/668.