Davis County Memorial Courthouse

The Davis County Courthouse was first built in 1890. The federal-style courthouse was then remodeled three different times to account for the conuty's growing population. The first phase was completed in 1932, and others were completed in 1957 and 1979, with renovations in 1997.

On March 22, 1852, the Davis County Commissioner told the county clerks to create three blueprints for the county’s courthouse to be approved. The winning design was a small two-story 35x45 foot adobe building. This courthouse was built upon a rocky knoll just south of State Street. The building was erected using donations and taxes, and the people of the North Cottonwood LDS Ward had donated so much to the courthouse that the ward was permitted to use an upper room of the courthouse for meetings, and parties if the room was not in use. Rooms of this first courthouse were also used as a general store, practice  hall, and dance hall. 

On May 20, 1889, a new courthouse was approved by the county commissioner; this courthouse would be built just a few feet south of where the existing courthouse stood so State Street could be expanded without obstruction. The second courthouse was finished on August 18, 1890 and led by architect William Allen. The original courthouse was torn down in September of 1890.

Davis County continued to grow, and before long more room in the courthouse was required. In 1929, the county commissioner announced the expansion of the courthouse. The county hired architect Theo Pope and contractors F.R. Knowlton and George Rupert for the project. This expansion was paid for by a memorial levy, thus the building was named the Davis County Memorial Courthouse. The second building was to remain in place, only the large tower at the front being removed. The entrance was increased and redesigned. Two wings extending off the original structure gave the building a neoclassical look. The expansion finished in 1932. In August 1956, plans to increase the courthouse were again approved with Theo Pope serving as architect once again. Another expansion of the courthouse occurred in 1979. The County Commissioner met again with Pope in May to renovate the jail from one story to two and to build a service tunnel between the courthouse and the library. 

After 50 years of expansion, Davis County continued to accomodate a growing population. Iin 1990, the jail and courts had outgrown the Memorial Courthouse and moved to new facilities west of downtown Farmington. In 1996, the Memorial Courthouse had a small renovation, and the1889 building's  ceiling was uncovered. In 2010, the 1929 portion of the Memorial Courthouse joined both the Farmington Historic Landmark Register and the National Register of Historic Places. In 2010, the Farmington City Council voted to list the Davis County Memorial Courthouse as a city historic resource. In 2021, the newer section of the building was razed due to structural concerns. 

Images

The First Davis County Courthouse
The First Davis County Courthouse Source: “First Davis County Courthouse.” Used with permission from the Farmington City Museum.

Location

Metadata

Marina Kenner, Weber State University
, “Davis County Memorial Courthouse,” Intermountain Histories, accessed April 16, 2024, https://www.intermountainhistories.org/items/show/685.