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Title: Laying of the Corner Stone
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The first session of court held in Warren county took place in May, 1827, at the home of Enoch Farmer, in Warren township, Hon. John R. Porter presiding as circuit judge. Following this session a temporary court house was erected and used until 1834, when a brick building was erected for court purposes on the lower part of what was then known as Court Square. This was replaced by a new building in 1872 at a cost of $55,000. In May, 1886, the commissioners let the contract for removing the building erected in 1872 and re-erecting it on the present Court House ground. The building was ready for occupancy in December of that year and remained intact until Sunday morning, January 20, 1907, when it was destroyed by fire. On July 18, 1907, the county commissioners entered into a contract with Jahr & Cope for remodeling and repairing the building at the cost of $68,050.00, to be completed by August, 1908.

On Saturday, October 12, with appropriate ceremonies the corner stone of the new building was laid under the auspices of Williamsport Lodge No. 38, F.& A.M., assisted by neighboring lodges. At 1:30 p.m. the lodges formed in line and preceded by the Williamsport Band marched to the school house, where they were joined by the school children and the procession down Center street to Falls street and thence north to Monroe street. On their arrival at the Court House Contractor Jahr invited Masonic Lodge No. 38, through Grand Master Bragg, to perform the ceremony of laying the corner stone. After prayer, which was led by Rev. J.T. Orton, Grand Master Bragg, assisted by F.O. Stevens, Dr. Dinsmore, Eddie Livengood, Samuel Frame, Wilmer Gemmer, and J.D. Bader. The following articles were placed in the box of the corner stone:

Contents of box taken from the corner stone in the Court House erected in 1886 were: Holy Bibl; West Lebanon Advance, june1, 1871; Warren Republican, 1871 and 1886; West Lebanon Gazette, July 7, 1886; Constitution and By-laws of I.O.O.F. Lodge of Indiana, 1870; By-laws of F. & A.M., 1857; minutes of special meeting F. & A.M. held to plan for the laying of the corner stone June 2, 1871; list of county officers of 1871 and 1886; announcement and program for corner stone laying, 1886; total list of officers and justices of the peace from 1827 to and including 1886 for Warren County; a number of silver, nickel, and copper coins.

The new articles placed in on October 12, 1907, were as follow; Copy of The Warren Review of October 10, 1907; copy of the Warren Republican of Oct 10,1907, copy of West Lebanon Gazette of October 10, 1907; copy of Pine Village News of October 11, 1907; list of county offices in office October 12, 1907; announcement and program of the ceremonies of the laying of the Court House corner stone, October 12, 1907; minutes of the special meeting of Williamsport Lodge No. 38, F. & A.M.; penny given by A.J. McKinzie and flag by Henry Johnson; a piece of money by Simon Weidenhammer; Grand Army badge of Union Soldiers from 1861 to 1865, deposited by Thomas C. Powell and James Anderson; a piece of the bell that was in use when the Court House was destroyed.

After the completion of the ceremony of the laying of the corner stone Rev. E.C. Wareing delivered the address of the day. It was an eloquent discourse and was very attentatively listened to.

Members from the following neighboring lodges took part inthe ceremonies: West Lebanon, Hedrick, Green Hill, Covington, Shawnee Mound and Attica.

The parade of the pupils of the public schools, as it always is, was a sight worth seeing. At 2 o'clock the Masonic fraternity met the pupils at the school,a nd the pupils formed in line. Those of the High school were at the head, the senior class with a banner on which was the word "SENIORS" and a flag leading school procession, which followed directly behind the Masonic fraternity. Following the seniors were the juniors and the younger classes of the school respectively, each class with a banner not only appropriate but beautiful. Although half the pupis of the High scholls wree absent those who were in line made a creditable showing and their beautiful appearance in line won many complimentary remarks from the spectators. Miss Stockbridge and Miss Antrim marched with the pupils of the High school. Mrs. Bowlus directed the seventh and eighth grade year pupils in their part of the line. "Greater Williamsport" was inscribed on one of their banners. A beautiful flag was carried at the head of the line of the eightth year pupils. Mrs. Ringel followed the fifth and sixth year pupils. They carried a beautiful banner on which was inscribed "Williamsport Always Wins." Then followed the fourth, third, second, and first year pupils, each grade being led by Miss Lighty, Miss McCormick, MIss Schoonover, and Miss Sutton respectively. These lower grades also made a beautiful showing with the vast number of little flags they carried. Supt. Hanson was in general charge of the school part of the procession. The entire procession was a quarter of a mile in length. It was not decided by the schools until Friday noon that they would take part, hence what they did was done quickly. It was a day not to be forgotten soon by the pupils.

Date: 10/17/1907
Origin: The Warren Review
Record ID: 00002406
Type: Periodical
Source Archive: Warren County Historical Society
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Collection: Court House
Entered By: Amber M Knipe

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