MOUNT IDA – Montgomery County Judge Bart Williams welcomed over 500 people to the courthouse as they joined together to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the courthouse building.
The Centennial celebration was held Thursday, September 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. County employees and elected officials handed out free hot dogs and drinks to visitors. Students from Caddo Hills, Mount Ida and Oden joined the festivities with community service projects and tours of the courthouse.
Caddo Hills students handed out lemonade while Mount Ida students and Oden students passed out snacks.
The Heritage House Museum of Montgomery County set up a historical display commemorating the courthouse and its service to the community.
State Senator Terry Rice and State Representative John Maddox joined the festivities. County Judge Bart Williams and County Clerk Regina Powell cut a centennial cake before everyone gathered for a photo in front of the courthouse.
The original structure was opened for business in 1923. The building was designed by Clyde Ferrell and is described as built in the Arkansas Adamesque design by Encyclopedia of Arkansas. The design is a neoclassical design based on the work of 18th century Scottish architects William Adam and his sons Robert and James. The cost for construction of the original structure was $40,000.
The courthouse is home to several county administrative offices, including the county judge, clerk, assessor, tax collector, treasurer, and district clerk. The county clerk’s office still uses the original records vault which contains county records dating back to 1845.
The rock wall bordering the courtyard was erected in 1931. It was built with funds raised by the Mount Ida city council, which at the time was made up of all women.
The original structure has been recognized by the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program as architecturally and historically significant for its local standing in Montgomery County. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in August 27, 1976.
The first addition to the building occurred in 1975 with an annex added to the North side of the building. A new courtroom was added to the east of the building in 1999.
The courthouse has seen several renovations and additions over the years, but a recent restoration project is working to bring the luster back to the original structure. While the project has just begun, The celebration gave residents and visitors an opportunity to enjoy the beauty and history of the courthouse.