This building is Hamilton County’s third courthouse. The first was built in Orville City, the original county seat, in 1870. After five elections, Aurora was chosen as county seat in 1876. To assure the victory, the town constructed the second courthouse here in Central Park Square in 1877. It was destroyed by fire in January 1894.

In March 1894 the county board hired architect William Gray of Lincoln, who had designed several Nebraska courthouses, to provide plans for a new building. Voters approved $60,000 in bonds for its construction and furnishing. The courthouse was completed in 1895.

The Hamilton County Courthouse is built in the county Capitol Style, emulating the shape of the U.S. Capitol. Here a tall spire is used instead of a central dome, and red brick with Colorado sandstone instead of marble. The architectural detailing follows american Round Arch designs made popular by Boston architect H.H. Richardson. The stability of county government is suggested by the building’s impressive exterior and by the ornate white oak woodwork inside. The courthouse is listed in The National Register of Historic Places.

Hamilton County Courthouse Centennial committee
Nebraska State Historical Society
June 24, 1995
(Courthouse Grounds, Aurora)
Hamilton County