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History of Lycoming County Pennsylvania
edited by John F. Meginness; 1892

CHAPTER XVI.

FIRST JAIL AND COURT HOUSE.

THE BUILDING OF THE FIRST PRISON COMMENCED IN 1799 AND FINISHED IN 1801 - A STRANGE BIT OF HISTORY - THE FIRST COURT HOUSE - PROGRESS, OF CONSTRUCTION AND STATEMENT OF COST - A SLICE FOR LYCOMING - BOUNTIES FOR SCALPS - COST OF HOLDING EARLY COURTS - THE NORTHEASTERN BOUNDRY LINE - THE NEW COURT HOUSE.


FROM the commissioners' minute book, beginning with October, 1799, it appears that steps were taken early that year to build a jail in Williamsport. December 5, 1799, appears this entry: "Michael Ross, for material for jail and clearing the public lots, $18.64." On the same day John Turk was paid $2.25 for two days rafting timber for the jail and making order, "and the following day (6th) Mathias Knapp received "$81 for mason work at the jail," and on the 10th Peter Vanderbelt was paid "$25.92 for smith Work at the jail. "It is apparent from these entries that work had been progressing from early in the fall of 1799 on the new prison. These records were kept in small pass books, 4 x 6 inches in size, and although the paper is much faded and time-stained, the writing is still clear.

A bit of curious history is connected with the ground on which the jail was first built, and on which the present one stands. In Deed Book A, page 540, it appears that on the 12th of October, 1798, Michael Ross in consideration of one cent conveyed to James Crawford, William Wilson, and Henry Donnel, commissioners of Lycoming county, four lots for "court house, gaol, and offices." They were numbered 169, 170, 171, 172, on the plot of the town, and were located on "Third and William streets, Tom alley and Pine alley." The jail of today stands on Lots .169 and 170.

The work of building seems to have been vigorously pushed, judging from the following payments noted on the minute book:

December 11, 17.99, Henry Donnel, cash paid for jail per his bill, $202.76 .... May 8, 1800, Mathias Eder, hauling brick and sand for the gaol, $4.67 .... May 9, Hepburn and Grier, paid John Thomas for smith work done for the gaol, $5.72 .... June 21, Robert McElrath, well bucket, chain and lock, $3.50 .... July 22, William Hepburn, rope and windlass for gaol, $6.60 .... September 5, John Cummings, sheriff, digging gaol well, $45 .... September 6, Robert McElrath, materials for gaol kitchen, $72.55 .... October 25, Jonathan Turk, making a curb for the gaol well, $1....December 3, Robert McElrath, for nails, etc., expenses of the gaol, $15.41 .... December 5, Thomas Harris, on account of lime for public building, $30.... December 24, William Morrison, on account of timber, shingles, etc., for public building, $75 .... August 5, 1801, Mr. Calvert in full for painting, glazing, etc., at the gaol, $21.75.

These are the principal items entered in the minute book from December, 1799, up to August, 1801, and they show what was paid for work on the jail to that time. In later months and years other entries of payments occur, but as the auditors' statement can not be found, it is impossible to give the total cost of the structure. As it was a common building, it possibly did not exceed $8,000. These entries show pretty conclusively that the jail was ready for occupancy in the fall of 1800, and finished in 1801.

The prison was a two-story stone building, provided with a dozen or more cells. It was surrounded by a stone wall 120 feet on William street by 104 on Third, and it was about twenty feet high. The wall was not strongly built, but it served the purpose for which it was intended for nearly seventy years. In the front of the prison were a few rooms where some of the early sheriffs lived. Thomas Hays, when elected sheriff in 1822, occupied them and a member of his family was born there.

In 1844 part of the wall-about fifty-two feet-fronting on Third street and running back twenty-two feet, was torn down and a brick building two stories high erected. The upper part was used as a hall by the Odd Fellows, whilst the first floor was occupied by the Washington fire engine and as a dwelling for the sheriff.

It was used for public purposes until 1867, when it was so badly damaged by fire that it had to be torn down. This necessitated the building of a new prison. Edward Haviland, an architect of York, was employed to furnish designs for a modern building combining strength as well as beauty, and the commissioners proceeded with the work at once. In the meantime the basement of the present court house was fitted up with cells for the prisoners, and they were confined there until the new jail was completed. All the old walls were demolished and an entirely new prison constructed, together with a dwelling for the sheriff. The latter forms the south front, and as it is surmounted by a turreted tower, it presents an imposing appearance. It was completed in 1868 at a cost of $139,440.87. There are nearly fifty cells, And in case of emergency nearly one hundred prisoners could be accommodated. The work was done under the direction of the following commissioners: H. M. Wolf, George S. Opp, D. K. Updegraff, Henry Buck, and William Riddle-Jacob S. Maxwell, clerk.

A STRANGE BIT OF HISTORY.

Now for the strange history. It has been shown that the ground was conveyed by Michael Ross and wife to the commissioners, October 12, 1798, in consideration of one cent; that Ross was paid for clearing the ground; that the work of building was proceeded with and the building completed in 1801. In the meantime it appears that on the 7th of May, 1801, (Deed Book D, page 102) Ross and wife conveyed, in consideration of $300, to Charles Hall (of Hall's Farms) Lot 108 on Market street and Black Horse alley, and "two other lots," numbered 171 and 172, Third street, "Pine and Tom alleys," bounded on the west by Lot 170. These lots were originally conveyed to the commissioners for a nominal consideration and there is nothing on record to show that they ever were conveyed back to Ross. But, stranger still, it appears (Deed Book AT, page 848) that on the 18th of October, 1806, five years after the jail had been completed, Ross and wife conveyed to William Watson, John Carothers, and Ellis Walton, commissioners, Lots 169 and 170, in consideration of $70 "specie." These were the lots on which the jail was built, and as there is no deed on record to show that he purchased them back from the commis-sioners, to whom he first sold them, he appears as having sold them twice! But, stranger still, the following entry appears on the minute book of the commissioners: "April 30, 1807. Anne Ross for signing deeds for two lots for the jail to stand on, $8." The whole transaction resolves itself into a conundrum, which can only be explained on this supposition: After making a deed for the four lots it was decided not to build on them and they were conveyed back to Ross, but through neglect the deed was not recorded. In the meantime the commissioners concluded to erect the jail on the corner of Third and William streets, and they repurchased the two lots for $70, and had the deed recorded. The other two lots evidently were returned and the ground where the court house stands taken in exchange. But to add to the mystery, there is no deed on record for the ground on which the court house was erected! That there was such a deed we have the testimony of Jacob S. Maxwell, who emphatically asserts that he remembers seeing it in the safe when he was county treasurer, but what became of it he knows not.

The payment of $3 to Mrs. Ross was doubtless in accordance with a custom of the times to present the wife with a now dress for signing a deed, but in the absence of the material they gave her the money.

THE FIRST COURT HOUSE.

Before the jail was completed steps had been taken to build a court house. This was a necessity. The first entries in the commissioners' book relating to this improvement appear as follows: "December 5, 1800. Matthew Adams, procuring a plan of Harrisburg court house and a draught, $5 .... John Turk, procuring a plan and draft of Harrisburg court house with Mr. Adams, $5." This was the first money paid by the commissioners for this improvement. That the plan of the Harrisburg building was adopted seems conclusive, for on the opening of 1800 the work seems to have been commenced. The first payment for material was for $16 to Thomas Harris, February 6, 1801, "on account of lime for court house and offices." And on the 7th of the same month William Hepburn was paid $134 1 "on account of brick for the public buildings." A few of the items charged on the minute book for 1801 are quoted herewith to show bow the payments were made:

April 30, 1801, Gabriel Morrison, boating stone for court house and offices, $117.50 .. May 14, John Turk, on contract for the court house, $50 .. June 1, Ezekiel Slack and Levi Eder, digging the foundation and cellar, $45 .. November 13, William Hepburn, on account of brick for court house and offices, $267 .. September 24, 1802, John Thomas, on account of iron work for court house and offices, $167.67 .. October 30, Joseph Dumm, in full for 10,500 bricks for courthouse and offices, $56.

Items like the foregoing run through the books for several years, and they show that the commissioners paid for the work as it progressed. The building was up in 1802, for the following charge under date of September 24, 1802, appears in the commissioners' little book: Jacob Grafius, for nine gallons of whiskey at raising court house and offices, $6! The "raising" of the temple of justice was evidently a great event in Williamsport, and the occasion was duly celebrated by a feast, for another charge in the minute book, October 30, 1802, reads: "Robert McElrath, for meat, cooking, etc., for the raising at the court house and offices, $20." He was the jailer and had charge of the now prison. Next comes the following: "April 11, 1803. Jacob Grafius, for three gallons of whiskey for court house and offices, $2."

After the court house was erected the most important matter seems to have been the purchase of a bell and image to adorn the cupola and steeple. The following entries regarding these articles are found in the minute book, and they are not with-out historical interest:

October 25, 1803, Stephen Bell, for going with wagon and team to Harrisburg for bell and image for court house, $20 .. February 5, 1805, Robert McClure, money paid Samuel Hill for making image for the court house, per receipt of Andrew Berryhill, Jr., .. February 7, 1805, Samuel E. Grier, for money advanced John Burrows to purchase bell for court house $250 .. February 7, 1805, Samuel E. Grier, for money advanced Burrows to purchase an image for court house, $100 .. February 26, 1806, Robert McClure, for money paid George Hedderly for bell, $61.22 .. February 6, 1806, John Burrows, from bringing bell from Philadelphia and returning old one for court house, $55.

The building was completed and in use some time during 1804, as shown by this entry in the commissioners' book: "January 7, 1805, George Kneece, in full for cleaning the courthouse, chopping, firewood, etc., for December term, 1804, $2.67. This was probably the first court hold in the new building.

John Turk and Edward Gobin were the contractors, and Stacy Throp and Jacob Hyman were assistants. Matthew Adams had charge of the carpenter work. The bricks were manufactured by Joseph Dumm at the brickyard of William Hepburn, on the Deer Park farms, a mile west of the building; the cut stone work was done by Samuel Biss, and the stone were brought from Sinnemahoning on rafts or floats. When the building was completed it was regarded by all as a model of architectural beauty; yet, judging from the pictures that have been preserved, it would be looked upon today as a curiosity. There are many yet living who remember its unique appearance.

The first bell was entirely too small and failed to give satisfaction. It was returned and the one which now hangs in the belfry purchased. This bell has been in constant use since 1804 and still sends forth clear, ringing tones, which can be heard a long distance. It is said that it was run so vigorously in 1815, on the reception of the news of peace at the close of the war of 1812, that it was heard a distance of eleven miles. It bears this inscription:

George Hedderly made me in
Philadelphia Anno D1. 1804.

It is made of bell metal and is two feet four inches across the open end, two feet high, and weighs between 500 and 600 pounds, It was hauled from Philadelphia in a wagon by Gen. John Burrows, one of the commissioners under whom the building was erected.

The auditors' statement, showing the total cost of each article entering into the construction of the court house, has been found in a time stained copy of the Lycoming Gazette, bearing date February 22, 1807. The stimulant used at the raising "is not mentioned of course," but it could very easily concealed among the "sundry articles got from storekeepers." The statement is as follows :

The amount of expense for building the court house and offices for Lycoming county:

To the amount for brick $1,515.70
  "   "       "       " carpenter work 7,211.07
  "   "       "       " boards, scantling, and shingles 2,169.47
  "   "       "       " mason work 1,119.45
  "   "       "       " lime 323.83
  "   "       "       " copper 330.00
  "   "       "       " iron work 785.87
  "   "       "       " stone cutting 754.88
  "   "       "       " hair and plastering 672.22
  "   "       "       " hauling 1,876.35
  "   "       "       " labor 310.52
  "   "       "       " paint and oil 134.13
  "   "       "       " image and bell 444.20
  "   "       "       " nails 295.77
  "   "       "       " sundry articles got from storekeepers 717.14
  "   "       "       " for superintending-the building 1,500.00
  "   "       "       " for water spouts, which are procured, but not yet put up 247.45

Total amount $20,417.80     

To this statement Jacob Shoemaker and Thomas Martin, "auditors of public accounts for the county of Lycoming," affix their signatures, January 17, 1807, and declare it to be correct.

A SLICE FOR LYCOMING.

Early in 1804 Lycoming was called on to contribute the first slice from her territory to help form Centre county; but the legislature evidently believed in compensating her for the loss, for an act (see P. L. 1804, page 472) was passed annexing -

All that part of Luzerne county which lies west of the East Branch of the Susquehanna on the line between Pennsylvania and New York, at such place that from thence a due south line will strike the northwestern corner of Clavarack township; thence by the line of the said township about a southwest course, crossing the said. East Branch to the northernmost corner of the said township; thence by the south west side of the same to the southwest corner thereof, and from thence by a due west line to the line separating the counties of Luzerne and Lycoming.

Over this territory Lycoming exercised a "protectorate" for several years, as she did over Tioga, Potter, and McKean. It was the only territory ever given to her.

BOUNTIES FOR SCALPS.

The court now having a permanent habitation and a home, the judicial machinery moved more smoothly and business was despatched with greater celerity. At this early stage of our history the country was filled with wild and savage animals, and to encourage their destruction the legislature authorized the commissioners to pay a bounty of $8 for wolf and panther scalps. It is interesting to look over the books of the commissioners and. note the bounties that were paid from 1806 to 1810 and 1812. Payments seem to have commenced in 1806, and a few items gathered from the books at random will show the reader of today what was once a profitable business for hunters and trappers:

Oliver Hays for one full grown wolf head, certificate being produced, $8.......Scovel Baily, for two wolf heads, $16.......September 3, 1806, Josiah Furman, one wolf head, $8.......Frederick Bodine, do., $8.......Adam Konkle, do., $8....... John Jordan, do., $8.......John Hildebrand. do., $8.......John Morrison, do., $8.......December 1, 1806, Bethlehem Thompson, three wolf heads, $24.......October 6, Joseph Riely, one panther head and three puppies, $20.......October 16,1807, Benjamin Reynolds, for one full grown panther, $8.......William Dewitt, one full grown panther, $8.......William Smith, one panther head, $8.......November 6,1807, Edward Edwards, one wolf head, $8.......November 8, Elias Needham, two panther heads, $16.......December 1, two wolf heads, $16.......Edward Baison, four panther heads, $32.......William Dewit, one do., $8.......John Quigle, one wolf head, $8.......Titus Ives, two do., $16.......Abraham Webster, two panther heads, $16.......January 30, 1808, David Caldwell, one wolf head, $8.......February 1, William Smith, one panther head, $8.......John Kelse, do., $8.......Ebenezer Bacon, do., $8.......Robert Forsman, one wolf head, $8.......May 8, David Lusk, do., four, $32.......June 20, Robert Forsman, one wolf head, certified by John Platt, $8.

Red fox scalps only commanded 26 cents, consequently few were offered, when wolves and panthers were plenty and brought $8 each. For the year 1810 wolf and panther beads cost $234, and for 1812, $288 were paid, showing that the animals were still numerous. In 1825, however, they seem to have been more vigorously hunted, for the commissioners that year paid $408.84 for scalps.

COST OF HOLDING EARLY COURTS.

Compared with today the cost of holding our early courts was small. The traverse jury for May session, 1807, cost $40. Moses Tool was paid $24 in full for ringing the bell and crying court one year ending May 9, 1807." The grand jury for February term, 1808, cost $38, and the traverse jury for the same term $98. For August term, 1808, the grand jury received $48, and the traverse jury $108. Jonathan Walker, for serving as deputy attorney general (prosecuting attorney) from 1798 to February, 1800, was paid $57.60.

The total amount of the county assessment for the year 1810 reached $6,197.20, but this included the townships of Athens, Ulster, and Burlington in what is now Bradford county, and Pine, Dunstable, Wayne, Nipponese, and Bald Eagle, Clinton county. In 1813 the total assessments reached $8,307.35, but two more townships had been added in the Bradford county territory. The total number of townships at that time was nineteen, twelve of which were without the present limits of the county.

THE NORTHEASTERN BOUNDARY LINE.

Trouble arose between Bradford and Lycoming regarding the northeastern boundary line. Judge Eldred (see Now and Then, page 184) thus describes the dispute and its final settlement:

The act of February 20, 1810, required a direct line to be drawn from a point on the Lycoming line (then only an imaginary one) to the southeast corner of Tioga county (which corner had never been fixed) at the Beaver Dam on Towanda creek. No commissioners were appointed by this act or its supplement of March 28, 1811, to run and mark the line, and indeed it was unnecessary, for the whole length of it was supposed to be through a wilderness without inhabitants. But the construction of the Berwick and Newtown (Elmira) turnpike a few years later, induce settlers to locate on or near this boundary line, and in consequence to create a necessity for its being run and marked. Hence, during the year 1816, the commissioners of Bradford county took the initiative and employed Judge Stevens, then a prominent surveyor, who resided a few miles below Towanda, to do the work. Having organized a corps he proceeded to the Beaver Dani, at the head of Lycoming and Towanda (creeks, and, mistaking a sugar corner of a tract of land for the corner of Tioga county, ran and marked his line through to that of Luzerne county. Not knowing of the error, a number of honest Dutchmen on the route were surprised to find themselves instead veritable Yankees, and booked for Meansville [Towanda] instead of Williamsport.

Edward J. Eldred, who had been commissioned a justice of the peace for Lycoming county by Thomas McKean, now supposed himself a private citizen of Bradrord, and for several months declined to act as a magistrate. The mishap of Judge Stevens was, however, soon after discovered and admitted by all the parties concerned, and for a subsequent decade affairs along the line remained in statu quo.

But the modus vivendi which existed between the commissioners of the two counties became strained and of little value in 1826. Taxes were demanded of certain inhabitants by both counties, and the authorities of each saw plainly that something- had to be (tone. lt was therefore agreed, in the spring of 1827, that an effort should be made to fix upon and run the line that season. A conference for this purpose, to be composed of one commissioner and the deputy surveyor of Lycoming and of Bradford, were appointed to meet at the house of E. J. Eldred in the month of May following; and in pursuance thereof Thomas Hall, commissioner, and John A. Gamble, surveyor, reported at the time and place assigned, to represent Lycoming. The Bradford men failed to appear, but deputed Gordon F Mason, then a bright boy of sixteen, as a messenger to inform Hall and Gamble that they had concluded it was best to meet at the eastern corner of the counties, where they hoped to join them the next day. On the following day the parties met somewhere near the Luzerne county line and began a wrangle which, as usual, diverged as it progressed, until by mutual consent all hope of all amicable settlement of the question in dispute was given up and the belligerents returned to their respective homes "muttering threatenings."

It was now Lycoming's turn to run and mark the disputed line as claimed by it. Accordingly, in the spring of 1828, preparations were made for doing so. In the meantime Thomas Hall had been elected sheriff, and Benjamin Jones con) missioner for the "Lower End." It, therefore, became the latter's duty to take charge of the surveying party, which he organized and provided for. Rev. Henry Lenhart was then, clerk to the county commissioners, and furnished the horse and vehicle, with the Ariver, Godfrey Lenhart, to carry the luggage and supplies. With directions intercept it where the State road crosses the line, although then a boy of only fourteen years, Godfrey fearlessly set out and felt his way over the uncouth roads near the period to the designated point. Benjamin Jones and John A. Gamble, with their crew - including the renowned Tim Gray for hunter - drove up Lycoming creek to the Beaver Dams at the sources of the Towanda, and beginning at a point as much too far north as Judge Stevens had south, began to run and mark line No. 2. There, was still at the west end of this line a wilderness of twenty miles or more to pass through, and having reached near the middle of it, the commissioners proposed to leave a reference, and make for the supply or luggage wagon the following day being Sunday. To (to this they had an alternative of going direct through the woods some ten miles, or by deflecting to the right, follow a path to the Hoagland settlement, and thence by road a much longer distance. Commissioner Jones and companions, except the surveyor and hunter, chose the longer and safer way, but Gamble and Gray proposed to go direct. Thus constituted, the parties separated, and now I will let Gamble tell what followed:

We had not gone far after leaving our companions," said Mr. Gamble, "until we heard a terrible racket in the woods to our right. Stopping to learn the cause, we were both astonished and paralyzed at seeing a herd of elks loping by us within a few yards. They had evidently been alarmed by something - perhaps our companions - but were soon in the thicket beyond us and out of sight. Looking at Gray, I said, "Tim, why did you not shoot one of those fellows? "This reminded him of having a gun on his shoulder, and a madder man for a moment you could hardly imagine. It demoralized him completely as a hunter for the rest of the trip, and also made him the butt end of witticism for the entire party.

On the following Monday the line was resumed and continued to the Luzerne boundary, but like the one run by Judge Stevens, it was wide of the mark, and served only to complicate the question now becoming one of magnitude.

Nothing but legislation could henceforth settle and adjust this chronic difficulty, and the General Assembly, at its next session, on March 8, 1829, enacted a law designating "William Jessup, of Susquehanna county, John Sturdevant, of Luzerne county, and Joseph Stilwell, of Union county, as commissioners, With authority to fix the corner of the counties of Lycoming, Bradford, and Tioga, at or near the Beaver Dams at the head of Towanda creek, in conformity with and according to the existing laws on this subject, and when so fixed to run the lines from aid corner to the point designated by law."

Of this commission Joseph Stilwell declined to act, which rendered it nugatory for that year. On the 14th of March, 1831, a supplement was enacted appointing Joseph F. Quay, of Centre, to fill the vacancy, and empowering the Governor to fill any future vacancies which occur. William Jessup subsequently declined also, and Charles Trcziyulny, of Centre, was appointed to fill his place. All the commissioners were surveyors and otherwise competent persons. They met and proceeded to the discharge of the duty assigned them in May of the same year, 1831.

After fixing the corner of Bradford, Lycoming, and Tioga, near the Beaver Dam on Towanda creek, they ran a testing line through to Luzerne, and then fixed the corner of Bradford and Lycoming on the line of the former, between those made by Stevens and Gamble. From this they ran back, marking their line conspicuously to the established corner at the Beaver Dam. Most of this line was run by Henry W. Trcziyulny, son of one of the commissioners, then a young man. The distance from corner to corner they returned as thirty-three miles and fifty-two perches. All parties interested have ever since respected their work as final.

THE NEW COURT HOUSE.

For years the court house was admired by the people and they pointed to it with pride as a model building. When the population and business increased a demand was made by the younger class for a larger and more modern building, but the old men could not entertain such an idea. "Look at it," they would say; "it was built when men did their work honestly." This feeling was so strong among the ruling class that public opinion could not be brought to consent to its being demolished. But the growth of the country was so rapid that it became apparent that the quaint old structure, with its curiously arranged court room and offices, must give way to the spirit of public improvement. It had stood there for sixty years, but it could not remain forever.

In 1858 the commissioners employed William Fink to furnish drawings for an addition to the old court house; but when they came to remove the roof and examine the walls, they were found to be so poorly constructed that they could not be utilized and it was evident that a new building would have to be erected. Samuel Sloan, an architect of Philadelphia, was engaged to furnish plans for a new building, and April 26, 1860, they were accepted. In the meantime a contract had been made with ex-Sheriff Rissell to do the work.

The contractor commenced rebuilding early in the spring of 1860, and pushed it with such vigor that the building was completed and ready for occupancy at March sessions, 1861. In the meantime the courts were held in Doebler's and Youngman's halls - the former being located on Pine street, and the latter on East Third street. The dimensions of the present court house are 116 feet 11 inches in length by 60 feet in width. It has projecting corners of 3 feet each way, making the entire length 122 feet 11 inches, and the width 66 feet. The first story is 12 feet 6 inches from floor to floor, and it contains offices for all the county officers, besides a chamber for the president judge. The second story contains the main court room, with a high ornamented coiling, a jury room, and a room which was used by the United States and circuit courts until other accommodations were provided for them in the new post office building in 1891. On the third story are jury rooms, and rooms for the meetings of the institutes held by the city teachers. The building stands in the center of a handsome square comprising Lots 177, 178, 179, and 180 of the original plot of the city, bounded on the south by West Third street and on the west by Pine street. The building originally cost $41,030, but it has undergone so many changes and improvements inside that it has cost the county up to this time nearly, if not altogether, $100,000. It is very conveniently arranged inside; is supplied with fire proof vaults for the public records, and an air of comfort and safety pervades every department.

The first court held in the new building was March sessions, 1861, and in the opening of his charge to the grand jury Judge Jordan said:

I congratulate you, the members of the bar, the officers of this court, and all who have business to transact in court, in the pleasant change from a small, inconvenient, unhealthy court room, to a permanent, beautiful, and convenient building; a building alike creditable to the citizens of Lycoming county, to the gentlemen who projected it, to the architect who planned it, the commissioners who contracted for it, and the mechanics who faithfully labored in its construction and completion.

On a stone tablet, embedded high up in the brick wall in the southwestern corner, this inscription may be seen:

1860
Michael Sypher, Thomas Lloyd, Samuel Harris - Commissioners.
Samuel Sloan, Architect.
D. S. Rissell, Builder

The same bell that was placed in the belfry of the original court house is in the present one; and the same "Image" ornaments the present dome. It is the representation of a female poising the scales of justice, but she is not blinded as was the custom of the ancients.

The same clock that was placed in position in 1861 notes the passing hours, with a face for the four cardinal points. In April, 1854, on the recommendation of Dr. S. Pollock, foreman of the grand jury, the commissioners were authorized to appropriate $200 towards its purchase. This sum being insufficient the deficiency was made up by private contributions. It was made in Cazenovia, New York, and cost $400. The original dials were of wood, but they were soon supplanted by glass, and the belfry is illuminated by gas at night so that the fleeting hours can be noted.


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