100 years of law and order

100 years of law and order

Wednesday 14 September 2022

Planned events for the centenary of the courthouse

Written by William Kincaid

image provided

Construction crews worked in 1922 on the construction of the Mercer County Courthouse. The courtroom was designated for Labor Day in 1923, according to Court of Appeals General Judge Jeffrey Ingraham.

SELENA – When Matt Hoffman, the president of the Ohio Senate, launched his law practice in 1985 and made his way to Mercer County, he was fascinated by the beautiful and glamorous courthouse in downtown Selina.

Such a building, he said, makes practicing law much easier and more enjoyable.

“Some of the courts are not as big as the Mercer County Courthouse,” he said. “In my field, it really is the most beautiful court. Smaller counties and smaller communities seem to take a lot of pride in their courts.”

“You should be really proud of what’s going on here.”

Hoffman and other powerful state legislators and judges on Tuesday morning joined elected and appointed local officials and other dignitaries for a breakfast to officially begin the courtroom’s centenary celebration.

image provided

The Daily Standard in September 1923 described the court, funded with $500,000 in voter-certified bonds, as a “real marble mansion.”

Photo by William Kinkade/The Daily Standard

Local officials speak Tuesday morning at the official start of the court’s centenary celebration.

The Anniversary Committee plans to host a series of events leading up to and during the official seven-day celebration scheduled for September 11-17, 2023.

The morning ceremony also acknowledged that District Three Court of Appeals judges “are visiting today to hear oral arguments in two cases currently in their court,” said Erin Minor, chair of the Anniversary Committee and the assistant district attorney.

The District Court was built in 1922 and designated on Labor Day 1923, noted Court of Appeals Judge Jeffrey Ingraham before presenting the Court of Appeals judges present for celebration before oral arguments.

“Built 100 years ago, its beauty, architecture and artistry have stood the test of time and continue to terrify first-time visitors as well as those who have passed through the court each working day,” Minor said.

Image via image file / The Daily Standard

Today, the Mercer County Courthouse is considered one of the most beautiful in Ohio. 40-foot-high Corinthian columns adorn the four entrances to the limestone Bedford Building in the heart of downtown Selina.

However, Minor noted, the court is much more than just a building. It represents the strength, durability and permanence of Mercer County. “This court and the hardworking, honest people who have worked here over the past century have helped the citizens of Mercer County achieve justice and right wrongs, legalizing marriages for high school sweethearts, strengthening property transfers for first-time homebuyers, and eventual adoptions for people who can wait,” she added. To be parents, in addition to providing many other essential services to the citizens of this province.”

Ohio House Speaker Bob Cobb (R-Lima) praised the court.

“It’s great to be back in Mercer County,” he said. “I’ve been here as an attorney, here as a senator. I’ve been here as an appeals court judge and now in another position.” “I have always thought the Mercer County Courthouse to be the most beautiful in our area—perhaps because they were built and built so few apart from each other. But the particular nature of the dome, the complexity is just so wonderful.”

Cope said the court is vital not only to the local judiciary.

“It’s also for officials serving the public, and that really makes the county court a very special building in the heart of every county,” he said. “It is a symbol of the entire province and its people as well. It is a landmark in the community… of beauty and stability, and it is also a focal point of pride and identity in the community.”

Above all, Cope said the courtroom is an upward symbol for something more important than what’s going on inside.

“And this is the process of local self-government…where citizens here in Mercer County and throughout Ohio for more than 200 years have elected their citizens, their friends, and their neighbors to administer…civil laws passed by the legislature to help organize the community and provide services for the welfare of the community.”

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