Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

The accompanying picture, taken by Warsaw photographer H. C. Milice on November 14, 1882, shows our county's court house square at the time our present court house was under construction.

The view is from the corner of Center and Buffalo streets. The tool houses of the contractor, Hiram Iddings, can be seen in the foreground. This picture was taken nearly six months after the cornerstone laying, which had taken place the previous May 25.

This photograph belongs to Mrs. Oscar Hugo, of Warsaw, whose grandfather, Henry P. Kelly, was one of the county commissioners at the time.

Mrs. Hugo also has in her possession a copy of the specifications for the court house drawn by Architects T. J. Tolan and Son, of Fort Wayne. These specifications are in a 66-page printed booklet which gives in minute detail just how the building was to be constructed.

Evidently this particular booklet was one which was sent to a contractor named Richardson. It contains the signatures of both Richardson and the county auditor, James S. Baker, as well as a hand written page of modifications which the prospective builder had added to the contract.

It was not until the summer of 1884, twenty months after this picture was taken, that the building was complete. According to the 1887 county history, the building cost a total of $197,799.65.

We are indebted to both Mrs. Hugo and her sister, Mrs. Nelle Neal, for furnishing information, and for making it possible for us to inspect these historical materials.

Warsaw Times-Union Sat. Nov. 14, 1953