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Calhoun County Courthouse

The Calhoun County Courthouse is a 1909 building composed of a rectangular central wing flanked on all sides by a variety of projections. The courthouse includes arched double-hung windows, and arched doorways form the exterior of the first floor. The second floor houses paired, rectangular windows. While devoid of many intricacies, the building demonstrates common Classical and Colonial Revival details. On December 12, 1976, the courthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Calhoun County Courthouse is at 309 W. Main St. in Hampton (Calhoun County), 200 feet north of the Hampton Cemetery and slightly west of the Hampton Masonic Lodge Building, both of which are also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Constructed in 1909, the two-story building was designed by Frank W. Gibb of Little Rock (Pulaski County) and contracted by E. L. Koonce. A number of Gibb-designed buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The building replaced the original courthouse, which had been built in October 1851, before Hampton was an incorporated town. The most distinctive feature of the new courthouse is the three-and-a-half-story clock tower, located on the northeastern corner. A four-faced clock rests inside a pyramidal-roofed cupola with arched openings. This has made the courthouse a local landmark, as the courthouse is considered by many to be the most architecturally relevant structure in the county.

In the courtroom and elsewhere on the first floor, the original pressed-tin ceilings tower eighteen feet above the floor, and the actual courtroom itself has the only set of wood risers remaining in an Arkansas courthouse, seating viewers on eight levels of bleachers. The only addition, a one-story brick wing, was added in 1969 to house the county jail.

For additional information:
“Calhoun County Courthouse.” National Register of Historic Places nomination form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/CA0005.nr.pdf (accessed May 18, 2015).

Gill, John Purifoy, and Marjem Jackson Gill. On the Courthouse Square in Arkansas. N.p.: 1980.

Danny Groshong
Little Rock, Arkansas

Last Updated 5/18/2015

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