: This color image shows an exterior view of the Old Mahoning County Courthouse, Canfield, Ohio, ca. 1960-1969.
Mahoning County was created in 1846 by combining townships from southern Trumbull and northern Columbiana counties. Canfield competed successfully with several surrounding communities to become the new county's seat. Its success was attributed to its central location and also to the political influence of Judge Eben Newton and Elisha Whittlesey, Esq., comptroller of the United States Treasury from 1849-1857. The State of Ohio required the county to provide "a suitable lot and $5,000 toward public buildings." Judge Newton donated the land and spearheaded the subscription of the state-required bond.
This Greek Revival courthouse was completed in 1848, and an Italianate-style west wing was added in 1862.
Canfield's governmental status was challenged in the early 1870s when Youngstown, by now a city, resumed its earlier quest to become the county seat. To meet the challenge, Canfield hired James A. Garfield, future president of the United States, to defend it before the Ohio Supreme Court. The Court's 1876 decision favored Youngstown, thus ending Canfield's era as the seat of Mahoning Valley government. With government records removed to Youngstown, the property reverted to Judge Newton, who donated it for educational purposes.
For more than four decades the old courthouse housed both private and public schools until a 1923 public auction by the Canfield Village Board of Education dispensed with the building. Now under private ownership, the former courthouse served many commercial enterprises, including the temporary return of a county district court. An exterior restoration in the 1960s and the reconstruction of the missing bell tower returned the aging beauty to its present status as one of Ohio's finest examples of public architecture. The Old Mahoning County Courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. View on Ohio Memory.
: AL06629 Subjects
: Courthouses; Justice centers; Justice--Administration of; National Register of Historic Places; Mahoning County (Ohio); Canfield (Ohio); Local government Places
: Canfield (Ohio); Mahoning County (Ohio)