A History of Dearborn County, Indiana

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A History of Dearborn County serves as a great historical resource for home school students and Indiana history buffs. It includes information on museums, historical markers, National Register of Historic Sites and other areas of historical interest in Dearborn County, Indiana. The guide is a great help in planning field trips as local parks and nature preserves are included in the book, as well. Readers will discover historical information on Dearborn County cities and towns like Aurora, Lawrenceburg, Greendale the smaller communities in the county. Home schooling parents and local history buffs can use the book as a guide to finding Dearborn County’s historical treasure for fun and educational field trips.

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Table of Contents

County History
Power of Indiana Counties
Local Government Organization in Indiana
Constitutionally Created County Officials
County Finances
Meetings and Records
Basic Dearborn County Information
Thumbnail History
Henry Dearborn
Dearborn County Court House
Incorporated Cities and Towns
Dillsboro, Indiana
Greendale, Indiana
Lawrenceburg, Indiana
Moores Hill, Indiana
Saint Leon, Indiana
Census-Designated Places
Hidden Valley
Unincorporated Communities
Dearborn County National Register of Historic Places
Aurora National Register of Historic Places Sites
Downtown Lawrenceburg Historic District
Dearborn County – Museums
Dearborn County Historical Markers
Indiana Historical Bureau Markers
Dearborn County Underground Railroad
Dearborn County Cemeteries
Dearborn County Parks
Dearborn County Fair
Dearborn County Fire Departments
Dearborn County Libraries
Dearborn County Auto Trails
Dearborn County Historic Bridges
Dearborn County Waterways
Dearborn County Time Line
Indiana County – Back Road Numbering System
About the Author
Mossy Feet Books Catalogue
Sample Chapter
Indiana’s Timeless Tales – Pre-History to 1781

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© 2020 Paul Wonning

Sample Chapter – Indiana’s Counties – Dearborn County Courthouse

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Indiana’s Counties
Dearborn County Courthouse

Dearborn County officials laid the cornerstone for Dearborn County’s fourth court house at a festive ceremony on April 13, 1871. The new court house would replace the first one, built in 1810, that had been gutted by a fire.
The First Court House
Built in 1810, the first Dearborn County Court House was a two story brick structure that mimicked the standard court house design of that period. It had a hip roof and octagonal cupola. This court house burned on March 26, 1826. Only the brick shell remained.
The “Second” Court House
Most of the county records burned in the fire so county officials asked Dearborn County residents to bring their deeds and other public records to Lawrenceburg to copy them by hand into the records. County commissioners decided not to build a new structure. They decided to use the exterior walls to house the building, constructing a new interior within the burned out walls. This building opened in 1828. The commissions authorized two annex buildings nearby to house the county clerk and the treasurer.
The Third Court House
On September 26, 1836 the county seat moved to Wilmington where it remained until it moved back to Lawrenceburg on January 4, 1844, when Indiana Governor James Whitcomb signed a law authorizing the creation of Ohio County and along with it the relocation of the county seat from Wilmington to Lawrenceburg.
The New Court House
By 1870 Dearborn County needed a new court house. The needs of the county had outgrown the capacity of the old court house. The commissioners inspected several Indiana court houses and decided they liked the Floyd County court house the best. The contacted the architect that designed it, George H. Kyle to build the new one. Mr. Kyle, a Virginia native living in Vevay since about 1840, had designed other court houses and had built up an excellent reputation. He drew up plans which the commissioners accepted on June 15, 1870. Construction of the structure took three years and was completed in 1873. The cost of the courthouse was $135,775.00. During the construction county functions took place in the Odd Fellows building at the intersection of High and Walnut Streets.
Cornerstone Ceremonies
The cornerstone laying ceremony took place with an estimated 5,000 spectators on April 13, 1871 and included guest speaker Louis Jordan. County officials included a time capsule in the cornerstone in which they secreted many items from the period. These included histories of the Masons, Odd Fellows, Druids, Good Templars as well as Lawrenceburg religious societies. They also inserted other historic documents, continental money and old coins from the Revolution.
Completion of the Court House
Workers completed construction in 1873. During the three years construction the Odd Fellows Hall served as the temporary Court House. The building cost $135,775.00 to build. It was a three story building that included city hall offices and a public opera house. The magnificent court room occupied the back half of the second floor. Built from pearl gray limestone quarried at Elliotsville, Indiana the Greek Revival three structure features four fluted columns and an arched doorway. Most of the interior features of the Court House have remained unchanged from the original structure, including the wooden and iron doors and the folding iron window shutters. Five rooms in the courthouse retain their original fireplaces. The courthouse included city offices, an opera house and a seventy foot long by fifty foot wide court room on the second floor. Community public ceremonies took place in the court room and included high school graduations and political rallies. The court room was divided in 1903 by order of Judge George E. Downey .

Note Card – Dearborn County Landmark Series # 1

Note Card – Dearborn County Landmark Series # 1

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6 Familiar landscapes from around Dearborn County
Lesko Park
Guilford Covered Bridge
Ohio River at Lesko Park
Carnegie Hall – Moore’s Hill
Angevine Log Cabin – Lawrenceburg

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