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Scotts Bluff, Nebraska

Morrill County Courthouse

Morrill County Courthouse
Morrill County Courthouse
National Park Service

The Morrill County Courthouse is located in Bridgeport and has a rich and venerable history. In 1907, a group of local Bridgeport residents petitioned Cheyenne County to hold an election to decide if the area comprising present-day Morrill County should become its own county. In the preceding decade, the region experienced tremendous growth. The introduction of the Burlington Railway and the generous provisions of the Kinkaid Act of 1904 encouraged new settlers to build homesteads in the area. After a community-wide vote in 1909, Morrill County officially separated from Cheyenne County.

The centrally located town of Bridgeport won the county seat election and moved quickly to construct a courthouse. Local citizens in Bridgeport passed a bond issue of $15,000 to finance the courthouse construction. The Bridgeport boosters took their quest for a new courthouse beyond the bond issue ballot box. In response to a request from the Bridgeport Commercial Club in 1908, the Lincoln Land Company, a subsidiary of the Burlington Railroad, agreed to help build a courthouse if Bridgeport was named the county seat by April 1, 1909. The county received $10,000 from the company when it complied with certain stipulations. The courthouse had to be brick, cost at least $15,000, and be completed in a timely manner. In addition, the company offered the county a courthouse site, a common railroad technique for ensuring that their rail stop was also a county seat. J.P. Eisentraut of Kansas City designed and the firm Winters and Shor of Atwood, Kansas built the courthouse. Construction began in June of 1910 and by August the courthouse was complete. The Morrill County Courthouse is still in use today with some of its former services now housed in the local law enforcement building.

The Morrill County Courthouse is an excellent, unaltered example of County Citadel architecture. Identifying features of the style include a rectangular shape, a centered entrance, costly materials, distinctive ornamentation, Classical Revival style influences, and an impression of a government building representing modernity and simplicity. The building is two stories set upon a raised basement. The courthouse exhibits Classical Revival style elements in its symmetrical arrangement, smooth surface finish, simple parapet and unadorned roofline, pedimented pavilions, and tall pilasters.

Plan your visit

The Morrill County Courthouse is located at 605 Main St. in Bridgeport, NE. The courthouse is open Monday-Friday, except holidays, from 8:00am to 4:30pm. For more information call 308-262-0860.

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