Filed Under Lewistown

Fergus County Courthouse

Lewistown Courthouse Historic District

Although the Montana Territorial Legislature created Fergus County in 1885, the county seat of Lewistown waited twenty-two years to see this courthouse constructed. In 1890, the Fergus County Commission built a modest three-story brick courthouse for $10,000, the most it could spend without taxpayer approval. That building soon fell into disrepair and, in 1906, voters approved $100,000 for a new courthouse in the same location. Architect Newton C. Guantt of Yakima, Washington, designed the distinctive courthouse, and the commission accepted contractor William Oliver’s $108,000 bid. However, concerned citizens sued the county for exceeding bond authority. Gauntt revised his plans and Oliver’s subsequent bid of $91,000 was accepted. Built between 1907 and 1909, the Mission Revival style building blends classic architectural elements including a central dome with a four-faced clock, Ionic columns, and heavy cornices with curved Mission style gables. A terra-cotta arch over the entry topped with a decorative keystone accentuates the two-tone brick façade. Interior finishes feature imported Italian marble and Spanish tile, complementing the Mission Revival theme.

Images

Fergus County Courthouse
Fergus County Courthouse Exterior view Source: MontanaPictures.net Creator: MontanaPictures.net Date: September 25, 2004
Fergus County Courthouse
Fergus County Courthouse Exterior view, corner Source: MontanaPictures.net Creator: MontanaPictures.net Date: December 7, 2003
Fergus County Courthouse
Fergus County Courthouse Construction of Fergus County Courthouse Source: Lewistown Public Library Date: 1908
Fergus County Courthouse
Fergus County Courthouse View of the Fergus County Courthouse area and the Carnegie Library across the street. Corner of Main and 7th Ave. South. Source: Lewistown Public Library
Fergus County Courthouse
Fergus County Courthouse View from the corner of Main Street and 8th Avenue. Source: Lewistown Public Library

Metadata

Montana Historical Society, “Fergus County Courthouse,” Historic Montana, accessed March 5, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/3487.