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Arkansas Properties on the National Register of Historic Places: Pike County Courthouse, Murfreesboro

Arkansas Historic Preservation Program - Monday, February 09, 2015

The Pike County Courthouse at Murfreesboro was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 16, 1986. You can read this and other Arkansas National Register nominations at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/historic-properties/national-register/search.aspx.

SUMMARY

Located on the Murfreesboro court square, the Pike County Courthouse was constructed in 1932 with funds obtained through a bond issue of fifty-thousand dollars. Employing the finest architects, the structure was built upon the site of three former courthouses. The town’s business district grew to surround this site where Pike County’s political and governmental activity took place. Due to its role in community planning, politics, and government and as the only Art Deco style structure in the area the Pike County Courthouse is an important representative of the history of Pike County.

ELABORATION

Built in 1932 at a cost of forty-five thousand six-hundred dollars, the Pike County Courthouse is the fourth structure to serve the area at the county government level.

Pike County was created by an act of the State Legislature in 1833 with the temporary county seat fixed at the home of Pascal C. Sorrells in the town of Zebulon. At a location near where the present structure stands the town built a log courthouse when the town changed its name to Murfreesboro in 1836. In the spring of 1855 the log structure burned, along with all county records to that date. The next courthouse, built in 1856 by contractors Moses and Jackson Brock, was a two-story frame building surmounted by a cupola. In 1895 the frame structure burned along with all records. The second courthouse was replaced by a two-story brick building constructed in 1897 and served the county until it was razed in 1932 to make way for the present structure.

Construction of the Art Deco building was funded through a fifty-thousand dollar bond issue. After its passage the architectural firm of Witt, Siebert and Halsey of Texarkana, Arkansas, was employed to draw plans. In the October 23, 1931, issue of the “Pike County Courier” it was reported that a bid offered by contractors May and Sharp had been accepted and the building reached completion in March of 1932.

Art Deco-inspired courthouses are built throughout the 1930’s in Arkansas. An Art Deco Courthouse much like the Pike County Courthouse stands in the town of DeQueen in Sevier County. Excepting later additions to the Sevier County Courthouse the floor plan is the same as the courthouse in Murfreesboro.

Due to the Pike County Courthouse’s role in county government, its historic location and its distinctive Art Deco Style, the Pike County Courthouse is an important representative of Pike County’s heritage.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Pike County Courier, October 23, 1931, p. 1.

Mr. Hastings Boyd, born July 19, 1910, in Murfreesboro where he now lives.



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