Randolph County Courthouse

The Randolph County Courthouse is an Art Deco–style brick and concrete building erected in 1940–1941 as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project in Pocahontas (Randolph County). The courthouse was built in a natural depression of one city block across the street to the west from what became known as the Old Randolph County Courthouse, the former seat of county government. The Randolph County Courthouse, which houses the offices and government of Randolph County, was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 22, 1996.

Citizens of Randolph County voted their approval for the building of a new courthouse in 1940. After the election, Judge Joe S. Decker appointed an advisory board and building commissioners for the construction of the new courthouse. E. V. Bird Construction Company and Eugene John Stern were chosen as the building contractor and architect, respectively. Construction began in February 1940 and was completed the next year. Randolph County dedicated its new courthouse on December 28, 1940. The courthouse cost approximately $130,000, which was financed in part by $85,901 from a $78,000 bond issue and a $49,250 grant from the WPA.

In the northeastern corner of the courthouse grounds stands a war memorial honoring Randolph County veterans, while in the northwest corner sits a memorial to Sergeant James Ray Hand of the Pocahontas Police Department, who was shot in the line of duty. Also on the grounds is a puce-colored rock on the east side of the walkway, allegedly a meteorite that crashed into the Black River (though scientists claim otherwise).

For additional information:
Dalton, Lawrence. History of Randolph County. Little Rock: Democrat Printing and Lithographing Company, 1946.

“Randolph County Courthouse.” National Register of Historic Places nomination form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/RA0039.nr.pdf (accessed November 9, 2020).

Zachary Elledge
Jonesboro, Arkansas


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