Holmes County Courthouse

courthouseHolmes County’s Queen Anne/Romanesque courthouse in Lexington was built in 1894 (MDAH Historic Resources Inventory).  The architect was Walter Chamberlain & Co., and the builder was R. Jesty & Company.  Chamberlain was out of Knoxville/Birmingham, and Jesty from Winona via immigration from Bere-Regis, England, to Vaiden (MDAH/HRI).  Jesty also owned a lumber company and brick yard.

Since Lexington was founded specifically to serve as the seat of government for Holmes County, the town exhibits more formal planning than many other towns of similar size in Mississippi.  Its courthouse square is decidedly the symbolic (although not geographic) heart of town, and the courthouse itself is situated on a high point that can be seen from all major approaches. (J. V. O. Baughn, 2000, nomination form for Lexington Historic District National Register of Historic Places)

clock tower 2The red-brick two story structure is topped with an imposing clock tower.  Each of the four sides of the courthouse features a “tetrastyle portico” with cast iron columns (Todd Sanders, 1994, NRHP nomination form for Courthouse Complex).

The detail picture shows one of the four “square, pyramidal-roofed towers” featured on each corner of the building, with pediment “containing a bas-relief sunburst pattern” (Sanders).

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4 Responses to Holmes County Courthouse

  1. socialbridge says:

    Yet another gem. I could look at these buildings all day.

  2. Roger Truitt says:

    Inconclusive notes. The courthouse in Lexington, Mississippi (Holmes County) looks very much like the one in Nashville, Georgia (Berrian County). Built in 1894 and 1898, respectively. Noted architect William Nichols (1780-1853) is buried in Odd Fellows Cemetery, in the small town of Lexington, Mississippi. My notes say Holmes County courthouse was designed by architect Walter Chamberlain and Co. (Knoxville, TN) and built by contractor R. Jesty Co. (Winona, Mississippi). R. Jesty was originally from Beres-Regis, England. William Nichols was originally from Bath, England. Nichols was noted for his work designing significant public buildings in N. Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi, as well as holding paid architect-related positions in those states. Roger Truitt, Valdosta, Georgia. 1-11-15.

  3. Roger Truitt says:

    1-12-15. I visited the Berrien County Courthouse in Nashville, Georgia today. The plaque clearly states the courthouse was designed by architect Walter Chamberlain, and constructed by a company out of Brewton, Alabama. There seems to be some minor differences concerning the interior of the building, but, essentially the same structure. I spoke with Bryan Shaw (Berrien Historical Foundation-229-563-0586) who states there were some modifications to the structure in the past.The building is still in limited use today. Roger.

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