Wyandotte County Bar Assoc.
Wyandotte County Courthouse
710 N. 7th Street
Kansas City, KS. 66101
Phone: (913) 573-2899
Fax: (913) 573-2892
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History of the Wyandotte County Courthouse
The Wyandotte County Courthouse is an historic spot in Kansas at
7th & Ann, built in 1927. It was called "The Million Dollar
On January 29, 1859, the county of Wyandotte was created by the
Territorial Legislature. The first courthouse was not even a
building. The county rented rooms at 3rd & Nebraska for county
offices. The county attorney used a room in the post office.
On June 6, 1859, a courtroom was on the 2nd floor of the Lipman
Meyer Building which, a month later, became the historic spot
where the Constitution of Kansas was made.
In 1860, a lot and building was purchased. The building was
moved to the front of the lot on Nebraska. The post office used
the building, too. So, the actual courthouse was also the first
post office, as well. A log jail was added at a cost of $200.00
on the back of the lot.
In 1867, the town felt the old courthouse was inadequate and
rented space for its offices and by 1870, the old jail was
condemned. The front building, (first courthouse) was sold and
made into a residence. The building was damaged by a storm in
1891 and was restored and moved to an adjoining lot. It now
bears the address of 328 Nebraska and because the street was
graded, it stands high above the street.
On May 9, 1882, eight (8) lots were purchased for a new
courthouse. The lot faced 7th Street on the east and reached
from State Avenue to Minnesota Avenue. This building was
completed in 1883 and for 44years was the seat of government in
As the population grew, new courts were added and still more
space was needed and had to be rented. The courthouse by 1920,
was judged to be inadequate and insufficient and was not worth
remodeling or replacing.
Public opinion grew hot as to where the new courthouse should be
built, but finally the Commissioner's selected the east 325 feet
of the block fronting on 7th Street from Ann to Barnett Avenues,
consisting of 30 lots, as the site for the new "Million Dollar
Courthouse", where we are today.
The cornerstone was laid July 12, 1927 with a big ceremony. In a
box placed in the cornerstone were the following articles:
This courthouse fronts 320 feet on 7th Street with a depth of
155 feet. It is six (6) stories high. It is built of "bedford
stone", with a super structure of steel and concrete. There is
not a supporting wall in the entire building, so that any floor
can be completely remodeled, should a need arise. Six (6) Doric
columns, 48 feet high are ornament features of the building
- 1 small American flag,
- 1 Kansas flag,
- Holy Bible,
- The 1926
proceedings of the Grand Lodge,
- Coins, 1 cent to $1.00,
- A list
of state officers,
- A list of county officers,
- A list of the
officers of the Grand Lodge,
- A notation of the number of miles
of paved roads in Wyandotte County,
- The population of the county
in 1926, 133,897 residents,
- The number of automobiles licenses
in the county in 1926, 25,629 plates,
- A copy of the oration of
Judge U.S. Guyer,
- A picture of the first courthouse, present
courthouse and the new $1,000,000.00 building,
- A copy of the
Kansan, Armourdale Press, the Kansas City Star,
- A statement of
- A statement of county commissioner's, a date of
- An account of work being done on the courthouse,
sack of wheat grown on a Wyandotte County farm, forming a part
of $150,000,000.00 wheat crop,
- A statement from the
Chamber of Commerce on the number of industries in the
Today, even the "Million Dollar Courthouse" is not big enough,
so behind the courthouse, construction is under way to add the
needed space for a new jail, district attorney's offices,
parking and more, which now, in 1999 is called the "Criminal
Justice Complex. It is connected to the "Million Dollar
Courthouse" by a long hallway. Security gates are now in use.