Wise County Courthouse

In 1856 the first courthouse of Wise County was located in the old Primitive Baptist Church. However, due to the small size of the building the newly elected clerk had no quarters, he had to carry most of his court papers under his hat until a place could be provided for them. A little log corncrib was cleaned out and became our first clerk’s office. 

Daniel Ramey who owned the land where the town of Wise is now located, gave one acre of land to the county commissioners for the express purpose of locating a public square, with the primary objective to be the erection of a courthouse. 

The early seat of government was to be built of hewn logs, two stories high, 30 feet by 45 feet. The said building was built at a cost of $434.36.
The building was sufficient for early county business until it was burned in 1864 by Federal troops during the Civil War. From that point many and varied places were used as a temporary courthouse, including Noah Bruce’s bar room in the Old Virginia Hotel.

In 1865 Governor Pierpoint being concerned for the rambling method of holding court, issued a proclamation that the court be held in the Daniel Ramey house until a new courthouse could be built. The court, however, kept moving from place to place until 1867 when the commissioners purchased a house and lot from Charles W. Kilgore to be used as a permanent courthouse. The house was located on the corner where Nell Elliott’s restaurant now stands. (2001 now the Thompson & Litton property).
The court was moved in 1876 to its present site in a temporary building. Twenty years later Milbourn Gillian and Creed Flanary built the present courthouse twenty. In 1920 records storage was added to the south side of the annex. Other than annual maintenance and occasional renovation the old courthouse stood almost unchanged until now.

I am certain our ancestors and forefathers would feel proud that from a humble beginning in Daniel Ramey’s old corncrib this county court has grown to what we see today.

My enthusiastic concern for the Wise County Courthouse lies in the fact that my fourth great grandmother, Mary Bevins Stallard was the wife of Daniel Ramey and they donated the land where the courthouse now stands.

Speech given by Nancy Clark Baker
Dedication of Addition to Wise County Courthouse

Monday, Sept. 1, 1980

return to main page

Copyright Notice
All files on this site are copyrighted by their creator. They may not be reproduced on another site without specific permission from Vickie Sturgill Stevens . Although public information is not in and of itself copyrightable, the format in which they are presented, 

the notes and comments, etc., are.