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.
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 &
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
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