Osceola County Courthouse

Osceola County Courthouse

     Osceola County was carved from portions of Orange and Brevard Counties in 1887. The name honors the Seminole war leader. The county seat is Kissimmee, for which no translation has been determined, and which has been mispronounced by innumerable tourists in search of the Magic Kingdom.

     Wonderful old postcard view of the Osceola County Courthouse (Anne Kaylor Collection)The first Osceola County Courthouses were the residence of Kissimmee mayor J. H. Allen, who allowed its free use, followed by a three-story wooden structure originally utilized as an opera house. One of the first official acts of the new county's voters was to issue bonds for $30,000 to construct a permanent facility. The Osceola County Courthouse, designed in the Romanesque Revival style by architect F. C. Johnson, was built around 1889 by George H. Frost. It is the oldest of Florida's courthouses still in active use. Because Osceola County was, and is, cattle country, the courthouse grounds once had a pen for containment of wandering animals.

     The Osceola County Courthouse was completed in 1890, three years after Osceola County was created from portions of Orange and Brevard Counties.  The oldest courthouse in Florida inA classic postcard view of the Osceola County Courthouse (Anne Kaylor Collection) continuous use, the Osceola County Courthouse is a three-story red-brick building.  Typical of Romanesque revival courthouses constructed throughout the United States during the late 1800s, the building is one of four remaining in Florida.  The Romanesque architectural elements of the courthouse include the tower above the entrance, the round arches on the portico and above the doors, and the segmental arches above the windows.
Osceola County Courthouse A crowd gathers around the new Osceola County Courthouse Osceola County Courthouse
An early twentieth century view of the Osceola County Courthouse. The Osceola County Courthouse circa 1910

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Updated 12/07/08