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The Men Behind the Courthouse

The Men Behind the Courthouse

by Rachel Ehnert, Communications Specialist for Weld County

Today, it’s hard to imagine Weld County without its stunning limestone and marble courthouse—it’s the most prominent and well-known building in the county. However, of course, it wasn’t always there. Before that impressive structure was built, a smaller red-brick structure existed, which was quickly becoming too small to accommodate court and county operations.

Despite this increasingly problematic issue, the new courthouse almost wasn’t built. Because of a neighboring county’s disastrous attempt at building a new courthouse in the decade before, residents were understandably cautious. See, this county had let the interest of the construction costs get out of hand, resulting in a doubling of the overall cost of their structure. And, as this had happened only ten or so years before Weld County began plans for its own new courthouse, the debacle was still fresh in the minds of taxpayers.

Thanks to the insight and responsible choices of the three sitting commissioners, however, the structure was complete with beautiful detailing and absolutely no long-term debt. Today, the structure still stands proud with no foundational cracks—a true testament to the quality of the design and construction of the building.

But, who were these champions of our courthouse? Who can we thank for this “jewel of the county,” which still draws admiration and is still in use a century later? George A. Hodgson, W.C. Levis, and T.E. Rowe were the sitting county commissioners at the time of the courthouse’s design and construction (with Hodgson having retired from his position just a few months before the opening ceremony). But their most recognizable accomplishment, the Weld County Courthouse, is far from their only. These men lived rich lives shaped not only by their positions as county commissioners but also by their Frontier lifestyles.