Douglas County Courthouse, Omaha
The 1912 building was designed in the French Renaissance Revival style by local architect John Latenser, Sr.. Decorative stonework covers the structure's exterior, and the building serves as a prominent landmark in Downtown Omaha. Built south of the old courthouse, the building is six stories tall along Harney Street and five stories along Farnam. While the exterior walls are covered with unembellished Bedford stone, the interior halls have mosaic floors and marble wainscotings. Hardwood covers the interior of most offices, and vaults preserve county records. There were county offices on the main floor, second and third floors, and courtrooms on the fourth floor. The Douglas County Jail was on the fifth floor.
In September 1919, following Red Summer and racial riots in numerous industrial cities, a mob of thousands of men from South Omaha surrounded and attacked the Courthouse seeking to lynch an African-American worker named Willy Brown (accused of assaulting a white woman). Young men broke windows and climbed the outside of the building. After a few hours, thousands more gathered and they set the courthouse on fire to force the police to hand over the suspect.
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Douglas County Courthouse on Map
Walking Tours in Omaha, Nebraska
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 Km or 3.5 Miles