New perspective on ‘new’ Quay County Courthouse

By Lynn Moncus

As many of you recall, my family lived in the Quay County Courthouse for alot of years – long enough that we called it home and felt that it played a major part in our lives.We were privileged to watch it being built and to be present when it was dedicated by Governor John E. Miles and many other dignitaries.

When we moved into the new residence in 1940, the flag pole was on the terrace at the north end of the building where it was guarded by a machine gun from WWI. Later the pole was placed below the terrace a few feet away from the original location, and the machine gun disappeared to be replaced for a while by a large gun from WWII.

We now have the third flagpole in place just south of the entrance. That was a good move because the flags were rather hard to see behind the tall trees. Of course, my imagination may be at work, but I believe this is the shortest pole we have had, and it certainly is the only one with a gold orb at the top. The flags now stand out beautifully with the building as their background.

Through the years, many changes have occurred inside the courthouse, butfew have happened on the outside. The stairway to the basement entrance to what was the County Agent’s Office was a nice addition because that hole at the north end was rather useless except that it contained windows that helped give light to what was once the Assembly Room. It was much too deep for children to climb out of when the neighborhood bully would throw our skates and scooters into it. Two of us would have to lower ourselves in and then pitch the items out. Next, one would let the other climb on his shoulders, and once that one got on top, he would hold down a scooter to help the other climb up. We certainly got plenty of exercise in those days and had great fun despite that major bully.

The addition of the connection to the Detention Center was also helpful inorder to avoid losing too many prisoners between the two buildings. Also the ramp at the north end of the building certainly helped the physically challenged people enter without having to maneuver the steps at that entrance.

Of course, the many antennae atop the building were not needed in the early days but now help a bit with communications, etc. Also, the small, white panels near the third floor balcony are about the only attachments to the building itself. The locks on the outer doors have also been “modernized” by adding the panic bars to make exits simple in the event that the doors have been locked from the outside. We used to have to lock and unlock those doors, especially if we were using them after hours.

We are aware that some people are most definitely wanting a new courthouse, and they will probably have their wishes fulfilled.

At least one of us is sure that the new building won’t be as beautiful as the present one and that it won’t represent our history nearly as well. Let’s just continue to salute the flag each time we pass and enjoy what many of us still call “The New Quay County Courthouse.”