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Stark County Courthouse Celebrates 200 Years with Tours, Plays and a Ball

The Stark County Courthouse in Canton is celebrating its bicentennial.
The Stark County Courthouse in Canton is celebrating its bicentennial.

Stark County is celebrating the 200th birthday of one of the oldest courthouses in Ohio, and began this weekend with tours, plays and a grand ball. 

“One of the things you’ll see inside the courtroom is they still have the rope. It was the first and only execution of juveniles in the history of Stark County…”

President William McKinley's funeral in Canton after his assassination.
Credit M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU
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President William McKinley's funeral in Canton after his assassination.

The tour of the courthouse on Canton’s main square began even before people stepped onto the aged marble of the foyer, and continued up wide staircases, beneath massive chandeliers and into the courtroom where President William McKinley launched his political career as Stark County prosecutor. The courtroom is occupied by Judge Frank Forchione now, and he greeted visitors in judicial robes.

“I think people are always curious about the justice system. They’re curious about the figures that are in it. … And now they start to realize that this is their government, so they want to come down and be a part of it.”

The courthouse today has just one dominant tower topped by the Trumpeters of Justice, massive statues most people know as "the courthouse angels."
Credit M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU
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The courthouse today has just one dominant tower topped by the Trumpeters of Justice, massive statues most people know as "the courthouse angels."

The original courthouse was built on the site in 1817, and torn down in 1870, The current building, topped by the massive angels formally known as the Trumpeters of Justice, was last open to the public following an extensive renovation in 1995.

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