Porter County Sheriff's Department

History of the Porter County Courthouse

The Courthouse was originally built in 1837 by John D. Wilson. In 1885, it was destroyed by fire and rebuilt. In 1934, a second fire caused extensive damage and it was again rebuilt.

On December 27, 1934, the courthouse was again spotted on fire, shortly after midnight. The fire was discovered by Tracy Elgin, a merchant policeman making his nightly rounds of the downtown business district.

Officer Elgin ran to the firehouse and sounded the alarm. The local fire brigade requested assistance from Gary and LaPorte Fire Departments as well.

At one time the flames were so high that it appeared to be in the glare of the noonday sun.  The fire was too much for the fire brigades to contain.  By morning the roof and tower were destroyed and the upper floor and attic were in ruins. The lower level, which contained County Offices and County Records were largely undamaged this time.

The three story tower and front stairs located on the south side were removed. The ground was graded so that the basement became the ground floor and a fourth floor was also added at this time.

1999-2012 Porter County Sheriff. All rights reserved. Page design by Edie Hahn.