The Fremont County Courthouse

450 North 2nd Street

The Fremont County Courthouse - The first permanent county courthouse was built in 1886 (completed in February 1887), four years before Wyoming became a state at a cost of $25,235.  The land for the courthouse was donated by Eugene Amoretti, Sr.  Offices were on the first floor and a courtroom was on the second floor.  Through the years, additions were built to keep pace with the country’s growth.

Arthur M. Sparhawk, was the first Sheriff to have his office and living quarters in the jail section of the courthouse.  In 1887 Fremont County included portions of Sublette County, Hot Springs County, Washakie County and all of Big Horn and Park counties. This was a huge area for the sheriff and a couple of deputies to cover.  Sparkhawk took his job seriously and placed an ad in the newspaper, “Boys, if you would save trouble take off those ugly shooting irons when in town.  Sheriff Sparhawk has given you timely notice and he means business.”

The newer version of the courthouse you see today was opened in 1956, and the original structure was demolished after the move to the new building was complete. The original courthouse stood in The green space where the cannon is located today.

Fremont County's first courthouse was also the county jail and was, for a short time, home to the infamous Butch Cassidy. It was in this very courthouse in 1894, Butch was jailed, tried and convicted of knowingly purchasing a stolen horse. Fremont County Sheriff Charlie Stough escorted Butch to Laramie, WY to serve out his sentence at the State Prison.

From the early 1950's through the early 1980's the Fremont County Sheriff lived in an apartment (now the Fremont County Attorney's office) attached to the jail.  Quite an adventure for a child of one Sheriff who remembers hearing inmates banging on cells hollering for cigarettes, inmates of the jail tending a strawberry patch outside of the apartment and sitting with the dispatchers listening to calls and keeping her own little call log.

One Sheriff remembers several occasions when an intoxicated person, looking to turn themselves in for a place to sleep, would walk into the living room of the Sheriff's apartment and ask, "is this the jail" while he was watching TV when they forgot to lock the apartment door for the evening.

 

Comments are closed.