Ford courthouse seats to be auctioned
PAXTON — People will a chance to own a piece of Ford County history next week when an auction is held to sell off all 95 courtroom seats believed to be original to the 108-year-old courthouse.
The wooden seats will be sold by the row. There are 13 rows with seven seats and one row with four seats, said Tom McQuinn, a member of the Ford County Public Building Commission, which is conducting the auction.
The auction is scheduled for 1 p.m. on July 8 at the courthouse. Both open and closed bids will be accepted at that time.
The building commission opted to sell the seats as part of a courtroom renovation project it is financing. The old seats will be replaced with upholstered, padded benches, McQuinn said, and the existing tile floor will be covered by carpet.
The benches, which will vary in size, will make the courtroom compliant with handicapped-accessibility requirements. The seating capacity of 95 is expected to remain unchanged, McQuinn said.
The work should be done in July. Temporary seating will be used until the permanent seating is installed, McQuinn said.
The county's first courthouse was finished on Feb. 13, 1862. The existing courthouse was built in 1906.
Will Brumleve is editor of the Paxton Record, a News-Gazette community newspaper. For more, visit paxtonrecord.net.