Mt. Vernon's public square was laid out in 1816. The present court house, built in 1876 at a cost of $95,000, dominates the public square with its Italianate-style elegance. The brick and stone building is lavishly decorated with bracketed projecting cornices, wide returns at the eave lines, and a spectacular cupola. The latter features columnar pilasters and round-arched windows supporting a cornice above which are elliptical arches and a dome, containing oculi between its ridge lines.
A collection of late-nineteenth century storefronts along the west side of the square provides a snapshot of facades common to many commercial buildings of the period. The Alvin P. Hovey residence, built in the early 1850's, graces the northeast corner of the square (not shown). Hovey was born in Mt. Vernon in 1821, and had a brilliant career as a soldier before he was appointed U.S. Minister to Peru. He was elected to the U. S. Congress in 1886 and in 1888 became the Governor of Indiana. He died in office in 1891.
South of the courthouse is a World War memorial Coliseum built in the mid-1920's. The three entry doors is the first floor signify the branches of military service at the time the Army, The Navy, and the Marine Corps. During the disastrous Ohio River Flood of 1937, the Coliseum served as a hospital and dormitory for citizens displaced by the flood waters.
By the way:
The limestone for the courthouse was quarried in Bedford, Indiana.