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FONTENELLE BANK - COUNTY COURTHOUSE

This building of handmade bricks was constructed in 1856 to serve as the Fontenelle Bank. During the financial Panic of 1857 the Fontenelle Bank failed as did most of the other poorly backed wildcat banks in the Nebraska Territory.

In 1861 by authority of the Territorial Legislature the building was acquired by Sarpy County for use as the courthouse. In 1875 the County Seat was moved to Papillion. The city of Bellevue then utilized the building as the Town Hall for more than three quarters of a century until 1960 when a municipal building was completed. In 1961 Mrs. Harold D. LeMar purchased the building for preservation. In 1969 this rare structure was entered in the National Register of Historic Places. In 1972, with the aid of a grant for historic preservation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development the building was purchased and later restored by the City of Bellevue.

In the history of Nebraska, buildings such as this have given service as the transition has been made from frontier settlements to modern communities. It has been preserved as one of the earliest public buildings in the State of Nebraska.

Mrs. Harold LeMar
Nebraska State Historical Society
Nebr. 370, Bellevue, Main and Mission Sts., northwest corner
Sarpy County
Marker 163

 


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Last updated 4 June 2004

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