Difference between revisions of "Jefferson County Courthouse Bessemer Division"

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The '''Jefferson County Courthouse Bessemer Division''' is the secondary location for the [[Jefferson County Courthouse]], serving western [[Jefferson County]] from the city of [[Bessemer]]. The building associated with that name was the predecessor to the current [[Jefferson County Bessemer Justice Center]].
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The '''Jefferson County Courthouse Bessemer Division''' is the secondary location for the [[Jefferson County Courthouse]], serving western [[Jefferson County]], the so-called "Bessemer cutoff", from a separate courthouse in the city of [[Bessemer]]. The building associated with that name was the predecessor to the current [[Jefferson County Bessemer Justice Center]].
  
 
Justice of the Peace court had been held in Bessemer since its establishment in [[1887]]. A [[Jefferson County Circuit Court]] was authorized there in [[1893]] with a [[Birmingham]] judge presiding. Court proceedings were held in [[Rebie Hall]] until its destruction by fire in [[1913]]. In [[1914]] state representative [[W. S. Welch]] sponsored legislation establishing a new branch of the [[10th Judicial Circuit of Alabama]] with its own judge "in residence". Court was held at the [[Bessemer City Hall]] while plans for a new courthouse got underway.
 
Justice of the Peace court had been held in Bessemer since its establishment in [[1887]]. A [[Jefferson County Circuit Court]] was authorized there in [[1893]] with a [[Birmingham]] judge presiding. Court proceedings were held in [[Rebie Hall]] until its destruction by fire in [[1913]]. In [[1914]] state representative [[W. S. Welch]] sponsored legislation establishing a new branch of the [[10th Judicial Circuit of Alabama]] with its own judge "in residence". Court was held at the [[Bessemer City Hall]] while plans for a new courthouse got underway.
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The three-story brick building faced [[3rd Avenue Bessemer|3rd Avenue]] at the corner of [[18th Street Bessemer|18th Street]]. It was expanded with another 3-story section in [[1949]] and both building were extensively renovated in [[1955]], [[1966]] and [[1970]].
 
The three-story brick building faced [[3rd Avenue Bessemer|3rd Avenue]] at the corner of [[18th Street Bessemer|18th Street]]. It was expanded with another 3-story section in [[1949]] and both building were extensively renovated in [[1955]], [[1966]] and [[1970]].
  
On [[October 30]], [[1967]] [[Martin Luther King, Jr]] was booked into the courthouse jail on contempt charges stemming from his involvement in the [[1963]] [[Birmingham Campaign]].
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A [[1953]] law split the voting for [[Jefferson County District Attorney]]s geographically, with residents of the "Bessemer cutoff" electing their prosecutors seperately.
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On [[October 30]], [[1967]] [[Martin Luther King Jr]] was booked into the courthouse jail on contempt charges stemming from his involvement in the [[1963]] [[Birmingham Campaign]].
  
 
A 7-story [[Bessemer Annex|Annex]] was completed in [[1980]] with four floors of enclosed parking. The original courthouse was renovated in [[1990]] with the abatement of hazardous materials and upgrading of finishes and fixtures. Another renovation in [[2009]] prepared the building for new county office functions after the construction of the new Justice Center.
 
A 7-story [[Bessemer Annex|Annex]] was completed in [[1980]] with four floors of enclosed parking. The original courthouse was renovated in [[1990]] with the abatement of hazardous materials and upgrading of finishes and fixtures. Another renovation in [[2009]] prepared the building for new county office functions after the construction of the new Justice Center.
  
 
In [[2013]] Jefferson County and Bessemer officials announced plans to construct a public exhibit in the fourth-floor jail to commemorate King's 1967 incarceration.
 
In [[2013]] Jefferson County and Bessemer officials announced plans to construct a public exhibit in the fourth-floor jail to commemorate King's 1967 incarceration.
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In [[2020]] the [[Alabama State Supreme Court]] ruled in a suit brought by [[Jefferson County District Attorney]] candidate [[Bill Veitch]] that the 1953 law preventing Bessemer cutoff residents from participating in primary elections for the countywide office was invalid.
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
 
* "[http://www.alacourt.gov/Court%20News/November-1980.pdf Dedication Ceremony Held: Bessemer Courthouse Gets Addition]" (November 1980) ''Court News''
 
* "[http://www.alacourt.gov/Court%20News/November-1980.pdf Dedication Ceremony Held: Bessemer Courthouse Gets Addition]" (November 1980) ''Court News''
 
* Wright, Barnett (September 4, 2013) "Jeffco officials plan to turn old Bessemer jail into museum honoring MLK's stay." {{BN}}
 
* Wright, Barnett (September 4, 2013) "Jeffco officials plan to turn old Bessemer jail into museum honoring MLK's stay." {{BN}}
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* Faulk, Kent (June 30, 2020) "Alabama Supreme Court rules Bessemer Cutoff residents can vote in Jefferson County DA primary races." {{BN}}
  
 
[[Category:1920 buildings]]
 
[[Category:1920 buildings]]

Latest revision as of 13:03, 30 June 2020

The Jefferson County Courthouse Bessemer Division is the secondary location for the Jefferson County Courthouse, serving western Jefferson County, the so-called "Bessemer cutoff", from a separate courthouse in the city of Bessemer. The building associated with that name was the predecessor to the current Jefferson County Bessemer Justice Center.

Justice of the Peace court had been held in Bessemer since its establishment in 1887. A Jefferson County Circuit Court was authorized there in 1893 with a Birmingham judge presiding. Court proceedings were held in Rebie Hall until its destruction by fire in 1913. In 1914 state representative W. S. Welch sponsored legislation establishing a new branch of the 10th Judicial Circuit of Alabama with its own judge "in residence". Court was held at the Bessemer City Hall while plans for a new courthouse got underway.

Delayed by World War I, the $175,000 courthouse was not completed until 1920. At the time, some proposed splitting Jefferson County into two separate counties with Bessemer as the seat of a new Jeff Davis County. That proposal never gained popular support and was abandoned.

The three-story brick building faced 3rd Avenue at the corner of 18th Street. It was expanded with another 3-story section in 1949 and both building were extensively renovated in 1955, 1966 and 1970.

A 1953 law split the voting for Jefferson County District Attorneys geographically, with residents of the "Bessemer cutoff" electing their prosecutors seperately.

On October 30, 1967 Martin Luther King Jr was booked into the courthouse jail on contempt charges stemming from his involvement in the 1963 Birmingham Campaign.

A 7-story Annex was completed in 1980 with four floors of enclosed parking. The original courthouse was renovated in 1990 with the abatement of hazardous materials and upgrading of finishes and fixtures. Another renovation in 2009 prepared the building for new county office functions after the construction of the new Justice Center.

In 2013 Jefferson County and Bessemer officials announced plans to construct a public exhibit in the fourth-floor jail to commemorate King's 1967 incarceration.

In 2020 the Alabama State Supreme Court ruled in a suit brought by Jefferson County District Attorney candidate Bill Veitch that the 1953 law preventing Bessemer cutoff residents from participating in primary elections for the countywide office was invalid.

References