Hale County was created in 1867 with most of it being taken from Greene County. Greensboro was selected as the county seat. Greensboro citizens had promised to provide a courthouse and jail free of charge if selected. To fulfill this commitment, Greensboro’s city council purchased the building known as Salem Baptist Church which was vacant and this became the first Hale County Courthouse. In 1907 this historic building was torn down and a new courthouse was built. After the addition of a clock and a few other extras, the final price of the courthouse was near $50,000. The building was completed in May 1908, and the first session of court was held in the new building that same spring.
On March 4, 1935, fire destroyed the upper floor of the courthouse. Believed to have been caused by a defective flue, the fire spread quickly. The old belfry, with its big clock, collapsed first and then the rest of the roof. Greensboro’s volunteer fire department, with help from Demopolis and Selma, were able to stop the fire. On the lower floor, there was only water damage which cost $3,700 to repair. The reconstruction of the second floor was about $30,000. The new Seth Thomas clock cost $1717.50. The courthouse clock still sounds the hour and half hour.
The Hale County Courthouse is located on Main Street at the east end of downtown Greensboro (Hale County Courthouse – Google Maps).
Source: Historic Hale County, published by The Greensboro Watchman.
Posted 11/27/10, Last Updated: 01/12/22