Originally part of the farm property of Sarah Briggs in 1848. The site was laid out by Joseph Fox and purchased by the Delaware County Commissioners in 1849 for the erection of a courthouse. The structure, whose construction plans cost $50, was completed in August, 1851 at an expense of $32,000, and contained one courtroom. A jail with gallows was also erected behind the courthouse. The court building was expanded in 1871, 1888 and 1913. A major rebuilding took place in 1920 under the supervision of architect Clarence Brazier and Judge John Broomall III. An annex was built in 1952 and a county administrative center constructed in 1972.
The first trial, a prohibition case, was conducted by Judge Joseph Chapman in 1851 and resulted in a $30 fine. Local citizens assembled here in July 1863, to defend the county against the Confederate Army's invasion of Pennsylvania during the Civil War. Presidential candidate and later Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan once orated from the front steps. President Ronald Reagan addressed a large public gathering from the Courthouse Square on October 29, 1984 while visiting Media Borough during his campaign for re-election.
This courthouse is generally regarded as one of the handsomest and most attractive public buildings in the entire eastern United States.