when this postcard view looking northeast from near present day Main and Mosher Streets round-about. At the time of its completion in 1877 the courthouse was only large public building in the county.
The seed money to build the courthouse came in an unusual way. I.A. Fancher of Mt. Pleasant in the mid 1870's was a state senator. At about this time Clare County, which was administratively attached to Isabella County, was separated and formed its own county government. The State Auditor General then allocated state monies to the newly formed county. In the precess an error in allocation resulted in Isabella County being shorted $10,486.76. Fancher discovered the error and introduced a bill to have the rightful funds restored to Isabella County. The bill passed. Soon the Isabella County Board of Supervisors set aside this money for a new court house. The contract for the original courthouse structure was let for $13,275.05. The difference between the error receipts from the state and the contract bid was raised by taxation of $1,000 and citizen contributions of about $2,000.
The second floor contained the court room that was also used by the Isabella County Board of Supervisors. One unique feature of this room was a photo gallery of members of the Isabella County Bar Association from early times onward. The first floor
space was occupied by the County Clerk, Treasurer and Register of Deeds. In the basement were the Drain Commissioner, County School Superintendent, County Surveyor and the Friend of the Court.
All nostalgia often attributed to the courthouse square took place in the 95 years this building was in existence. Decoration Day Readings of Lincoln's Gettysburg address from the courthouse steps along with patriotic selections by the band were part of the scene. A band stand was in front of the courthouse just out of view in this card off Chippewa Street which then extended to Main Street. Park benches lined the shaded grounds where friends met and often waited while others shopped the stores over on Broadway. In the early days horses lined the south edge of the square leading to the name Jockey Alley a moniker still with us today.