Franklin County Courthouse

A ceremony to dedicate a permanent monument at the site of the first Franklin County courthouse will be held Saturday, Sept. 22, at New Port, located approximately 4 miles west of Washington.

This is the first of many events being planned to celebrate Franklin County’s 200th anniversary in 2019.

The site where the first courthouse stood is directly across the road from New Port Presbyterian Church, 2745 New Port Road, where festivities will be held.

The dedication ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. followed by a Newport Church festival from 2 to 5 p.m.

The dedication will include an introduction by Commissioner Tim Brinker, colors presented by the Sons of Union Veterans, an invocation by Pastor Darrell Jung of New Port Presbyterian Church, the story of New Port by Bob Galbraith and other short stories about the first courthouse. 

Food will be available throughout the afternoon and donations will be accepted. A mix of live music will be provided throughout the day, representing the music of the last 200 years, including gospel, bluegrass, hymns and modern worship music.

The Schwarzer Zither Ensemble will perform as well.

Several local historical societies will be present to share information.

Guests are invited to bring their own food and spread out a blanket on the lawn to enjoy the music and the day.

Tours of the historic Presbyterian Church will be given throughout the afternoon. The New Port congregation was established in 1844, and the present sanctuary was built in 1854.

More Events Planned

The opening ceremony for Franklin County’s bicentennial celebration will be held Saturday, Jan. 12, at 2 p.m. at East Central College, 1964 Prairie Dell Road, Union. 

A bicentennial parade will be held Sunday, June 2, in Union. This is a new date from one that had been announced previously. 

Plans also are being made for a project that will feature 200 kites — as an ode to Benjamin Franklin, the county’s namesake — displayed as public art in places around the county. A scavenger hunt activity will encourage people to seek out the kites to win prizes. 

A set of traveling history panels is being created to have on display at events and other places. To schedule having the panels at an event or specific location, people should call Marc Houseman at 636-239-0280.    

A website with more information on the bicentennial can be found at It includes information about the communities in Franklin County, as well as people, places and photos.

The website currently is a work in progress and more information is being added.