Bay County courthouse construction

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22 Dec 1914

 Construction began on the impressive Bay County courthouse building in Panama City on this date. Completed in 1915, the courthouse featured a large central clock tower and elaborate gabled roof. Unfortunately in 1920 the entire building burned to the ground and a new, simpler Classical Revival design was constructed in its place, which exists today. The courthouse became well known in 1961 when it convicted Clarence Earl Gideon of felony theft and refused to provide him with legal representation, a decision famously overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Gideon v. Wainwright in 1963. The building is still utilized as a courthouse, one of only a few in the state built during this period that is still used in that capacity.      


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