A new historical monument was dedicated October 18 at the Million Dollar Courthouse in Pioche.
The monument commemorates the county seat of Lincoln County and was placed by a regional historical society, The Southern Nevada Chapter of E Clampus Vitus, Queho Posse No. 1919. The Queho Posse dedicated the marker with the cooperation of Lincoln County Museum Association. The chapter calls itself “The Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus, an organization dedicated to the study and preservation of the heritage of the Western United States.”
The monument plaque reads, “In 1871, Pioche became the county seat of Lincoln County, taking the honor from Hiko. City fathers quickly decided to erect a suitable building to serve as the Lincoln County Courthouse. In 1872 T. Dimmock and Thomas Keefe designed the building and a budget of $26,400 was appropriated for its erection. Unfortunately the construction contract was broken, and because of separate contracts the eventual cost of the building was $75,000, paid by issuing bonds. Over the next 30 years, new bonds were issued to pay off the previous ones. By the 1880s the county unsuccessfully tried to repudiate the bonds. In 1907 the state of Nevada passed a repayment plan for 65% of the value of the bonds, and when Clark County split from Lincoln County in 1909, the new county had to take on 60% of the existing debt. The cost for the courthouse, which topped $800,000, was finally paid off in 1938, two years after the building was condemned. The extraordinary costs led to its nickname, the Million Dollar Courthouse.”
About thirty members of the group, which call themselves Clampers, were on hand during the weekend to help pour the cement the day before the dedication. Sunday’s event was the 50th marker dedicated in Nevada by this chapter and the second one in Pioche. The other marker can be seen at Boot Cemetery. Clampers’ historian Mike Freese led a presentation of the monument where he reviewed the complete history of the Million Dollar Courthouse. Several locals were present for the revealing alongside the red-shirted clampers.