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The Original Courthouse: The Rutherford County Courthouse, 1812-1823

Rutherford County Courthouse, 1812-1823

1812 Rutherford County Courthouse. Rutherford County Historical Society, circa 1970. Courtesy of the Rutherford County Archives. This image is a drawing that was commissioned by the Rutherford County Historical Society in the 1970s, based on the plans for the courthouse. This is what we believe Murfreesboro's first courthouse looked like.


In 1811, Murfreesboro became the county seat of Rutherford County. In order to conduct county business, a courthouse was needed. In 1812, Murfreesboro's first courthouse was built. Unfortunately, it burned in 1822. Before becoming the county seat, legend has it that Murfreesboro was named Cannonsburgh in honor of Newton Cannon from neighboring Williamson County. Cannon represented Rutherford County, as well as Williamson, in the General Assembly of Tennessee and later became governor.[1]

1. Heritage Center of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County, "One of Tennessee's Six Remaining Antebellum Courthouses. Rutherford County Courthouse" (Murfreesboro, TN: circa 2000). Mabel Pittard, Rutherford County (Memphis: Memphis State University Press, 1984), 27.