Side A: Jury of Erie County Women, First to be Impaneled Under Federal Suffrage proclaimed the headline of the Sandusky Register on August 28, 1920. One of the first female Court of Common Pleas juries in the nation was impaneled in Erie County on August 26, 1920, moments after the 19th amendment to the Constitution of the United States was declared ratified. On that date, Judge Roy Williams was to conduct a trial and jurors were needed. Out of the ten men he contacted, only one could serve. Frustrated, Judge Williams later told the women, “When I learned shortly after 10:30 this morning that suffrage had been proclaimed, I decided to impanel a woman jury. Twelve women were summoned. Twelve women served.” (continued on other side)
Side B: (continued from other side) The first Board of Erie County Commissioners – Samuel B. Carpenter, Nelson Taylor, and William B. Craighill – was instructed by the Ohio Legislature to hold the county’s first term of court in December 1838. As a result, Erie County’s first Court of Common Pleas was held in the Academy building on the east side of Columbus Avenue, across from the Courthouse’s current location. The Academy building continued to house the Court of Common Pleas until a new Courthouse was built on the current site in 1874 at a cost of $142,026.45. The Art Deco exterior was added when the Courthouse was remodeled beginning in 1936 as a project of the New Deal’s Public Works Administration.
Sponsors: Ohio Bicentennial Commission, The Longaberger Company, Board of Commissioners of Erie County, and The Ohio Historical Society