Side A: Named for General Zebulon Pike, killed in the War of 1812, Pike County was organized in February 1815. Commissioners were charged with establishing a county seat and on May 12, 1815 accepted a conveyance of 40 acres from Elisha Fitch. The new seat was named “Piketon.” In 1816, the commissioners let a contract for the construction of a courthouse and jail. A fine two story courthouse with brick laid in Flemish bond was finished in 1819. A fire destroyed some country courthouse offices on October 9, 1844. The repaired courthouse was the seat of county government until 1861 and is part of the Piketon Historic District, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Limestone headers above the windows have the names of the county government offices.
Side B: At the behest of Waverly businessman James Emmitt, State Representive Shedrick Shaw petitioned the Ohio General Assembly to move Pike County’s seat from Piketon to Waverly in 1860. Obtaining signatures for the petition had started a bitter political battle that continued through the early 1860s. Among other inducements, Waverly’s advocates promised to build a new county courthouse in Waverly free of charge. Enabled by state law in February 1861, voters chose to move county government to Waverly by a margin of 310 votes in October. The promise to build the new courthouse went unfulfilled, and in 1864 another bill was proposed to move the county seat back to Piketon. The bill goaded Waverly’s advocates to action. The courthouse in Waverly was built and deeded over to the Pike County Commissioners on December 8, 1866.
Sponsors: Pike County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Southern Ohio Medical Center, Bristol Village, The Ohio History Connection