The Adams County Courthouse, built in 1889 at a cost of $77,815, stood as an architectural monument. The building, called the "old courthouse" when its successor was constructed in 1962, was designed by Charles C. Rittenhouse and built by J.H. Sims of Hastings. It was 95 feet wide and 115 feet long; the foundation was made of Colorado sandstone and the walls of St. Louis pressed brick with Wichita stone trimming.
The crowning glory of the courthouse was a ten-foot statue of the goddess of Justice placed on a pedestal atop the building. The building stood 183 feet tall from ground level to the top of the statue. People could see the goddess of Justice from miles away. However, by 1921 the statue had been declared unsafe as it was swaying in the Nebraska breezes. C.D. Richey was awarded a contract to take the statue down and to make structural repairs to the building.
Another major repair effort took place in 1941. The slate roof was removed and the turrets at the four corners were dismantled. In addition, there was a complete remodeling of the district courtroom. In 1964 the American Wrecking Company of Omaha was awarded a contract to demolish the building.