CHESTER — Students from Gallipolis and Ashland, Ky., recently participated in a mock trial at the Old Meigs County Courthouse/Chester Courthouse, in Chester. The two groups of homeschooled students competed with each other in a mock case involving a property owner whose tower fell and killed two people who were trespassing on private property.
The honorable Judge Scott Powell made time in his schedule to attend the the trial. Judge Powell currently presides over both the Probate and Juvenile Divisions of the Meigs County Court of Common Pleas. As part of his responsibilities, the Juvenile Court operates and maintains a probation department that provides numerous services. He also serves as Clerk of Courts for both divisions and maintains court records as far back as 1820s.
During the mock trial, students were divided into three teams, each presenting the same case. A jury of adults judged the teams, and gave each points on their presentations. The final verdicts for the property owner were two guilty and one not guilty decisions.
The Old Meigs Courthouse in Chester saw many court cases after its completion in 1823. Chester remained the seat of Meigs County government until the designation of Pomeroy 1841. The courthouse, Ohio’s oldest extant building that was constructed as a courthouse, is now a museum operated by the Chester-Shade Historical Association. Guests can tour the building that was brought back to it’s original appearance after a complete renovation. The Courthouse and adjacent Academy were listed together on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
For information on events at the courthouse, or how to reserve the facilities for one of your own, call 740-985-9822 or visit their Facebook page: ChesterShadeHistorialAssociation.
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Lorna Hart is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.