History of the Recorder

The practice of recording land records was brought from England with the early colonist and came into use in Ohio during the 1790’s. In 1803 the Ohio General Assembly established the Recorder as a mandated county office. Initially the Recorder’s position was appointed by the associate judges of the Common Pleas Court, it then became an elective position in 1829. Originally the Recorder served a two-year term; in 1936 the Recorder’s term was extended to four years.

Courthouse History

  • A schoolhouse was temporarily used as a courtroom for one night so that Ohio could claim the territory now known as Toledo.
  • The Maumee courthouse was used from 1841 to 1853.
  • The first official courthouse built in Toledo was used from 1853 to 1897. It was built on Adams Street near the corner of Erie.
  • The courthouse that is still in use on Adams Street was used by the Recorder’s Office from 1897-1983
  • The Government Center was built in 1983 and is the current location of the Recorder’s office.


Lucas County was established in 1835 and named for Robert Lucas, the governor of Ohio at the time. According to historical records, the first court hearing in Lucas County was held in a schoolhouse. The Schoolhouse was only used as a courthouse September 7, 1835 in order for Ohio to claim the territory over Michigan during the Toledo War.

Maumee Courthouse

There were a number of buildings in Toledo used as temporary courthouses from the years 1835-1840 until a vote was cast to move the County seat to Maumee. In 1841 an official courthouse opened for the elected officials of Lucas County.

First Official Courthouse

In 1852 another vote was cast, this time to move the County seat back to Toledo. Again for temporary uses, a warehouse on the corner of Summit Street between Cherry and Walnut, known as Duell Block, was transformed into a courthouse until an official courthouse was built. In 1853 Lucas County elected officials moved into Toledo’s first official courthouse. The courthouse was erected on Adams Street near the corner of Erie.

Courthouse Still In Use

Proposals for the construction of a new courthouse began in the early 1880s, but the expenditure was so steep that it was not approved until the mid 1890s. In 1897 the new courthouse was finally opened on Adams Street standing directly behind the already existing courthouse that was built in 1853. The original Adams Street courthouse was torn down in the late 1890s and possibly the very early 1900s, leaving behind our present day courthouse.

Government Center

In 1983 a building was constructed on the corner of Erie, Jackson, and Huron Streets. This building is what we call the Government Center today. Since the opening of the Government Center the Recorder’s office, as well as other City, and County offices have been housed in it.