Marion County was organized in 1845, but it would be a little over a year before the first courthouse was built. In 1846 a wood frame building was constructed for about $700 in Knoxville. It was used as a courthouse, school, and church for twelve years and was then sold for $928.
The second courthouse to be built in Knoxville cost approximately $20,000. It was a 48 by 70 foot brick building of two stories on a stone foundation. This courthouse stood for about 40 years until it was vacated because of its dangerous conditions.
The present courthouse was completed in 1896 at a cost of $80,000. Made of stone, it is a three-story structure with a tower containing a clock which at one time, could be heard to strike the hour through the entire city.