The Walthall County Courthouse was built in 1916-1917 and is one of the oldest continually operating Courthouse buildings in the State of Mississippi. It was added to the National Historic Register in 1994 and this is the description from the application:
The Walthall County Courthouse is a locally important work of early twentieth century public architecture, and is a well-executed example of the classical eclectic courthouses built in Mississippi in the late 1910s and 1920s. The courthouse and its accompanying jail are the only notable examples of this sort of eclectic architecture in Walthall County and are the county's principal architectural landmarks. Walthall County is one of the youngest counties in Mississippi, having been created in 1910. Construction was begun on the courthouse and jail only six years later.
The Walthall County Courthouse retains a relatively high degree of integrity. This type of classical eclectic architecture incorporated the most common elements of various popular architectural styles into one building. The Walthall County courthouse draws on several of the most popular styles of its day to produce a building that cannot be clearly defined as being any one style. The wide overhanging eaves and brackets of the courthouse were derived from the Italian Renaissance style; the Ionic pilasters of the facade came from the Classical Revival; and the decorative brick work and stone detailing were inspired by the Prairie Style.
The Walthall County Jail, built at the same time as the Courthouse, incorporates the same architectural elements as the Courthouse* The jail has a remarkable degree of integrity and retains the old cells installed by the Pauly Jail Company* This building is a very good example of the relatively few jails built in Mississippi county seats in the first two decades of the twentieth century.
The dominant architectural fashion for public buildings in Mississippi during the first two decades of the twentieth century was the Classical Revival. Although some important public buildings were built in the Victorian Romanesque style as late as 1902, by the time the New State Capitol was built in 1903, the preference for classical public buildings had swept the state. Of approximately 35 county courthouses built between 1903 and 1920, about 30 were of Classical Revival design, with the remainder displaying a loosely classical eclecticism. The Walthall County Courthouse is one of these.
The Walthall County Courthouse and Jail are locally notable examples of the classical eclectic civic architecture of Mississippi during the first two decades of the twentieth century and retain a relatively high degree of architectural integrity.
The courthouse and jail were designed by Xavier A. Kramer, an architect and businessman from McComb, Mississippi. Other courthouses in Mississippi designed by Kramer include the Stone County Courthouse at Wiggins (1917); the Humphreys County Courthouse at Belzoni (1921); and the Bolivar County Courthouse at Rosedale (1922).
The Walthall County Courthouse is a near twin to the Franklin County Courthouse at Meadville, Mississippi, built in 1913-14, but, curiously, it was designed by a different architect, N.W. Overstreet. (The Franklin County Courthouse was placed on the National Register in 1981.