History of Allen County Juvenile Court

The first Juvenile Court in America was established in Cook County, Illinois, in 1889 by an Illinois law entitled “An Act to Regulate the Treatment and Control of Dependent and Neglected and Delinquent Children.”

In 1903, the State of Colorado established the Juvenile Court; and during the years of 1899 through 1904, California, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, OHIO, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin adopted and passed Juvenile Court laws.

In 1906, Allen County, Ohio, followed suit with the establishment of the first Allen County Juvenile Court, a part of the Probate Court, with the Honorable John N. Hutchinson serving as the first judge.

At the threshold of the bicentennial of our United States, in 1975, the David 0. Steiner Juvenile Services Center was established, providing the means with which to regulate the treatment and control of dependent and neglected, as well as, delinquent children. This was the premise of the enactment of the first law establishing the Juvenile Court System.

It has been a long march from the beginning that took place in a log cabin on the banks of the Ottawa River a century and a half ago.

Probate and Juvenile Court today, by statute, are divisions of the Court of Common Pleas. The following have served as Probate and Juvenile Court Judges since the Court was established in Ohio in 1906:

Current & Previous Juvenile Court Judges

  • 1906 – 1913 – John N. Hutchinson
  • 1913 – 1921 – Fred C. Becker
  • 1921 – 1933 – Jesse H. Hamilton
  • 1933 – 1950 – Raymond P. Smith
  • 1950 – 1954 – Joseph B. Quatman
  • 1954 – 1955 – Harry J. Bennett
  • 1955 – 1965 – Paul J. Rockey
  • 1965 – 1974 – David 0. Steiner
  • 1974 – 2007 – David R. Kinworthy
  • 2007 – Present – Glenn H. Derryberry