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.”

Between 1899 and 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.

In 1975, the David O. Steiner Juvenile Services Center was dedicated on Wardhill Avenue in Shawnee Township, Allen County.  This new building physically separated the locations of the Probate and Juvenile Courts in Allen County, although a single judge continued to preside over both divisions.

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

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 O. Steiner
1974-2007 David R. Kinworthy
2007-Present Glenn H. Derryberry