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Emmet County

Emmet County is named for Robert Emmet, who was an Irish patriot.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Jackson County, Minnesota and Martin County, Miinnesota

E –  Kossuth County

S – Palo Alto County

W – Dickinson County


Created:  January 15, 1851                    Map of Iowa highlighting Emmet County

County Seat:

Estherville      1851 – 1879

Swan Lake     1879 – 1884

Estherville      1884 – present


County Courthouse – Estherville


Location:  609 1st Avenue North / North 6th Street

Built:  1957 – 1958

Style:  Modern

Architect:  James A Dougher

Contractor:  Lundquist Construction Company


Description: The building faces south and is a three story buff colored brick, glass and concrete structure. The rectangular shaped building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Estherville.. The building has a raised basement as the first story. There is a concrete portico at the south entrance. The south front has vertical concrete dividers with green colored panels between the windows. The roof line is flat. In the interior, the hallways run wast-west. The County District Court courtroom is located on the north side of the third story. There is a small courtroom located at the northwest corner. The building houses the County District Court of the 3A Judicial District. On the north side is the Sheriff’s Office.


See:  The 3A Judicial District includes Buena Vista CountyCherokee CountyClay CountyDickinson County, Kossuth County, Lyon CountyO’Brien CountyOsceola County and Palo Alto County.


History:  The county was created in 1851 and Estherville was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was built in 1859 in Estherville and was never finished as the contractor was not paid. The school built at the same time became the second courthouse. The building was destroyed by fire in 1876. The county seat was moved to Swan Lake in 1879 and returned to Estherville in 1884. The third courthouse was designed by Foster & Liebbe and constructed by Zerbe Brothers in 1884 at a cost of $11,718. The fourth and present courthouse was constructed in 1957 to 1958 at a cost of $374,110.



County Courthouse – Estherville













County District Court courtroom











County District Court small courtroom







Photos taken 2008 and 2023