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Cass County

Cass County is named for Lewis Cass, who explored the upper Mississippi River to Cass Lake in 1820, was governor of the Michigan Territory in 1813 to 1831, was United States Secretary of War from 1831 to 1836, was a United States Senator from Michigan from 1845 to 1857 and was United States Secretary of State from 1857 to 1860.

 

Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Beltrami County and Itasca County

E – Itasca CountyAitkin County and Crow Wing County

S – Crow Wing CountyMorrison County and Todd County

W – Wadena County and Hubbard County

 

Created:  September 1, 1851                 Map of Minnesota highlighting Cass County

County Seat:

Brainerd ( Crow Wing )  1872 – 1897

Walker                            1897 – present

 

County Courthouse – Walker

 

Location:  303   Minnesota Avenue / 4th Street South

Built:  1902 – 1903

Style:  Italian Renaissance or Beaux Arts

Architect:  R W Kinney of Kinney and Detwiler of Minneapolis

Contractor:  Schmidt Brothers of West Superior, Wisconsin

 

Description:  The building faces north and is a four story red colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on spacious landscaped grounds in the center of Walker and has lighter stone trim marking the corners and triple windows. The north center section projects from the main building. The top fourth story which used to house the jail, was added in 1961, requiring the removal of the originals cornice, roof, dome and lantern. The two story center atrium was closed and windows were bricked in. New windows and exterior doors were also installed. The roof line is flat. In the interior the walls are plastered. On the fourth story is a County District Court courtroom along the west side. On the third story is another courtroom along the west side and a small courtroom along the east side. The building houses the County District Court of the 9th Judicial District. In 1961, the building was remodeled. The architect was Kerr Johnson, Inc. of Minneapolis. A new jail was constructed along the south side. In 1976, a brick addition was added on the west side to house the County Offices. The central two story atrium has a skylight. The architect was Koehnlein / Lightowler / Johnson Inc. of Fargo, North Dakota and the contractor was Acton Construction Company Inc. of Minneapolis.

 

See:  The architect and contractor also designed and constructed the courthouse in Beltrami County

 

See:  The architect, Kinney & Detweiler of Minneapolis, Minnesota designed many courthouses.

 

See:  The 9th Judicial District includes Aitkin County, Beltrami County, Clearwater CountyCrow Wing CountyHubbard CountyItasca CountyKittson CountyKoochiching CountyLake of the Woods CountyMahnomen County, Marshall CountyNorman CountyPennington CountyPolk County, Red Lake County and Roseau County.

 

History:  The county was created in 1851. From 1851 to 1897, court was held in Brainerd in Crow Wing County. Walker was selected as the county seat in 1897. The county purchased a new brick building built in 1896 as the first courthouse. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1902 to 1903 at a cost $29,500.

 

Old County Courthouse – Walker

 

 

Location:  420  Minnesota Avenue / 5th Street South

Built:  1896 – 1897

Style:  Commercial

Architect:  Unknown

Contractor:  Unknown

 

Description:  The building faces south and is a two story gray colored brick and concrete structure. The square shaped building is located in the center of Walker to the northwest of the courthouse. The south front has commercial stores on the first story. The roof line is flat. The building served as the first courthouse in Walker from 1897 until the present courthouse was constructed in 1902 to 1903.

 

Note : F B Davis, cashier of the Walker State Bank bought the old courthouse for $2,100. Later the building was occupied by post office, law office, Northland Pine Company and Red Men Lodge.

 

History:  The county was created in 1851 as one of the ten original counties of the Minnesota Territory. The county was organized in 1872 and court was held in Brainerd in Crow Wing County until 1897 when Walker was selected as the county seat. In 1897, the county purchased a new brick building built in 1896 to 1897 as the first courthouse in Walker and building still stands at 420 Minnesota Avenue. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1902 to 1903 at a cost $29,500.

 

Tribal Justice Center – Cass Lake

 

 

Location:  190 Salistar Drive NW / Maple Avenue NW

Built:  2015 – 2016

Style:  Modern

Architect:  BKV Group Inc. of Minneapolis

Contractor:  Shingobee Builders

 

Description:  The building faces south and is a one story cream and red colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on spacious landscaped grounds in the center of Cass Lake. The south front has a central entrance with red colored brick, over hanging roof and recessed doors. On the east side the roof rises and slopes east. The windows are horizontal. On the west side the roof line is flat. In the interior there is an entrance lobby at the center of the south side. A hallway extends west with the County District Court courtroom at the center of the north side. At the west end of the north side is the County District Court small courtroom. The building houses the County District Court of the 9th Judicial District. 

 

 

County Courthouse – Walker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

County District Court courtroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

County District Court small courtroom

 

 

 

 

County Offices Building – Walker

 

 

 

 

Commissioner’s Meeting Room

 

 

 

 

Old County Courthouse – Walker

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tribal Justice Center – Cass Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

County District Court courtroom

 

 

 

 

County District Court small courtroom

 

 

 

 

Photos taken 2007, 2019 and 2023