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Clay County

Clay County is named for Henry Clay, who was an American statesman, U.S. Senator and Congressman from Kentucky 1806 – 1852, U.S. Secretary of State 1825-1829,  three times Speaker of the House and three times candidate for president.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Norman County

E – Becker County and Otter Tail County

S – Wilkin County

W – Cass County, North Dakota 


Created:  March 18, 1862                       Map of Minnesota highlighting Clay County

County Seat:

Moorhead  1862 – present


County Courthouse – Moorhead


Location:  807   North 11th Street / North 9th Avenue

Built:  1953 – 1954

Style:  Modern

Architect:  M O Foss and Associates of Fargo, North Dakota

Contractor:  Meinecke-Johnson Construction Company


Description:  The building faces east and  is a three story glass and concrete structure. The rectangular shaped building is located on landscaped grounds on the north side of the center of Moorhead. The building is constructed of exterior light colored stone walls which contrast with the horizontal bands formed by the windows and brick spandrels. At the center east front, a two-story smooth, stone faced block projects over the first story. In the interior, the County District Court courtrooms are located on the west side of the first story. The building houses the County District Court of the 7th Judicial District. 


See:  The architect Foss Associates Architects also designed courthouses in Becker CountyClearwater County and Pennington County and in North Dakota in Billings CountyCavalier CountyMorton County and Ramsey County.


See:  The 7th Judicial District includes Becker County, Benton County, Douglas CountyMille Lacs County, Morrison County, Otter Tail County, Stearns County, Todd County and Wadena County.    


History:  The county was created in 1862 and Moorhead was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was a one story brick structure built in 1879 by Lamb Brothers at Eight Street and First Avenue North at a cost of $2,136. The second courthouse was designed by Keese and Fisk and constructed by John Seegar of Moorhead and Pauly Brothers at a cost of $60,625 in 1883. An addition was constructed in 1917 at a cost of $11,135. The building was demolished in 1954. The third and present courthouse was constructed in 1953 to 1954 at a cost of $725,000.



County Courthouse – Moorhead



















County District Court courtroom









Photos taken 2007, 2008, 2018 and 2023