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Grant County

Grant County is named for Ulysses Grant, who led the  Union forces to victory in the American Civil War and  was elected President of the United States.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Otter Tail County

E – Douglas County

S – Stevens County

W – Traverse County and Wilkin County

Created:  March 6, 1868                         Map of Minnesota highlighting Grant County

County Seat:

Elbow Lake  1868 – present


County Courthouse – Elbow Lake


Location:  10  Second Street NE / Central Avenue North

Built:  1905 – 1906

Style:  Beaux Arts

Architect:  Charles E Bell and Meno S Detweiler of Minneapolis

Contractor:  Prince Construction Company of Minneapolis


Description:  The building faces south and is a three story dark red colored brick and stone structure. The building is located on spacious landscaped grounds in the center of Elbow Lake and has a towering segmented dome. The building is 97 feet by 75 feet and rises 102.5 feet to the top of the tower. The Portwing brownstone came from a quarry near Duluth. The roof is built of slate. In the interior, the walls of the foyer are decorated with hand-painted Grant County emblems and the name of the county is incorporated into the marble floor. An open stairway with marble steps, cast iron balustrades and ornate cast iron lamp standards leads to the second story. The floors are terrazzo with wainscoting in the main corridor of pink Tennessee marble. The building is decorated with murals. The County District Court courtroom is located on the second story and has a mural titled “Justice and Power of Law” on the ceiling.. The building houses the County District Court of the 8th Judicial District. In 2011 to 2012, the building was restored by John Canning Company.


Note:  During the restoration in 2011 to 2012, a mural on the ceiling of the courtroom titled “Justice and Power of Law” was uncovered. The cost of the restoration was $4,480,000.


See:  Odin J Oyen of La Crosse, Wisconsin painted murals in the courthouses located in Iowa – Osceola CountyMichigan – Shiawassee County; North Dakota – Cass CountySouth Dakota –  Brown County and  Yankton Countyand Wisconsin – La Crosse County (demolished), Lafayette County, Langlade County and Manitowoc County.


See:  The architects, Charles E Bell and Meno S Detweiler of Minneapolis, Minnesota designed many courthouses.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Grant County Courthouse


See:  The 8th Judicial District includes Big Stone CountyChippewa CountyKandiyohi CountyLac Qui Parle CountyMeeker County, Pope CountyRenville County, Stevens CountySwift CountyTraverse County, Wilkin County and Yellow Medicine County.


History:  The county was created in 1868 and Elbow Lake was selected as the county seat. The county officers met at private homes. The first courthouse was designed by A C Earsley and built by H H Wilson of Alexandria in 1878 at a cost of $1,225. The cost of construction in 1905 to 1906 of the second and present courthouse was $60,202. Oden J Oyen of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, was paid $3,000 for decorating the inside of the building with murals and other artwork.



County Courthouse – Elbow Lake























County District Court courtroom











Photos taken 2007, 2008 and 2017