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Stearns County

Stearns County is named after Charles Thomas Stearns, by mistake. The county was to be named after Isaac Ingalls Stevens, but an error was made.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Todd County and Morrison County

E –  Benton CountySherburne County and Wright County

S – Wright CountyMeeker County and Kandiyohi County

W – Pope County


Created:  February 20, 1855                  Map of Minnesota highlighting Stearns County

County Seat:

St.   Cloud  1855 – present


County Courthouse – St. Cloud


Location:  725 Courthouse Square / 8th Avenue South

Built:  1921 – 1922

Style:  Beaux Arts

Architect:  Leo W Schefer of St. Cloud for Toltz, King and Day of Saint Paul

Contractor:  Charles Skooglun of Saint Paul


Description:  The building faces south and is a three story red colored brick, stone and concrete structure. The building is located on the landscaped grounds of the Courthouse Square in the center of St. Cloud. The south front has a granite columned portico and a shallow dome of yellow colored tile set on a low swag-decorated drum. The building stands 109 feet above street level and measures 120 feet by 130 feet. The building is made of red colored brick and granite block over reinforced concrete. Terra cotta panels decorate the parapet and upper stories, and the same material provides ornamental bands at the water table, frieze, belt course and window surrounds. Above the six-columned portico is carved “Stearns County Courthouse / A Landmark of Civic Progress / A memorial to Sturdy Pioneers”. Dates carved on each side mark the county and courthouse in time. On the east are the words “The Pedestal of Liberty is Justice”, and on the west side “Where Law Ends Tyranny Begins”.  In the interior, marble is used in the floors, stairs, wainscoting, columns and pilasters. A mural by Elsa Jemne depicts the Native American, the first inhabitant of the land. The County District Court courtroom is located at the south side of the third story. The building houses the County District Court of the 7th Judicial District. The building was renovated in 1991. The architect was Korsunky Krank Erickson Grooters Leapaldt Tideman and the contractor was M A Mortenson.


See:  The architect, Toltz, King & Day of St. Paul, Minnesota designed many courthouses.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Stearns County Courthouse


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


History:  The county was created in 1855 and St. Cloud was designated as the county seat. The county rented office premises. The first courthouse was a two story red colored brick structure designed by James H Place and constructed by John W Tenvorde and Joseph Broker in 1864. Additions were built in 1874, 1884 and 1897. The architect was Hussey & Bergmann and the contractor was Carl Kropp. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1921 to 1922 at a cost of $850,000.


County Administration Building – St. Cloud



Location:  705 Courthouse Square / 8th Avenue North

Built:  1989 – 1990

Style:  Modern

Architect:  GLT Architects of St. Cloud

Contractor:  Unknown


Description:  The building faces south and is a four story red colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on the landscaped grounds of Courthouse Square in the center of St. Cloud on the north side of the courthouse. The building is “L” shaped with a large concrete portico at the junction on the east wing. The roof line is flat. The interior has a large entrance lobby. 



County Courthouse – St. Cloud





























County District Court courtroom























County Administration Building – St. Cloud





Photos taken 2007, 2008, 2019 and 2023