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Barnes County


Barnes County is named for Alanson H Barnes (1818–1890) who was an associate justice of the Territorial Court.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Griggs County and Steele County

E – Cass County

S – Ransom County and LaMoure County

W – Stutsman County


Created:  January 4, 1873                      Map of North Dakota highlighting Barnes County

County Seat: 

Valley City  1879 – present


County Courthouse – Valley City


Location:  230 4th Street Northwest / 2nd Avenue Northwest

Built:  1926 – 1927

Style:  Classical Revival

Architect:  Toltz, King and Day of St. Paul, Minnesota

Contractor:  Walter Butler Brothers Company Inc. of St. Paul, Minnesota


Description:  The building faces south and is a three story white colored Indiana limestone, brick and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds on the north side of the center of Valley City. There are four tall stone Doric columns rising from the second floor to the third floor above the entrance on the south side. Around the top of the building is a stone balustrade. An urn sits between the swan’s neck hood over the door. The roof line is flat. The interior has a three story atrium surrounded by walls faced in Italian marble. The stairways are trimmed in Belgian marble, have marble steps, a bronze grilled balustrade and railing with decorative rosettes. Atop the atrium are three skylights and a geometric design on the frame. The large County District Court courtroom is located along the north side of the third story. The building houses the County District Court of the Southeast Judicial District. On the north side of the courthouse is the County Jail.


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


See:  The arrangement of interior space resembles that in the Ward County courthouse; both buildings take advantage of the effect of an atrium and skylight.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Barnes County Courthouse


See:  The Southeast Judicial District includes Dickey County, Eddy County, Foster County, Griggs CountyKidder County, LaMoure CountyLogan CountyMcIntosh County, Ransom CountyRichland County, Sargent CountyStutsman County and Wells County.


History:  The county was created in 1873 and Valley City was selected as the county seat in 1879. The first courthouse was a two story red colored brick structure designed by Trumber & Rhodes and built in 1883. The building burned in 1924. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1926 to 1927.



County Courthouse – Valley City



























County District Court courtroom



















County Jail – Valley City

Photos taken 2006, 2009 and 2018