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Benson County


Benson County is named for Bertil W Benson, a Valley City merchant and land dealer who served in the House of Representatives.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Pierce County and Towner County

E – Ramsey County and Nelson County

S – Eddy County and Wells County

W – Pierce County


Created:  March 9, 1883                         Map of North Dakota highlighting Benson County

County Seat: 

Minnewaukan  1884 – present


County Courthouse – Minnewaukan


Location:  311 B Avenue South / 3rd Street East

Built:  1900 – 1901

Style:  Richardsonian Romanesque

Architect:  W G Russell of Grand Forks

Contractor:  D H Lord & Company


Description:  The building faces north and is a three story brown colored brick, stone and concrete structure. The building is located on spacious grounds in the center of Minnewaukan. The building has a raised basement of course stone. The principal entrance is at the northeast end of the facade and is articulated by a one-story recessed porch with corners marked by pairs of stone columns and brick piers. On the north side is square brick tower with a large arched window on the third story and topped by parapet, pyramidal roof a white colored wood cupola. The large arched window illuminates the stairwell and bears on its extrados the legend Benson County. In the interior at the north side of the building is a particularly handsome example of the divided form of stairway with paneled dado, closed stringer, turned balusters, and columnar newels with stop-fluting. The stairs descend to the first story basement north-south hallway and ascend to the second story north-south hallway and the third story courtroom. Additional wood trim throughout the building includes paneled doors, baseboards, wainscoting, and picture moldings. At the northwest corner of the second story in the Commissioner’s Meeting Room is a fireplace with ornate wooden mantelpiece with back mirror and colored tile surround. All the rooms are furnished with dark oak furniture, while the doors, casings, stairs and finishing is a light oak. The ceiling of the County District Court courtroom located at the center of the third story consists of stamped metal rectangles with friezes, separated by beams sheathed in metal stamped in wreath designs. The building houses the County District Court of the Northeast Judicial District. A number of offices have similar but less elaborate ceiling treatments, and walls in the building are plastered, although some have been covered with plywood paneling. 


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Benson County Courthouse


See:  The Norrheast Judicial District includes Bottineau County, Cavalier County, McHenry County, Pembina County. Pierce County, Ramsey County, Renville County, Rolette CountyTowner County and Walsh County


History:  The county was created in 1883 and Minnewaukan was selected as the county seat in 1884. The first county office was located in the Arlington Hotel in Minnewaukan which was later demolished in 1888. The first courthouse was a one story structure built in 1888. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1900 to 1901 at a cost of $40,000.



County Courthouse – Minnewaukan             

































County Commissioner’s Meeting Room






County District Court courtroom











Photos taken 2007, 2009, 2022 and 2024