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Burleigh County


Burleigh County is named for Walter Atwood Burleigh ( 1820-1896 ), a physician, attorney and railway contractor who served as Indian agent, delegate to Congress from the Dakota Territory and legislator.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – McLean County and Sheridan County

E – Kidder County

S – Emmons County

W – Morton County and Oliver County


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

County Seat: 

Bismarck  1873 – present


County Courthouse – Bismarck


Location:  514 East Thayer Avenue / North 5th Street

Built:  1930 – 1931

Style:  Art Deco

Architect:  Ira L Rush of Minot

Contractor:   Redinger & Hanson


Description:  The building faces south and is a three story gray colored Indiana limestone and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Bismarck. Indiana limestone was used in the construction. The base of the building is pink colored granite. Aluminum spandrels emphasize the windows and the stairway rail. The roof line is flat. A tile terrace marks the front entrance way which is decorated with bronze doors and a carved stone design above the transom. In the interior, decoration consists in vestibule paintings by local artist Clell Gannon, cornice-level paintings on the ground and second story levels depicting wildlife; and murals in the original Commissioners’ room and in the courtroom. Vermont Cippoline marble lines the walls of the main floor and vestibule. A marble wainscot ushers the stairway and a stair rail of nickel silver bears a sunrise motif. Located on the first, second and third stories are a total of ten courtrooms. The historic County District Court courtroom is located on the south side of the third story. Behind the judge’s bench is a large mural. The courtroom is finished with ornamental plaster beams, fluted Gotticino marble plasters and door trim. The wainscoting is of inlaid walnut and the furniture is ebony. The building houses the County District Court of the South Central Judicial District. The architect was Ira L Rush of Minot and the contractor was Redinger & Hanson. The Courthouse Annex was built in 1960 and the second and third stories were completed in 1984.


See:  The architect,  Ira L Rush of Minot, also designed the courthouses in Adams CountyRansom County and Sheridan County.


See: Other Art Deco style courthouses are located in Emmons CountyHettinger County, Ransom County, Sheridan County, Stark County and Walsh County.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Burleigh County Courthouse


See:  The South Central Judicial District includes Emmonds County, Grant County, McLean County, Mercer County, Morton CountyOliver CountySheridan County and Sioux County.


History:   The county was created in 1873 and Bismarck was selected as the county seat. The court was located in a rented building in 1875. The first courthouse was a two story brick structure built by P J Pauley & Brothers in 1880 to 1881. The building was enlarged in 1908. The architect was Arthur Van Horn and the contractor was W W Bowe. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1930 to 1931.


See:  The North Dakota Supreme Court is located in Bismarck.



County Courthouse – Bismarck





























County District Court historic courtroom













County District Court courtroom









County District Court courtroom











County District Court courtroom











Cornerstone 1880 County Courthouse

Photos taken 2009, 2015, 2016 and 2023