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Grand Forks County

Grand Forks County is named for the City of Grand Forks which was originally called “Les Grandes Fourches” by French fur traders for its location at  the junction of the Red Lake River and the Red River of the North.


Surroundin County Courthouses: 

N – Walsh County

E – Marshall County, Minnesota and Polk County, Minnesota

S – Traill County and Steele County

W – Nelson County


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

County Seat: 

Grand Forks  1875 – present


County Courthouse – Grand Forks


Location:  124 South 4th Street / 1st Avenue South

Built:  1913 – 1914

Style:  Beaux Arts

Architect:  Buechner & Orth of Minneapolis, Minnesota

Contractor:  Ingemann Company of St. Paul, Minnesota


Description:  The building faces north and is a three story white colored limestone and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Grand Forks. The building is constructed with limestone, iron and concrete. Four stone columns rise to the third story at each entrance doorway. In the center rises a round cast iron dome seated on a round limestone tower topped by a statue of “Justice” holding the legal scale in her left hand and the sword of justice in her right hand. The dome is comprised of linear panels painted black. The rotunda area of first story is not open to the skylight above, but the halls have blue marble wainscoting and terrazzo floors. The rotunda of the upper two stories feature a functional art glass skylight, plaster pilasters, festoons, and murals within the tympanums of the four arches forming the skylight vault. Second story ceilings are coffered and richly molded, and are supported by pilasters with full entablatures, cartouches and patera ornamentation. Throughout the interior is fine oak woodwork. The upper two stories have terrazzo floors and white and pink marble wainscoting. The County District Court courtrooms are located on the third story. The building houses the County District Court of the Northeast Central Judicial District. On the south side is the Law Enforcement Building.


See:  The architect Buechiner & Orth of St. Paul, Minnesota designed many courthouses.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Grand Forks County Courthouse


See:  The Norrheast Central Judicial District includes Nelson County.


History:  The county was created in 1873 and Grand Forks was selected as the county seat in 1875 when the county was organized. The first court met in the new school house built at a cost of $1,500. The first courthouse was a two story brick structure built by George H Walsh in 1879 to 1880 at a cost of $7,800. The building was demolished to make way for the second and present courthouse constructed in 1913 to 1914 at a cost of $167,440.


County Office Building – Grand Forks



Location:  151 South 4th Street / 1st Avenue South

Built:  1997 – 1999

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Schoen Associates

Contractor:  M A Mortenson


Description:  The building faces south and is a six story structure. The building is located on the north side of the courthouse in the center of Grand Forks. The south front has a recessed center section. The building is tiered at the top. The roof line is flat. The first story has an entrance lobby. The building is named as the Grand Forks County Office Building.



County Courthouse – Grand Forks































County District Court courtroom













Picture 1879 County Courthouse 



County Office Building – Grand Forks











Photos taken 2006, 2008, 2016 and 2018