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McHenry County


McHenry County is named for James McHenry, an early settler of Vermillion, South Dakota.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Bottineau County

E – Pierce County

S – Sheridan County and McLean County

W – Ward County and Renville County


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

County Seat:

Villard    1884 – 1885

Scritom  1885 – 1888

Towner   1888 – present


County Courthouse – Towner


Location:  407 Main Street South / 4th Avenue Southeast

Built:  1907 – 1908

Style:  Beaux Arts

Architect:  Buechner & Orth of St. Paul, Minnesota

Contractor:  Alex Nelson


Description:  The building faces west and is a three story light red colored brick and concrete structure. The rectangular shaped building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Towner. The building has a raised basement. The west front of the building has four large stone columns supporting the Greek style portico. Paired and single pilasters with Corinthian capitols meet the pressed metal frieze and cornices. On the center of the roof is a stubby metal-covered silver colored dome with antefixae around the lower perimeter sits atop a short tower with alternating double and single rectangular windows. Silver colored trim surrounds the extended flat roof line. In the interior is a rotunda beneath the dome. The interior of the courthouse on the second and third stories is simple but retains virtually complete integrity, including original woodwork and furniture in the County District Court courtroom located on the third story. There is a large mutal of Lady Justice. The building houses the County District Court of the Northeast Judicial District. 


See:  The architect Buechner & Orth of St. Paul, Minnesota designed many courthouses. The courthouse is similar to the courthouse in Traill County.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – McHenry County Courthouse


See:  The Northeast Judicial District includes Benson CountyBottineau County, Cavalier County, Pembina County. Pierce County, Ramsey County, Renville County, Rolette CountyTowner County and Walsh County


History:  The county was created in 1873 and Villard was named as the county seat in 1884 when the county was organized. In 1885, the county seat was moved to Scritom and in 1888, the county seat was moved to Towner. The first and present courthouse was constructed in 1907 to 1908.



County Courthouse – Towner



























County District Court courtroom











Photos taken 2007, 2016 and 2023