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McKenzie County

 

McKenzie County is named for Alexander McKenzie of  Bismarck,  North Dakota ( 1851-1922 ), credited with helping to engineer the removal of the capital of the Dakota Territory from Yankton, South Dakota to Bismarck, and a political leader.

 

Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Williams County

E – Mountrail County and Dunn County

S – Dunn CountyBillings County and Golden Valley County

W – Wibaux County, Montana and Richland County, Montana

 

Created:  May 24, 1901                          Map of North Dakota highlighting McKenzie County

County Seat: 

Alexander      1905 – 1907

Schafer          1907 – 1941

Watford City   1941 – present

 

County Courthouse – Watford City

 

Location:  201 5th Street Northwest / 2nd Avenue Southeast

Built:  2014 – 2015

Style:  Modern

Architect:  ICON Architectural Goup

Contractor:  Construction Engineers

 

Description:  The building faces east and is a two story buff colored brick, glass and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Watford City. The building is built into the side of a slope with the second story being at ground level on the west side. The north side of the building extends east and has long narrow vertical windows. Along the south wall are different colored concrete patterns. The central entrance is a black colored concrete portico extending from the building with large glass wall on the north side. There is brown colored trim and the roof line is flat. In the interior there is a two story atrium at the entrance and wide hallways. The two County District Court courtrooms are located on the south side of the second story. The building houses the County District Court of the Northwest Judicial District.

 

Former County Courthouse – Watford City

 

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Location:  201 5th Street Northwest / 2nd Avenue Southeast

Built:  1973 – 1974

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Kielhack & Fougner of Minot

Contractor:  F & J Construction of Dickenson

 

Description:  The building faced east and was a two story red-brown colored brick and concrete structure. The building was located on landscaped grounds in the center of Watford City.  Along the east front were white colored vertical dividers. The east front had a small portico of red colored brick. The roof line was flat. The building was demolished when the present courthouse was constructed in 2014 to 2015.

 

See:  The Northwest Judicial District includes Divide County and Williams County.

 

History:  The county was created in 1901 and Alexander became the county seat in 1905 when the county was organized. The county seat was moved to Schafer in 1907. The first courthouse was a wood frame structure built in 1907 and enlarged in 1906. The county seat was moved to Watford City in 1940. In 1941, an old hospital was converted to serve as the courthouse. The second courthouse was constructed in 1973 to 1974. The third and present courthouse was constructed in 2014 to 2015.

 

 

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County Courthouse – Watford City

 

 

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County District Court courtroom

 

 

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County District Court courtroom

 

 

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Former County Courthouse – Watford City

 

 

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Photos taken 2007 and 2022