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Steele County

Steele County is named for Edward H Steel of Minneapolis (1846 – 1899) who was secretary-treasurer of the Red River Land Company which was largely responsible for the establishment of the county.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Nelson County and Grand Forks County

E – Traill County

S – Cass County and Barnes County

W – Griggs County


Created:  June 2, 1883                           Map of North Dakota highlighting Steele County

County Seat: 

Hope             1883 – 1885

Sherbrooke   1885 – 1919

Finley            1919 – present


County Courthouse – Finley


Location:  201 Washington Avenue / Central Avenue

Built: 1925 – 1927

Style:  Classical Revival

Architect:  Braseth & Houkom

Contractor:  T Ostby & Son


Description: The building faces south and is a three story buff colored brick, stone and concrete structure. The rectangular shaped building is located on spacious landscaped grounds on the north side of the center of Finley. The building is 89 feet by 64 feet and has Indiana limestone on the first level. Load bearing hollow tile brick supports the building. Six stone columns rise from the second to third floors on the south and four stone columns rise on the east and west sides. The windows are set between the columns and the roof line is flat. Interior decoration includes floral medallions in the vestibule, terrazzo floors, and the stairway and column bases sheathed in marble. The County District Court courtroom is located on the east side of the third story with high ceilings.The building houses the County District Court of the East Central Judicial District. A passenger elevator was installed. The architect was Lightowler Johnson Associates and the contractor was Wick Construction Inc.


Note:  The Commissioners set aside $85,000 for the construction of the courthouse.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Steele County Courthouse


See:  The East Central Judicial District includes Cass County and Traill County.


History:  The county was created in 1883 and Hope was designated as the county seat. The county seat was moved to Sherbrooke in 1885 and no courthouse was built. In 1919, the county seat was moved to Finley. The county used a rented premises until the first and present courthouse was constructed in 1925 to 1927.



County Courthouse – Finley



















County District Court courtroom











Photos taken 2006, 2009 and 2018