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Ward County


Ward County is named for Mark Ward ( 1844-1902 ) of Kimball, Brule County, South Dakota, who was the chairman of the House committee on counties.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Burke County and Renville County

E – McHenry County 

S – McLean County

W – Mountrail County and Burke County


Created:  April 14, 1885                          Map of North Dakota highlighting Ward County

County Seat:

Burlington  1885 – 1888

Minot          1888 – present


County Courthouse – Minot


Location:  315 3rd Street Southeast / 4th Avenue Southeast

Built:  1929 – 1930

Style:  Art Deco

Architect:  Toltz, King & Day of St. Paul, Minnesota

Contractor:  Olson & Orheim of Minot


Description:  The building faces west and is a three story white-gray colored limestone and concrete structure. The rectangular shaped building is located on lanfdcaped grounds in the center of Minot. Minot. Bedford limestone serves as the exterior of the clay tile and steel-framed building. The building has a flat roof line. Exterior ornament includes cut-stone spandrels bearing medallions between the main and second stories, bronze spandrels cast in a chevron motif between the second and third-story windows, stylized vertical piers, designs at the summit of corner piers, several inscriptions on the friezes of each elevation, and the terraced stone entrance steps. On the second and third stories are long narrow windows. The entrance doorway is small. The north and south wings extend from the building. In the Interior, decorative elements include bronze gates between the vestibule and main atrium, the atrium’s three-story shaft leading to the art glass skylight, generous application of various marbles throughout, and painted plaster at the ceiling and cornice molded in a zig-zag pattern. The main County District Court courtroom is located on the third story. There are two large courrooms and five smaller courtrooms. The building houses the County District Court of the North Central Judicial District. The building was altered in 1983 with the addition of the jail on the east side and connecting skywalk. In 2015, the building was connected to the Administration Building on the north side.


See:  The architect, Toltz, King & Day of St. Paul, Minnesota designed many courthouses.


See:  The arrangement of interior space resembles that in the Barnes County courthouse; both buildings take advantage of the effect of an atrium and skylight.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Ward County Courthouse


See:  The Norrh Central Judicial District includes Burke County and Mountrail County.


History:  The county was created in 1885 and Burlington was selected as the county seat. The county first met in a store and schoolhouse in 1886. The first courthouse was built by Herman Christianson in 1886 at a cost of $73.19 plus $12 for labor. W L Millar hauled the lumber from Devils Lake. The county seat was moved to Minot in 1888. The second courthouse was a two story red colored brick structure built by Hiram T VanWagoner in 1890. An addition was built in 1904 with W C Albrant as the architect. The third and present courthouse was constructed in 1929 to 1930 at a cost of $498,000.



County Government Center – Minot



Location:  225 3rd Street Southeast / 3rd Avenue Southeast

Built:  2013 – 2015

Style:  Modern

Architect:  JLG Architects of Grand Forks

Contractor:  Mattson Construction Company of Minot


Description:  The building faces west and is a four story glass and concrete structure. The building is located in the center of Minot on the north side of the courthouse. The north section is four stories with vertical windows and the south section is three stories with curved black colored glass exterior. The section are joined by a glass atrium. The roof line is flat. The building is named as the Ward County Government Center and houses the Ward County Library.



County Courthouse – Minot







































County District Court courtroom









County District Court small courtroom







Picture 1890 County Courthouse



County Government Center – Minot

















Photos taken 2007, 2016 and 2023