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Brookings County


Brookings County is named for the city of Brookings which is the  county seat,  and which was named for Wilmot W Brookings, who was a settler and represented the Western Town Company.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Hamlin County and Deuel County

E – Lincoln County, Minnesota

S – Moody County and Lake County

W – Kingsbury County


Created:  April 5, 1862                           Map of South Dakota highlighting Brookings County

County Seat: 

Medary      1871 – 1879

Brookings  1879 – present


County Courthouse – Brookings


Location:  314 6th Avenue South / 3rd Street

Built:  1912 – 1913

Style:  Renaissance

Architect:  Bell, Tyrie & Chapman

Contractor:  J B Nelson Construction


Description:  The building faces west and is a three story gray colored limestone and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Brookings. On the center of the roof is a large square stone dome with black colored dome. The west front has a center area which projects from the main white colored stone building. The interior has a rotunda and marble walls. The scenes portrayed on the first and second floor hallway walls were painted by Oscar Lee, a Brookings county resident in the 1950’s. The four murals depicting Obedience, Reverence, Liberty and Justice crown the rotunda of the third story courtroom area of the building. The murals inside the dome were painted and installed in 1912 as part of the original construction. They were painted by Axel Soderberg, a Norwegian Immigrant for the Oden J Oyen Company of La Crosse, Wisconsin. The County Circuit Court courtroom has maintained its historic character with the refurbishing of the gold trim, plaster work and the glow of oak benches, railings, jury box and judges bench. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 3rd Judicial Circuit and the County Magistrate Court. An addition was added to the east side in 1996. 


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Brookings County Courthouse


See:  The 3rd Judicial Circuit includes Beadle CountyClark CountyCodington CountyDeuel County, Grant CountyHamlin CountyHand CountyJerauld County, Kingsbury County, Lake CountyMiner CountyMoody County and Sanborn County.  


History:  The county was created in 1862 and Madary was selected as the county seat in 1871 when the county was organized. The court met in the cabin of Martin Trygstad in 1871. The county seat was moved to Brookings in 1879 and the first courthouse was a wood structure built in 1883. The cost of construction of the second and present courthouse was $127,000. The Oyen Company was awarded the interior-decorating contract for $3,500.



County Courthouse – Brookings































County Circuit Court courtroom















Photos taken 2007 and 2018