Lac Qui Parle County Courthouse

File:Lac qui Parle County Courthouse.jpg

    The battle over the location of the Lac Qui Parle county seat and the location of the courthouse began with the establishment of the county in 1871, formally ended in 1889 after a countywide election.  When the county was founded the settlements of Williamsburg and Lac Qui Parle Village were in competition for the seat, with the latter winning one year later.  A wood courthouse was erected in the village and for a time it was the largest community in the county.  In 1884 the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railroad was constructed through the county, bypassing both Williamsburg and Lac Qui Parle Village, halting their growth (Williamsburg was eventually abandoned entirely).  The towns of Madison and Dawson were founded that same year along the railroad, and both petitioned the county board for the seat.  A county election in 1886 chose Madison, however, an injunction was filed by a Dawson county officer which prevented the removal of county records from Lac Qui Parle Village.  In response 150 men rode to Lac Qui Parle Village with 40 teams of horses and dragged the courthouse to its current location in Madison over the course of a week.  The State Legislature moved the records back to Lac Qui Parle Village 10 months later.  In 1889 a special election was held to settle the matter and Madison was formally named the county seat.
    Construction of the current courthouse began in 1899 by Olaf Swenson, using designs from the firm Buechner and Jacobson from St. Paul.  In November 1899 the courthouse was completed.  The old wood courthouse was sold as two private residences, one of which is still in use.

Site Address: 600 Sixth St,, Madison, MN 56256
Phone: 320-598-3536
Fax: 320-598-3915

Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.