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Wright County Courthouse History

In 1856, a two-story, 40-foot building was built as the Monticello Academy in the then county seat of Monticello.  Space was rented by the county for use as a courthouse and county offices.

Buffalo tried to obtain the title of county seat in 1862 and again five years later.  The second time, the offer of a courthouse rent-free for five years apparently convinced voters to approve the change.  At the end of the rent-free period, the county bought the two story, 24 by 36 foot frame building called the Samsell house for $900.

Five years later, in 1878, Wright County built a two-story square brick courthouse with mansard roof and elaborate domed tower in the current French Second Empire style.  Bisbee Bardwell of Minneapolis designed  it and it was built at a cost of $27,634.  However, the high interest of the bonds brought the grand total to $105,000.

The first section of the current courthouse was completed in June 1959.  It has a low, flat curtain-wall of steel and glass on a stone veneered foundation.  Patch and Erickson of Minneapolis designed the building that was built by the Geo. Madsen Construction Co. at a cost of $655,000.  Three other buildings have followed in an effort to keep pace with the growing county population.  In 1971, a $797,599 addition was built, in 1974, a $700,000 addition, and in 1980, a four-story, brown, steel-paneled rectangular block was built for $1.9 million to house social services offices.

Historical information adapted from "The First 100 Years... The Minnesota State Bar Association."

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