Big Stone County

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Big Stone

Big Stone County is the named for Big Stone Lake located in the county and is the translation of the Dakota Native American name for the lake, which alludes to the large outcropping of granite near the foot of the lake.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Traverse County

E – Stevens County and Swift County

S – Lac Qui Parle County

W – Grant County, South Dakota and Roberts County, South Dakota


Created:  February 20, 1862                  Map of Minnesota highlighting Big Stone County

County Seat:

Ortonville  1881 – present


County Courthouse – Ortonville


Location:  20   2nd Street SE / Lincoln Avenue

Built:  1901 – 1902

Style:  Gothic between Romanesque and Classical

Architect:  Fremont D Orff of Minneapolis

Contractor:  D H Olsen


Description:  The building faces west and is a three story light tan colored brick structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds on a hill top in the center of Ortonville. The building is accented with Ortonville granite in a transitional style between Romanesque, in the central arched doorway, and Classical formalism, shown in the arrangement of the windows. The central pavilion, wide gable and key-stoned lintels of the windows carry out this theme. The west front has a large central arch at the first story entrance. The roof is hipped. The courtroom is located on the second story.


See:  The architect, Fremont D Orff, designed courthouses in Minnesota in Red Lake County, Renville County and Waseca County; and in Nebraska in Wayne County.


History:  From 1862 to 1866, the county was attached to  Renville County and from 1866 to 1873, it was attached to Stevens County for judicial purposes. The local building used as the first courthouse from 1873 was destroyed by fire in 1885. The second courthouse was built in 1886 at a cost of $4,298. The cost of construction of the third and present courthouse in 1901 to 1902 was $29,999.




County Courthouse – Ortonville




























Photos taken 2007, 2008 and 2017