Wadena County is named after the Wadena Trading Post and the name is derived from an Ojibwe word meaning “a little round hill”.
Created: June 11, 1858
Wadena 1858 – present
County Courthouse – Wadena
Location: 415 Jefferson Street South / Emerson Avenue SW
Built: 1969 – 1970
Architect: Walter S Butler Company of Saint Paul
Contractor: Edlund Construction Company
Description: The building faces east and is a two story white colored concrete structure. The building is constructed of reinforced concrete. The building has a sheltered doorway in the center of the long facade which is the only break in the repeating vertical, narrow, double windows with block spandrels between wide two-story slabs of concrete. There is a one story wing on the south side of the building.
Note: The first courthouse was built by the Lake Superior and Puget Sound Company in 1880. The town of Vaerndale built a courthouse designed and constructed by Thomas C Myers of Verndale. in 1866 but Wadena retained the county seat and the second courthouse was built in 1886 at a cost of $8,000. The building was demolished in 1970 and the cupola is located at the fairgrounds. The cost of construction of the present courthouse was $850,000.
N – Hubbard County
E – Cass County
S – Todd County
W – Becker County
Photos taken 2007 and 2008