Benson County is named for Bertil W Benson, a Valley City merchant and land dealer who served in the House of Representatives.
Surrounding County Courthouses:
W – Pierce County
Created: March 9, 1883
Minnewaukan 1884 – present
County Courthouse – Minnewaukan
Location: 311 B Avenue South / 3rd Street East
Built: 1900 – 1901
Style: Richardsonian Romanesque
Architect: W G Russell of Grand Forks
Contractor: D H Lord & Company
Description: The building faces north and is a two story brown colored brick, stone and concrete structure. The building is located on spacious grounds in the center of Minnewaukan. The building has a course stone base. The principal entrance is at the east end of the facade and is articulated by a one-story recessed porch with corners marked by pairs of stone columns and brick piers. On the north side is square brick tower with a large arched window on the second story and topped by parapet, pyramidal roof a white colored wood cupola. The large arched window illuminates the stairwell and bears on its extrados the legend Benson County. On the interior, west of the entrance, is a particularly handsome example of the divided form of stairway with paneled dado, closed stringer, turned balusters, and columnar newels with stop-fluting. Additional wood trim throughout the building includes paneled doors, baseboards, wainscoting, and picture moldings. An ornate wooden mantelpiece with back mirror and colored tile surround is the focal point of the county commissioners’ meeting room. All the rooms are furnished with dark oak furniture, while the doors, casings, stairs and finishing is a light oak. The ceiling of the courtroom consists of stamped metal rectangles with friezes, separated by beams sheathed in metal stamped in wreath designs. A number of offices have similar but less elaborate ceiling treatments, and walls in the building are plastered, although some have been covered with plywood paneling. The building houses the County District Court of the Northeast Judicial District.
See: National Register of Historic Places – Benson County Courthouse
History: The county was created in 1883 and Minnewaukan was selected as the county seat in 1884. The first county office was located in the Arlington Hotel in Minnewaukan. The first courthouse was a one story structure built in 1888. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1900 to 1901 at a cost of $40,000.
County Courthouse - Minnewaukan
Photos taken 2007 and 2009